“What are your
plans?” Sonny asked David in a concerned voice.
“I don’t know,
Dad Steele. What would you do in my place?”
“I don’t know,
Son. I ain’t never found myself in that kind of situation.
What comes to mind? What would you like to do? Let’s start
David sat and
thought for a minute before answering.
“I’d like to
tell him to go to hell. I’m angry he’s placed me in this
position. I asked him to stay and preach in my church on Sunday,
but he wouldn’t. He could’ve helped me strengthen my position in
the community. He wouldn’t do nothing for me, but now he wants me
to do his dirty work for him. It don’t seem right somehow.”
right. His actions ain’t exactly what chu’ might call
scratch-my-back, I’ll-scratch-yours; or the Golden Rule; but, what
about them kids he wants to rip out of their homes and
communities? You given any thought to them?”
that, but I ain’t so concerned about them.”
ain’t? Why, not? Being a preacher and following the
teachings of Jesus I’d shore’ think being concern for them would be one
of your top priorities. After all, they’re the ones whose lives
will be messed up. They’re the reason this has all come about;
that, and his Holiness’ penchant for young men and women.”
members of my church. Why should I care about them? Their
families don’t contribute to support me or my ministry.”
“I know you’re
suppose to be a man of the cloth, Son, and I’m just a dumb old cowboy;
howsomever, it makes me stop and wonder whether Jesus would see it that
got to do with anything? I give him his due every Sunday.”
kinda short sighted on yore’ part, Son? Where did you go to
divinity school, David?” Sonny asked incredulously. He couldn’t
believe what he was hearing.
Foursquare Holy Redeemer Bible College in Lubbock.” David tossed off.
I take it.” Sonny grinned to himself. David didn’t pick up on his
father-in-law’s less than subtle putdown.
It was a privately owned, hell fire, damnation, washed in the blood,
bible as the holy word of God, soldier’s of the cross, foursquare,
good-news gospel, school. They offered a doctorate degree in
divinity in twenty-four months.”
“I thought a
doctorate degree took four years of undergraduate college and at least
two years of graduate work?” Sonny sounded puzzled.
“It does if you
go to one a’ them big schools like SMU or Baylor. If you go there
you gotta’ take a lot of useless courses you ain’t never gonna’ use
like liberal arts courses you’ll spend the rest of your career
preaching against anyways. Why bother when you can get all you
need from a smaller college. All your big name preachers only
have doctorates from schools like what me and the Holy Prophet went
to. It ain’t how much book learn’n you got what’s important, it’s
how much of the holy spirit you got in you what really counts.”
Sonny shook his
head in disbelief. He wondered if David had the equivalent of a
dashboard meter or idiot-light by which he might gage his level of holy
spirit at any given time, or if like all evangelicals claim, he was
perpetually full of it. When he had his ‘dipstick’ in David,
Sonny recalled, his son-in-law was at least a quart low of the ‘fully
divine’ mark. David wasn’t nearly as good a fuck as Sonny’s
cowboy-slaves. Sonny thought to himself, ‘There were times, his
buckaroos, could be a little piece of heaven.’ Sonny just
conceded to himself, his son-in-law was one big dipstick and let it go
“Didn’t you take
courses on Christ and his message; love for your fellow man,
brotherhood, compassion, forgiveness, the separation of religion and
government, render unto Caesar, and the Golden Rule?”
touched on them things, but that ain’t what brings in the money.
To get the really big bucks you gotta’ scare the holy crap out of
‘em. They got it, you just gotta’ loosen their grip on it.
The louder I preach and the hotter I make the fires of hell, the more
they drop in the collection plate.”
“You don’t see
being a pastor of a church as a sacred obligation? Money aside,
what about the good you can do for your congregation and the community
as a whole?”
“Money is power,
Dad Steele. Ever’body knows that! The more money I get out
of ‘em, the more power I have to do what I think’s right for our
government and community.”
“Humm, what you think’s right?” Sonny
Sonny bit his
tongue from the anger rising within him and could taste the bitterness
of the iron in his own healthy blood. He thought of Vivian’s
comment to him the day before about biting her tongue, and wondered to
himself if that’s where the word ‘irony’ came from? He hung his
head in sadness, closed his eyes and prayed. He wasn’t much of a
praying man, but Sonny Steele, world champion rodeo cowboy seven years
in a row, prayed like he never prayed before.
God! Give me strength! Hold back my hand! Don’t let
me kill him, Lord! Not here! Not now! Not like
this! Show me the way, Lord!’ was his silent prayer. Then
he felt his overwhelming sense of cowboy humor kick in and again
prayed, ‘Howsomever, on the other hand, Lord, if’n you see fit to
lemme’ kill him, you don’t have to watch, Sir, jes’ turn yore’ head the
other way. I’ll make it quick. I promise, I won’t never
tell if’n you don’t.”
swear he heard the voices’ of the ancients roar with laughter, and that
was his answer. As bad as he wanted to, he knew he couldn’t do
it. Besides, he considered the long-term consequences. If
he got away with it, he and Vivian would probably end up with Abigail
moving back in with them, and he knew that would be a fate worse than
his own death; he shuddered to contemplate; it wouldn’t be
pretty. Even though Abigail was an excellent student and made top
grades in school, Vivian always considered her daughter a little less
than ‘half-baked’ in the brains department. Left together for any
length of time, Sonny knew Vivian would most likely revert to her
primitive animal state and consume her offspring. He couldn’t let
that happen to his precious. Sonny resigned himself, for better
or worse, his daughter’s place was with her husband. Vivian was
right. Abigail made her own decision to marry David and become a
minister’s wife. She made her own bed. It was one fate,
from which, her cowboy dad couldn’t save her. He shook his head
and his eyes began to water, not from internalized pain but from the
mirth within his heart. David noticed his father-in-law was
quiet, but allowed him his moment to himself.
“Do you have any
idea how much money the other pastor gets in donations to his church
every month?” Sonny asked, trying to steer the conversation down
another path. He’d reached a dead end from his pursuit of an
imaginary road sign that read, ‘Moral responsibility, this-a-way.’
We got us spies all over the place. Their lady treasurer faxes us
copies of their financial reports. She’s a closet fundamentalist,
but her husband ain’t. He’s a die hard, liberal, yellow dog
Democrat. He’s one of the original founders of the new
Grange. He’s one of their high mucky-mucks; name’s Sam
Eagleston. Mrs. Eagleston’s the lady what done told me about the
strange goings on out to the Goodnight ranches. I don’t know
though, she could be just a little soft in the head; maybe just a
little crazy. She talks about some really weird shit like pixies
what look like Tinkerbell flying around; huge, hairy Bigfoot-like men
carrying around human babies in pouches in their bellies; other
Bigfoot young playing football with the Goodnight boys and their
slaves; ring tailed critters what seem like us humans; healing crystals
what speak to them; Waco Goodnight making a copy of himself for one of
the alien crystal-critters to live inside his clone’s body; her husband
and the rest of the Grange members shooting down alien space craft
what’s been stealing their cattle; and lots of other shit like that.”
Sonny met all
the creatures David described earlier that morning on the
Bandersnatch. Sonny felt an almost perverse pleasure knowing
something his narrow minded son-in-law could have no concept of nor
would he try to understand if he did. To David Yates it would
simply be ‘of the Devil’ with no explanation satisfactory to dismiss
such an idea. If it was something he couldn’t understand, it was
simply labeled demonic; end of story.
blasted out, “Just a little crazy?! Ya’ think?! And you
listened to her?! Holy crap, Son. Information like that is
only as good as its source. You let a crazy lady convince you the
Goodnights and Lazarus Long are Devil worshipers who are demonically
possessed? That lady needs to be sent to a happy farm and locked
away in their rubber room; and, you need to visit her real often until
you’re convinced she’s where she should be. No wonder them men
got chu’ locked in their sights.” laughed Sonny knowing the first
thing he would do, if accepted into the Grange, would be to plug that
financial reports she sends us, last year the other preacher took in
almost five times the money we did, but we got five times the
membership; however, they got all them big, rich ranchers what goes to
their church and they can afford to give more. That’s all gonna’
change soon though. New legislation the Holy Prophet is
supporting will require them to give us half of their take if they want
to stay tax exempt. Dr. Scudder calls it sharing the wealth for
God’s holy work.”
It sounded more
like legalized stealing to Sonny.
“I don’t wanna’
have to go to Mr. Goodnight and Ramrod Long and tell them the Holy
Prophet wants their boys for his own.” David continued.
