My new short story, Showspring, has been released from Torquere Press!
Jayden Laine has spent his life in the city, dreaming of cowboys and cattle ranches. He looks forward to each fall when his life is exchanged for his dreams when the state fair opens.
This year when he steps into the barns he’s greeted by the sights he’s come to see, and one additional sight of Ben Ramos fighting to move a two-thousand pound bull that’s decided he doesn’t want to move. What happens next starts a juggernaut of emotions in Jayden that turn his world upside down. Now all he has to do is reevaluate his entire life and decide who to believe. And he has only a few days to do it.
Stepping into the barns from the bright sunshine, I paused for a moment to let my eyes adjust. The earthy scent of cattle merged with the sweet odor of hay and the sharp bite of pine shavings to play across my senses while I waited. I lost myself in this world each fall during the state fair. It always took a little sneaking around so my father didn’t know how I was spending my time. If he figured out my desire for cowboys hadn’t changed, he’d send me off for treatment again, or worse. But this was my time to dream I was normal, to pretend I didn’t know I was damaged.
Locking my guilt away, I moved down the aisle, determined to allow myself a few moments of peace. The neat rows of cattle lying contentedly on immaculately groomed beds of wood chips revived the world I lost myself in each time I could. While forming an important part of my fantasy life, the cattle intimidated me. They were huge, but I still dreamed of working with them.
“Sorry, excuse me.”
Startled I glanced up to find myself in the way of a guy who looked only a few years older than me, leading a massive black animal. Scrambling out of the, the heat of my clumsy embarrassment burned across my face. “Sorry. I wasn’t paying attention.”
The tanned cowboy gave me a bright smile. “If it wasn’t for old fat ass Norman here, it wouldn’t be a problem. But he doesn’t like to be led. So taking him out is a chore.”
He planted his worn boots against the walkway and heaved at the lead rope. The animal took one slow step and stopped again. Exasperation filled the guy’s face. “Holy crap! I’d so make you into hamburger if you weren’t the best bull we’ve had in a while.”