Angus and his
family returned from El Paso early the next morning. Before he
left, Angus gave
Cole work assignments for the cowboys for the next couple of
days. They were up and working by the time the Goodnight family
returned. Shane was working with Cole and several other cowboys
separating some cows for inspection for possible parasites and
diseases. Angus tried to have Bill Birdsall transferred to the
in their small town, but since it was a suicide
attempt they were holding him under police authority. The
theocracy took a dim view of people attempting suicide and treated them
like they were suspected criminals. Like anti-abortions, it was
another warped fundamentalist Christianist’s vision of
life. Sending thousands off to die in some phony, trumped up
corporate-inflating war was okay. Economic policies so stupid a
fifth grader could come up with a better plan
caused millions to starve to death, but was considered healthy for
economy. Death was
stripped of its human
component. Language was skewed to remove the individual.
Instead of the singular word ‘soldier’ they began to use the word
‘troops.’ A soldier’s death is identifiable with an
individual. 'Troops,' draws the attention of death away from the
of personal loss. Ultimately any death, soldier or civilian
became part of the corporate game of unavoidable casualties.
Death was not counted in personal suffering but as unfortunate
accidents of war,
but the taking of life, as the lunatic fundamentalist fringe,
Christo-nazi base defined it, whether it be by one’s own hand or a
woman’s right to choose became a bozo-no-no.*
All this became the
drumbeat and war cry of a small minority who pushed for a theocratic
oligarchy under the guise of religion, which never was so much about
lifesaving as it was about control of the masses. Insidious and
nefarious politicians saw the wingnut finge as the perfect vehicle to
rise to power much like the Nazi party in Germany in the nineteen
thirties. Just wave several carrots of hate in front of them like
homosexuality and abortion and the neo-cons rode them to power.
By the time the
sleepy, lumbering giant of the majority of Americas, who were pretty
much middle of the road politically, began to wake up and take notice
they were losing their democracy along with their freedom, it was
already too late. Those who supposedly represented the Jesus
freaks had won. The irony of it was, with the passage of new
slavery laws homosexuality as practiced among slave owners, masters
and their slaves, became rampant. It became the norm rather than
the exception, and began to backfire on the religious right's
sensibilities. Furthermore, it made many slave owners reevaluate
their attitudes toward homosexuality. They became far more
tolerent. It was just considered part of being a successful slave
owner. They knew it went on all around them, but they just never
talked much about it except unto themselves.
Because it was practiced and talked about among
slave owners, male sexuality reached a new unspoken understanding and
tolerance toward male/male bondings. It became so strong and
pervasive throughout society the wingnuts went crazy trying to shore up
the leaking dam they so ardently tried to construct against personal
freedoms. While they successfully reinstituted slavery,
they never considered the secondary consequences. As usual, the
right wing was as terminally myopic about slavery as any of their many
other failures. Once the goblin was out of its sack, it was
almost impossible to put him back. They tried in vain to pass
laws against slave owners
practicing homosexuality with their slaves, but it was too big a
business and too wealthy a lobby to successfully pass even minimal
restrictions. Naturally, it slowly caused a great rift between
slave owners and the fundamentalist. Why should the slave owners
go to church, be yelled at and told they were sinners who would surely
burn in a lake of fire for all eternity unless they stopped their
wicked practices, then asked to donate a tithe from their profits to
further the Christianist demented causes?
Lazarus and Charlie to feel them out about Bill Birdsall. He was
secretly hoping to play on both men’s compassionate nature to intercede
for Bill. Lazarus was open but left the final decision with
Charlie. Charlie put his boot down and told Angus, Bill was too
local celebrity and would bring too much attention to the Grange.
They would be taking too great a chance of arousing suspicions the
might be more than their store front window dressing belied. If
push came to shove and Bill was put away someplace, after things
simmered down they might reconsider, but for the present Charlie
suggested Angus wait and see how it was going to play out.
reminded him of Shane’s upcoming hearing, and he wanted to know what,
if any, plans Angus was making for his brother’s transition to becoming
a free man.
“I’m working on
it. Shane and I are booked into the lodge for tonight. I’m
gonna’ tell him how I plan to help him.”
“Tell him how
you plan to help him? What ever happened to working with someone
to consider their interests? For the love of God, Angus, he ain't
jes' no ordinary slave, he's our baby brother. Are you going to
ask to hear any
ideas or request he might have?” Charlie asked.
ideas? He ain’t said a word about no plans.” Angus insisted.
you ain't never talk with him, Angus. You’re always yelling at
ordering him around. You never sit down with him and find out
what he’s thinking. After ten years of your domination, I doubt
seriously he would be forthcoming with you for fear of offending
you. You’ve had months to slowly feel him out, but all I
hear is you’re ignoring him and Bill Birdsall has been treating him
like pariah. And it ain’t from Shane I’m hearing this. He
don’t never talk about you. If you just want a final roll in the
hay with him as your slave that’s understandable I suppose, but for
cries sake, Angus, his hearing is in two frick'n days and no one’s
damn thing about any plans you might have or any you’ve discussed with
him. You been too damn busy with Bill Birdsall. You got
chore' nose stuck up his butt when you should be seeing to your little
brother's welfare." Charlie was the only men who could get away
with saying something like that to Angus.
“I know, I
know, you're right, but I plan to take care of all that tonight.