“The way I see
it, y’ain’t got much choice. Scudder could come down on you with
his terrible swift sword of holy wrath and make yore’ life a real
honest-to-God living hell on Earth. On the other hand, if you
confront the men of the Grange in a hostile manner, they’re gonna’ go
nuclear on yore’ ass and destroy you in the community.”
Sonny saw a
glimmer of hope in his words. He was thinking out loud. He
felt like he was tossing his words from the bed of his pickup with a
pitchfork like he was throwing hay to his cattle in the dead of winter,
but there was somebody else driving the truck.
That’s why I need advice.” David said quietly.
Sonny heard the
words in his head before he even spoke them, he just put his mouth in
gear, and they began to spill out and pave the road.
“If in doubt,
just don’t do nothing, Son. Send a strong but polite message to
Dr. Scudder you don’t wish to fail him in his request, but you don’t
consider yourself worthy to take on such a great and noble task.
Lay it on thick. All preachers are good with unctuous
words. I know you are, I’ve heard you preach.” Sonny didn’t know
where that came from but he laughed inside, “You gotta’ baste that big
turkey a number of times to keep it from burning from the heat of your
intent. Tell him you’re only a humble, small town preacher what
ain’t got neither the political base nor the savvy to sway these
citizens to provide for his needs. Remind him miracles is his
department. Tell him you pray for ‘em, but you’re much further
down the list at receiving answers than he is. If he wants these
things accomplished, then he must pray for them and seek God’s
help. If he don’t get ‘em, then it’s probably because God don’t
want him to have ‘em. Slam dunk that ball back into his
court. Then refuse to allow him to place you in that position
again. Tell him ‘thanks’ but ‘no thanks.’”
“He could still
destroy me, Sonny.”
“Maybe, . . .
maybe not. Ain’t likely. I doubt he’s gonna’ come down that
hard on an old friend. It wouldn’t play well in the press, and if
he’s anything, he all about propaganda. Neither would it look
very good for him to use force on the community. That’s why he’s
having you do his dirty work. That way, he don’t get the finger
of corruption pointed in his direction. If it all blows up, which
is a pretty sure bet it will, all he’s got to do is claim you
misunderstood his instructions and became overzealous. Better you
suffer his wrath than that of the Grange. No matter what happens,
after all is said and done, you have to continue living in their
community. Scudder don’t. He’s ten thousand miles away in
“But what if his
Holiness uses force on these men?”
“Then you grab
your shotgun and line up with them in defense of your community.
‘Cause when it comes to their families, I know them men. They’re
gonna’ draw a line in the sand and protect their own, even if it means
their lives are in the balance.”
“You gotta’ be
kidding! Me, with a gun? I couldn’t do that! They
don’t go to my church! Besides, I don’t even own a gun.
After what they done to me, why would I wanna’ standup and put my life
on the line for them anyway?”
wanted to backhand a man so badly in his life. If a cowboy said
something to him as stupid as his son-in-law just did, he would be in
traction for a month, and then have to be fitted for a full set of
dentures. Sonny settled for grinding his rear teeth together and
thought once more of Vivian and irony.
the right damn thing to do, boy!” Sonny said with such firm
conviction there was no room in David’s small mind for rebuttal, “Son,
do you ever read that damn bible of yore’n? Even if you don’t,
consider it a strong political move on yore’ part. It would go a
hell of a long way to improve relations with them men. I’ll give
you a damn shotgun to take home with you, just in case. Besides,
you won’t be alone. Me, ma’ boys and dad will be right there on
the front line next to you with our guns. I ain’t gonna’ standby
and let Scudder take them fine young men for his nefarious
purposes. I don’t care under what God’s name he thinks he’s doing
it. In Reason County Texas that dog won’t never hunt, Son.”
ain’t chu’?” David asked in quiet awe of his father-in-law.
evangelical ass, boy! Dead serious!” Sonny said with all the
import of his cowboy persona. “There’s jes’ some things in life
what are worth put’n your life on the line for, and them young men is
one of ‘em! They’re our last, best hope for a future of any kind,
preacher man, and don’t chu’ never forget it!”
stunned. He never heard Sonny so adamant about anything. He
was generally pretty mellow and jovial, but this was a side of his
cowboy father-in-law he never saw before. David wasn’t real sure
what Sonny was talking about, but he decided it would be unwise to go
up against his father-in-law. Besides, he got what he came
for. Sonny laid out a plan for him the preacher thought just
might work. David quietly thanked his father-in-law and told him
he valued his counsel. Sonny learned a great truth from his old
man. Once you’ve had your say, made your point, back off and
leave it alone. Don’t muddy the water’s of conviction by using
more words than necessary.
The sun was
setting as the men headed back toward the ranch house. They found
Vivian in the kitchen getting supper on the table. Sonny’s old
man was sitting at the table talking quietly with his
daughter-in-law. David shook Warren’s hand and went to
Vivian. They gave each other a cursory hug and a quick kiss on
the cheek. Sonny could see Vivian’s heart wasn’t in it.
David could feel her disdain. Vivian got the last of the food on
the table and they sat down to eat. They joined hands around the
table. Being a preacher, David just expected he would be asked to
say the blessing.
shot across the table to Warren before David could get a word
out. Warren grinned and began to pray.
“Bless this food
to the nourishment of our bodies and us to thy service, Lord.
Grant us strength, health, wisdom and the courage to do what’s right
and live our lives as an example to others. Bless our family and
keep us safe from harm. Amen!” Everyone said ‘Amen’ and sat
down to eat. Vivian thanked her father-in-law for his prayer, and
added, “Ain’t never heard me a better one, Dad.”
daughter.” Warren responded sincerely.
There was some
conversation during dinner, but nothing was said about why David drove
out to talk with Sonny or what was discussed. Vivian and Warren
were curious, but they knew the minute David drove away they would
The three of
them spent the morning on board the Bandersnatch with Lazarus, Cable,
David and Jonathan. Vivian couldn’t keep her eyes or her hands
off the bio-mechanical men. They didn’t mind. They fell in
love with her and she with them. Sonny laughed at his old man
getting an erection at his age from the men. Warren was quick to
point out the wet spot at Sonny’s crotch he’d been sporting all
morning. Sonny laughed and admitted he thought the men were
pretty damn spectacular.
It was a Friday
morning, a holiday and the boys were home from school. There was
more activity on the Bandersnatch. Folks were on their way in and
out of the ship all morning. The Steele family got to meet most
of the unusual players of the Goodnight family. Cable’s staff was
constantly being interrupted with their examinations of the
Steeles. They were used to it and took it in stride with good
humor. Waco and the dogs came through to get his brother Blue and
Keeke to take them to the big house for breakfast.
on the ship?” Vivian asked Waco.
“Well, . . . yes
and no, ma’am. They’re staying in a small town called Parsons,
New Mexico, but technically they’re on the ship. Before you ask
‘how’s that possible’ let me show you.”
Waco took the
three of them through another gate into a well lit cargo bay. In
it were several rows of sturdy racks that held what looked like trays
with bubble domes. Waco took them to one about four by eight
feet, the size of a standard piece of plywood with a big bubble dome
over the top. It was opaque, but you could see down into the
area. It looked like there were clouds drifting by that sometime
obscured the view, but every now and then you could get a glimpse of
the tiny town. There were tiny trees and houses; roads with
horses and buggies being driven along by tiny people.
“My God, it’s a
world in miniature!” exclaimed Sonny. Warren giggled.
Obviously he was familiar with size reduction.
quite. Come with me.” Waco urged the Steeles and he led
them through another gate. This time they emerged into the
courtyard of Dr. Stevens and Arnie’s property right in front of their
Parsons, New Mexico folks.” Waco said.
“You mean . .
.?” said Vivian quietly.
we been shrunk to their size. Only we ain’t been shrunk in
relation to the town.” Warren answered Vivian.
said Vivian and she grabbed Sonny’s arm.
and the pups accompanied them and the pups lit out for the door of the
cottage as fast as their stubby little legs would carry them yelling
for their buddy “Boo.” It was mass confusion. It was
obvious they were there many times before. The pups didn’t have
or need any concept of size. They were just thrilled to be able
to see their big cowboy buddy again and his little friend who could fly.
