The Rifleman
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Fan Fiction

The Shack
Written by Vanessa Rose aka lilyrose



(this story takes place in season two when Mark is eleven)

Susan stared at the paper that she held in her hands. It had tearstains but that made it more special.

"Dear Susan," She read aloud, her heart chipping off again. "I know itís hard for you to go on without me, but I know you'll protect your little sister and brother from Moe. Stay close to North Fork, I heard that thereís a man who might protect you from Moe. With all my love, Mother." Susan gulped.

"Should I just walk in town saying that I need food?" She had a few coins from doing odd jobs here and there but it wasn't enough to take care of all three of them. She knew that she couldn't let Moe come back this time to beat her brother and sister.

"Open the door, Susan." said a too-familiar voice. Her heart pounded, she blinked her tears back and straightened her shoulders to refuse to let him in.

"Go away Moe. We're not letting you in." She heard him kick the shack's door. "Don't you dare, Moe. I'm not letting you in. I promise."

"Susan," Moe warned. She had heard that voice a million times right before she would be... She shook her head and told herself to be firm. She had to be for Sammy and Lynn. She watched the door slam open breaking the locks that Susan bought with her only money. He was big, bigger than what mother was.

"No!" Susan cried. "I won't let you do it!" Moe was closer than ever. Sammy and Lynn ran inside the small shack.

"Susie! Look what we found! Its a--" Sammy's voice stopped at the sight of Moe.

"Run, Sammy! Take Lynn with you and go to North Fork!" Susan shouted as she braced for the blow. The pain seared through her jaw, knocking her head into the small table's edge. She gratefully welcomed the darkness that swallowed her whole.

********

"Help! Somebody help!" A boy shouted making Micah and Lucas leap to their feet. They ran outside to see a small boy holding a little girl's hand.

"What's wrong, boy?" Micah asked.

"Moe's beating' up my sister! Please, you gotta help her!" The boy replied genuinely concerned.

"Whoa, slow down, boy. What's your name?"

"Sammy and this is Lynn. Moe is beating my sister up! You've got to help her please!" The boy said hurriedly.

"Who's Moe?" Lucas asked. The boy scowled with deep hate in his eyes.

"He was Ma's boyfriend till she found out that he was beating us up." Sammy explained.

"Where's your Ma?" The kid lowered his eyelashes.

"She was killed by Moe. You've got to help Susan. She's been taking care of us until Moe tracked us down. Susie's gonna die if you don't help us. Please." Micah nodded.

"Lucas? Want to come with me?" Micah asked. Lucas nodded. Millie stood from the walkway of the General Store.

"Millie, could you take care of Mark while I'm gone?" Lucas called. Millie nodded neither of them noticing that Mark was watching them.

*******
"This will be the last time you'll see daylight again!" Moe growled as he tightened the chain around Susan's wrist that was tied to the table leg. "Now, I'll find those kids and...." His threat died as he realized that he was hungry. "I'll be back kid." Moe left the shack making her feel cold inside. Susan cringed as she rubbed her arm with her free hand. This had been the first time that Moe had tied her up with a chain.

Her eyes drooped from the terrible pain but then the shack door opened. She braced for another blow but she heard a soft warm voice instead of Moe's oily fake one.

"Susan?" A blond, tall man whispered. She nodded feeling like she go drift away forever. "Why don't you just stay awake, while I'll try to get this chain off the table." She nodded again too numb to say anything.

"Who are you?" She whispered her voice scratchy.

"I'm Lucas McCain. Stay still." The man smiled at her making her feel warm and gooey inside.

"You're the Rifleman." She said. It wasn't a question she knew that he was the Rifleman.

"Yeah, I am." She couldn't say anything. She was too exhausted to say anything.
*******
Mark knew that his Pa would want him to say with Miss Millie at the General Store but... Pa accidently forgot his rifle, his prized possession, his only weapon other than fists. Mark knew that he should give it to his Pa.

"I'll be back, Miss Millie." He called stepping out of the store.

