[livejournal.com profile] theatrical_muse #224: Mad

Oct. 27th, 2009 11:30 pm
foreverwarrior: (Miranda (b/w orly))
[personal profile] foreverwarrior
January, 2007
Cripple Creek, CO
Alias: Elaine Jameson


I wasn't just mad, I was furious. The whole back forty acres of pasture had been turned into a rutty, muddy pit. There were tire tracks everywhere, and it looked for the world like half the SUVs and 4x4s in the state had had a Mud Bowl on my ranch. I couldn't believe Scot and Erin were so irresponsible as to not know about it. I turned in the saddle as I heard the triple-plod of someone approaching at a lope.

"How bad is it?" Wade asked, riding up.

"See for yourself," I said, jerking my chin in the direction of the pasture.

"Dammit," he swore, taking off his sweat-stained hat to run a hand over his brown hair. "I did not raise those two to act like that."

"And I did?" I shot back.

"That wasn't what I meant, Elaine, and you know it."

"So, what do they have to say for themselves?"

"They'd only mentioned it to a couple of their friends and it got out of hand," he answered. "Some deejay up in Denver heard about it, said something about it on the air, and next thing they knew five hundred people showed up."

"Five hundred..." I repeated. "So, what do we do now?"

"I already called the radio station and they're willing to foot the bill for mending some of the fence," Wade replied. "It's not really the kids' fault that the station put it out there."

I agreed that the fact things got out of hand wasn't something they could have foreseen, but they shouldn't have mentioned anything in the first place, especially while Wade and I were out of town looking at new stock. Someone could've been hurt, or maybe even killed, and we'd be liable for it. Naturally, that just fueled my already heated temper. Without another word, I kicked Snowdancer into a full gallop, hoping the ride back to the house would cool my jets. It did, barely. I found the two of them sitting at opposite ends of the couch in the family room like a couple of angry bookends.

"Dad already read us the riot act," Scot started.

"Now you're going to hear it from me," I snapped. "Do either of you realize what would've happened if anyone had gotten hurt?"

"But no one did!" Erin argued.

"That's not the point, and I wasn't finished, young lady," I replied. "Your father and I have worked our asses off for this ranch. If anyone had gotten hurt bad enough, they could've taken all this away from us. Now, all you two seem to care about are the chores and that you have food to eat and a roof over your heads. Your dad and I've had to make do with a lot less! Yeah, the radio station made it worse, but they're going to step up and do something about it. Now, it's your turn."

A cold draft ruffled my hair. I knew Wade was standing behind me, waiting to see what kind of punishment I would hand down.

"I don't care how long it takes," I continued, harshly. "But you two are going to spend every Saturday putting that pasture back to rights. You'll start by filling in the ruts, then you'll seed the entire thing by hand. After that, you'll put down straw so the seed doesn't wash off. Maybe, just maybe, after you're done putting your own sweat and blood into this ranch, you'll understand how lucky you are to have this place to call home."

There was so much more I wanted to say to them, not just about the ruined pasture, but about actually having something they could call their own. As an Immortal, I'd pulled up stakes more often than not without a backward glance. This was the first time in a very long time I actually considered myself part of a family who cared about each other, and my decision not to tell them about my life was tearing me apart. Maybe I was mad, after all, mad for thinking I could keep up this charade. Before I could say another word, I stormed out of the house to take Snowdancer down to the barn after her hard ride.


Quinnleigh Kincaid
Highlander OC
705 Words
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