We just need a
chance for Shane and I to get off together, by ourselves, away
from everything and talk.”
disappointed with you brother. If you need a third party, you
know I’m available. If you keep up your master/slave routine with
him another day he’s not going to be honest with you, and there’s a
very good chance he’ll walk away, reject anything you might try to
offer and cut you out of his life forever. Maybe that don’t
mean nothing to you, but he means a hell of a lot to me and a very
large number of other folks. I personally know of thirty men,
maybe more, who will stand up for that boy to guarantee his success,
and I’m numbering myself as one of them. Now there’s the extra
added burden of this incident with Bill Birdsall. I can
understand a man taking his own life when his failures and the
pressures of this world get to be too much, but when he does it in such
a transparent and sordid manner to manipulate and garner sympathy, it
makes me wanna' puke. Shane don’t need that kind of
pressure. He needs you to protect him against that sort of crap
He’s got enough on his plate as it is, but he’s in limbo right now and
as his master, it’s your responsibility to see he comes through this
transition with as little emotional trauma as possible.”
“I’ll talk with
him tonight and get back to you tomorrow. I told him I wouldn’t
leave him high and dry. I’ll make sure he has enough to get
himself established. You know I set up a fund for him the year he
became my slave, and I’ve added to it each year. All yours,
Lazarus and others donations for his birthday and Christmas every year
have gone into it. I kept accurate records you’re welcome to
audit. It’s now a little over a hundred thousand dollars.
That should be a comfortable nest egg for him to get established.”
“All right, but
don’t be surprised if there are some men who do an end run around
you. The whole community is up in arms about Bill Birdsall and
how he’s treated Shane. It just ain’t right, Angus, and you know
it. I don’t care if Birdsall is yore' right hand man, and you’re
joined at the hip with him, you better consider separating
yourself. He’s bad news. He has little credibility in this
community anymore, and frankly we’re worried about him turning against
Charlie, all right! I hear your concern, and I’ll get back
to you. We were with Bill, and I talked with him. I can
promise you he won’t say nothing about Grange activities. I’m
under a lot of pressure right now, but I’m devoting this afternoon and
Shane. Gotta’ run, brother, talk to you tomorrow.” Angus hung up on
Charlie. Charlie was not pleased. He wanted to talk with
Shane in the worst way, but since they came back from Venus, Angus kept
Shane on a short leash. Angus was pissed because the Banshee was
delayed getting back to Mars. He had a horseshoeing deal set up
for him and Cole but when Shane didn’t get back on time he lost the
contract and the customer went with another farrier. Angus lost
money. It wasn’t a great deal of money, but any loss was a big
deal to Angus.
Cole came into
check with Angus and give him a progress report. Angus appointed
Cole that morning as lead cowboy. Angus listened but only
heard a few words Cole said. He got the feeling everything
was running smoothly and nodded his approval.
“When you go
back out there send Shane to me. Thanks, Cole.” he
Angus’ office with his hat in his hand. Angus motioned for him to
sit down as he was right in the middle of something. Shane set
for about half an hour, and Angus hadn’t even acknowledged him.
He got up and whispered he would come back in a hour when Angus wasn't
“No, no, I’ll
only be a minute. Sit!” he barked at Shane. Angus’
phone rang. He answered.
ranch, Angus speaking.” when he heard the voice on the other end, he
“Angus, this is
Judge Potter. How are you?” he heard the old judge say.
considering. How are you, Sir?”
sorry to hear about Mr. Birdsall. Shane was good enough to call
me last evening after he got home to give me the news. I’m glad
he did. It’s an important development and could have some bearing
on his case. How is Shane holding up?”
“I ain’t had
time to talk with him, yet. He just got to my office a while
ago. He’s sitting right here, Judge. You wanna’ speak
“No, that won’t
be necessary. He did another fine job for me yesterday, and once
again, I appreciate you loaning him to me. I need to know what
long range plans you and Shane have decided. At this late date I
assume some plans have been made.”
I’ve been real busy with business and what with this thing with my
foreman, running things alone, I’ve been swamped, but Shane and I are
getting away this evening to talk and hammer something out.”
good, but you should have been working with him months ago.”
“I know, Judge,
but I just ain’t had the time.”
“So, you’ll have
something positive to present to me tomorrow?”
“I hope so,
need to see you in my office tomorrow morning. I need something
in writing from you so I can complete his case. I know this is
cutting it short, but I sent you forms to complete six months ago and
never received them back.”
“Oh, crap, I
forgot all about them forms. They’re still sitting in my ‘in’
basket. You have to have those by tomorrow, Judge?”
“Yes, you’ve had
six months, Angus. I need those forms. Now, since we’re
friends you be in my office tomorrow morning at nine o’clock, and I’ll
help you with them. Even if you completed them and sent them to
me, I would’ve scheduled an appointment with you to discuss plans and
go over last minute details of his hearing.”
“Yes, I have a
full day tomorrow so that’s the only time I can see you. Don’t be
late. Look forward to seeing you, Angus.”
“Yes, Sir, you
green around the gills as he slowly hung up the phone. He
shuffled through some papers in the basket on his desk and found the
forms. He grimaced at them and threw them back into the basket.
“That was Judge
Potter. I have to go to his office tomorrow morning to discuss
plans for your release. We have to come up with something by
tomorrow morning. Have you given any thought to what you want to
I’ve had some ideas, but don’t know how realistic they are without much
“Why ain’t you
shrugged his shoulders and slumped in the chair. He thought if he
didn’t start having the courage to stand up for himself, how could he
ever expect to lead for him and Cole? “You’re always
too busy. Just like now. You call for me and have me sit
for an hour before you even acknowledge me.”
