The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to flash fictions.
Danny woke several times, always realizing his entire family surrounded him. Well, at least most did. He could only see silhouettes in the dark room so he couldn’t be certain. What he was certain about, Samantha never left his side.
A few times her tears hit his arm. Why are you crying? I’m fine. I must’ve ran into something after that crazy cow tried to get into the pen with me. He moved and realized he had several pins through one leg and it was fucking painful. He eased his head to one side to find Josh sitting on the edge of the bed. As his thoughts surfaced, and he worried about what was happening with him. He swallowed, trying to get moisture down his dry throat. When he tried to speak he realized it was a bad idea.
“What’s going on?” Danny croaked.
The room filled with a flurry of activity and everyone crowded to his bedside.
“Danny!” Samantha screamed as she jumped on the bed to hug him. But as she did, pain lanced through Danny.
“Ah shit, sis! Take it easy. That hurts.”
Samantha flew backward like she’d touched an electric fence. After a minute passed, Danny realized his family was staring at him. He fumbled for the bed controls and got his head up higher so he saw every one. They watched him with a variety of expressions, all of which made him feel as if he would break into pieces if he so much as move a finger. The sensations didn’t lessen, and they wore on Danny’s nerves.
“What is everyone staring at? What happened? Why the hell are you looking at me like I were about to die.” He glanced around and panicked. “I’m not dying am I? Shit!”
Everyone held their collective breaths before they started laughing. Josh reclaimed his seat at the edge of the bed and patted his arm. “Do you remember what happened?”
Danny looked somewhat sheepish and dropped his gaze. “Ah, yeah. I remember.”
Trent started talking. “Why don’t you fill in the rest of us since you’ve been unconscious since yesterday.”
Danny sat more upright in the bed. “I’ve been out since yesterday? Really?”
Trent nodded. “Yes, really. Now would you like to grace us with your version. Your sister told us her’s several times now.”
“Ah, yeah. Well, I figured I should practice riding a bull. We had a couple of the small ones in the near pasture at the house.”
“Where the working corral happens to be located,” Josh added.
Danny studied him for a second before continuing. “So anyway. I thought a few practice runs wouldn’t hurt. Nothing big.”
“And you talked me into opening the gate,” Samantha said.
“Okay, you two. Let him talk,” Trent said.
Danny continued, “So I tightened my grip and I signaled for Samantha to open the gate. It was a decent ride, but the bull mostly ran at shit. Sam yelled that the eight-seconds was up and I baled off. The calf went running around like crazy. That’s about it.”
“You remember anything that happened afterward?”
Danny shifted through his memories and cocked his head at Josh. “One cow wasn’t happy. I figured I rode her calf. But she couldn’t break the fencing. Nothing else until a few minutes ago.”
Josh stared at him with the you-fucked-up-again look Danny knew too well. But his voice lacked the sharp edge it would have if he were in too much trouble. “The cow went through the fence and was determined to hurt you for upsetting her baby. So she did her best to stomp you into the ground.”
Danny looked around and his eyes landed on his sister. “What happened?”
She tried to speak, but emotions got the best of her and she burst into tears. When it became clear, she wasn’t going to be able to talk, Josh looked over again. “She saved you. Distracted the cow away from you and penned her up with her calf. Then she called the ambulance.”
Danny looked at Samantha with wide eyed surprise. “You did all that?”
She wiped her eyes and shook her head in disbelief. “I did you dumbshit. You’re my brother. Even if you haven’t got the brains of a piss ant.”
Trent frowned. “That might be optimistic.”
A voice of reason sounded which Danny welcomed. His grandfather Mitch, “All right. Everybody out. The boy needs rest and so do we.” Mitch cleared the room. Pressing the last person out, he leaned close to Danny.
“That kid from the rodeo has been here several times to check on you. He might be in the hall now.”
“Jamie?” Danny asked.
“Yeah, that’s his name.”
A grin stretched across Danny’s face. “I’d be okay with that.”
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.