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    Bitter Reckoning Chapter 8, part one

    Other than Kit’s chanting and the sound of weeping, there was silence. No one knew what to say. No one seemed able to move beyond his or her shock. Then it happened—small, soft clumps of flurries began to float down from above, landing in their hair, on their shoulders, touching their skin with pinpoints of wet cold.

    Bette opened her eyes. She was still holding LoriAnn to her. She lifted her face slightly, felt the delicate flakes against her eyes and lips. It was snowing, the beginning at least.

    She released her hold on LoriAnn and took a step back. But she wouldn’t let her gaze fall on Doyle. She couldn’t bear the site of his vulnerable body exposed to the weather with its ripped out throat. But her mind was finally seeing the truth of what had happened. She could’ve screamed right then, too, but couldn’t muster the strength. Instead, she looked for Tina, found her holding her hand over her mouth, as tears streamed down her face while she knelt on her knees and stared in the direction of Doyle. When Tina moved her hand to wipe her eyes, Bette saw her swollen nose, red with smeared blood. She looked more pitiful than ever, Bette thought. Bruised and bleeding, scared and cold. She wanted to sweep her up into her arms right then and reassure her. But she doubted herself too much for that. Doubted even now that any of them were going to make it out alive.

    “We need to cover him,” Tina said, breaking the silence. She looked up and made eye contact with Bette. “Give him his dignity.”

    Bette nodded, turned her attention to Martin who was slumped on the ground, rocking himself as he covered his face with his hands. “You got any tarps left in your truck?”

    He rocked to a halt and looked up at her. But instead of answering her question, he asked one of his own. “Where are his clothes?”

    Bette blinked, then blinked again as snowflakes tickled her eyelashes. “I don’t know, I don’t…” She let her voice trail off, brought her gaze to Tina’s once more. Her disheveled hair was coated now in a layer of snow flurries, and she was chewing on her bottom lip as she continued to look at Doyle’s body. Why was she studying it so? Why wasn’t she looking away in terror as the others were? Tina lifted her eyes, waiting it seemed for Bette to take action.

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    1. Okay, so I couldn’t get the chapter finished and wrap up with the resolution and a few smaller surprises, so I decided to go right up to the climax and through it for you and finish the rest next week.

      I noticed lots of questions about why Harlan didn’t kill Tina when he had the chance. That will be answered in this chapter.

      Sorry for the rush…I’ll answer the messages and PMs later this week, but for now, I wanted you to have this part. Sorry for the typos and such, but I was trying to hurry!

      And yeah…Pie is back!! Miracles do happen!

      • Hi BM:

        Wow, that was amazing. I love this story very much. Wonderful, how Bette cares for Tina and the other way around too. 👩‍❤️‍👩

        How incredible that Tina could trace (in her way) the facts and give an explanation to Harlan’s enigma, quicker than Bette and some of the others. 🤔

        Poor Harlan, he was blind for his past and the suffering and humiliation of his people, but as usual, the ends don’t justify the means. Unfortunately, in the end, he reaped what he sowed.😢

        It had to be in that way, the girls saved the girls or the women saved the women.
        The hands in the shadows, I guess were the dead girls (I’ve been seeing them in the dark too, this last week).😊

        I have no idea how they are going to fix an explanation of the deaths and/or disappearances to the authorities.😲

        I hope next week we have ‘reward time’ let’s see what Bette could do with those long fingers, and what Tina can teach her.😜

        Thanks, BM, really an excellent story, (but I still see suspicious shadows in my closet). 😱

        Eagerly waiting for the update.


    2. Thank you for the chapter and for finding time for posting this part today! And BenMac, you like to tease us, don’t you?:)

      So you answered on my question about why Harlan didn’t killed Tina earlier. And i agree with proteonomics about how B&T cares for each other and expectation to know about Bette’s long fingers.
      But who was this ghost girl?

    3. Thanks a lot for the chapter! The climax was really filled with tension. Though I am not fond of horror stories since I am a total coward, but somehow this was good and not very scary. Partly because I expected, as was written in the summary, that Bette would step forward and protect Tina. And I should say I am a litlle bit disappointed in her. All she was doing is begging Harlan to spare Tina! Almost all the time she was hesitant and not much of a hepl. So, the happy end is all due to Kit’s riffle and some help from the ghost girls. I’ve noticed that in most of your stories Tina is the most enigmatic, strong and fascinating character. So here you stayed true to yourself :) But I still hope to see some of Bette alha-ness.