Blue came out of
the cottage fully dressed in his cowboy clothes, hitching up his
Wranglers like any cowboy and strutting like any buckaroo in his heavy
boots, with Keekepata flying close behind him trying to keep up with
his big stride. Blue stopped to acknowledge his furry little
buddies petting them, calling each one by name, and allowed Keeke to
catch up and land on his shoulder. He smiled at the look of
frustration on her face, reached up and steadied her with his big hand.
couldn’t wait for me, could you?” she scolded him, “You know it takes a
lady longer than it does a cowboy to get ready in the mornings.”
little sister, I jes’ heard ma’ fuzzy little buddies calling to me, saw
ma’ brother and some new folks I wanted to meet. I knew you’d
catch up eventually and you did.”
laughing at their bickering. They sounded like a brother and
sister having an argument. Waco introduced Blue and Keeke to the
Steeles and once again they were flabbergasted. Waco explained
how Blue became his brother and within him dwelt an intelligent blue
crystal who had contributed much to him and his family. The boys
decided to give him a body to become more mobile and Waco and his
cohorts conceived of cloning his own body for the purpose.
“I couldn’t be
prouder or happier to have me a twin brother.” Waco put his arm
around Blue and held him shoulder to shoulder. You couldn’t tell
them apart. The Steeles had to agree, Blue was pretty damn
Waco then told
how Keekepata stowed away on the Buttercup, damn near got herself eaten
by a big ranch cat and was now his slave for a while. Keeke just
sat there and blushed at the story again. She kept tickling Blue
behind his ear like any younger sister might pester her big brother and
he kept brushing her hand away.
“If’n you don’ t
behave yore’self, I’m gonna’ make you fly.” he grinned at her.
big brother.” she giggled and quickly stopped her mischief.
The Steeles were
enchanted by the two of them. They all went back through the gate
together to the infirmary of the Bandersnatch. Waco, Blue and
Keeke bid ‘goodbye’ to go to the big house for breakfast, but promised
they’d return to check on them. The Steeles went back to their
course of the morning, the Steeles got to meet the rest of the boys and
they brought Ramrod Long’s twins in for a check up and just to say
‘hello’ to everyone. They were accompanied by the two big
Lummox. Vivian was taken with the babies. She looked at
Sonny longingly, and he knew what was going through her mind.
that really blew Sonny and Vivian away were Ping and Pong and Jack and
Jill. They thought they were beautiful. The adults were
quiet and well mannered but the young ones were all over Sonny, Vivian
and Warren. Warren met Ping and Pong many years before and they
were delighted to see him again. They were warm and affectionate
with Warren. Sonny and Vivian declared they never spent such a
morning in their lives. Warren had.
Cable ran all
sorts of tests on the three of them and could find nothing wrong.
They were healthy. He told Warren he would begin to notice a
change from the long-shot in about a week. He predicted it would
bring him back to about his mid to late forties in health and
appearance. Warren couldn’t have been more pleased.
“Hell, we can’t
keep up with him now. How do you expect us to chase after him
if’n he’s that much younger?” Sonny quipped.
“You won’t have
to.” said Warren, “I plan to git me a pretty young filly to chase after
wouldn’t!” Sonny laughed indignantly like he was surprised at his
“Good for you,
dad.” Vivian allowed. “Leave your dad alone, Sonny. He
deserves a little happiness and your respect.” she laughed. “You’re
gonna’ have enough on yore’ plate taking care of your stable.” she
roared with laughter. “If we got years to go, and I’m gonna’ be
younger, I’m gonna’ see if these fine looking men can untie my
tubes. I plan to have me six more a’ yore’ babies, cowboy.
I didn’t get me enough the first time around.”
you’ll wear out this old cowboy.” Sonny giggled at the prospect.
“If I’m gonna’
get younger, so will you, buckaroo. You know how you were even
ten years ago. We’re gonna’ have to get us another twenty
cowboy-slaves just to keep you happy.” she laughed. Sonny
just grinned real big.
* * * * * * *
Sonny was good
to his word and loaned his son-in-law one of his twelve gage
shotguns. He showed him how to load it and gave him half a box of
shells to go with it. He carefully placed it in the back of
David’s SUV for him and told him to leave it there until he needed
it. If all this blew over, return it to him. David thanked
him and made it a point to let Sonny know how much he appreciated their
talk. He felt better and could see some hope.
went home, and with his wife’s help, carefully composed a letter to his
Holiness outlining his position and graciously declining his offer to
be his representative in the community. He told Abigail he was
following the plans he and her dad talked about on his visit to the
ranch. Abigail trusted her dad above all other men. David
sometimes wondered if she didn’t have a deep seated hidden sexual lust
for her own father. David had to admit sitting next to Sonny on
that old tractor moved something deep within him. He almost
wanted to ask Sonny for a repeat of their earlier encounter.
* * * * * * *
Sonny dialed up
the Goodnight ranch and spoke with Charlie. He thanked him for
their graciousness on the Bandersnatch earlier that morning and told
him he talked with Reverend Yates. He felt like it was important
to have another face to face meeting with Charlie and Lazarus. He
learned some information from David they might want to know about, and
considering the nature didn’t care to discuss it on the phone.
Sonny, Vivian and Warren to breakfast the next day. He and
Lazarus had already invited them to their regular Sunday afternoon
Grange meeting. With Lazarus and Charlie to recommend them, the
Steele’s membership into the Grange was all but a done deal.
Charlie asked if the matter could wait ‘til then, but Sonny was
concerned it dealt with a subject of some sensitivity they might want
to deal with before their Grange meeting.
arrived through the gate on the Bandersnatch about an hour before
breakfast. They were impressed everyone was there to greet them
and acted like they were old family. Waco and his men were most
impressed by Sonny’s rodeo skills and several asked for his
autograph. Of course, that went down real big with Sonny as
Warren and Vivian winked and rolled their eyes behind his back.
certainly wasn’t a formal affair around the Goodnight ranch. The
dogs and pups weren’t allowed in the dining area for obvious
reasons. The pups learned to be the worst kind of little beggars
and could talk the boys out of their souls. Charlie was beginning
to wonder whether teaching dogs to speak was such a wise idea. He
could foresee a time when no one could say no to them and they would
take over the world. Who knows, they might do a better job than
hesitant to talk about such a sensitive matter over breakfast, but
Charlie and Lazarus assured him they had few secrets from the
boys. They were as much in this struggle as they were and
deserved to be treated with the same respect. Lazarus reminded
Sonny of the old cowboy code, it don’t matter how young or old a
buckaroo is as long as he can pull his own weight.
Sonny told them
what his son-in-law, the Pentecostal Evangelical preacher David W.
Yates told him about Mrs. Eagleston acting as a spy for his church and
telling them everything about the finances of the other church and the
activities of the Grange. The Steeles were somewhat bemused by
the men’s response. Hank and Ida Mae were having lunch with them.
me a bit.” Spoke Ida Mae. “She’s been acting holier-than-thou ever
since she and Mr. Eagleston started coming to the Grange
meetings. She’s been spewing her fundamentalist nonsense about
this and that. At first we tried to reason with her, then most of
the ladies would just avoid her or shut up when she comes around.
I’m probably the last one to come around to how Captain Long and Mr.
Charlie do things, but they saved my friends life and that big furry
man’s milk cured my boy of endless headaches that made his life
miserable. Then me and Hank got us the Long-shot about a year or
so ago and it’s reversed our aging to the point we’re acting more like
teenagers than mature adults. I ain’t seen nothing they done what
ain’t been good for other folks.”
“Believe it or
not,” Charlie spoke to the Steeles, “she’s been good advertising for
us. From her talking outside the Grange, some folks have heard
her and come to us on the sly to ask to join; however, we didn’t know
about her spying for the other church. That’s not right and it
will be up to Sam to take care of it. I don’t think it will be
much of a surprise for him either. Sam’s a good man, and he loves
his wife despite her ultraconservative ideas about things. He’ll
handle it. He won’t be mean or punish her, but he will make sure
he shuts her up. He’s too heavily invested in us and we in him to
let her ruin everything because of her crazy thinking.”
you folks coming forward to tell us about this. It ain’t easy,
especially for country folks to tell on others, but we’re living in
delicate times where one loose tongue, if taken seriously, could bring
down the federal government on us; however, they wouldn’t find
much. We’d rather avoid it if’n we can. We can have
everyone hidden in a matter of minutes if need be. We conduct
drills occasionally.” Lazarus said.
Charlie seemed to be more interested in Sonny’s talk with preacher
“His lack of
understanding about what’s going on in the world and all around him is
staggering.” Sonny began, “Naturally, it’s painful for me seeing my
daughter caught up with him; however, I understand once she made her
decision to marry him and become a part of his world, I ain’t got no
real claims to being her protective daddy no more. Nevertheless,
it still hurts.”
No one said a
word. They all could feel Sonny’s pain. He was proud of his
sons, but his little girl, his precious, had a special place in his big
cowboy heart. Sonny continued. “I didn’t think I was gonna’
have much of an influence on him, but towards the last of our
conversation, God help me, I don’t know where it come from, but I come
up with a plan what just might work. It was simple enough he
could understand it without bruising his ego. He said he liked
the idea and would try it.”
