The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to flash fictions.
Mitch glanced out the kitchen window as he washed the food he’d just gotten from their garden. Fall was shooting past and soon everything would be frozen, but until they get that first killing frost he would take advantage of the late season vegetables. But at this moment his focus was more on Darrin than on the leaf lettuce he was trying to wash. Darrin had already slammed both doors on the pickup getting his bag out. That wasn’t a good sign. He dropped the last of the greens in the colander to drain and was drying his hands when the front door swung open.
“I am so fed up with the ignorant mother fuckers! They aren’t worth the shot and powder it would take to get them out of my misery.”
“They’ll put your ass away for saying shit like that these days.”
Darrin shut the door and sighed. “I know. I can’t. But they are so frustrating to deal with, and every single one has an agenda. Fortunately, most of them aren’t very good at it and I can head off their crap. The ones that get me are the ones who pull stuff I have to clean up.”
“You could quit. The extra money is nice, but nothing we can’t do without if you’re miserable.”
“I know, and I appreciate the support. Unless it gets worse, I’ll finish my contract. I swear once I’m not department chair I’m going to be one ignorant son of a bitch.”
Mitch drew his lips together and formed a hark line. “You’re finished next year. I won’t put up with you killing yourself dealing with those people. Someone else can fall on the damn sword. You’ve done your time.”
Darrin nodded as he accepted the cold beer Mitch passed to him. “At first, a few of them seemed supportive. Now? They’re all out for themselves and it I get thrown under the bus that’s fine because it wasn’t them.”
“They are a self centered bunch of assholes. But they’re not getting another second of discussion in this house. So no more about work. But we’re going to find you something to do that’ll relax you.” Mitch studied him as he went through their options. “When’s fall break? It’s got to be soon.”
Darrin took another swallow of beer and seemed to consider the question. “Next week I think. Yup, it’s next week. Why?”
“You’re taking a few days off and we’re going to New Mexico. We can get a place to stay through that Airbnb thing. It’ll be good to get out of town. I’m sure we’ll find weekend retreat.”
“There’s not a lot of time. They might all be taken.”
They’d have a relaxing weekend, Mitch was determined. Well, at least Darrin could unwind. “Go change out of the monkey suite, and then we can find a place to stay for a few days. Something where with golden aspen and the creeks are filled with trout.”
“I have no idea how to fly fish. All I’ve ever fished for are bass and catfish.”
Mitch stepped close, took Darrin by the shoulder, spun him toward the bedroom and gave him a shove. “Go. Now. I’ve decided we’re going. You get to help so long as you don’t argue with me.”
“No buts, well maybe some cute butts to ogle, but no buts from you.”
“You know you’re not funny. Right?”
Mitch grabbed a damp towel from the counter and spun it. “Are you going, or do I have to get physical?”
Darrin took a few steps before turning back with a question. “What about the animals and the garden will need—”
“That’s what children and grandchildren are for. They’ll be thrilled to take care of the farm while we take a long weekend.”
Darrin lifted his eyebrows. “Thrilled?”
“Thrilled shitless. They just don’t know it yet. I’ll take care of that while you get out of the ‘ old man administrator’ clothes and into some jeans.”
Mitch flicked the towel toward Darrin’s backside, which it met with a resounding snap.
“Hey you fucker! That hurt.”
Mitch was already winding the tea towel for a second strike. “Are you ready for another? Cause that’s what you’ll get if you keep questioning me.”
Before Darrin could reply, Mitch snapped the towel again and this time it popped a few inches from Darrin’s crotch. “Hey! Leave the jewels out of this.”
“Move! I won’t miss again.”
Darrin started to argue, but held up his hands in surrender. “Okay, okay. I’m moving it along.” Mitch took a few quick steps toward Darrin and popped the towel again.
Darrin yelped and trotted to the bedroom. Mitch waited a few seconds before flipping the damp cloth over his shoulder and pulling his phone out.
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.