Now and Then

By Southernfrau 


Disclaimer: Oops...I did it again, I borrowed their characters.

Author’s note:  Just a little reality bending, which is what happens when you mix Benadryl with ibuprofen, and knock yourself for a dizzy loopy nocturnal dream.

*L* *L* *L* *L* *L*


The wind streamed through Johnny’s hair, ruffling the silky strands and lifting it away from his heated face.  His fear of arriving too late pushed aside any worries he had about entering the courtyard at a speed that would be sure to rain his father’s displeasure down on his head.  Spying the Lancer arch just ahead, he picked up speed asking for more horse power.  By the time he passed under the stone monument he was but a golden blur, barreling down the dirt road by the corrals in a large billowing cloud of dust.  The thundering hooves of the horses enclosed in the pasture joined the noise of his arrival as they raced alongside the fence, trying to keep pace with the youngest Lancer.

Sliding to a stop that threw even more particles of sand into the air, Johnny coughed as he sucked in a mouthful of the airborne bits of earth.  Pushing upward, raising his jean clad bottom, he swung his booted feet to the side and lifted himself into a leap, and then dropped with a thud to the ground.  His boots scrabbled for purchase on the hard pack earth, as he propelled his body forward.  Johnny shot through the heavy oak door crashing it with a resounding bang against the wall, eliciting a reprimanding bellow from his father.

“Johnny, how many times do I have to tell you about slamming the door open?  If there’s any damage to that wall you’ll be spending your weekend repairing plaster and painting the foyer.”

“Sorry, I was trying to make it in time for...”

“You’re an hour late for supper! However, Maria made a plate for you and is keeping it warm.”

Scott turned and looked at his brother from the comfort of the sofa, lifting his drink and saluting him.  “Late again, little brother?  You’re just asking for Maria’s ire.”

Johnny fought the urge to stick his tongue out at his brother’s taunt.  He settled instead for a sneer as he rushed across the room, headed for the familiar wood and glass cabinet, only to be stopped short by his father’s stern words.

“Absolutely not, there’s no need for that right now.  You should eat your supper first, it’s after seven o’clock.”

Any protests Johnny might have made were interrupted by a undulating rumble, the sound vibrated in the Great room, rattling the windows and French doors.  The three Lancers turned startled faces to each other as the disturbance grew closer.  They rushed outside as they realized what was causing the disturbance.

“Ha’s home,” Johnny shouted with glee as they watched Harlan’s corporate helicopter touchdown in the field next to the house.

“Yes, I see.  I also see you have parked your car right here at the door again,” snapped Murdoch with displeasure as he eyed the creamy yellow Mustang convertible, parked just inches away from the antique hitching rail at the front of the house.

“Oops...sorry.  I’ll move it later.”

“No, you’ll move it now, and we’ll be having a discussion later about these skid marks that tell me you sped in here.”

Johnny jumped into the car and carefully backed up, and then turned it towards the garage.  By the time he parked it and walked back to the house, Ha had made it across the field.

The family ambled into the house informing each other about their day.  Maria met them in the Great room, pointing out to Johnny that she had put his supper plate on the coffee table.

Johnny sniffed the delicious aroma of his food as he passed it on his way to the television, housed in the wood and glass cabinet.

“CBS, right?  It’s almost seven thirty.” 

Johnny pulled the knob, and then twisted the channel selector to thirteen.  A commercial for the new Mercury Cougar filled the room.  Johnny scooted back to the coffee table and sat down between it and the sofa to eat his meal.  The commercial ended and an announcer with a deep baritone voice instructed the family to stay tuned for the premiere of the new family drama, the Western Lancer, a story of a man ...

The ending strains of the theme song sounded in the room, the family sat mesmerized in the glow of the screen flickering on their faces.

“WOW...that was kind of weird seeing our house decked out like something from the 1800’s, but it was really weird the way your friends twisted the facts of our family to create those characters,”  Johnny shook his head as he thought about the adaptation of their lives that they had just watched.

“Johnny, Sam and Dean had to change the details some, after all most people would find a show about the trials and tribulations of two wealthy California boys raised by their father and grandfather boring,” replied Scott.

“I thought it was amazing how much those actors resembled us,” added Murdoch as he sipped his scotch.

“I can’t figure out why they gave you a ward.  She seemed rather out of place.  I can’t imagine how they will utilize her in future episodes.  I must admit I’m rather anxious to see what kind of character I will be when they finally get around to introducing me,” Ha confessed.

Johnny polished off his supper and then wiped his hands on his napkin.  He rose from the floor and dropped down next to his grandfather on the sofa, draping an arm around his shoulder.  “Scott and I told his film buddies all about you.  They have plenty of information to make your character the best grandfather west of anywhere!  I bet everyone watching will be wishing they had a Ha too!”

The ice cubes in Scott’s glass rattled as he swirled his drink.  He cleared his throat as he ominously warned.  “I don’t know about that Johnny.  Look at how unfeeling they made Dad.  They had me as a womanizing Boston dandy and you a gunfighter!  They write these shows on a week to week basis, and most weeks they have a different set of writers.  I have a feeling we’re going to see a lot discrepancies between our reality and the television Lancers’ reality.”


The End

May 2008



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