"All right, be back for supper!" Miss Millie called back from the back of the store. Mark grinned and ran across the street into the Marshall's Office. He grabbed his Pa's rifle protectively. He had to get it to his Pa!

Mark hopped on Blue Boy and started to ride where Pa and Micah had ridden. He went deeper into the woods following his Pa's horse tracks. He bit his lip feeling a little tingly. He then saw two horses--his Pa's and Micah's!!! The horses were grazing on grass near a run-down hunting shack. He swallowed and unmounted Blue Boy. He patted his head and smiled.

"Itís okay, boy, we'll be okay. We're always okay." He whispered when he saw a shadow loom over him.

"Hello, kid. Whatcha doing here?" The shadow spoke as Mark turned around to face it. An ugly man who was almost as big as his Pa stood before him. Mark didn't reply but he turned on his heel and ran inside the shack.

"PA!" Mark cried as he threw the rifle into the air and his Pa caught it.

"What's going on, Mark? Why aren't you with Miss Millie?" Pa asked shocked to see his son there in the shack. Mark noticed that there was a girl with bruises on her arms standing behind him. He took a step forward until someone gripped his shirt collar and pulled him upwards, his feet slightly lifting off the ground.

"Boy, why did you go messing up my plans?" The same man asked. Mark coughed from no air. "Guess this is your Pa then?"

"Let my son go." Pa said.

"Only if you drop the rifle." the man answered quickly.

"No Pa! Don't!" Mark gasped between words. He didn't want to be the one that made Pa let down his weapon to a maniac. "NO!" His Pa let his rifle down.

"Come here, Susan." The man ordered to the girl. She cowered behind Pa.

"No." She squeaked. The man wrapped his arm around Mark's chest and squeezed until Mark could barely breathe.

"Do you want the kid to die in front of his father?" Susan's face fell with uncertainty. She stepped closer to Moe.

"NO!" Pa shouted.

********
Susan took another step closer to Moe. She couldn't let the Rifleman's son die.

"No, Susan. Think about this. You can't let yourself go with Moe." Mr. McCain said pleadingly.

"But I want to save your son, Mr. McCain. I would let myself be beaten up if I could stop Moe from hurting you, Sammy, Lynn or you son." Susan said quietly. She took another step forward.

"Hurry up!" Moe grunted. She ran to Moe's side. Then suddenly, Moe grabbed Susan and held her tight.

"Stupid McCain! Don't you know that now I have TWO hostages? Idiot." Moe rolled his eyes.

"How dare you!" Susan said kicking him in the leg. He cried out and let the kids go. Mark coughed falling to his knees. Susan grabbed his hand and practically dragged him out of the shack into safety.

"HEY!" Moe shouted. A gun shot sounded in Susan's ears. She squeezed her eyes shut.

Was Moe Johnson really dead? Her heart pounded. Or was it the Rifleman who had been shot?

"Itís over, Susan." Mr. McCain said. She lifted her eyes to look into his blue eyes.

"It is?" She asked.

"You and your brother and sister will be all right." Susan smiled at him.

"You know, Ma was right about someone in North Fork that could save us." Mr. McCain laughed.

"What did I miss?" Micah asked holding Susan's younger siblings' hands. Susan giggled.

"You missed a lot, Marshall." Susie replied with a very serious tone. The McCains laughed as Micah looked clueless than ever.

TWO DAYS LATER

Mark was just getting out of school when he saw Susan walk up to him.

"Hi Susan. How long are you staying in North Fork?" Mark greeted. She twirled her braids and smiled at him.

"My siblings and I have been adopted! Isn't that great? And theyíre really good parents too! Your Pa interviewed them." Mark smiled.

"That's great, Susie!" He said.

"Hey, Mark, are you gonna go fishing?" Freddie Toomey, Mark's best friend called from across the schoolyard.

"Sure! Just a moment." Mark called back. "Well, I'd better get going..."

"Can I come with you?" Susie asked. Freddie's face wrinkled. Susie spun on her heels and put her hands on her hips.

"Who says a girl can't fish?"

THE END!

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

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