The continuing saga of three generations of ranching family. Below the story you’ll find links to other flash fictions.
The sound of a handbell ringing echoed through the entire house. What idiot gave Cody that damn bell? Mitch heated the skillet, focused on getting the meal cooked right. Sunny-side-up eggs and whole-wheat toast. That’s what he wanted for breakfast, and what Mitch was making. As the last of the butter melted in the skillet, he cracked in three eggs. But as soon as they sizzled, the peals filled the house again.
Mitch yelled out. “That damn bell isn’t going to make this faster. It’ll get your breakfast burned, and both of us end up pissed.”
“I don’t want eggs! I’m sick of eggs.”
“Five minutes ago you loved eggs.”
“Yeah, well, now they sound gross.”
Mitch took a deep breath and let it seep out to control his temper. He slipped the eggs to the plate where he’d put the toast. Either I’ll eat them or the dog is going to get a treat. He left Cody waiting the few minutes it took to finish the meal he’d started. Time to cool down wouldn’t be a bad idea. After checking to make certain he’d turned everything off, he made his way to Cody’s bedroom.
He stopped at the door and leaned against the frame. He felt sorry for Cody, he wasn’t able to do much for himself. But battling with Mitch wouldn’t help, and both of them understood it. Mitch knew Cody’s anger came from the frustration of being unable to do anything for himself. His family helping was bad enough, but that Mitch had arrived out of the wild blue and took over Cody’s care left him angry.
Mitch struggled to create an easier situation. Right now he wasn’t having much luck. Cody spotted Mitch at the door.
“What?” Cody snarled.
“You need to eat. It will be oatmeal again if you don’t figure out something else.”
Cody made a sound Mitch couldn’t identify with accuracy, but it left no question as to the ire of the person making it. Trent stood still and chuckled. “What the hell was that? It sounded like a cross between an elk in rut and a wet cat.”
Cody tried to reply several times, but each time he would abort the effort. Then his chest wiggled and a small laugh escaped his lips. After a few seconds more he laughed in earnest. The laughter might was tinged with a note of hysteria, but at least it meant Cody was making noises that didn’t consist of bitching at Trent. But the humor shifted to sobs. This was Cody’s realization of the severity of his injury.
Mitch moved close, trying not to touch anything that would cause more pain, but pulled Cody’s head against his shoulder, trying to comfort Cody. Between his tears Mitch made out “I almost died. They told me they thought I wouldn’t make it.”
“But you did. That’s what matters. Once the casts and stuff are off, and you have a few months of rehab, you’ll be fine.”
Cody groaned against Mitch’s shoulder. “Months?”
Mitch couldn’t keep from laughing at the reaction. “Do you want me to lie? Would that be better?”
“Okay, everything will be fine tomorrow and you’ll be back to one-hundred percent. Now, eggs and toast, or yummy delicious oatmeal?”
[If you want to know more about Sam and Gordy don’t miss “Tackling the Subject” the story of how they met. Preorder is June 20th and Early Release slated for July 4th.]
The links listed below go directly to the individual stories.