The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to flash fictions.
“What are you doing? Do you like to be in trouble?”
Danny turned to his sister. He started to say something, but then shook his head and kept on moving a few of the larger bull calves down the working chute. It wasn’t the same as real chute gates like they’d have at an arena. But he’d spent quite a bit of time perfecting his plan. He moved the biggest bull into the chute and closed the gate behind him.
“You’re going to get yourself killed. Then you will really get hurt.”
Danny snorted and tilted back his gray wool hat. “If I get myself killed, I won’t care much will I.”
Samantha twisted her lips as she glared at Danny. “You know what I mean. You’ll get hurt again and they’re going to be so mad.”
Danny focused on getting his gear on the bull. “You gonna stand there and bitch at me more give me some help?”
“Are you kidding? I won’ t get in trouble.” Samantha grinned at him. “Remember, I’m the good twin.”
Danny cocked his eyebrows as he positioned his rope on the first bull. “You aren’t the good twin. You’re just better at not getting caught.”
She moved to the gate and helped Danny get his gear into position and then pull it into place. She shook her head at the way Danny had jury-rigged a gate opener before looking back at her brother. “This really doesn’t seem like a bright idea, Danny. These bulls are kind of small but they might fuck you up worse than a big one.”
Danny snorted as he slid down over the first bull and wiggled into place. “Yeah right. You’re the good one and dropping the F bomb. Come open the gate for me. I need someone to keep time too. Come on, don’t be a wuss.”
“I’ll make you think wuss. I am older than you.”
Danny rolled his eyes. “Yeah, by like ten minutes.”
Samantha smirked. “I’m still older. So suck it.”
“Well, isn’t my sweet sister developing a potty mouth.” He glanced up to find Samantha with her arms crossed and a stubborn look he was too familiar with. “Oh come on. Don’t be all pissy about it.”
She glared at Danny until suddenly the bull shifted and there was a loud clang as metal hit metal. Danny grinned when he saw her resolve melt.
“All right, I’ll open the gate and keep time. But if this shit goes bad, I was shopping in town or something.”
“Fair enough. I just want to get in a couple of practice rounds so I don’t lose my edge.”
Samantha rolled her eyes again. “Edge. Right. Let’s call it that.”
Danny lowered himself onto the animal’s back. Each time he touched its skin, it exploded into a fierce round of bucking and snorting. He wondered if this was a good idea. But with his sister standing close he wasn’t about to let her know that he was getting afraid.
He dropped onto the bull and this time it sounded like and injured calf, which had all the cows running to pace up and down the fence and bellow back at the large calf. The sound was deafening but Danny ignored the uproar and wedged his hat tight and gave a quick nod.
The side gate was old and didn’t open very fast; Samantha had to fight to open it at all. He cursed himself. He’d intended to oil the hinges, but it has slipped his mind. Because of his oversight, the bull squeezed through the opening and took off at a dead run at the other side of the large working pen. Danny struggled to get it to buck and not act like a runaway horse.
One cow made a particularly loud protest and struggled to come through the wire fence. But his ride distracted his efforts by running the opposite direction. About the time he did, the air horn Samantha was using to signal the end of his ride went off. Danny breathed a sigh of relief at the sound and jumped free of the animal. He saluted high into the sky and gave out a triumphant yell when he landed.
The cattle’s noises were still deafening, but he glanced over to see Samantha frantically trying to get his attention. At the same time he caught a movement to his side. He turned and found a thousand pounds of angry red mother charging him with horned lowered. Danny tried to escape, but this time his luck seemed to have run short when he tripped and sprawled across the powdered dust.
Wind knocked from him the cow pinned him against the ground. He tried to scramble away when the cow caught him with a powerful rush that sent him cartwheeling through the air. Danny hit the ground; his head snapping back and his world went black.
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