The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.
“Your grandfathers aren’t doing very well. A kid of one of their friend’s totaled his pickup, and they don’t expect him to make it.”
Danny leaned up from the backseat. “Is this the people they went to college with?”
Trent replied without glancing back at the twins. “Gordy has a Ph.D., like Darrin. But he works for some organic agriculture thing around Denver. They’ve kept in touch since college. Gordy is a genius according to Darrin.”
Danny considered what Trent said briefly before plunging in with more questions. “He must be hurt bad. What happened? What’s wrong?”
“They didn’t ask,” Trent said. “All we know is it was an automobile accident.”
This time their silence lasted until they turned off the county road and on the one leading to the ranch house. This time Samantha posed the question. “It sounds terrible. Is there something we can do to help?”
Trent shrugged. “I’m not sure. Your grandfathers asked us to come over. So you’ll have to wait until they tell us what’s going on.”
By this point, they were rolling to a stop at their grandparent’s house and both teenagers barreled from the truck and into the house. By the time Trent and Josh made their way to the dark living room and were peppering Mitch and Darrin with questions. It looks like we didn’t get our point through to not ask about the injured boy.
“What happened to the guy? Is he any better? Dad said it was pretty serious.” Danny blurted out before I could do anything to stop him.
Mitch turned toward them, caught them in his gaze, and took a deep breath. He stared at Danny before shaking his head. “Danny, you’re about as subtle as a heart attack.”
Samantha stepped behind Danny, clearly as interested in the answers as her brother. Trent hoped Mitch was in the mood to deal with his grandkids. Sometimes dealing with the twins was a stretch. But the words from Mitch eased his mind.
“His condition hasn’t changed. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I don’t like to bother them, so my info is text messages from Gordy. I didn’t ask for the ghoulish details.” He stared at the twins, and Trent knew their lecture was coming. “I thought that would be rude and insensitive.”
The twins squirmed under his glare, but he answered their questions. “From what I’ve been able to figure out he was in a traffic accident. Another car hit him from the side. His brain’s swollen, and he has breaks in each leg. If he survives, they will need to put in pins. But he hasn’t woke up since the accident. They’re afraid of brain damage. Does that answer your question?”
The twins seemed taken aback, but only slightly. There were no meek individuals in their family. Danny and Samantha looked at each other but had no intention of not sprinkling Mitch with every question they had.
“It mostly answered our questions. But we’ll let you know if we have more.”
Trent fought to control his laughter. What Samantha had voiced would have gotten most people punched in the face. But from anyone else, the statement would have been intended as sarcastic, from their kids it was simple and straightforward. They were just answering Mitch’s question. Subtlety was never their strong point though—no one in their family was gifted with that skill. He kept out of the discussion. It wasn’t his place to play referee. He glanced up to see Darrin in the doorway to the living room sipping from a huge mug. It might have also have had a touch of something else to take the edge off.
Just as he had decided to join Darrin and ask his own—hopefully, more carefully thought out—set of questions when the phone rang.
The room went still, and it felt like everyone was holding their breath while Darrin grabbed the phone. There were a few clipped words exchanged before Darrin cut the connection. He shuddered a few times before taking in a deep shuddering breath.
“They don’t expect him to last the night.” Darrin sucked in another deep breath, and this time he wiped his hand across his cheeks. “They asked for our prayers.”
The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.