Rating Adult overall
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters in this story and make
no profit from them
Summary: Set in the early 1940's, Spike is a G-man sent on
a mission in the Appalachian mountains to search for
and destroy illegal alcohol when he has an accident.
Xander is a moonshiner who takes him in.
Xander hustled quickly through the trees and down the incline to
the road. He wanted to check that Spike's car was still
undisturbed and that no one had stolen his papers or books.
He had decided to load all the things up in one of the boxes
and return it to the cabin.
He was sure Spike would feel better if he knew his property
He smiled at the thought of making Spike happy.
Approaching, he was shocked find another car parked close
behind the wrecked one. Though unmarked, the man in the
black suit and plain car just screamed "government."
He considered ducking back into the cover of the woods, but
cursing his carelessness, Xander knew he had already been spotted.
"Hey! You! Boy! Get down here." The G-man stepped closer.
With his hand on his hip Xander could clearly see the gun holster
strapped to his shoulder partly concealed by his suit coat.
Without missing a beat, Xander slipped into his alter ego and
sauntered down the bank.
"Hey mister. Looks like you all mashed up yer car real bad.
The agent studied and dismissed Xander as any type of interest
Flashing a wallet with a badge, the agent tilted his head back
towards the damaged vehicle.
"My name is special agent Liam O'Connor. The man driving this
car is also a government agent. His name is William Beemish.
Short, blond, talks with a fucked up accent. He sometimes calls
himself Spike. Do you know what happened to him?"
Xander was speechless. He felt like he had just been punched
in the stomach.
He felt dizzy from the rapid mental turn around and fought
desperately to keep his face blank and not vomit.
"Hey, Dummy. I'm talking to you. Have you seen the man
who was driving this car?"
Liam was quickly getting pissed off. He did not want to be here
much less wasting his time talking to an uneducated hillbilly that
probably never finished the third grade.
And frankly he sure the hell didn't care what happened to Spike.
The only reason he came out here was to save his promotion.
If he was to get the spot in Washington when they started that
new agency, he couldn't have lost an agent on his record.
So here he was stuck in the boondocks talking to this idiot and
getting mud on his new shoes.
"Nope, didn't see nobody. Don't usually come this way.
I live up there"
Xander pointed in the opposite direction, toward the town.
"Ain't heard nothin' bout no strangers in these parts. Nearest
town is ten miles up the road. They got one of them Greyhound
busses there. Maybe your friend took the bus back to the city."
Xander's brain was frying. He had been taken.
He had been lied to.
He had let his heart confuse his common sense.
His thoughts centered on one urgent point.
'Oh Fuck! Spike is back at the cabin. Alone.'
Liam appeared to be considering this suggestion and headed
back for his car. Yea. the bus was reasonable. Before leaving,
he reached into his coat pocket and handed Xander a small card.
"You hear anything about him you go find someone to read this
to you. It has my name and address on it. Can you remember that?"
Xander nodded dumbly, and Liam walked away.
He had already forgotten Xander was still standing there.
Watching him leave, Xander backed up and blended in with
the surrounding foliage. As soon as he was satisfied that it was
safe, he ran for home.
Xander was still a good 100 yards away when he knew something
was wrong. All his instincts and built in alarms were screaming.
Before entering the cabin, he circled the property.
The once neat wood pile was now scattered as though someone
had tossed it piece by piece.
Darting to the side path he saw it when he turned the corner.
The barn door stood wide open.
Xander stopped. Took a deep resigning breath and slowly
Funny how one afternoon can destroy a lifetime.
Xander now knew who the snake in his omen was.
The snake was Spike.
A man who had come up here and made Xander question himself
and his plans for the future.
A man who made Xander fall in love.
The snake was Liam O'Connor for coming here and telling Xander
about a man he didn't know. Spike was not that hateful man's
The snake was the still itself. The money and danger had been
He knew it would not end well, but like Spike's alcoholism,
Xander knew he was just as addicted to the booze.
He was worse because he was destroying lives for his own
profit and pleasure.
And that was the bottom line, wasn't it.
The real snake was him.
Xander Harris was the snake.
The catalyst that would cause the end of it all.
If he hadn't been a shiner it wouldn't have mattered who or
what Spike was.
Xander wiped the tears from his eyes and stepped into the barn.
There sat his prized Lincoln.
The doors wide open and the windshield smashed.
Some of the jugs had been tossed to the dirt floor, but
most were still sitting in the crates.
Still waiting for the night's delivery.
Xander left, pulling the door closed and resecuring the padlock.
Sighing deeply he turned and walked, not sure what he would
be facing. He wouldn't stop Spike from arresting him. He had
always known that was a possibility. His arrogance just didn't
let him think it would happen.
Stepping up on the front porch, he noticed the door ajar.
Pushing it open he entered. The room was cold. The fire had
been neglected and gone out. The oil lamp too was unused
making the cabin dim.
Giving his eyes a minute to adjust to the lack of light, Xander
finally found what he was looking for.
There sitting in the rocker by the cold hearth, was Spike.