Shane saw Angus’
eyes flash. He knew Angus too well. He felt an Angus rant
coming in which Shane was always the one at fault and how Angus was
there for him to come to, anytime.
“I just assumed
you’d want to stay here, work for me and be on the payroll until you
finish your probation and get on your feet if you decide to move
away. You do realize you’re gonna’ be on probation for another
five years? It’s a tough world out there and the closer you are
to people who know and love you the less likely you are to get into
raced through his head. Sure, being on Angus’ payroll meant slave
wages imposed by the corporate theocracy and never raised since the
turn of the century. After Friday, he might be a free man on
paper, but under Angus’ stern authoritarian rule every single thing he
did would be open for scrutiny. At the least infraction, Angus
would have him before the court to rescind his probation so he would be
a slave for another five years, maybe more. Shane heard it all
before. He felt doomed. Maybe if he could get Angus off
world where they were more equal he might just stand a chance.
Shane was loved and admired in all the colonies, and he was practically
a god on Mars and Venus. If he could get Angus in bed, and get
him relaxed he knew he could probably get more from him in any
“Does this mean
you’re cancelling our trip for this afternoon and evening, Master?”
Shane was looking at his hands with his head down. It was a body
message to Angus of anticipated rejection and despair.
“No, no, Son,
that’s why I called you in here to see if you’re ready to go.”
light. I’m already packed, Sir. I can be ready to go in ten
“Okay, be back
here in my office at two o’clock and we’ll take off. Wear your
good Western clothes ‘cause I’m taking you to supper at the ‘Jungle
I’m looking forward to it, Master. I’ll be here.”
“By the way,
how’s it working out for you staying in the bunkhouse?” Angus inquired.
grinned and shrugged his shoulders. Angus laughed at his
reference to Cole’s stoic cowboy silence.
Birdsall ain’t gonna’ be back for a while, you can move back in there
if you like.”
“Thanks, but no
thanks. Too many bad memories haunt that place for me, and I’m
more comfortable with ma’ slave brothers.”
understandable. Okay, be back here at two.”
here. Thanks, Master.” Shane turned and left.
Angus picked up
the forms and looked at them again. They looked complicated and
asked questions he hadn’t taken the time to consider. He never
liked paperwork and bureaucracies. He liked Judge Potter because
Angus grew up with his boy and the old Judge had done many favors for
him over the years. Loaning one of his slaves to Potter from time
to time was the only thing Angus ever did for the old man. Angus
set and thought for a few minutes. Why hadn’t he done something
before now? He wasn’t one to wait until the last minute to do
anything. He knew in his heart he wasn’t being honest with
himself. Subconsciously he was hoping if he did nothing, if there
were no solid plans for his transition, Shane might be overwhelmed by
the prospect, become frustrated and opt for five more years of
slavery. Now the wolf was at the door and unless he pulled a
rabbit out of the hat pretty damn quick, Shane would be a free man in
two more days. Maybe if he could really shower Shane with love
this evening, fuck him really good, he could talk him into staying as a
hired hand on the ranch and Angus would still have control over
him. Ah, but the colonies and the threat of working for Lazarus
Long or his brother was looming in the back of Angus’ mind.
* * * * * * *
Shane was about
to leave the bunkhouse to meet Angus. He told Cole about Judge
Potter’s phone call to Angus, his reaction and how he had a meeting
with the judge in his office at nine tomorrow morning. Cole
“I knew the
minute he ordered me to fill you up last night he was looking out for
your best interest. You done good to have him in your
corner. I think you might just come out of this smelling like a
rose to match that sweet little hole of yore’n.” Cole grinned wickedly.
“I got the
feeling he just may be our ace in the hole, just like your were mine
last night.” Shane grinned back. He was almost ready to leave for
“I guess this is
it, odd-job.” Cole said quietly.
“Can I get a hug
for good luck?” Shane asked.
“I’ll give you
more’n nat, boy.” Cole took him into his arms and kissed him
passionately. Shane could smell the clean masculine odors from
Cole’s strong body; a hint of cheap aftershave; healthy sweat; new mown
hay; saddle leather; horse sweat; and, a hint of cow dung. All
the fragrances of the hyper-masculine cowboy he loved so dearly.
(cue music: soft guitar playing Red River Valley)
“Thanks, Pa, I
“Ain’t got no
advice for you. Don’t wanna’ pressure you no more’n you already
are. Just remember, even if you can’t take me with you in the
deal, I want you to make damn sure your freedom is secure. You
come first, and no matter what’s decided, I’ll never stop loving you.”
pressure, huh? Our whole future may damn well depend on this
“I know’d your
brother for years, odd-job. ‘Neath his facade of being the
roughest, toughest, meanest, root’n, toot’n hombre West of
the Pecos beats the heart of a sensitive and tender buckaroo.
do his dead-level best to ride you down hard ‘til he breaks you to his
saddle. Don’t get angry with him. Stay strong and focused,
but above all don’t let him buffalo you, boy.”
“I’ll try not
* * * * * * *
Shane arrived at
Angus’ office at two on the dot. Angus was nowhere around.
Shane knew it was a bad sign. He sat and waited until it was
almost three when Angus finally stomped into his office winded like
he’d been running.
“Sorry I’m a
little late, Son. I got hung up with something. Ready?”
Shane had been
ready for almost an hour, but he didn’t say anything. He just
picked up his backpack and slung it over his shoulder. The men
headed for the old barn. Shane set the gate coordinates for the
Bandersnatch and pounded his fist against the four by four next to
it. The gate sprang up and he and Angus stepped through onto the
Bandersnatch. They were met by Cable and his men.