Sonny went on to
describe what he discussed with David. Sonny added David called
later that evening and said he and Abigail sat down and wrote a letter
containing all the points they discussed. Charlie, Lazarus and
the boys thought it sounded like a great plan. The boys confirmed
for the adults they had no desire to become a part of the Holy
Prophet’s boy band. Sonny went on to say.
“If push comes
to shove, you gentlemen have our pledge, me, my boys, ma’ dad and
several of my older grand-kids will be on the front line of resistance
with our guns locked and loaded. We won’t let this happen in our
community. If’n he can do this to you, our boys will be next.”
and the boys thanked the Steeles and told them their pledge was a
comfort to them, but they hoped it didn’t come to that. If it
did, Lazarus had ways and means to make sure thing went in their favor.
* * * * * * *
The residents of
Parsons, New Mexico loved to have outside visitors. The larger
the Grange grew and more folks were available, they began to develop a
thriving trade as a tourist attraction. It was wonderful for the
people of the regular world. It was like going back into
history. While there were a few internal combustion engines still
in operation for farm and ranch use, by and large the community
reverted back to horse and buggies for transportation. It just
seemed to slow down the pace of life in the small town to where the
residents and visitors were more laid-back and congenial with one
another. It was ecologically more sound and conserved on
combustible fuel sources; although, they set aside a percentage of
certain crops to make bio-fuel. They also recycled their human
and animal waste to produce methane for home cooking and heating.
micro-mini communities sprang up due to sexual, racial and religious
persecution from the government. There were two thriving same sex
communities who were open to trade and visitors. The men took a
page from the old movies of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, they were
all the time putting on shows in their barn. While some were
quite good, others were really bad; however, even the awful ones were
fun and everybody had a good time. Thankfully, when they were bad
the performers had the good sense to know it and camped it up to make
the best of it. Those were the shows that were remembered,
laughed and talked about for years afterward.
Several of the
towns became active in trade and entertainment swaps with the various
communities and that afternoon Parsons decided to hold an old fashion
country Fair and Rodeo. All the boys were going and several were
participating. They invited the Steeles to join them. The
Steeles went back through the gates to get their cowboy outfits.
Sonny was feeling better and Warren had a glow about him he hadn’t
experienced in years. Cable noticed, grabbed him, checked his
pulse, smiled, winked at him and whispered something to the elderly
man. Warren blushed the deepest red color, smiled, nodded
his head in the affirmative, hugged Cable to him, and bussed a kiss
behind his ear. Everyone began to laugh.
The boys debated
letting Scraps, Happy and the pups go to the Fair with them; however,
Keekepata came to their rescue.
“Master Waco, .
. . Blue, Jack, Jill, Ping, Pong and I are as different as the
pups and we’re accepted without question in all the communities.
They welcome us with open arms. They all know about the pups from
the community news channel you men set up. Every time we go to
one of the communities they wanna’ know when they’re gonna’ get to meet
the pups. Now is as good a time as any.”
Key-Key!” they pups yelled their approval. “We wanna’ go,
too, Master Way-co!” one of the little females yelled. “Yes, yes,
yes! Please, Master Way-co!” the others chanted.
anybody say ‘no’ to them?” Waco asked the assembled group.
“All right! You can go, but the first one who gets sick from
eating too much junk will cause the rest of you to have to come back to
the ranch. Is that understood?” Waco tried his best to
sound like the voice of authority, but his heart wasn’t in it, and the
pups could see right through him.
Sir. We promise, Master Waco. We promise to be good.”
everyone laughed at them.
right!” Waco said with considerable sarcasm in his voice.
Everyone fell out laughing at the exchange.
* * * * * * *
Sonny left his
foreman slave-trustee in charge of the ranch and called his oldest son
to tell him they would be in Parsons, New Mexico for a Fair and Rodeo
if they were needed. His son didn’t bother asking, he just
accepted his dad’s statement and agreed to see him the following day at
the Goodnight ranch. It was a wonderful day and everyone had a
great time. Sonny participated in the rodeo and roped with Waco,
Travis, and Little Bear. Lucas and Blue were still learning, and
while they competed, they never managed to get a rope around a
steer. Lazarus and Charlie won the roping competition.
The pups became
the center of attention. They were invited onto the rodeo stage
where the judges gave Scraps and Happy a blue ribbon for the best
country family at the rodeo. Scraps was thrilled and the pups
went bananas. The audience wanted to hear the pups sing.
They’d seen them on the closed circuit local news channel. Since
Lucas created the monster it was his job to lead them.
Lucas took the
microphone from the announcer and introduced himself. He thanked
the audience, but said he and his brothers were a little tired of the
A, B, C song. Lucas explained, he, his brothers and the pups
worked up another song, and they wanted to sing it for the first time
for this audience. That got him and the pups a big round of
Lucas pulled an
ipod from his vest pocket and set it and the small speakers on the
stage. He sat the microphone in front of it. He lined the
pups up and gave them a little pep talk.
everybody gather ‘round. Are y’all ready?” They were
running around all over the place and the crowd was going crazy
laughing at them. Finally they ran over to the edge of the stage
and sat down in a line in front of Lucas.
brother Loo-cuss.” they chorused.
right. Let’s do it just like we rehearsed. We done done it
a hunnert times or more. You guys all know this. Okay, here
we go.” Lucas pressed the button and a piano started
playing. Lucas started singing in his best cowboy voice.
Would you like
to swing on a star
home in a jar
And be better
off than you are
Or would you
rather be a mule?
Lucas held the
microphone close to the first little female who picked up the first
verse. She threw her little head back and sang out like Ethel
Merman. The audience was enthralled. You could hear a pin
drop. She tossed her head from side to side as she sang and
balanced herself from one front paw to the other.
A mule is an
animal with long funny ears
He kicks up at
anything he hears
His back is
brawny but his brain is weak
He's just plain
stupid with a stubborn streak
And by the way,
if you hate to go to school
You may grow up
to be a mule
in on the chorus.
Or would you
like to swing on a star
home in a jar
And be better
off than you are
Or would you
rather be a pig?
The next verse
was sung by one of the little males. His voice was noticeably
lower than his sister’s, but his enthusiasm was equal her’s.
A pig is an
animal with dirt on his face
His shoes are a
He’s got no
manners when he eats his food
He's fat and
lazy and extremely rude
But if you don't
care a feather or a fig
You may grow up
to be a pig
While the male
pup was singing, Lucas’ cowboy brothers slowly and quietly came onto
the small stage and sat down on the front with their legs dropped over
the edge. They each picked up a pup, set it in their laps, and
joined the next chorus with them.
Or would you
like to swing on a star
home in a jar
And be better
off than you are
Or would you
rather be a fish?
Waco and Blue
sang the next verse helped by the two pups they were holding in their
A fish won't do
anything, but swim in a brook
He can't write
his name or read a book
To fool the
people is his only thought
And though he's
slippery, he can still get caught
But then if that
sort of life is what you wish
You may grow up
to be a fish
in on the chorus with great enthusiasm.
And all the
monkeys ain't in the zoo
Every day you
meet quite a few
So you see it's
all up to you
You can be
better than you are
You could be
swingin' on a star
verse?” shouted Lucas asking the crowd. They went crazy
applauding their unanimous approval.
Or would you
like to swing on a star,
home in a jar,
And be worse off
than you are,
Or would you
rather be a dog.
It was the pup’s
time to shine and they took it away as loud as their little voices
would sing. They put their all into it. They instantly
turned into six miniature hams.
A dog is the
bestest friend a cowboy ever had.
He herds cows
and tries to make him glad
He keeps him
company and don’t never complain
He warms his
feet when it’s cold and rains
So you won’t be
as lonely as a frog,
If you grow up
to be a dog.
in for the final stanzas,
“You should grow
up to be a dog!”
didn’t hear you!” Lucas put his hand to his ear and sang to the
chorus. They all sang their answer retardando,
“You should grow
up to be a dog!”
“You really mean
it?” Lucas asked the pups.
They sang the
last phrase together, grand rallentando, for a big finish.
should grow up to be a dog!” *
The pups were
all over their cowboy brothers with licks and kisses while the crowd
went nuts. It was lethal stuff, the purest form of death by
cute. They got a standing ovation. Vivian, Sonny and Warren
were laughing so hard they had tears running down their faces.
All of this was being carefully recorded and noted by Kyron, the AI,
(artificial intelligence) to be included in the next video log to be
sent into deep space to Captain Vinceeth’s ship the ‘Banshee.’
