The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to flash fictions.
Mitch took a sip of his sweet tea while they sat on the edge of an amazingly comfortable couch. He glanced toward Darrin and got an eyebrow flicked upward. His attention went back to their hosts when they came in with a snack filled tray and the rest of the drinks. They began handing out the refreshments.
“Sorry you guys saw our little family melt down. This has been a bad month and I’m afraid you saw the results.”
“Charlotte and I usually keep the nasty stuff for the bedroom. Of course the one day we spew it everywhere, we have guests.” She shook her head as she gave Darrin his glass. “You said Jim thought we might have some bulls that would work for your herd sire?”
Mitch swallowed and sat his tea on the coaster they’d been given. “That’s right. We need some new bulls, but what he had won’t work in our operation. Just too many chances for someone to get hurt. We have two teenage grandchildren, and they don’t pay attention like they should. I’d never be able to trust them in the pastures with Jim’s bull.”
Charlotte nodded as she took a long drink. “That’s what Terri and I thought too. But we’ve been lucky enough to find some fine bulls in their yearling pens, and we’ve brought some others in that would fit our needs. Nice bulls, and you can trust them as much as you ever can a bull.”
Mitch took a sip as he considered the information they had just been given. His face broke into a wide grin. “They sound made to order. Could we take a look at your yearlings?”
Terri chimed into the conversation without hesitation. “You can, and we’d be glad to get your opinion on the herd.” She motioned outside to the setting sun. “But, it’s going to be dark soon and the yearlings are in the far pasture. We can look at them first thing in the morning though.”
Mitch turned to Darrin who shrugged in response. He turned back to the women. “That’ll work. We’re a few miles out though. Is there somewhere we can pitch our tent for the night?”
Charlotte returned with an equally satisfied smile. “We can do you one better. We have an old cabin a mile or so down the road that we’ve remodeled for a hunting cabin, and it’s empty right now. It’s small, but it should be a damn sight better than a tent.
After accepting the generous offer, a short time later Mitch found himself with Darrin at the lodgings. It was more a very small house rather than what Mitch would have envisioned as a cabin. But regardless, it was many times better than their tent. For one thing, this had running water, a kitchen, and best of all, indoor plumbing. Mitch was a big fan of indoor toilets, even if it was a composting toilet like the one here.
Darrin dug through their cooler and pulled out the ingredients for their evening meal. Mitch was tempted to try the stream running just below them to see if it had any trout, but it was dark by the time they’d arrived and unloaded the few things they needed.
He and Darrin pulled together a decent meal from their cooler. A good loaf of bread and a package of thick-cut bacon from a butcher store they’d stopped at yesterday before going to look at bulls. Mitch found a cast-iron skillet and soon had the bacon frying. He found the other ingredients for respectable bacon-lettuce-and-tomato sandwiches. Little was said until they’d each polished off a sandwich and started on a second.
“There was no way we could have used those bulls of Jim’s back home. They would have fucked someone up badly,” Mitch said around a mouth filled with sandwich.
Darrin nodded in agreement but then let out an enormous yawn. Mitch chuckled as he finished his last bite of sandwich. “I’m exhausted too. Go ahead and get ready for bed and I’ll clean up.”
Another yawn threatened to unhinge Darrin’s jaw. Without a word he began undressing.
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