Goodnight and Captain Shane. Good to see you again. I
believe you’re here to pass through to Mars port.”
Cable. Thank you.” said Angus.
this way, Sirs.” Cable directed them. They knew the way, but it
was ship’s procedures anyone passing through major gates would be
accompanied by members of the ship’s staff. Cable saw them to the
gate, instructed Kyron to open it, and they passed through to emerge at
Mars port station. They could have taken the tram but opted to
walk to the lodge instead. It wasn’t very far. As they
walked into the lobby the place was busy with android attendants,
workers and visitors from the colonies who were vacationing or visiting
at the lodge. Everything stopped as Angus and Shane entered the
doors of the big hotel. Eight androids descended on them
and a number of guests staying at the lodge saw their hero, Captain
Shane Goodnight, unexpectedly walk through the doors.
welcome to Mars port lodge, Sir. We’re so honored to have you
stay with us. We had no idea you were coming. We have
reservations for an A. Goodnight and guest. Welcome, Sir.” the
android manager gushed. Another almost yanked his backpack away
to carry it for him. Another took Angus’ bag as an
afterthought. Fifteen adoring fans rushed up to Shane and asked
for his autograph. Angus was stunned. After thirty minutes
of welcoming and signing in at the front desk the manager spoke quietly
Captain Shane, we didn’t know you would be staying with us. We’ve
upgraded your accommodations to a suite which will be comped by the
Venus co-op corporation headed by Mr. Darryl. We hope you will
find everything to your satisfaction. If you need anything sir,
we have a separate staff of androids on call to see to your
needs. We are honored and pleased to have you stay with us, Sir,
and you, too, Mr. A. Goodnight. Enjoy your stay.”
androids took Angus and Shane to their suite. Angus didn't say a
word. He was dumbfounded. He didn’t know whether to laugh
or be angry. Who was this young man he called his slave? He
was no longer his baby brother. He was a man of several
worlds. He was making his own way in the universe without so much
as a howdy-do. He knew Shane adopted much of the stoic, humble
cowboy persona from working with Cole Jenkins year in and year out, but
this was way beyond his imaginings. The androids showed them
where everything was and how to call for service. They stressed
everything for their stay was being comped including any meals at any
restaurant in Mars port. They said their farewells and
left. Angus stood and looked at the huge suite in awe. As
they were looking around a knock came at the door.
Shane. In marched five androids, each with a different
arrangement of the most exotic and beautiful flowers.
the management, Captain Shane. Enjoy your stay, Sir.” the main
android said, and they left as quickly as they arrived. Shane got
a big grin on his face but turned away from Angus so he wouldn’t
“How long have
you been a Captain in Admiral Long’s fleet, Son?”
“A little over a
“I think we can
cut out the ‘master’ crap here, boy. We both know you ain’t my
slave on this world.”
true, Master Angus. I’m still your slave for two more days.
I’m just as surprised by all this as you, but if you remember I was one
of the founders of this lodge. You don’t know of my adventures on
Venus and what we accomplished there. I’m as much a hero there as
here. Just like you, I live two separate lives, but that’s how it
has to be right now for all of us.”
very little chance you’re going to continue on at the ranch with me
when there are many other options available to you.”
chance, Master, but we didn’t come here to talk about much of
anything. We came here so you could fuck your slave one last time
before he becomes a free man.”
put it that way.” Angus set on the edge of the huge bed with his big
hands together, his arms resting on his legs, bent forward with his
head down in a defeated manner. “I brought you here to share love with
you.” he raised his head to look Shane in the eyes.
“I’m open to
that. I’d really like to experience love with you once.” he
replied without nuance. It was a flat but subtle
accusation. Angus had no come back. Shane nailed him to the
barndoor. He knew it was true. Shane didn’t want this to
turn into a fight. He wanted to please his brother to get from
him what he wanted. He felt like a cheap prostitute. No,
that wasn’t strong enough. He felt like a whore of biblical
proportions (read: Judith) who planned to use his body (read: honey
trap) to win the freedom of his people (read: surrogate dad/cowboy
slave) from an infidel tyrant (read: Holofernes/Angus). Shane
smiled to himself and thought, ‘Judge Potter would appreciate the
analogy.’ He remembered from Sunday school the story of how
Holofernes drunk before she seduced him and cut off his head.
Shane grinned wickedly to himself as he asked seductively,
“May I fix you a
drink, Master? Our bar is fully stocked and everything is on the
“Will you join
I’m still a slave on Earth, and I ain’t allowed no liquor, but more
importantly I’m a teetotaler. You can’t be a captain of a
spaceship and drink strong spirits. It dulls the senses.” Shane
said with considerable conviction. Angus was impressed.
“Fix me a neat
bourbon on the rocks, slave.” Shane moved to the bar to fix Angus a
drink. “You have your own ship?” Angus asked.
“Yes, Sir, the
“Why ain’t chu’
never invited me aboard?”
“I didn’t want
to mix my lives. Besides, you’re always too busy with the
ranch. It’s funny though, you can find time a couple of
times a month to get away through the gates to bring Master Waco’s
slave here to fuck him. I think that qualifies as a form of
love. He sees you as his hero, and you love him for worshiping
you. You both cultivated it from the time he was a young boy
until it grew into a mature affection. However you see it, I’m
convinced you love him, and he loves you.” Shane handed him his
drink. Angus took a sip.