* * * * *
The rest of the
Steele family joined their parents and granddad the next day.
“Dad, I checked
out Parsons, New Mexico on the Internet last evening and the town was
wiped out by a big meteor about two years ago. There’s nothing
there but a huge crater.” said Matthew. His brothers were
surrounding their dad and granddad.
right. Only it weren’t destroyed. It was saved and so was
all the folks of the town. It’s on Ramrod Long’s spaceship.
It’s been shrunk to the size of a sheet of four by eight plywood.
We went to a county fair and rodeo there yesterday.” Sonny
explained as solemnly as he could. His dad couldn’t help
giggling. Sonny’s oldest boy Matthew rubbed his chin and smiled.
“An entire town
on board the ship? Did you have to shrink down to go there.”
“No, we just
walked though one a’ them gates, and we was there.” Sonny responded.
phenomenal.” allowed Matthew.
area they call Lake Olsen now? There used to be a ranch
there. Then one night it just when missing. It disappeared.”
“It’s on his
ship, too?” asked Mark.
talked with the Olsens and their family. Their little girl is
living with them, but their two boys is living with Hoot Austin and
Cotton Daniels and going to school. Remember we saw the Olsen boy
play football with the Goodnight boys? Captain Long rescued the
Olsen’s from detention camps run by the Scudder regime, and they’re
living happily on their ranch on his ship. There’s a lot more
folk been rescued and saved. All sorts of folks were there
yesterday. It was like an old time country fair and rodeo.
I rode with several of the Goodnight boys, and we had us a great time.”
Dad. Remember you got three sons who would love to see some’um
like ‘at.” interrupted the youngest Luke. He laughed.
other times. I got a feeling we’re gonna’ be close to the
Goodnights and Longs, but we gotta’ do ever’ thing we can to help ‘em
through this crisis with their boys. Who knows, if’n we don’t he
could come after our boys. I think David and Abigail wrote a
letter to Scudder last night. We don’t know what the results is
gonna’ be, but I’ve pledged our help to them even if it comes to
drawing a line in the sand and taking up arms.”
“We’re with you
all the way, Dad.” said Mark.
“You know it,
Dad!” agreed Luke.
“Just say the
world, Dad, and we’ll be there loaded for bear.” threw in Matt.
* * * * *
The Steeles were
unanimously voted into the Grange. There were two other families
being considered, and they were voted in as well. Lazarus and
Charlie got Sam Eagleston aside in private and told him what they
learned from Sonny Steele’s conversation with his son-in-law. Sam
was understandably embarrassed and upset. He was ready to resign
from the Grange. Lazarus and Charlie tried to make it easy on
“We don’t want
that, Sam. You’re too good a man to lose because of a small
setback like this. We don’t hold it against you. It’s just
the mind-set in the world today what supports ever’ damn thing that
little hypocrite does under the name of the almighty. He gets
away with more shit. The rest of us would be in prison if we done
it. All she can see is the false religious aspect of him.
She can’t see his flaws. You handle it anyway you see fit,
Sam. We ain’t looking for her to be punished or hurt because of
what she sees as right. Just do what you think’s right,
Sam.” Charlie told him.
“Maybe if you
explain what Scudder asked preacher Yates to do for him, procuring
young men for his sexual purposes she might see things
differently.” Lazarus urged.
never believe he wanted them men for that purpose. She’d come up
with some holy crap reason that don’t make sense to nobody but
her. Anyone with a lick a’ sense knows what that little monster’s
all about. I’ll take care of it. Her brand of religion has
some pretty harsh things to say about women keeping their mouths shut
and obeying their husbands. I’ve always tried to let her have her
own voice, but I didn’t know it had come to this. I appreciate
you men being so understanding. I won’t resign, but I will make
damn sure she don’t endanger the Grange no more.”
took care of the situation. He forced his wife to resign from
being Secretary-treasurer of their church. He kept her at home
most of the time and took all her transportation keys away from
her. He allowed her to go to church with him, but he wouldn’t
bring her to Grange meetings any more. When he found out she was
calling around in the community to raise sympathy for her support he
threatened to remove all phones but his cell phone. When she
wouldn’t mind him he personally ripped them out. He had the only
phone on the ranch, and he kept it with him at all times. She
wasn’t allowed to call anyone unless he was there and listened to the
became so unmanageable and defiant he shipped her off to live with her
liberal, spinster school teacher sister in upstate New York, thinking
her sister might be able to talk some sense to her. After six
months, her own sister told Sam she thought she was hopeless. She
didn’t see her sister changing her mind or attitudes. She became
increasingly convinced of her own personal religious persecution and
martyrdom at the hands of her family. She found a Pentecostal
evangelical church near her who welcomed her with open arms until she
started telling stories about spaceships, monster aliens, and pixies
flying around. Then they cooled to her quickly and wrote her off
as a mental case.
to divorce Sam if he didn’t let her return so she could be closer to
her kids and grandchildren. Sam didn’t want a divorce because of
his kids, but to his surprise they all faithfully stood behind
him. They didn’t want her back. Unbeknownst to Sam, she was
working hard behind their backs to indoctrinate her grandchildren in
the ways of fundamentalism and was slowly turning them against their
parents and granddad. Sam lost his oldest boy in one of the Bush
wars and had two younger boys devoted to him. So was their older
sister. They urged their dad to divorce their mother, to rid
himself of her.
desperation, Sam divorced his wife. He spent a year in mourning
for her, and at his children’s urging, finally began to date
again. They had never seen their dad happier than when he met an
older lady in their church who was a widow and began to see her
regularly. The kids still kept in touch with their mother and
went to visit her regularly, but they would tell her nothing about Sam
and his life. They stopped taking their kids to visit her because
she would teach them her rabid, hate-filled fundamentalism and try to
turn them against their more liberal, humanist parents. She was
warned repeatedly until she was cut off from seeing her
grandchildren. It was a hard lesson for the old lady to be told
by her own children they didn’t want their children growing up to be
bitter and hate filled like she was.
Try as they may,
not even her own children could save her. Like their dad, they
finally gave up. She got left behind several times. Then
one day, in times of great trial on the Earth, the greatest cut
of all happened to her, when right before her very eyes, her liberal,
agnostic sister vanished from the chair she was sewing in. She
knew in her heart, without a doubt, her sister, whom she consider
slightly better than a heathen, had been raptured, but she was
not. Could she have been so wrong? Perhaps, but she still
had her faith.
* * * * * * *
was livid when he received pastor Yates’ letter. He certainly
didn’t expect a negative response. He fully expected his
dim-witted cohort to bow and fawn over his every wish. Maybe it
was that wife of his? She had a degree from a major university.
Perhaps she was instrumental in Yates’ refusal to carry out his
wishes. He sat at his desk in the oval office grinding his teeth
in anger. He looked up at his Temple Guard who just brought him
the letter and was standing at attention.
Armstrong, ain’t chu?” he barked.
“Yes, Sir, your
Holiness.” Brick came to even greater attention. From close
observation, he knew his Holiness well. He knew he was in a foul
“How long you
been a Guard?”
“Humm, you been
I ain’t been offered the honor of the Holy Order.”
enough; good looking enough. Maybe this fall. You been
sleeping with one of my semi-vestals, ain’t chu’?”
“Yes, Sir, your
“You in love
silent. He was about to panic. How could he deny his love
for Tim? Tim was the first person in his adult life he really
Brick answered quietly.
“Better you tell
me the truth, Armstrong. The Holy Prophet will always know when
you lie to him. You ready to give him up to join the Order?”
Once again Brick
was silent. Why hadn’t he prepared himself for this
possibility? He knew what was in the letter he just delivered and
imagined it had something to do with the Holy Prophet procuring more
semi-vestal virgins for his harem. It must not be going well for
him because he never paid much attention to Brick before.
“You think about
it, Armstrong, and make up your mind. I’ll ask you again
later. That will be all. You’re dismissed.”
Brick bowed to
Scudder, turned and left the room. Scudder buzzed for his
secretary, and she came into the oval office.
“Martha, get me
Pastor David W. Yates on a secure line.” he barked.
your Holiness.” Martha Alvenshine bowed to Scudder and left the
* * * * * * *
his teacher and fellow Grange member Lyle Chambers to the Steeles
at the Parson’s Fair. Lyle was accompanied by the huge lummox who
stood a little over ten feet tall. His size was
overwhelming. Ox was with Waco everywhere he went, and earlier,
they introduced the Steeles to the Trong-Fielding family who were
together and seemed to be having a great time. The Steeles were
further amazed they had three human children and three lummox.
