The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.
Trent sat tapping his pencil against the table Josh had made for him a few years earlier. He thought it was one of their early anniversary gifts. Josh had gone to a lot of trouble with the details. Most of the wood was dark from stain but inlayed blond pieces added a level of meticulous craftsmanship that Trent appreciated.
But Trent was only distracting himself from the conversation he needed to have with Josh, about Danny. He’d got up last night to check on a noise he thought he’d heard and happened on Danny and Rob getting off. He’d left as fast as he possible, given he didn’t want them to know he had happened on their little scene. Far too much of the image was burned into his mind forever. None of that was of urgent concern for Trent. But no condoms were a problem.
He’d also needed to talk with Josh. Normally that wouldn’t have been a problem, but today Josh had left before dawn to get to a meeting almost to Oklahoma City. Trent had managed to mumble off a ‘drive careful and love ya’ to Josh as he left. Now he’d been awake for hours and most of them trying to work out what to do about Danny without sounding like an old man who doesn’t get the whole thing about teenagers and sex.
Their back door opened. It had to be Darrin or Mitch. Or at least it damn well better not be one of the twins coming home. Sometimes Trent regretted giving either of them transportation past a horse. They had no problem making the thirty-mile round trip between town and the ranch a few times a day. It didn’t give Trent much peace of mind, or any private time since they could appear at any moment.
Trent turned in his chair and waited to find out who was rifling through the fridge. It wasn’t unusual for someone to show up for a late lunch. Hell it wasn’t unusual for an early lunch, a right on time lunch, or a brunch. People working on a ranch needed fed. Still, Trent was getting impatient before Mitch walked into the room with an enormous sandwich grabbed in one hand as a tumbler of pop in the other. He stopped when he saw Trent staring at him and muttered around a mouth full of food.
“What?” Mitch got out.
Trent stared at him for a few seconds before he stared chuckling. “Finish eating, old man. I could use some advice.” Trent was sure he heard Mitch grumble something about showing Trent about old men. But Trent ignored the veiled threat and waited.
Mitch wiped his hands on his jeans and looked at Trent. “You better ask your question quick before I can’t remember how to wipe my ass.”
“Oh hush, old—“ he glanced at Mitch to find both eyebrows jacked up. “I need your opinion on one of the kids.”
“What did Danny do now?” Mitch asked.
Trent bristled a little, but deflated an instant later. “Yes. Hell yes it’s Danny. Who else would pull such stupid, and dangerous, shit?”
“You, when you were his age. Fuck, me when I was his age too.” Mitch lowered himself into the leather easy chair. “But something specific has crawled up your butt to die. What’s eating at you?”
“The safe sex talk seems to have leaked out his ears and into the drainage canal.” He glanced over and caught the expression on Mitch’s face. “Okay, whatever. I walked in on Danny having too much fun.”
“Ah shit. I need a beer for this conversation.” Mitch ambled back into the kitchen and reappeared a moment later with a longneck that he popped open. He eased himself into the chair opposite Trent, took a drink of the beer and then nodded toward Trent. “Hit it. What was Danny doing?”
Trent gathered his thoughts to keep his story concise. People with verbal diarrhea caught hell from Mitch. Trent knew this because he’d been on the wrong side of that conversation before. Once he thought he had things figured out, he turned to Mitch.
“First off, yes we’ve had the sex talk before. Several times. But what I saw the other night—well it looked like he’s forgotten everything.”
Mitch settled back into the chair and grew a pensive expression. Trent let the silence hang around them. I’d known Mitch for most of my life. This was a familiar response. A handful of minutes passed before Mitch shifted forward to the edge of the chair and he had a knowing smile on his face.
The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.