“You ain’t said
nothing to nobody about that, have you, boy?" Angus questioned
better’n nat. I would be giving away a lot more than your
dalliance. I would never compromise the Grange. Besides, my
cowboy brother loves you with all his heart. I wouldn’t do
anything to jeopardize his happiness. He thinks you hung the moon
and set the stars out at night.” Shane grinned at him and
continued, “And furthermore, I wouldn’t deny you the pleasure of his
company. I’m happy for the two of you. You have something
special with one another, and you have my humble blessings for what
“And you, little
brother, what do you think of me?” Angus challenged him.
“I ain’t chore’
little brother, Master, at least, for two more days. That’s what
you told me when I became your slave. Until I’m a certifiably
freeman I ain’t chore’ brother. I learned years ago to never
tell your master what you really think. You tell him what he
wants to hear. Keeping that in mind, I think you’re one of the
finest looking, ruggedly handsome cowboys I ever done laid eyes
on. You’re as generous as you are good looking, and I’m wildly
sexually attracted to you. I ain’t never had me no sex with
nobody so good as you, Sir. It will be my great privilege and
honor to service you one last time.” Shane poured on the cowboy horse
shit but in a sincere, convincing manner.
“That sort of
rips it for the love part, don’t it, slave?” Angus asked accusingly,
chuckling to himself.
“That depends on
you, Master. I told you I’m open to receive love from you— in the
bed or elsewhere.”
“Why do I get
the feeling I’m being set up by forces beyond my comprehension?” Angus
complained. Shane could only wish.
Master?” Shane didn’t wait for Angus to answer, “Maybe we’re setting
each other up. You want something and I want something, but we
have to satisfy each other first to get us to the place we each feel
will make us more vulnerable to the others ideas of how our futures
should play out.”
talked with me like this before, slave.” Angus accused.
allowed me to, but now you’re desperate. You have to listen to
me. That’s ostensibly why you brought me here, or did you lie to
Judge Potter? Ain’t a good thing to lie to a judge, Master,
especially one with his power. You’re gonna’ have to answer to
him tomorrow. You ain’t made no plans for me and left me to my
own devices. The same thing happened to me ten years ago. I
was a dumb kid and did a couple of stupid things. Rather than be
a strong father figure for me you insisted on treating me like a little
brother and left me to my own devices. I didn’t come up with that
story, you did. You
told everybody who would listen that’s what happen. You even went
and told the old judge. You were right, I didn’t need no older
brother, I needed a dad. I spent ten years paying for your
mistake. I got a dad all right, a fine one, but it took becoming
a slave to get me one.” Shane was referring to Cole, but he knew
Angus’ ego would think Shane meant him.
“It’s real easy
to play the blame game, slave. The truth is, you fucked up and
ran afoul of the law. You got sentenced ten to fifteen years
slavery. I could’ve turned my back on you, but I didn’t. At
the time, money was scarce for everyone, but my brothers and me went
together and bought your ass to save you from being sold to an
unscrupulous master who would’ve seen to it you were enslaved for
life. We done our part. I spent ten years trying to
straighten you out.”
mistake, I’m grateful to you and Master Charlie, but ten years have
passed and according to the law, I’ve atoned for my sins, kept my nose
clean, my mouth shut, and if I can only make it two more days I’ll be a
freeman. It seems mighty damn strange to me none of your kids
every ran afoul of the law and suffered the same fate as me.
Blame game be damned! I’m older now, but only a bit wiser.
Just wise enough, I won’t allow what happened to me then to happen
again. As I see it, we’re here for three reasons. One, for
you to fuck your slave; two, to have supper; and three, to tell me what
you have planned for me. Am I right, Master? Do I have the
“I guess that’s
it in a nutshell.”
“Good, I’ve been
looking forward to the first two parts. The third, not so much.”
good. Two out a’ three ain’t bad. Get chore’ cowboy butt in
there and clean yore’self good. At the very least, I’m gonna’
enjoy me one last piece of outstanding slave ass.”
“Now that’s the
master I know and love.” Shane laughed and gathered his hygiene kit
from his backpack. “Fuck the love part, Master Angus, you’re at your
very best when you take what you want without regard to your
slave. I certainly wouldn’t want to break with tradition at this
point. Besides, I learned to love that part of you. Still
do. Always will. I got a little tip for you to remember:
If’n we ever fuck again as free men or brothers, if you don’t fuck me
like your slave, I won’t
be satisfied.” was Shane’s parting shot as he
walked away to the sumptuous bath facilities. It was the only
bathroom he’d ever seen which had wall to wall mirrors and even mirrors
on the ceiling and floor, but they weren’t regular glass mirrors.
They seemed to be a highly polished metal that maintained an image
fidelity far greater than silver-backed glass. A thought shot
through Shane’s brain. ‘I wonder if I can talk him into fucking me in
here where I can see everything going on and in and out.’ he got an
instant erection. Better yet, if he could bring his beloved pa
here and do the same with him. Don’t jinx things by thinking on
Cole, he told himself. Keep him in your back pocket. He’s
your strength. He’s your purpose. Shane returned
to find Angus poured himself another drink and was sitting nude in the
hot tub. Shane had to admit his brother was still a sexy man and
the longshot made him look years younger. He didn’t look too much
older than Shane, but he was a little taller. Shane was so
developed he had an edge on his brother for size. He realized he
had grown to look so much like Angus it was like having sex with an
alter ego of himself. He watched as his brother finished his
drink. He reached down for Angus’ empty glass.
