The Rifleman
Welcome to The Writer's Corner
Fan Fiction

Promises
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose

(This story is near the end of season five)

It hadn't been so long ago that Lucas had to nudge Mark with his homework and chores but that wasn't the case anymore. The young man had his own .22, and could hunt almost as good as Lucas. Lucas smiled as stirred the pot of stew when he realized that his son should be home by now from school. He was about to step outside when he heard a horse galloping towards the house and barn. He let out a breath.

"Mark?" Lucas called.

"Coming Pa!" He heard Mark yell back. He set the table and sat down waiting patiently for his son.

"Sorry Pa, I was real busy." Mark said putting his hat down.

"With what, son?" Mark clamped up and shook his head.

"Nothing." He said quickly. They prayed and started to eat.

"Are you excited for summer?"

"Yes sir." Mark said before shoveling food into his mouth. Lucas watched him carefully.

"Mark?"

"Yes, Pa?"

"You seem distant. Is everything okay with school?"

"Yes Pa."

"What about your history test today?" Lucas asked. Why was his boy so... quiet this evening?

"I got an A." Mark said not looking at him.

"Why don't you go start on your homework while I do the rest of the chores?" Lucas suggested.

"Are you sure Pa?" Mark asked.

"Yes I am."

"Thanks a lot Pa!" Mark smiled at him and put the dishes in the sink. Lucas watched him as he washed, rinsed and dried all the dishes by himself. Mark noticed that he was being watched.

"What's wrong Pa?" Lucas shook his head.

"Nothing, son. Start on your homework..."

The next day...
"I don't like keeping secrets from my Pa." Mark said twisting his hat in his hands nervously.

"Neither do I, Mark." Aesha replied. "My father would care if he found me talking to a white--"

"You're a white person too, Kaya." Mark interrupted. Aesha looked away. They had been meeting each other on the outskirts of the McCain Ranch for an over five days now.

"But that's different, I'm white at birth but I was raised Indian. I have to know who my parents are, Mark. Don't you understand?" Mark sighed. "Please keep meeting me. Please?"

"Fine," Mark relented. "Maybe for another week. Are you sure you won't get into trouble with your parents?"

"Yes, I'm sure." Aesha said. "Will your father get upset?" Mark shrugged.

"No, I don't think so." The young man replied. Aesha's face brightened.

"Good."

"Hey, Aesha?"

"Yes, Mark?"

"What does your name mean?" Mark asked.

"It means 'wish'." Aesha said shyly. "My father said that it had been his wife's wish to have a child...so they stole me."

"Are you sure they stole you?"

"Why wouldn't they?"

"Well, they--"

"Marrrrkkk!" Lucas yelled. Aesha's eyes widened with fear.

"Who is that?" She whispered hiding behind Mark's horse.

"Itís Pa."

"Your Pa?" She squeaked. "I can't let any white men see me!"

"Why not? He's just my Pa!"

"All white men try to hurt my tribe...except you of course."

"You better hide in a tree, Aesha." Mark insisted.

"Oh, okay." Aesha smiled. "See you again?" Mark nodded and mounted his horse to greet his Pa.

"Hi Pa." Mark said smoothly as he hadn't talked to anyone.

"Who was that you were talking to?" Lucas asked cocking his head.

"No one."

"But I heard another voice."

"I wasn't talking to anyone."

"A female voice." Lucas said firmly.

"Oh! That was probably your imagination; you might have been working in the heat too much." Mark said quickly.

"Mark."

"So maybe I was talking... to myself."

"Like a girl?"

"You know that there are birds that sound like people, Pa." Mark said. Lucas looked at him.

"Mark, tell me if you have been secretly seeing a girl." Lucas said. "I would like the truth."

"I guess I have." Mark mumbled. Lucas' eyes widened. "We haven't been doing anything appropriate its just we're friends, that's all."

"Oh, like Lorrie."

"Right, like Lorrie."

"Why didn't you tell me this before?" Lucas asked.

"She doesn't want anyone to know." Mark said feeling terrible that he had broken his promise.

"Itís almost time for dinner anyway, we better go back home."
*******
That evening, dinner was unnaturally quiet when Lucas decided to break the silence.

"Mark?" Lucas said watching his son pushing his food around on his plate.

"Yeah?"

"Is this girl from school?" Mark shook his head no. Lucas sighed. "Mark, where is she from?"

"A tribe." The boy mumbled. Lucas shook his head, not quite hearing right.

"What?"

"A tribe, Pa! She's an Indian!" Mark said standing up abruptly. Neither of them acknowledged that Mark's chair had fallen to the floor with a bang.

"An Indian?" Lucas repeated.

"Pa, she's a white Indian. She was taken away from her family a long time ago. She wants to find her real parents. I promised that I'd help her." Lucas stared at him with wide eyes.

"Don't you know that you're messing with Indians?" The Rifleman said.

"She's just the tribe chief, Pa." Lucas stood up.

"Mark, you can't start messing with other people!"

"She came to me, Pa! She needs to find her real parents."

"Well, you can't help her." Lucas said stubbornly.

"Why not?" Mark begged.

"I don't want you to get hurt."

"But I promised!"

"Why don't you go to the barn, son?"

"Please, Pa, I really need to help Aesha!" Lucas turned away to the kitchen and closed his eyes. "You taught me never to break a promise unless there was a good reason. I can't just tell her that I can't help her because of you!"

"Mark," Lucas warned. Mark gave up and ran outside of the house. He gently stroked Blue Boy's long face.

"Mark?" A small voice whispered. Mark turned and saw Aesha standing there.

"Oh, hi Aesha."

"I heard what happened in your house, Mark." Aesha said quietly. "I know itís all my fault that I caused this disruption in your family. I should have asked your father---"

"I promised you and now I can't keep it." Mark said kicking hay with his boot.

"Mark, I need to tell you something---"

"Aesha!" A deep voice boomed. They both turned to see a Indian chief and two braves standing in the open barn doorway.

"Father!" Aesha exclaimed. Mark gulped.

"Why have you come to a white man's property?" The chief asked angrily. "Did he forcefully take you?"

"No, no, he didn't!" Aesha said quickly. "Mark would never do such a thing!"

"Then why are you here?!" Mark watched them but stayed silent.

"I want to know who my parents are, Father." The Indian narrowed his eyes.

"No, you should not know who they were."

"Who were they? Please, Father I need to know!" Aesha cried.

"The white boy should not be here to listen then." The chief motioned and the braves moved towards Mark. Mark stepped back cautiously. "You will not be harmed." Mark noticed a shadow outside. A tall one. He nodded and walked outside. His Pa stopped them from going any further with his rifle.

"Why are you on my land?" Lucas demanded.

"Your son took Chief's daughter." One of the braves replied. They heard someone cry out. Lucas, Mark and the braves ran inside the barn. Aesha was on her knees, crying.

"I have told her the truth and she cannot handle it. We must leave at once." Lucas stilled as he watched the chief gently pick the white Indian girl up in his arms. The Indian stopped when he reached Lucas and Mark.

"You have taught young one well, Rifleman. I have waited many moons to find the right moment to tell my daughter. You picked the right time for me to tell her." Aesha whimpered in his arms.

Silently, the Indians left the McCain Ranch.

"Mark, I'm sorry. I didn't want you to break your promise." Lucas said putting his arm around his son's shoulders.

"I know, Pa, I know."

The End

This is a story based on the TV series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!

The Writer's Corner
Table of Contents

Site Map
around The McCain Ranch