Double Trouble: Chapter 37

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 37

Ben slammed the posthole diggers into the bed of Mitch’s pickup. The crashing bang made Mitch wince. There was another dent to add to the handful added to his truck over the past few hours. Ben’s mood had started out bad, and gotten worse all day. But Mitch refused to soften up on the boy.

“Come on. We gotta fix the gate that Darrin’s prized bull decided to take out his frustrations on,” Mitch said.

“I know how pissed off the bull feels. Except I’d have fucked up the damn gate so no dumb ass cowboy could get it working again.”

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Guest Post – A Place to Call Their Own by Dean Pace-Frech

A Place to Call Their Own Spotlight Post

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I am happy to announce that the Second Edition of A Place to Call Their Own is available from JMS Books, LLC.

Frank Greerson and Gregory Young have been discharged from the Army and are headed to their childhood homes. They both defied their parents in 1861 when they joined the Army. After battling southern rebels and preserving the Union of the United States of America, the two men set out to battle the Kansas Prairie and build a life together. Once they find their claim, they encounter common obstacles to life on the Kansas Prairie in 1866: Native Americans, tornadoes, wild animals, and weather.

When a prairie fire destroys their crops and takes their neighbor’s lives, Frank and Gregory are instructed to find their young son’s aunt. Faced with leaving a destroyed claim, the railroad coming through their land, and dwindling funds, Frank and Gregory must decide whether to leave the place they have worked hard to make their own or fulfill their friends’ dying wishes.

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Get it now directly from JMS Books:

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Excerpt:

You two together, or…” Mr. McAvoy asked with a puzzled look on his face.

Mrs. McAvoy raised an eyebrow, also curious about the situation.

Gregory gave Frank a nervous and mischievous look and answered, “Ah, yes, sir. We planned to each get a claim and build one house for now, help each other out.”

The answer seemed to satisfy both Mr. and Mrs. McAvoy. “That sounds like a good idea. It’d be nice to have a few neighbors around to help with things once in a while. And what I wouldn’t give to have had just one other man to help me with some of the house building and stable. You stay around here, and you’ll need a stable. Wolves and coyotes will get your livestock if you don’t.”

“How did you protect yourself before? This stuff doesn’t get built in a day.” Gregory asked.

“It takes ’em a while to figure out you’re here. And of course, it’s worse in the winter than this time of year. They haven’t been quite so bad the last few weeks, have they?” he directed to his wife.

“No, they calmed down. Hopefully they’ve been preying on the deer that are eating my potato plants.” answered Mrs. McAvoy. “You two want to stay for supper? I’ve got a big pot of rabbit stew on the stove.”

“It’ll be good, I promise. She’s done great cooking whatever I can find for us,” Mr. McAvoy added.

Gregory ignored the invitation. “How’s the hunting around here? You do good during the winter months?”

“Yeah, in the fall it’s the best—the animals are all fat and sassy from the summer. You can tell the bucks from the does, and you don’t have to worry about orphaning a young deer like you do now. There are plenty of rabbits and prairie chickens right now. You can find squirrels…”

“And the meadowlarks do fine, too, in a pinch,” piped in Mrs. McAvoy. “Now, what about supper?”

“We appreciate the offer, ma’am,” Frank spoke up. “But we’re just trying to find us our claims and be done with traveling. We’ve been traveling nearly six weeks now. It has been that long since we had a decent home-cooked meal, but we need to keep moving on today.”

They both remembered the last time they joined anyone for dinner. The McAvoys seemed harmless, but Frank and Gregory were both a bit shy about joining anyone else at this point.

“Yeah, we’re getting close to where we want to settle,” Gregory added. “We appreciate the offer and all, but we just want to keep moving.”

Mrs. McAvoy smiled, turned, and ran into the house with her load of laundry. Neither Frank nor Gregory knew if she was hurt because they declined the supper invitation or just needed to get back to her household chores.

“We understand that. Took us nearly six months to get here from New York, where we come from. We stayed with some relatives along the way, but the missus did appreciate it when we finally stopped here.”

“Well, we appreciate your hospitality and all your help. We should probably get going,” Frank said, glancing at Gregory.

“If you happen to end up around here, don’t be strangers. Just let us know where you’re at,” Mr. McAvoy replied.

“It’s a deal, sir,” Frank said and extended his hand.

Mr. McAvoy walked over and took it. After they were done, McAvoy stepped away from the wagon.

Gregory slapped the reins and yelled “giddyap,” and the horses sprang forward.

A frantic Mrs. McAvoy yelled from inside the house, “Wait!”

Frank grabbed Gregory’s arm to stop him. Gregory pulled back on the reins.

Mrs. McAvoy came out of the cabin with a small basket covered with flour sack cloth.

“This here isn’t much, but maybe it will allow you to rest once you stop for the night. I put two crocks of my stew in there and part of the bread I baked for our supper tonight. I don’t know why I did it, but something told me to make extra bread today.”

“We’re mighty obliged, ma’am. This will help. Now we don’t have to worry about hunting anything for our dinner. We’ll just warm this by the fire and be ready to go,” Gregory spoke up.