Master?” he smiled. This was going better than he expected.
slave, then that’s it. Thanks.” the other two drinks were kicking
in. Angus senses were just a bit dulled. He was blissfully
unaware of Shane’s plot. Shane fixed his drink, four fingers
instead of two, and returned it to him. He sat on the edge of the
Shane.” Angus offered. Shane eased himself into the hot
water. It felt good. It felt sensual. Angus reached
over and put his arm around him and pulled Shane closer. “No more
sparing, okay? What do you wanna’ hear? I fucked up with
you? You’re right, I did. I thought I made that clear years
ago, but I paid a price, too. Somebody had to pick up the pieces
no matter who was to blame and run with the ball. Weren’t nobody
who wanted to run in for the job of quarterback but me. You think
it was easy for me to put ma' little brother through slave training and
treat him like
a slave for ten gotdamn years? There weren’t a day went by I
didn’t have guilt pangs, but by God, I made up my mind, I was gonna’
see it through. I was gonna’ see you through it, and I done
it. Give me a little credit, Shane. I weren’t kidding the
other day in my office when I told ju’ I love you. I do love
you. Maybe it ain’t the kind of love you need, but I done tried
best under the circumstances. That’s all any man can do. I
ain’t asking your forgiveness, Shane. I don’t need it, because I
finally forgave myself. You’re gonna’ get chore’ freedom, but I
hope one day you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
“You couldn’t be
more wrong, my good Master, I don’t hold no grudges. I done
forgive you years ago, but we’re here for a reason and some things need
to be said or we ain’t gonna’ have no future as brothers; that is, if
you still want me for your brother after ten years of being your slave.”
“Of course, I
do. I done told you I was proud of you for making it, and I am.”
They sat in the
water on the balcony of the beautiful lodge until the light began to
fade. They could see large birds and an occasional flying pony
sail across the sky. It was a very romantic vista. Shane
began to massage Angus' tired shoulders and heard him sigh. He
knew this would start the ball rolling. After rubbing Angus for
half an hour Shane got out of the tub and got a large towel to dry
himself and one to dry his master. He vigorously toweled Angus
dry. He retrieved his cowboy boots and set them before him.
He helped him on with one then the other. Then Shane pulled his
boots on. He excused himself to go to the bathroom. There,
he lubed himself well and returned. Angus was finishing his final
drink of the evening. Shane dropped before him and paid homage to
his handsome boots. Angus completed the ritual, and they ended in
a passionate kiss. When they broke apart Shane whispered.
“I have a
confession to make, Master.”
“Will I have to
turn you over my knee for it?” Angus asked with anticipated glee.
“If there’s a
God you will.” Shane played along and Angus bellowed.
“I’m gonna’ miss
paying homage to your boots. Ain’t never met me but one other
cowboy who I would crawl naked on ma’ hands and knees, across broken
glass through the badlands at high noon on a record hot day, to git me
a taste of his boots like I would for yours, Master.”
‘At ain’t no whip’n confession, boy. Who’s the other cowboy?”
“You know I
don’t never kiss and tell, Master.” Shane teased.
“Now that’s a
reason for a whupp’n, slave.” Angus bellowed again in laughter, then
kissed Shane hard and even more passionately. “God, I love
you, boy. Ain’t another like you. You wanna’ know the God’s
honest truth? I don’t wanna’ let you go, slave. I want you
to stay jes’ like you is, but when I withdrew from you for several
weeks, I realized I done the same damn thing to my kids when they was
about to leave the nest. I wanted the same for my boys and
girls. I never wanted them to grow up and move away. Part
of my world came to an end to watch them go, but I always had you,
Shane. I know I have to let you go, but gotdamn it’s hard,
Son. It’s so fuck'n hard.” Shane had never seen Angus breakdown,
but he began to weep softly in Shane’s arms. Shane was totally
caught off guard. He wondered what Judith would’ve done had
Holofernes let his hair down and cried in her arms. At that
moment, Shane knew there would be no severing of heads that evening.
cowboy! We got us some hard ride’n to do before we strap on the
bag. Now stick that big cowboy dick a’ yore'n up my butt and
fuck me ‘til you hear my gut rumble from hunger, then you can feed me;
take me to supper and make both ends happy.” Shane urged.
Angus wasted no
time getting his big dick up Shane’s tight ass. He fucked him
every which way. Shane stopped him after a while, took him by the
hand and led him to the bathroom. Angus hadn’t seen it yet.
what I had in mind, Master.” Shane lay on the cold floor on his back,
threw his legs in the air, reached down with both hands and spread his
ass cheeks to expose his hole. He started winking it at
Angus. Angus bellowed with laugher as he climbed aboard and
fucked Shane until his gut did begin to rumble.
“You ready for
me to feed that hungry, hungry hole, slave?” Angus asked.
Shane laughed. Angus collapsed on top of him laughing.
“The hole I been
fuck’n, you twit!” Angus laughed harder.
“Yes, Sir but
don’t cheat me none. Promise me you’ll gimme’ all yore’ sweet
him his all and fucked Shane with a vengeance, but did something he’d
never done before. He allowed Shane to come with him. It
was the first time in ten years of being his slave he ever allowed
Shane to come. Before, if Shane wanted to ejaculate afterward, he
would have to do it on his own time.
* * * * * * *
They got cleaned
up and went down to supper at the ‘Jungle Room.’ They had a
good time and were both in a rare mood. Again, the same thing
happened. Twenty people came up to Shane wanting his
autograph. Several had come through the gate just to see
him. Angus couldn’t believe his slave, his little brother was a
celebrity. They were given the finest table on the balcony.
