Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution (#REN3 Finale)

Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution (#REN3 Finale)

The Final prompts:

  1. The misfortune is resolved/accepted.
  2. Relationships are mended/are torn asunder.
  3. The final event becomes another secret for generations to come.
  4. There is a new arrival in town.

The Serialized Doc Stovepipe, for your reading pleasure:

Part One: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Mississippi Lil

Part Two: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Doc Stovepipe

Part Three: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Gid

Special: Renaissance: Missing Air (set in the future and has ties to the Doc Stovepipe story)

Part Four: Doc Stovepipe’s Medicine Show: Sacrifices and Retribution

Heriot’s Pass smelled like rotten eggs, and Gid was nauseous. Fear roiled in his guts. “Schiavonaist bastards” he thought, trying to move, to no avail. Whatever was magicked was done well. Gid saw that Doc had taken off his hat and coat and handed them to Digger (who tossed them on the ground). He was advancing on Gid, rolling up his shirt sleeves.  Doc was mumbling, and it was hurting Gid. For salvation sake, he looked at his hand, which was clutching whatever Lil had given him. “A compass?

Doc smiled; a very disturbing one. His intelligible  murmuring became a series of yelps, yowls and ancient foul sounding language. The air started to whip around the cavern, all feeling the growing thrusts, but none more so than Gid. Doc closed his eyes, feeling the pleasure of letting himself go, his magics free. He was forcing the farm boy to his knees, and Doc was taking extra pleasure after what he saw…”Now, Digger!” he thought-sent. “NOW!”

Lil had her eyes glued on Gid and did not see Digger come upon her. He hosted her off the ground, picked her up over his head, and was getting ready to toss Lil. She had no time to compensate and free herself, but she had something already in her hand: an open Capsule of Dragon Scale Dust. She flung it in Digger’s face just as he hurled her towards Gid. She landed hard, and the magics swirling hurt more, but she got satisfaction in hearing Digger scream a death wail.

An awful humming filled the cave crossroad. Lil was sprawled at Gid’s feet, both unable to move. Both beginning to feel their insides churning.

Lil croaked: “Open the damned compass, Gid. Open the back cover.”

A small glass dagger was lodged in the back. “Talisman of the Triad! Huh! ..what do I…”

“Palm it,” Lil said, tears startng to stream. She felt herself being crushed, a hot liquid running down her legs, and she saw blood on her legs. “Palm it, damn you! How did you know?”

“Later,” Gid had trouble saying. He palmed the 2″ blade into his open hand. It started to grow as it landed. Growing to its full length, it began to glow and emit a sound that was the counterpoint to the noise growing from beneath them. The sword levitated and circled the pair three times, twirling its tip into the ground, breaking up the chalk outlines.

“GO!” whispered Lil, forcing her focus onto the compass and its once hidden weapon. The blade shot forward and found its shearth in Doc Stovepipe’s chest. Surprised, he clutched the handle and screamed.

“Close your eyes, Gid.”

They both did, and the glass dagger lit up like twelve years of fireworks. Gid felt heat, and he ducked down, covering Lil with his body.  It died down as quick as it started, and with the pressure off, they were able to stand. Gid was amazed they were whole. Doc Stovepipe was gone, Digger’s body was a charred husk, and all the chalk markings…like nothing was ever there.

“What did they want?” Gid asked, once they were free from The Pass.

Lil looked up at the sky. “The Moondust Stone is way down below. Powerful magic, worth a lot in money and for power. He betrayed me, just as I was gonna do the same to him. You stood up well, farm boy,” the last said, with a smile.

“Huh! Thought it was just folklore, nothing more. You betrayed me,” he said with some menace.

“I gave you the compass. I knew you’d do well. Knew it,” and she flung herself, this time, to Gid, kissing him hard and with real meaning. Down they went, in a fumble and tearing of clothes, and they yelped and yowled accordingly, together, and sometimes in harmony.


Gid woke alone that morning; Mississippi Lil gone and Doc Stovepipe’s steam driven Medicine Show Wagon with her. He tended to his studies after that, learning what he needed to protect the Moondust Stone. His father was surprised he knew where it was hidden, as only the Waykeeper (his dad) was supposed to know. Gid trained hard, ready to take on the mantle, when the time came.

A bit more than nine months after “the incident”, Gid’s mother found a baby girl outside their door. There was a note: “Gid, meet your daughter, Chrystal. Lil (no longer Mississippi)”.

Gid loved his girl to pieces, and as she grew she returned it. She met her mother one time…but that’s a tale for another day.