“Yes, ma’am. We are getting a bit worn out by this trip,” Frank said. He grinned at Gregory and said, “Hopefully, we’ll be finding our home soon.”

Both men tipped their hats once more, and Gregory got the horses going again.

Dove and Daisy lumbered along for the rest of the afternoon and into the early evening. Before they realized it, the wagon climbed a gentle, gradual grade. The early evening sun blinded them as they reached the crest of the ridge. At the top, Frank looked over his shoulder where the wagon had just been. There he saw the trail left by the wagon and horses in the prairie grass. To the west, a line of trees indicated a creek, river, or some sort of waterway. The sun drenched the entire landscape in its golden hue. He looked at Gregory, and they both knew this was their new home. They had arrived on the homestead.

“Welcome home, Frankie!” Gregory yelled at the top of his lungs.

 

Giveaway:

In celebration of the release of A Place to Call Their Own, I am giving away a copy of my second novel. Disappear With Me releases on May 31, so the prize will be delivered after that.

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New bw headshotAbout Dean Pace-Frech

With inspiration from historical tourism sites, the love of reading, and a desire to write a novel, Dean started crafting his debut novel, A Place to Call Their Own, in 2008. After four years of writing and polishing the manuscript, it was accepted and originally published 2013. His second novel, Disappear With Me, set in Edwardian England was published later that same year. Both novels were re-released in May 2015.

Dean lives in Kansas City, Missouri with his husband, Thomas (legally as of February 14, 2015), and our two cats. They are involved in their church and enjoy watching movies, outdoor activities in the warmer weather and spending time together with friends and family. In addition to writing, Dean’s hobbies include reading and patio gardening.

Dean is currently working a standalone title, Need Your Love, set in 1966, and The Higher Law, a continuation of the story of Frank and Gregory’s family set in the 1930s.

 

 

Double Trouble: Chapter 36

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 36

“Benji! Wake up!”

Mitch could smell the beer leaking from the young man’s pores. They’d all survived high school, and now Mitch was not going to let him get away with sleeping all day and staying up partying all night. Some of this was the same shit every kid went through, but enough was enough.

Mitch waited a few moments as the kid burrowed deeper into the blankets on the bed. He reached out and grabbed his ankle and shook it, only to realize there were more than two legs under the pile of bedding. Mitch let out a frustrated sigh and left the bedroom. He found a small bucket, filled it with ice and was topping it off with water when Darrin walked into the kitchen.

Darren rummaged in the cabinet for a few moments, pulled out a coffee cup and started filling it. Once he’d taken a sip, their eyes met. Mitch smiled slightly as he topped off the ice filled bucket with water.

“Looks like it’s going to be a fun day around the ranch.”

Mitch jiggled the ice water and grinned when the sloshing sound filled the kitchen. “Benji had a little sleepover last night. And neither of them can seem to make it out of bed.”

Darren looked thoughtful for a few moments and Mitch knew he was coming up with something to make it all more interesting. He winked at Mitch and he knew the stakes had just gotten higher.

“Well let’s just let Ben, cause you know he wants to be called Ben now, let’s let Ben clean out the hen house. It’s suppose to be about ninty-five today and that house hasn’t been cleaned since last fall. I think the aroma of old shit would be just the hangover cure we need.”

Mitch began to chuckle. “You can be a truly evil man.”

Darren shrugged before taking another sip. After a moment he winked at Mitch. “I’m not the one holding the bucket of ice water.”

Mitch considered for a few moments before he shrugged. “This should make the day fun.”

Mitch headed down the hallway, bucket in hand. He popped open the door again. “Hey! Ben! We were starting an hour ago. Get your ass out of bed.”

Benji’s only response was a grumble and burying himself deeper in the blankets. Mitch waited for a few more seconds. Knowing he wasn’t going to move, Mitch sighed and shook his head. They aren’t moving. Damn it!

He grabbed the bedding and without thinking yanked it off. Holy shit. Should have thought about them being naked. Mitch turned away without tossing the water.

Benji screamed at Mitch. “You old fart son of a bitch! Get out of my room! You have no right to be in here. Get out!”

Mitch shifted from feeling sympathetic with Benji, to pissed off cowboy. He spun and threw the entire bucket of water in Benji’s face while the other guy was frantically trying to pull on clothes.

Mitch glared at the now drenched young man. “Get your clothes on and get outside. We have work to do.”

Benji erupted in a scream and threw a pillow that Mitch caught and dropped to the floor before walking out and leaving Benji yelling behind him. Without a backward glance, he walked through the living room and toward the back door. Darren was almost in the same spot as he’d been left.

“Sounds like it went well,” Darrin said with a smirk.

“Great! Just fucking great,”Mitch as just before slamming the door.


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.

Double Trouble: Chapter 35

Wednesday Briefs

For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.


Chapter 35

Josh felt relaxed for the first time since Danny had been taken. When they found the person responsible he would feel even better. But for today, they had two kids who were so excited about getting new horses that worry was impossible.

“How much further?” Danny asked.

Josh chuckled and tussle Danny’s hair. “Not too much further.” Continue reading