Adjustment
by  d.b.brisbin

 

A response to a challenge to use on or more of a list of 50 random words as prompts for fiction. All fifty words have been worked into the story here. The prompt words are shown in italics.

 

He awoke to the sound of the rain outside and gave in to its melancholy.  He tried to listen for sounds that his family was present, but his auditory search told him the large ranch house was absent any sound. 

He was glad that he had decided to stay late and finish that fence line yesterdayWithout it, they would have soon had the two herds merging before they were ready to launch their new breeding program.  That would have resulted in a cluster for sure. 

He and Scott had been talking, and Scott had advised him to submit, or rather propose, his plan to breed horses more formally to Murdoch and possibly avoid the haggle that always seemed to result in the paradox of Murdochís unspoken outcry that it was heresy to breed both cattle and horses.

After their last horrifying argument, his disappointment in securing his fatherís consent was obvious to his brother.  He thought heíd sent Murdoch into orbit once, the old manís voice so loud above his own, he thought it would make his head spin, but he had refused to so much as blink when the old man tried to stare him down.

He had decided to play the game, suggested by his brother, with his old man.  He put on his most charming smile as he pitched his plan, and it appeared that his detective work had paid off. 

While he had thought that he didnít stand a ghost of a chance, it appeared that he, much like putting a round in the chamber of his Colt, and putting his finger on the trigger, using just the right touch, had caused his father to tumble into his web.  He felt like an author, the proposal so well written.

A feather could have knocked him down, when his father did not decline, to talk about the subject once more.  His father had actually conducted his own investigation into the possible profits and was now like a prospector panning for gold.

Sitting up, he ran his hands through his hair.  Yep, tomorrow would be a banner day.  They would start building the barn and pens for the horse-breeding program.  It would be hard at the start.  He would have to juggle cow punchiní and horse breaking chores.

He reached over to the nightstand and picked up a small scrap of paper, some tobacco, and began to roll a cigarette.  He liked the sweet smell of his fatherís pipe, but it didnít suit him.  Just the occasional cigarette was all he cared for.

Finally, he remembered that not only had his family gone to church as usual today, but there was to be a special choral group performing.  Looking outside at the rain again, he decided that it would be a good day to fix the pedal on Teresaís sewing machine.

His family.  He loved the sound of that, and loved the feel of it even more.  Who would have guessed that a Boston dandy with a sword, and a gunfighter who was poetry in motion with a gun, would be able to come together and save the family ranch, and thereafter, live with their estranged father and adopted sister in harmony. 

~ end ~
April 2010  

 

 

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