It was dark and all the animals were retired for the evening but you
could still see the outlines of some of the bigger beasts. They
ordered supper and Angus ordered a bottle of wine. When the food
came Angus insisted Shane share a glass of wine with him to celebrate
his manumission on Friday.
his, and Angus finished the rest of the bottle. He wasn't drunk,
but he was mellow. They talked about farrier jobs and many other
things. Shane shared with Angus the story of Judge Potter and his
dessert making machine. Of course, any good cowboy worth his salt
is going to expand and enlarge a story until it’s painfully funny, and
Shane learned from the very best. Cowboy slaves became notorious
for their fanciful stories they invented to entertain each other.
He had Angus in stitches and everyone else in the restaurant was
laughing at Angus’ merriment. He laughed until his sides
hurt. It seemed to break something inside Angus, he let down a
lot of his defenses, and he opened up a little more to Shane.
Finally, Angus got around to talking about Friday and Shane’s hearing.
birthday rolled around that first year you were my slave, people wanted
to know about birthday, Christmas and Easter gifts for you. I
opened a savings account in your name and a handful of families and
close friends gave cash gifts for you every year which I dutifully
stuck away into your account.” Angus explained.
Shane spoke up,
“I got two boxes of cards and letters from folks who sent greeting and
how much they donated to the fund on my behalf. I wrote notes and
given more than anyone in the last five years. Charlie has
matched his donations dollar for dollar. Your other brothers send
but Charlie and I give up on them about three years ago. We
hardly hear from 'em anymore. I donated
a thousand dollars on your birthday, Christmas and Easter every
year. Many of the Grange members have given to your ‘freedom’
fund as they call it, and it’s a little over a hundred thousand
dollars. A hundred thirteen and change to be exact.” It’s
sitting in the bank in Reason waiting for you. All you gotta’ do
is show your emancipation papers from the court, and it’s yours.
“I knew it was a
lot, but I had no idea it was that much.” said Shane. “So you did
make a plan for me. Thank you, Sir.” Shane said softly.
“What more can I
do for you, Son?”
“I only want
three things from you, Master Angus.”
“A slave of my
own, two ponies, and the old I. H.* truck with all the farrier
tools. I wanna’ start my own business.”
want Cole?” Angus asked surprised.
Angus mused and nodded his head slightly, “Damn, you got good taste in
slave meat, Son. Aww, but Shane, he’s one of my finest slaves;
probably the best... no, he is the best gotdamn slave I ever owned.”
Why do you think I want him? We was work’n our asses off over to
that ranch last Monday and I got me to thinking we worked hard for
ten damn years together and their ain’t a cowboy slave I’d rather work
with than Cole.”
“You men do damn
work. The two of you could make a comfortable living as farriers,
ain’t no doubt about it. You won’t git rich, but it’s good,
solid, honest work.”
thoughts, Sir.” Shane agreed.
“But I jes’ made
him my top waddie. He’s gonna’ have to sub and be a temporary
foreman until Bill gits back.”
“No he don’t.”
Shane argued gently, he didn’t want it to develop into a shouting
match, “You got big Phil Pie. He’d do jes’ as good a job at
lead cowboy as Cole would. Besides, he’s got more seniority than
he does. I didn’t think about Phil. Cole was the first
cowboy I come upon this morning, and he got picked. Wait a
minute! Is there something going on between you and Cole?” Angus
challenged. Shane looked surprised he’d even suggest such a thing.
please! The man’s twenty years older'n me. He’s old
enough to be my daddy, fer’ cries sake.” Shane snarled like it was a
Angus chuckled, “I’m old enough to be yore’ daddy. I’m three
years older than Cole Jenkins.” Angus scored a direct hit. That
was all right with Shane. He was hit, but it wasn’t a
flame-out. He wouldn’t crash and burn. Truth was, it was
one of the main reasons he loved and respected Cole was for his
maturity, but he certainly didn’t want Angus to know. He saw a
chance for a parry with a quick thrust. He knew Angus was a
sucker for flattery.
“Yeah, but have
you looked in a mirror lately? Because of the longshot you look
ten years younger than Cole. You certainly show it in the
bedroom, cowboy. You never used to fuck me so good as you
done after the shot.” he saw Angus grin of
self-appreciation. Shane knew he’d scored a direct hit on the big
cowboy’s ego, now to finish him off for this round, he continued, “When
would Cole and I ever have time to knock boots? Master Bill kept
me on a short lease for years, and when he didn’t, you did. If
there’s anything going on between us I shore’ as hell don’t know about
it, and you know damn well Cole would never say nothing.” they laughed
at Cole’s stoicism. Shane added, “I jes’ want me Cole because he
keeps me on the straight and narrow. He don’t say much, but when
he does I know it’s important, and I listen. I jes’ think he’s
ma’ best chance to make it on my own.” he wished he hadn’t said that
last sentence. Did it make him appear weak or vulnerable?
Angus didn’t seem to be paying attention.
“I don’t know,
Son. Cole’s a lifer. He’s a valuable slave.”
“He’s a lifer
‘cause he begged you to accept him as a lifetime slave. Judge
Potter done told me he tried to talk him out of it, but he went ahead
done it anyways. You was gonna’ lose him because he was due for
manumission and probation jes’ like I’m gonna’ be. You didn’t pay
nothing extra for him becoming a lifer but transfer fees and
“What do you
plan to do, free him?” Angus challenged.
Why would I wanna’ go and do a stupid thing like that? He’s too
valuable to me jes’ like he is. I wouldn’t even think on it until
he’s much older. If he works hard for me and makes me money, I
might consider put’n him out to pasture when he gits too old to work.”
