By Wendy K.
Johnny Lancer exited the barn and drew up short at what he saw. His brother Scott was peering around the corner of the structure, his attention focused on the hacienda where Johnny had been heading. Grinning mischievously, Johnny tiptoed silently up behind the blond and peered over his shoulder.
“Hey, Brother,” He said, cheerily. “Whatcha lookin’ at?”
Scott jumped about three feet in the air, let out a strangled squawk and whirled around, wild-eyed.
“Johnny!” he hissed as he whapped his brother in the chest with his hat. “Don’t sneak up on me like that! You nearly gave me a heart attack!”
Johnny, not looking the least bit contrite, grinned at him. “Sorry, Boston. I didn’t mean to sneak….much. What’s going on in the house that has you all in a dither?”
Taking one more quick look back at the hacienda, Scott dragged Johnny away from the corner, back towards the barn door and out of site of the Great Room windows.
“Some of Teresa’s friends are here for tea,” Scott paused before announcing dramatically, “Including Prudence Griffin.”
Johnny’s blue eyes went wide as saucers and his face drained of all color.
“You mean Prune Face Prudence?!?” he squeaked.
Scott nodded, solemnly.
Prudence was a nice enough girl but she was not what you would call pretty…even on a good day. Neither brother was one to judge a person on looks alone but Prudence was a bit of an exception.
She was tall, gangly, her voice grated like a rusty hinge and she had a face like a…well…like a prune.
And to make matters worse, she had a huge crush on both the Lancer brothers. At the Harvest Dance she had latched onto Scott, clinging like a leach. Johnny had been her victim at the Independence Day picnic and they had both been targeted at the Spring Dance.
Johnny gulped nervously and looked over his brother’s shoulder to the corner of the barn, as if expecting Prudence to appear.
“Y-ya know,” he stammered as he scurried back into the barn. “I just remembered that the line shack out by the south mesa needs to be restocked. I think I’ll take care of it.”
Scott placed his hat firmly back on his head and hastened after his brother. “I think I’ll join you. We can spend the night there and come back tomorrow…or maybe the day after that.”
Within a matter of minutes, horses were saddled, supplies were packed and the Lancer brothers were nothing more than a distant speck on the horizon.