The rain was pouring over the small whorehouse just off the road in the dirt plains of Colorado. The street – if one could call it that – was covered in puddles and nearly flooded. The rain was coming in droves. It was a sheet of water. Thunder rolled in the distance. Something was nearly here, thought the man standing on the whorehouse porch, drenched from walking. The roof made for good cover, but if he were gonna keep going in this, he'd have to have a few drinks in him. Lightning flashed and another crack of thunder pierced the sky. It was getting closer. He went to hold the porch railing of the establishment, and remembered too late that his left hand was gone. It jabbed the wooden beam and spiked pain throughout his body. His balls entered his chest, and the arm seared hot hell through him.
"God damn this fuckin' shit!" His curses were echoed by thunder only slightly louder than the last.
Former Confederate Sergeant Jebediah Cobb looked in through the whorehouse window to see if anyone had heard his curse, and clasped his stump of a left arm with his right. Couldn't see much trouble from within. Around his weathered mustache and grim face in the reflection, he could see no one moving. He didn't like just standing there, outside in the rain. But he didn't know what kind of trouble was waiting for him in enemy territory. He instinctively went to put his left hand on his waist, and remembered just early enough to save him another increase in pain. The rudimentary bandage had held the blood at bay well enough, and he had seared the wound, but the pain was constantly burning. He lost his hand at Vicksburg, where so many of his men lost so much more. Every time the pain flared, he remembered the faces of the young men he saw eat shit to survive so they could die at the hands of the Union army.
Now, weeks later, after riding through two horses and killing the last for a broken leg, he was finally somewhere he could rest. He had heard of this town while in Arkansas. There had been Union troops everywhere by then, so he had been careful not to bring any undue attention to himself. But one night, he had heard of this town - Hell's Hole. A Yankee had plans to go there once the war was done. Cobb had wished him luck quietly and away from his sight. He didn't have anything against Yankees, they were just fighting their fight. Most of the soldiers were kids and didn't even know why they were fighting. Cobb had fought for his state, for his people and against the Northern oppressors, as they were called by the Confederacy. Now, three years into it, most of the men he had signed up with were dead faces in his past, and the dream had been squashed by a Union man named Grant at Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Cobb sneezed in the downpour, and began making his way to the front porch of the whorehouse. He read the name Glory Hole on the placard near the door. As he stepped inside, he could see that the place doubled as an Inn. The room was lit by lanterns and the wood grain held the warmth.