The kids seemed to have a close bond and got along great with each
other. The were like any family group, but there seemed to be
just a little more closeness between them than a normal family.
It was something the Steeles found wonderful and appealing.
Gavin and Jerry’s real last names were Trong-Fielding and they were
only using the Goodnight’s last name to avoid any suspicion from the
school district. In the outside world they were Waco’s
cousins. The Steeles watched Gavin Goodnight play football with
his Goodnight relatives that fateful Friday night. The Steeles
were beginning to put the pieces of the Goodnight/Long puzzle together
and they were more amazed than ever; however, it all seemed to work
They met Ox or
Garron’s son Bron and his two boys Bronc and T’sgan. Once again
they figured out they took on Lazarus Long’s last name for obvious
reasons. They watched Bronc Long play football with the boys.
T’sgan was still too young to be playing highschool football. He
and JR were about the same age and were now stars of the junior high
team, which all the Goodnight men and Stamper boys supported.
They were there for every game cheering JR and T’sgan on.
Strom was bigger
than Captain Trong. He stood out above everyone, but it seemed
everyone knew and loved him. Everybody was stopping to chat with
him and Lyle Chambers. They asked about the twins and how Strom
was doing after giving birth to them. The Steeles noticed there
was strong feelings passed between Lyle Chambers and the big
lummox. They were constantly touching each other.
“Are you staying
in town tonight?” Vivian asked.
Lyle answered, “We got permission from the town fathers to bunk it in
an old abandoned barn just South of town. There’s a farm house on
the property we can use, but Strom won’t fit in any of the human beds
so we stay in the barn. There’s a lot of hay stored in it by one
of the nearby farmers, and he kindly gave us permission to use
it. It’s warm and comfortable.”
“I don’t think
anyone here ain’t slept in a barn at one time or another, Son.” Sonny
allowed. Warren grinned knowingly.
The Steeles were
stunned. There were lots of same sex couples walking around
holding hands and being openly affectionate with one another. No
one seemed to be paying them any attention. It just seemed
natural and made Sonny and Vivian want to be more openly loving with
each other; something they rarely did, but it just seemed right somehow
in the setting in which they found themselves. When they did, the
other couples would smile and nod their approval. It made Sonny
hug Vivian closer to him and steal a kiss from time to time, and Vivian
would respond to her big cowboy husband in kind.
pleasantries, Lyle made excuses for him and his mate and strolled away,
only to stop and talk with others who knew them.
“I take it
they’re in the process of bonding.” Warren asked a little shyly.
“Yes, Sir, Mr.
Steele.” Waco replied, “You know what they say about human-lummox
bondings?” Waco grinned as he put his arm around Ox’s big waist and
pulled him to him. His huge lummox slave gently dropped his big
arm over Waco’s shoulder and smiled at him.
“I heard it
Dad?” asked Sonny.
bondings between humans and lummox are the strongest in the
universe. Once bonded, they rarely separate.”
“What if another
love interest comes along?” Vivian asked.
happens. If’n it does, they make room.” Warren tossed off
as if it was the most natural answer in the world. “Garron has
had at least two human mates. I knew his last mate, Bronc.
Hell of a man and cowboy. Reminded me a lot of you, Sonny.”
Warren grinned and winked at Sonny. Then he continued, “To be
honest, I stay away from them big furry men.” Warren shook his
Dad?” Vivian asked.
to ‘em. I jes’ know it. I know in ma’ heart if’n I ever let
ma’self get attached to one, I’d never let him go. And I wouldn’t
settle for one the size of Ox or Captain Trong. No, no!
Mine would have to be as big as Strom. I’d have that big
monster’s babies fer damn shore’!” Warren grinned mischievously
and winked at Waco. Waco grinned, blushed and nodded his
exclaimed Sonny, like he was astounded at his father’s
revelation. Vivian was about to bust a gut laughing at Warren and
“I’m jes’ being
honest wit’cha, Son. You don’t know how close you came to having
one a’ them big critters for a brother.” Warren started laughing,
“When we found out yore’ ma couldn’t have no more kids, and Cable had
to tie her tubes, I almost asked Captain Long to hook me up with one of
‘em. He could a’ come lived with us on the ranch, and I could a’
had me all the sons I wanted. They didn’t have to be human,
neither. I would a’ loved to had me one a’ them furry boys for a
son. Still ain’t give up on the idea.”
laughing, but this was a side of his old man he’d never seen
before. It made him wonder if he wasn’t enough for his dad.
He put it to his old man.
“That don’t make
me feel real secure, Dad. Makes me think I weren’t enough of a
son for you.”
kidding? You been a great son for me, boy. What cowboy
wouldn’t be proud of a son who was world champion all round rodeo
cowboy seven years in a row? I love you with all ma’ heart, and I
couldn’t be prouder of you. Don’t chu’ never forgit it.
Look what you and ma’ beautiful daughter-in-law here done gimme?
You gimme’ three of the finest cowboys in these here parts for
grandsons and a beautiful, intelligent, if somewhat misguided,
granddaughter. I got me a dozen great-grandchildren to call ma’
own, and I’m proud of ever’ damn single one of ‘em. H’it’s jes
ever’ man imagines how his life should go, but when it don’t, in his
later life he wonders how it might have gone if’n he done things a
little different. Maybe my point in all this is to prepare you
for the idea, one way or another, you’re gonna’ have brothers and
sisters. If this shot keeps working like it’s done in the last
couple of days, you can take that to the bank, and to be honest with
you I ain’t fully made up my mind what road I’m gonna’ take to get
there. I jes’ may take both. I might marry me a fine young
woman and take me on the biggest male lummox critter I can find for a
husband on the side. One day you might find me and my little
bride fight’n for the toilet because we both got morning sickness from
Sonny for the second time.
alone, Sonny!” Vivian came to her father-in-law’s rescue. “He’s
jes’ being honest with you. To tell you the truth, I can’t think
of a man who would make a finer dad or primary dad, as Captain Long
calls the first father, than Dad Steele. I welcome him the
opportunity to do what he wants with his new lease on life. You
should, too. If it happens, I’ll be the first one there with warm
towels to help them through it. I’d love it!” Vivian
registered her vote, loud and clear.
“I suppose if I
can run ma’ arm up inside a heifer to turn her calf and help birth cows
all these years, I could give my old man a hand birth’n his little
go!” laughed Warren. “‘At’s ma’ boy I know and love.”
Vivian grabbed Warren and they broke up laughing at the look on Sonny’s
face. Sonny just shrugged his shoulders and grinned.
“Uh, Kyron’s got
holographic videos of Captain Trong and Commander Fielding conceiving
and birthing their last bairn together. It shows ever’ thing from
the Captain planting the proto-embryo into his husband all the way
through the first birth with the baby crawling into Captain Trong’s
pouch. It’s really something to see. I’ve watched it
several times. I never get tired of it. I just look forward
to the day me and Ox can have several bairns together.”
You got videos of them two? Damn, I’d like to see that?”
Warren sounded excited.
“Me, too!” added
Vivian. Sonny just looked constipated, but then he smiled.
“Ah, what the
hell, I wanna’ know what ma’ old man might be git’n his’self
into. I’d like to see it, too.” he admited.
arrangements for one evening next week if you like.” Waco
volunteered, “Hope you don’t mind if’n a few others join us.
Ever’ time we show it, there’s a packed house in the auditorium on the
* * * * * * *
Lyle and Strom
left the Fair in the late afternoon to walk out to the abandoned barn
they were staying in for the night. The went out early that
morning to drop off some things for the night. They found a nice
corner in the loft and made their camp. It was nice because they
didn’t have to worry about anyone coming and stealing their
stuff. They were sure it would be in the same place they left
it. There were several families with horse drawn wagons and
surreys who stopped and offered Lyle and his big companion a ride, but
they graciously declined. They were enjoying the walk.
While there was no actual sunset the artificial daylight was beginning
to dim and they were enjoying the feel of the moment. They walked
along, hand in hand, and talked quietly in their heads.
<< Are you
afraid? >>” Strom asked Lyle.
<< Not at
all. Should I be? >>
No. I would never hurt you. >>
<< I know
that. I wouldn’t be with you if I was concerned. >>
<< Did you
have a good day today? >> Strom inquired.
<< Yes, a
very good day. Just being with you made it special. I don’t
get to see you too much. My schedule at school keeps me from
getting out to the ranch very often. Of course the Goodnight and
Long boys are a blessing. They are forever dropping by my desk
after class to let me know they have a word from you to pass on to
me. I appreciated their understanding and discretion.