      • I think you unfair to Bette. Yes, in the beginning of chapter she hesitation too much in critical situation but then she understood her mistake. And in the middle of this part she protect Tina when she changes clothes, and after that saves her life when Harlan tries attack RV. In the final she was injured by a broken ceiling and can’t even stand on her feet by herself. So she did only what she can – trying to talk with Harlan. She can’t phisicaly protect Tina in this situation.
        And about other stories – i think only story, where Tina was more “alfa” then Bette was “Ethernal Rocks” (my favorite story). In other stories both girls were equal (in the “Smell of Rain” Bette more stronger then Tina)

        • I didn’t say Tina is more alpha, I meant that she is often more complex, deeper and wiser. And yes, in The Smell of Rain it’s vice versa – Bette is a picture of wisdom and strength and elegance.
          As per this chapter, I might be biased, but still I believe Tina did show more courage knowing that Harlan was after her while Kit and Bette were sure he wouldn’t harm anybody of his own clan.
          Well, we still expect some denoument and that witch Roy Shirley is still out there, so….

      • You do make a good point. Let me see if I can justify my choices. Tina has grown up white, rich, and privileged. She hasn’t had too many hard knocks in life. Bette, on the other hand, has grown up poor, mixed-raced, to an abusive father. She’s had tons of hard knocks in life. Yes, tough situations do make tough people, but remember, Bette is still mourning Alice and she’s just as confused about what’s happening because she doesn’t have the cultural understanding that Kit does. So in a way, it makes sense that Tina pulls her shit together and reaches out to both Bette and Rita as they seem to be falling apart.

        Again, you are correct. Almost all my Tina’s are strong women. That’s because I often see LH as Randy, so that can’t help but come through. I never much identified with the original Bette in TLW. In fact, I despised her. I thought she was arrogant, pompous, and shallow. Well, most of the characters where like that, I guess. IC didn’t do the best job of representing lesbians as much more than that. However, I’ve learned to love my versions of Bette because I feel there is this really good side of her that gets buried under all her attractiveness and hardness. BTW, just in case you’re wondering, I didn’t watch TLW until it was on Netflix, and only then because of Pam Grier, and only continued because of her and LH and Rose Rollins (OMG that voice!)

    4. Wow, that was a very sad ending to Harlan . And Kit already suspected him, why didn’t she say or do anything. It could have spared lifes.

      Bette was so in protect mode to Tina, it was sweet.

      Strelets3, what could have Bette done in this situation? She was hurt and didn’t have a riffle. Harlan had a weak spot for her and maybe begging was the only thing she could do. It was Kit who could have prevent all of this, she knew what to do or say to stop Harlan.

      I suspect that Bette & Kit saw their mother at the end. Beautiful to see how the girls/woman rescued the others from what would be the same fate about what happened to them so long ago.

      BenMac, i truly enjoyed this story and no still no nightmares 😉 looking forward to the next chapter.

    5. Whenever I see new post yours I feel like on Christmas morning !! I will read the chapter tonigh :))) I’m so impatient to know what’s happening! Thank You Ben Mac. It’s a pity that cheese just an episode. I hope you do not take long to offer us new tibette stories :*

    6. Great update. Glad Tina was able to make Bette understand what was happening. Very gruesome story. Never knew these things about the Native American tribes, I guess each one has its special attributes, if you can call them that, and dark arts to use for whatever reason they need or think they need. The old man, Roy Shirley, where does he live and what has happened to him. I guess he could possibly live forever turning into whatever, whenever he wants. That is crazy stuff. Kit is not a good shot at all, why couldn’t she have shot him in a more vulnerable place in his body or was she really not trying to kill him outright, just wound enough to help his life slip away. At least the young women heled him on his way to glory. I take it that the young lady that stepped forward was Bette and Kit’s mother, am I right. If so, I’m happy they have that image of her to sustain them, especially Bette. One hell of an update BenMac. Harlan was so immersed and disturbed in the history of his people and took the wrong way. I can understand why he felt as he did but, to make the modern day folk pay forvthe sins of their ancestors was just wrong. Poor Alice. Harlan could not have gained any peace by killing those guys, I think it just made him more blood thirsty to justify a means to an end, which didn’t really solve anything. Thanks for posting. Take care.

    7. Thanks BenMac loved it as usual, can’t wait for next week.

      You and Pie posting it’s a dream ! Could the stories be any more different though! LOL!

      Get to like reading all the comments nearly as entertaining as the posts – nearly!

      Thanks for the post

    8. Great chapter, Dramatic ending for Harlan. If you would make a movie out of it, the scene when Harlan is morphing and dissolving would have some cool CGI stuff in it :)
      I liked this level-headed, strong Tina who figured out a lot of the stuff that was done by Harlan. After all this creepy-horror things I’m hoping for a sweet and loving final chapter for Tina and Bette.

      Thanks for writing, BenMac, happy Easter!

    9. Great finally they all saw and now believe but not sure why Kit would keep so much information to herself that could have saved a lot of problems and deaths.. I know she said he had only been guessing but even when they ask straigh out she was not forth coming till the shot was hitting the fan..any so now bring on hot bath soft bed and Here’s loving thank you for this great chapter.

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