The End


OK… yes, way over the word limit. As one of the hosts here, well, I’m cheating because I can. I have SO much more to write, so much I DID delete, and…yes, as Stephen King wrote: “sometimes you have to kill your babies.” Sorry..this time I’m just ignoring the rules. We set em up, i can slightly ignore them. Lisa may frown upon me, but…I’ll plead the pain in my hands and feet, and the meds I am taking made me go loco.

Need to acknowledge our winnahs from the “Name What Lil Put In Gid’s Hand” contest:

Winner: The Compass with a hidden weapon: Richard Hughes of Writing and Living

Runner up: Small Glass Dager: Sonja of Chapter by Chapter

Richard will be interviewed by me, and that will appear in the next week on BornStoryteller. Sonja gets the honor of having her item be so effective, and I threw in a few other of the suggestions. Thank you, one and all.


will, sadly have to wait a day or so. We are ironing out the details, and we all want to be on the same page, so to speak.

The announcements (ooopss…more than one) SHOULD make you happy. We hope so.

So…if you are one of the REN3 writers, give yourselves  a pat on the back for a job well done. I’ll be reading ALL  of the blog entries, so to save some sanity I will not be leaving any comments this time around. Hope you understand: we now have to read all four sections, about 2,200 words each. OUCH.

See you soon with the news.

38 responses »

  1. My my, I was wondering if you would ever post your final part!
    What an ending! It’s like a firework, with all in it – something for everyone … not to mention the various nods to the “cold & hard” devices.
    Thank you for including the “Talisman of the Triad” 🙂
    Besides, I completely agree with you that as a judge who stands outside the challenge and made up the rules, you are entitled to ignore them … I once did the same, although that competition was about costumes *g*


    • Costume? Really? to share? 🙂

      Thanks Nicole. I have a problem right now neurological (shingles) and can’t feel my fingers. It is taking me three times as long to type.That’s why little to no comments.

      Glad you enjoyed. You’re welcome for the inclusion. I’d like to use the Triad in another story, if that’s ok with you.


      • Oh, I’m sorry that you are not feeling well … and it surely is even worse, because you are a writer and it affects your fingers!

        So, well, if you could use a bit of cheering up … perhaps this little picture will do so. Yes, it actually is of the costume I mentioned 😉

        The competition was about ElfQuest-characters (a comic-book about elves), and you were supposed to reproduce an original character (usually we dressed up as our own inventions that are based on the original story). But since I was one of the judges I decided to be a bit more free with my design – besides, the original costumes of my chosen character would have been either hardly wearable or boring.

        Sure, use the Triad-Talisman … I invented it for you, based on a shared world you invented 🙂 I’m looking forword to read that story!


      • Nicole, I have all the original Elfquest books, with #1 signed by Wendy & Richard. Met them in Albany and just the nicest people then. My daughter fell in love with comics thanks to my copies of Elfquest. So…good company.

        Thank you for the cheer..and nice costume. Yes, some female ones COULD be on the risque side…saw plenty of that at comic conventions.


  2. *Frowns and shakes finger*. You are incorrigible! However, sooner put the wind in a box as restrain your creative flow. I think we’ll all be looking forward to your ongoing saga of Doc Stovepipe, Lil, and Gid. (I don’t believe that Doc is gone for good.) :-))

    Thanks to you and my other co-hosts Damyanti and JC, things went off pretty well for a first (and rather unique) blogfest. Glad you invited me!

    Now the hard part begins for us – judging the entries.


  3. I enjoyed all that went on in this final chapter. The way Gid and Lil used the talisman, and the inclusion of a baby for possible future episodes with Gid, Lil, and their girl. I hope to read of some tie in with your side story of the future version of the town.
    Hope you heal quickly, and don’t have too much pain.


  4. Stu…great ending! Am making the rounds in a hurry cos my tail is in the mud, and am sinking with the amount of stuff I have to do.

    Take care. I have tended to family members with shingles, and the pain can be excruciating…so I’m amazed you’re at the computer. Big hugs, Big Bro!!…thanks for making this blogfest happen, and for creating Renaissance, in which I have enjoyed my stay!!


  5. Pretty cool story you did here 🙂 I enjoyed it. I hope you are feeling better. I’ve been struggling with a cold, yuck and meds too – I know you feel awful – but the story was great.


  6. You write action very well Stuart 🙂 I liked this ending – and I liked seeing that the Talisman was included. This was a satisfactory ending.

    Thanks for being such a gracious host. I look forward to continuing in May.



  7. Wonderful wrap up! I really enjoyed the progressively darker tone you took with the story up until the end.

    Thanks for doing all of the work to set this up – it’s been a ton of fun and great to read all of the variations.


    • Thank you Kurt. This has been a wonderful experience from start to finish…but, it’s not finished yet.

      Glad you liked my story. I wish we had set it at 1000 words, but I can’t imasgine reading that much. 600 is good, Stu…600 is good.


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