A word from you makes my day. Just walking along this country
road with you is special for me. It’s like another world, and I’m
with someone I care very much about. There is so much craziness
out there in our world, you don’t know how lucky you are to live in a
protected environment. Did you have a good day? >>
<< It was
a wonderful day. One of the best I had since I’ve been part of
Captain Long and Master Charlie’s extended family. I carried his
and Captain Jones’ twins. That helps to make me feel part of
their world, but it ain’t all I need. I need to belong to someone
and someone to belong to me. >>
<< Until I
met you I never considered how important it is to me, Strom. I
was just satisfied to get what little I could from Chet. >>
wouldn’t expect you to give him up if you join with me, Lyle.
He’s your bonded brother. You shouldn’t just cut him out of your
life. Just like you became a part of his life, he can become a
part of ours. >>
like that, it’s just I don’t know when I’ll be able to devote my full
time to you, Strom. I don’t think I could teach school while
carrying our bairns. >>
not? >> Strom teased.
suppose I could wear bigger clothing, and tell everyone I have a
glandular problem. I could tell them I gained unwanted weight;
only, it would be a lie because it would be very much wanted.
>> Lyle laughed and Strom squeezed his hand with his huge
could quit teaching and come live with me out here. We could set
up residence within this community. We could probably take over
this farm. I could farm and you could teach school in the
community. I overheard some folks talking with Captain Long and
Mr. Goodnight about saving some school teachers from the government so
they could have a school. Right now they have some same sex folks
come in to teach. They seem to make great teachers, and they’ve
never had a problem. >>
<< If we
got together, would we have a ceremony? >>
<< We can
have whatever you like. I wouldn’t mind. I rather like
ceremonies. I think we probably should for those who love
us. Your sister-in-law backed me into a corner and wagged her
finger at me. She told me if we didn’t allow her to be part of
our bonding she would personally turn me over her knee. >>
Strom bellowed out loud with laugher. He had a booming, resonant
laugh that echoed over the valley and hills.
Finally, a big,
long wagon pulled along side. It was loaded with hay and there
were several couples laying about; cowboys with cowgirls, cowboys
together, and cowgirls together. It was an old fashion but
ride. It was going to the end of the road, turn around and head
back into town. They stopped and offered Lyle and Strom a
ride. Strom saw it was being pulled by a team of six stalwart
horses and he agreed. He had a strong sense of overburdening
animals. They climbed in to the hay and lay together in each
others’ arms. It was very romantic. They made a little
love. The two men next to them stuck their heads up from
curiosity about Strom.
“How is it to
make love to a lummox?” One asked Lyle.
chuckled. The guys laughed.
“Ouuu, tell me
more!” the smaller of the two giggled.
he such a size queen.”
true. If I was a size queen I wouldn’t be with you.” Marvin
snapped at his mate.
That hurt!” laughed his partner as he swatted Marvin on his butt.
for me lover. Don’t chu’ worry none.” Marvin cooed.
talk?” asked Marvin’s mate.
me.” replied Lyle as he smiled at Strom.
“Now, that’s the
kind of man to have!” the other exclaimed and they laughed again.
They reached the
end of the road. Lyle and Strom got off the wagon, thanked the
driver, waved ‘goodbye’ to everyone and headed down the long road to
the old barn. They were only about halfway to the barn when the
hay wagon was out of sight. It was completely dark by the time
they reached the barn. Lyle found the kerosene lantern hanging on
a nail by the door where he left it. He lit it and they climbed
the ladder to the loft. Lyle got his personal bag and excused
himself to go into the house to clean himself. It was their first
time together, and he wanted everything to be perfect.
farmhouse was serviceable and kept in good shape. Several of the
families from surrounding farms would get together once a month to
clean the house and do minor repairs. It had running hot and cold
water and was as comfortable as any modern house, except it didn’t have
electricity. It had power lines running to it, but since no one
was using it, the town didn’t see any reason to hook it up. Now
that tourism was beginning to be a major market for them they were
considering it. Lyle carefully cleaned himself and returned to
the loft. He found Strom laying out on the soft blankets they
brought along. He looked so handsome Lyle immediately popped a
He wasted no
time shucking his clothes off and going to his lover’s waiting
arms. They lay together in a fond embrace for quite a
while. Lyle shut off the lantern and they were alone in the
dark. Lyle could smell the unique fragrance of Strom’s huge body
and it was like an intoxicating aphrodisiac to him. Since Ping
and Pong were experts in communicating with pheremones, they made it a
personal study to find out why lummox and human male bondings were so
It took them
several years of research, but their conclusions were
indisputable. They found each lummox male was capable of
producing his own unique personal pheromones that would be a strong
to a human male of his choosing, and he was capable of adjusting it,
although unconsciously, to tailor fit the human male he found
attractive; however, it was a two way street. By producing such a
powerfully bonding pheromone, it also released strong pleasure
endorphins within the lummox male he could find nowhere else.
endorphins were highly addictive and once experienced could rarely be
overcome. It was almost an impossible task to create an antidote
because each was unique to the couple who produced them. It was,
in effect, a double edged sword; however, it had a downside. If
either lost a bonded male mate due to death, it triggered a withdrawal
that was almost impossible to overcome. Garron suffered through
it twice and the horrors of that period of his life still haunted
him. The only sure cure for a lummox was to bond with another
human male. In some rare cases a lummox male would take on a
lummox female for a mate, but they never had the same, strong
Lyle and Strom
were in the infancy of such a journey. They were counseled and
warned of the difficulties; however, they were so drawn to one another,
they couldn’t hear a word anyone was saying. Ping and Pong shook
their heads and agreed, so it was with lovers throughout the
universe. Lyle and Strom’s bonding was the closest you could get
to the textbook love at first sight. Lyle never let himself go
with anyone like he was with Strom. He was all over him, tasting
and sampling all of him. Strom wasn’t a shy lover. He took
matters into his own hands and soon had Lyle begging for mercy.
Lyle wanted Strom to take him, but he was worried. Strom felt it.
the matter, my love? >> Strom asked.
<< Will I
become pregnant right away? >>
<< No, no.
>> Strom laughed, << Us Lummox can control our proto-embryo
discharge. All I will release into you is seminal fluids which
will bring me great physical release and pleasure. Without my
proto-embryo there will be nothing to fertilize. >>
Lyle was quiet
for a moment. << Seems sad in a way. >> Lyle thought
will come a day, little one, we will both agree on. Until then,
we can enjoy each other without procreating. It’s like someone
once quoted to me from your holy book, ‘There is a season for
everything under heaven.’ So it will be with us. When it is
time for us to have bairns, we will know. Then that will be the
time we will rejoice in. >>
<< I love
you, Strom. >>
<< I love
you, too, my little human. >>
Lyle was a good
size man at six foot three, but he had to admit, in Strom’s huge arms
he felt like a young, teenage boy. It was a good feeling, and he
relaxed to prepare himself to be taken by his monster. He felt
like he could take Strom. They were on the precipice of
consummating their love. Strom was poised at Lyle's
entrance. The moment was theirs,. . . when they heard a soft
crying sound. It sounded almost like a human child, afraid and
<< Do you
hear that? >> Lyle sent to Strom.
do. What do you think it is? >>
<< I don’t
know, but we better investigate. >> Lyle said. Strom
didn’t respond, but nodded his agreement.
They got up and
Lyle quickly pulled on his clothes. He carefully lit the kerosene
lantern, and they quietly descended the ladder from the loft.
They followed the soft crying sound to a corner of the barn. Lyle
held the lantern high and they saw a black and white fluff ball trying
to hide under a gunny sack behind a bale of hay.
“What are you
doing back there, little one?” Lyle spoke softly.
afraid. I’m scared. I got separated from my family.
Two big mean cats chased me here, and I’ve been wandering all over
trying to get back to my family.” said the pup.
“Which one are
you?” Lyle chuckled.
safe now. C’mon out.”
The pup bounded
out and into Lyle’s hands. Strom smiled and took the lantern from
Cam-bers, and he be big daddy Strom.” she was all over Lyle
licking and kissing him. She was so relieved and happy to see
friendly faces. Strom rolled his eyes at Lyle as if to say, ‘so
much for our love making.’ Lyle grinned and shook his head.
Laverne. Come, we’ll take you to bed with us. You’ll be
safe with us, and we’ll take you back tomorrow.”
“But my family
will be worried about me.”
won’t. I have my cell phone with me. I’ll call Master Waco
and tell him you’re with us.”
“That would be
okay, I guess.”
