#89 Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Patty Wilkinson
Some strong language, adult themes and violence

Chapter 1
It was a warm sunny day in early summer when Mose Shell hustled the early morning stage down the rise and into the Sherman yard.
Jess Harper stood his ground as the stage hurtled towards him, coming to a standstill within a few inches of his boots, the horses blowing, nodding their heads and sweating profusely.
“Hey Mose where’s the fire?” Jess asked grinning up at the old timer on the box.
“Running late that’s what! I ain’t gotten time fer coffee or your silly games checkin’ my stopping speed either. I’ll change the team back in town,” he added, making to head off again.
“Kind of a waste of time comin’ by then,” Jess said mischievously.
“Huh...oh yeah...um...you got mail,” he said reaching under his seat for a pile of letters and parcels and throwing them down to Jess.
“Hey have you been stockpiling these?” he asked looking surprised.
“No, I ain’t they all just arrived at the same time, that’s all,” came the irritable reply. “There’s a feed bill fer Slim...that there book about Pirates that Mike was hankering after for his Birthday I guess,” he added. “Miss Daisy’s catalogue and uh...one for you from Montana by the looks of it...Now who could that be from do ya think... huh?”
“I thought you were running late?” Jess said deadpan.
Mose looked even more annoyed at missing out on the contents of Jess’s letter but merely said, “Garldarn it so I am,” and urged the horses off at speed, soon disappearing up the rise in a cloud of dust.
Jess chuckled to himself and turning re-entered the ranch house, where his pard Slim was just finishing breakfast along with Miss Daisy and young Mike.
“We got some mail,” he said cheerfully tossing Slim’ s letter across and carefully placing the two parcels on the table beside Daisy, “Uh you might wanna put that one someplace safe ya know?” he said winking at her as he motioned to Mike’s birthday book. He knew young Mike’s Birthday wasn’t until October, but Daisy usually bought stuff early to spread the cost. Things had been kinda hard of late money wise he reflected...but hopefully they’d be back on track again once they’d sold some stock at the end of the year... Then Daisy brought his thoughts back to the present time.
“Of course, dear,” she said returning the wink and then looking at the catalogue cover. She’d enjoy a good glance at that later she decided, once the boys had gone off to work.
Then she noted the letter in Jess’s hand, “Oh has someone written to you too dear?” she asked smiling up at him.
Jess had forgotten the other letter and grinned back at her, “Looks that way yeah.”
He glanced down at the closely written address for the first time and his smile suddenly faded and the color drained from his cheeks.
“Jess dear whatever’ s the matter?” she asked.Read More »


The Cowboy Picture that Came to Life - A Short Story

The Cowboy Picture that Came to Life!
Patty Wilkinson

(With sincere thanks to Wendy Maynes for the idea...and brilliant screen-cap)

It had been a long day and she was sleepy as she settled down for the night...the large double bed suddenly feeling huge, her husband away on business. The first few nights had been liberating as she lay spread-eagle...having complete control of the duvet and reading long into the night.... But now on the third night she was missing him...

She glanced at the photograph of her two favorite cowboys in the framed photograph on the bedside table and sighed... One so tall, blond and handsome...But the other had stolen her heart at just nine years old, as he rode across her TV screen. That deep, deep voice, the troubled dark blue eyes...the black wavy hair...Not to mention the tight jeans and fast draw, she thought as she smiled lovingly at her two all time heroes.

She snuggled down...and then something caught her eye...Jess had just nudged Slim and then...oh so slowly he began to climb out of the frame...As he did so he gradually got larger and larger...until he was life size...then just seconds later he was joined by Slim.

The two men looked around them in puzzlement...until their gaze finally came to rest on the woman in the bed.
Jess was the first to react...he flushed up and took a step backwards, “Gee ma’am I’m real sorry...we didn’t mean to come barging in here... in your room...er that is...your bedroom I mean...”
“He means excuse us ma’am,” Slim interjected quickly “we didn’t mean to disturb you.”
“Oh you haven’t,” the woman squeaked, then suddenly remembering that she was wearing an old tee shirt instead of her pretty nightie, pulled the covers up more closely.
“We’ll go ma’am,” Jess said looking even more embarrassed and making for the door...
But the woman came to her senses right away and said, “No please...if you’d like to go into the lounge...and wait I’ll get up.”
Both men looked puzzled, “This here a hotel then?” Slim asked looking around him.
“No... er the lounge is um...the parlor...just down the stairs...I could make you something to eat?” She added hopefully.
“Now yer talkin’,” Jess said with a broad grin.
“Come on pard lets go find this lady’s parlor huh.”Read More »


#88 Northern Grit

Northern Grit
Patty Wilkinson

(Some strong language, violence and adult themes)

NOTE: This story set in series one and before Jess’s relationship with Millie.

MANY THANKS TO: My friend Pam Knych Klawinski for the perfect screen caps.

DEDICATED TO: My friend Pat Broome from one ‘Northern Lass’ to another !

Chapter 1

“All I’m saying is we’ve got to be careful for a while Andy, tighten our belts some...”
Slim Sherman, his younger brother Andy and Jess Harper were sitting around the table having what Slim called a business meeting.
“But why,” asked the youngster, “it ain’t like I ever spend money. I don’t get the dang chance.”
“Isn’t like you ever spend any,” Slim said irritably, correcting the boy’s grammar yet again.
“Well, that’s what I just said,” Andy replied indignantly. “I never go any dang place to spend it...even if I had any which...I don’t.”
“And don’t pepper every sentence with dang,” Slim added frowning.
“Why not Jess does, ”came the quick as a flash reply.
“Exactly,” said Slim glaring at the dark-haired cowboy opposite him.
“Dang ain’t cussin’,” Jess said lightly. “If ya really wanna hear proper cussin’...”
“Well, we don’t,” Slim said quickly, “what I want to hear from you is how we’re going to get ourselves out of this fix?”
Jess just shrugged, “Well I dunno… you’re the boss, ain’t you?”
“Come on Jess you’ve been here a few months now, isn’t it time you took a tad more responsibility?” Slim asked angrily.
Jess sighed, “I suppose we’ll just hafta do as you say, spend less and work harder huh? We can’t do nuthin’ about the fact that we lost that stock in the floods. We’ll just have to wait on this next lot fattening up...nuthin’ else we can do far as I can see.”
Then he got up from the table, “You done jawing now? I wanna get off.”
“Off where?” Slim asked looking surprised.
“Well town of course. It’s Saturday night... you comin’?”
“Jess haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve been saying? We’re all going to have to stop spending and start saving our money.”
“Well, you can do what you damn well like,” Jess said, his lightning-fast temper suddenly erupting. “I’ve worked dang hard all week and I’ve got a hot date with a saloon gal and a bottle... so you comin’ or what?”
Slim shook his head and glared at his friend, “Nope I’m going to stay here and go over the accounts again.”
“Well suit your-self,” Jess said making for the door and snagging his hat from the peg as he went.
Then turning back, he said deadpan, “I know how you could save some money...git rid of me...that’d help the books some ...huh?” And he stormed out slamming the door behind him.Read More »