Portrait of a Saloon Girl
       
     
Aviatrix
       
     
G'Loria
       
     
Portrait of a Saloon Girl
       
     
Portrait of a Saloon Girl

1876 was the year she became a widow with a small child. She had not wanted to journey west, but Frank had dreams of tilling his own land. Misfortune had traveled with them from the start; the tentacles of bad luck slowly tightening into an iron grip of disaster. In the end—wagon, livestock, husband—all gone. Now here she was, a gentlewoman with no kin or prospects, stranded alone in Deadwood. And a child must be fed.

Aviatrix
       
     
Aviatrix

The afternoon was calm when she lifted off from Bennett Field. Once land was out of view, the ocean began to roil. Black waves whipped into white-capped tips. The winter light evaporated quickly as the clouds gathered and darkened. April could barely see out of the small cockpit window. Then the gauges began to spin. She looked up from the dash, in time to see four large tentacles slip beneath the sea. But not before one snaky suction-cupped arm reached up into the air to slap the tip of her left wing. The plane jogged violently and April was thrown against the cabin wall. As her plane spiraled toward the dark abyss, a gaping beaked maw beckoned from below.

G'Loria
       
     
G'Loria

In 1924, G'Loria Allengood was a huge star. She was tied to chairs, trees and train tracks. She leaped over fences and across ice floes. She was dragged by her hair and dragged by a horse. Sadly, her jangling, tinny voice didn't match her derring-do and she did not survive the transition to talkies. A has-been at twenty.