“Well, it will
have to be because we ain’t gonna’ take you back tonight, and we won’t
let you try it alone. You’re jes’ too damn small to be out in the
world by yourself right now.”
argue. She was too happy to be safe. Lyle took the lantern
from Strom, handed Strom the pup and climbed the latter to the
loft. Strom handed him the pup and then climbed the ladder
himself. Lyle found his cell phone in his back pack and
pressed Waco’s number. Waco answered immediately.
Chambers?” he saw who was calling.
“Yes, it’s me,
Waco. Are you missing a pup?”
“Yes, Laverne is
missing and we’ve been looking all over for her. We’ve got half
the damn town out searching.”
“Well, tell them
to stop looking. She’s with us. She said she got lost and
some cats chased her. She ended up in the barn we’re saying
in. She was scared, cold and alone. We’ll take care of her
tonight and bring her back to town tomorrow.”
Sir. We really appreciate your help. It will be a relief
for everyone. Scraps and Happy have been so worried. Ox, me
and the dogs are staying with Blue and Keeke tonight so if you just
bring her by there in the morning, it will be fine.”
Waco. We’ll be up early and bring her in.”
Strom took the pup to their bed and put her between them. She was
bundle of nervous energy. She didn’t know who to love
first. She was
smart, though. She knew where the extra milk she and her litter
mates loved so much came from and she could smell it in Strom’s big
teats. She made a couple of attempts to lick them. Strom
looked at Lyle and winked at him. He nodded his head. Lyle
laughed at her.
“Are you hungry,
“Oh, yes, Sir,
Mr. Cam-ber. Laverne very hungry. Didn’t eat much ‘cause
Master Waco said for us not to. He didn’t want us getting sick.”
“Would you like
some lummox milk?”
“If it wouldn’t
be too much trouble, Sir.”
“I think it
could be arrange. I have a big, handsome lummox for a close
friend, and if you’re very good I might talk him into letting you have
some. Do you know how to suck without biting?”
Sir. I won’t bite big daddy Strom, and I’ll be good, I
promise. I learned my lesson today. I won’t wander off on
my own no more.”
said as he picked her up and handed her to his giant friend.
Strom smiled at her and put her on his left teat. She hooked up
to him immediately and started drinking like a pro. Her little
tail was wagging back and forth like a metronome set to prestissimo
while she drank Strom's warm, sweet milk.
that looks good. >> Lyle commented.
<< I just
happen to have an extra one what ain’t being used. >> Strom
smiled at Lyle.
wouldn’t mind? >>
would be a pleasure. They been so full lately they’re starting to
hurt a little. You’d be doing me a favor. >>
Lyle smiled, but
he didn’t hesitate. He hooked up to Strom’s other big teat and
started to drink his share. Strom began to sing to them. It
was a deep, soft lullaby. Lyle had about enough and found himself
getting drowsy. He looked up and noticed Laverne was gone.
Strom smiled at him and pointed down to his mid-section. There
was a good size lump where his pouch was.
offered her lodging accommodations for the night and she accepted.
>> Strom laughed. << She went right to sleep. She
hasn’t moved since. >>
wish I was smaller. I’d crawl in there with her. >> They
shared a laugh. << I’m sorry for the interruption, Strom. >>
be. It’s part of our journey. It’s like the wisdom of the
ancients are trying to show us a small picture of our future
together. We have a small one to protect and take care of for the
night. Years from now we’ll remember this evening as one of the
sweetest of our time together. >>
<< Could I
make it even sweeter for you, big daddy Strom? >> Lyle teased.
<< As you
wish, my Son. >> Strom replied.
Lyle found his
mate’s enormous member and began to pleasure him. Strom began to
sing again it was so pleasurable to him. He had his pouch filled
with a young life he was protecting for the moment and his chosen one
was bringing him pleasure of the most intimate kind. He had never
had anyone put their mouth on his penis before. The moment was so
very overwhelmingly erotic for him he found himself climaxing before he
really wanted to. Lyle drained all of his male milk from his
penis as surely as he drank the milk from his teats. It all
seemed to mix together into an unbeatable combination of flavors that
was at once as satisfying as it was addicting. Lyle knew, he
would never be able to escape this huge gentle creature. He knew
he would never want to. He was in it for the long haul.
They made a
little love, Strom told Lyle how handsome and wonderful he was to
him. Then the big lummox sang another lullaby for his mate.
It was only for Lyle and caused him to drift off into a deep, relaxed,
unencumbered sleep. It was easy resting in Strom’s huge
arms. Lyle felt safe and protected like Strom was taking away all
his worries and anxieties of the outside world. Strom became
Lyle’s peaceful oasis. Laverne couldn’t have agreed more.
She was exhausted from her fear of and flight from the evil, feral
cats. She felt fortunate she had a delicious meal and found a
room for the night. She was warm, comfortable and had her little
belly full of warm, sweet, nourishing lummox milk. She didn’t
have to worry about her brothers and sisters pushing and shoving her
about or farting in her face. She didn’t move all night. If
she knew about such things, she would’ve inquired about a lease.
* * * * * * *
The phone rang
at the parsonage. Pastor Yates answered and heard an irate
Jeremiah Scudder on the other end.
“I asked you to
do one simply thing for me and you refused. I’m really
disappointed with you Yates. I thought our friendship meant
something to you, aside from my position.” Jeremiah Scudder barked into
“It does, Dr.
Scudder, it’s just you placed me in an awkward position in my
community. I tried to explain it to your Temple Guards when they
were here, but they refused to listen to me. I’m sorry I had to
be so blatantly honest with you, but you’re talking about taking these
folks' town heroes away from them. They’re oppressed enough as it
is without you taking the one thing that unites them and they live for
on Friday nights.”
“Are you saying
my policies are oppressing our great nation, Yates?”
“No, Sir, Dr.
Scudder, but you’ve told me some things are out of your hands.
You said the reason our nation’s in a financial bind is because of the
huge multinational mega-corporations mismanagement. Our
folks are barely making ends meet. A few are doing better than
others. Some of the bigger ranchers are doing okay, but they’ve
fallen on hard times as well. These folks work hard to carve out
a living for themselves and their families. Farm and ranch work
has always been under the thumb of government and big business. They
work sixteen to eighteen hours a day to make a decent living.
It’s hard backbreaking work, but they do it because they love it.
It’s their life and it’s been in their blood for generations.
After a hard
week of work they look forward to forgetting about all that’s happened
with our country and all they wanna’ do is spend a relaxed evening
watching their local highschool heroes play a great game of
football. You have to agree you saw our boys play an amazing game
when you visited. If you got to know these folks a little better,
maybe come here regularly and preach in my church, they’d warm up to
your proposal. I just think it would be the wrong thing to do to
push them on this. I’m sorry if you don’t agree; however, if you
insist on taking further action it’s up to you, I won’t be a part of
“You didn’t even
go to them and present my generous offer, did you, Yates?”
I didn’t. I went to my father-in-law who knows most of the men in
this community and had a long talk with him. He advised me not to
put it before them. I don’t have a strong base in this community,
Dr. Scudder. I’ve lost a lot of my membership due to
dissatisfaction in the way things are going in our country. Many
are losing faith in your leadership, Sir.” David cringed as he
said his last words.
are, too, Yates.”
Sir. You know I’m devoted to you, Dr. Scudder, but sometimes it
takes a true friend and not a ‘yes’ man to tell a friend he’s making a
mistake; and, for what it’s worth, Sir, I think it would be a big
mistake on your part to push this. I know there’s other sources
for you get the staff you require. Why must it be from our
quite for a few minutes like he was mulling over David’s
comments. He had to admit the man was being forthright with
him. He was standing up to him and sticking to his guns, but
Scudder figured it was from stupidity rather than bravery.
Scudder couldn’t help but make one more push, one more bluff. He
didn’t get to where he was by having some little jerkwater preacher
tell him ‘no.’
“Look, I gave
you an assignment and I damn well expect you to carry it out. Now
you take my propositions to them men and tell them it would be foolish
to resist me. Now, I got more important things to do than argue
with you. I got me a country to run. I don’t wanna’ hear
from you again until you carry out my order. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Sir, I
heard the Holy Prophet slam the phone down to cut him off before he
could tell him he wouldn’t do what he asked. Sonny was
right. David had no choice but to throw his lot in with the
Grange. He was more sure now than ever. As preacher Yates
saw it, his choice was little more than
the lesser of two evils.
End Of Chapter
29 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2007 ~
* With grateful
thanks and humble apologies to Mr. Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke
for quoting their wonderful song, “Swinging On A Star,” made popular by
Bing Crosby in the 1944 RKO Academy Award winning film “Going My Way.”