Bared Bear

By: RebekahWSD

Some people have a knack for finding strange things. Strange things always seem to find Zane Legends. Sometimes even, strange sounds. It had been a rough week on the trail from Fort Laramie to Independence Rock, and it wasn't even half over yet. Which is why as Zane made camp for the night he thought he might have been hallucinating from lack of people and good food. The distinct sound of a lonely violin wafted across the air, the notes haunting and distinct.

Patting his horse, he whispered to her quietly.

"Wait here Tin, I'm just going to check this out real quick."

She snorted, shaking her head at him. He frowned, unsure if that was a good or bad sign. Sometimes she seemed perceptive, almost bordering on the freaky, but she had made no indication she had heard the music also.

Standing up slowly, he started to make his way towards the faint music.

Sneaking slowly ahead, he cursed his choice of cowboy boots with every single step and broken twig, as he tried to stay silent as a mouse. He knew he should have taken that cute little native girl up on her offer of a pair of moccasins when he had the chance.

His mind started to wander as he remembered her, her cute face and pretty braids.

He also remembered the delicious deer sausage and fry bread they had made, welcoming and inviting to him. Others scoffed at him for spending so much time with the natives when he had the chance, calling him a traitor and worse, but he liked them. They also knew how to cook one hell of a meal, and he sure wasn't going to refuse a meal just because they happened to be native. That would be foolish at stupid.

His mind snapped back when he heard the violin screech before falling silent.

"Is someone there?" a clear voice rang out. Inching forward, Zane finally caught sight of the mysterious musician.

A young man, possibly turning a bit older, he looked both perfectly in place in the woods, even with the fancy violin he was carrying. Tall, sturdy, and heavy set, he looked quite the part of a trapper or possibly a wild mountain man, facial hair taking over almost.

The most surprising thing was not the violin however, but the very large bear that was sleeping next to him.

Just as Zane's eyes went wide at the sight of the bear, the bear started to wake up, yawning before snorting and snuffling, standing up as he inched towards Zane.

Zane stood still as the bear and man approached him.

"Oh sausages," he whispered quietly, so quiet he wasn't sure he had even spoke or moved his lips.

"Good evening! What brings you to this neck of the woods?" the man asked, chuckling as he watched the bear start to snuffle and sniff at Zane.

He continued to let the bear sniff at the petrified Zane for far too long before whistling, calling the bear back to his side.

The bear let out an annoyed snort before lumbering back over to the musician, sitting down with a heavy thud.

Zane finally found his tongue again, swallowing. "Just passing through to Eugene. Well Independence Rock first, then Eugene, possibly to California instead, I mean..." Zane rambled, staring at the bear.

The bear yawned, showing Zane all his teeth, causing Zane's eyes to go wide.

The man laughed, shaking a finger at the bear.

"Rude Kyle, stop scaring him. Don't worry about Kyle man, he likes to terrify people. He's really a big scaredy cat at heart, I promise," the musician said, laughing as the bear snorted before turning away, settling down on the ground with a resounding thump before starting to snore. "See, asleep already. Want to join us for dinner?"

The thought of food made Zane's stomach growl. He tried to think if there were any stories about wild mountain men with wild bears eating travelers, but the idea of free food was too appealing.

"Sure, let me get my stuff."

"Sure man, we'll be right here."

After gathering his stuff and making his way back to man and bear, the four of them had a quiet meal, watching the sunset as they ate only slightly bear chewed deer steaks for dinner.

Genre: Western
Setting: In a forest
Character: Musician