Shane spread it on thick. “One thing I’ll never have to worry about is
him talk’n back to me.” Shane laughed. That got a grin out
of Angus. Shane could see the wheels turning in Angus’
head. He knew he had him interested and about to take the
bait, now if he could just set the hook. “Think about it,
Master. You ain’t got no plans to help me other than the
money. I’ll sign a contract to do all your farrier work for your
ranch for costs for two years; I’ll bill you for materials only.”
labor’s what costs? Make it five years.” Angus countered.
If he was bidding, Shane knew he took the bait and would run with it.
exclaimed and Angus knew that was Shane’s final offer, but it was a
good solid offer; it was a good deal for both of them. Angus was
“Okay, but what
about my initial investment for Cole?”
“How much was
“I paid the same
for him I paid for you, fifty thousand.”
“Yeah, but you
got twice as many years out of him as you got out of me for the same
price. For ten years of work that’s five thou a year
investment. I earned you much more than your initial investment
in me, Master Angus and you know it. With Cole you got a
freebe. That man’s earned you five times what I done.
Furthermore, at forty-eight he’s a little long in the tooth to be
considered prime cowboy slave meat. He ain’t got but about ten
more good years of hard work in him, and you ain’t taken care of his
teeth. His teeth need extensive repairs or his health is gonna’
start failing him. You’re looking at several thousand dollars for
fool’n me, boy. With your pull with the Admiral, you’ll git him
the longshot, knock fifteen to twenty years off’n his age and have him
a hell of a lot longer than that.” Angus challenged.
negotiating on an Earth bases here, not some science-fiction fantasy
world. Why ever’ body knows there ain’t no such things as no
flying saucers and aliens.” Shane tried to sound like a red-necked
hick, winked at Angus, and they laughed together. Shane could
swear Angus was enjoying the wrangling. It was almost like he was
pushing Shane to the limit, testing him, to see how committed he was to
idea. He could also tell Angus was impressed with his raw natural
business acumen. He’d been around Angus too many years not to
have some rub off on him. The more Shane haggled the further away
he led Angus from the real truth of his purpose, but it wasn’t
dishonest. After all, he did want Cole for his slave. For
how long was another matter. Not even Cole needed to know that.
“I’ll give you
forty thousand for him.” Shane stated firmly.
“If I sell him
to you, I want a personal contract with you he’ll remain a slave for
years after you take ownership. If'n you make any attempt to free
him before then, Cole becomes my slave.” Angus replied.
Thirty years? You gotta’ be shit’n me. That’s crazy
talk. Naa, no way! I cry foul. Why the hell would you
want that? You ain’t got no contract on no slave like that.
I know you, Master Angus, you wouldn’t buy a slave with a condition
like that. You’d laugh at the seller, and all he’d see is yore’
big backside as you walked out a’ the room. That ain’t fair to me
or Cole. Once he’s my slave, he’s my personal property.
Ain’t no damn business of yours what I do with him less’n I ask your
advice. I already done told you, he’ll remain my slave until he
gits older. You got my word.”
right about all them things, but this is business, Son, and I want
something in writing to guarantee you ain’t gonna’ do some’um
stupid. The question is, how bad do you want him?” Angus leaned
back in his seat and grinned at Shane like he had him on the
ropes. Shane rebounded quickly and went for the sucker punch.
“Not bad enough
to buy into your control of him or me. Even if I might consider a
concession like that, it drops my bid to twenty thou, Master.”
thousand? You ain’t much of a horse trader, boy. Don’t
insult your seller.” Angus tried to appear hurt and disgusted, but
Shane saw through him. Shane reasoned Angus couldn’t be too hurt
or disgusted if he kept grinning at him. Shane came back with a
strong right hook.
intended, Sir, but didn’t you just insult the buyer? What’s sauce
for the goose is sauce for the gander. Six a' one, half a dozen
the other. It’s simple, bottom line, the more strings and
conditions the less valuable you make Cole as a property. May I
remind you, we ain’t haggling horse flesh here. We’re talking
about the body and soul of a human being; although, some might argue
slaves ain’t human.” Shane conceded, then continued, “But I know that
can’t be right, I never gave up my humanity. I’ll agree to ten
years at thirty thousand.” Shane’s voice told Angus not to push him an
inch further, or he would walk away.
“Twenty years at
thirty and you got chore’self a deal, boy!” Angus exclaimed pounding
the flat of his hand on the table. He smiled knowing he pushed
Shane to his limit, but he was proud of his little brother for fighting
hard and reasoning well for what he wanted. It was at that moment
Angus knew Shane would make it in the world. He didn’t back down
from him, and Shane fought Angus tooth and nail to get himself the best
deal he could. And he did get himself a bargain.
agreed, but the contract has to read: In the event of your untimely
demise the contract between us is null and void and not transferrable
to any relative other than me.” Shane added as an extra rider.
boy! You got chore’self a deal!” Angus grinned and stuck out his
“Done and done!”
Shane took his hand and they shook on it.
“So, it stands
to reason why you’ll need the old truck.” Angus mused.
“Just ‘til I get
on my feet and can afford a newer one and newer tools. Since
taking care of your ponies you won’t need it for three years no
ways. I’ll make you a gentleman’s agreement: once I can afford
it, or three years, whichever comes first, I’ll return the old truck
and tools to you.” They shook on that as well.
“I suppose the
two ponies you want are yours and Cole’s?” Angus remembered.
They is.” Shane used the cowboy vernacular.
Them worthless oat burners mean more to you and Cole than they’re worth
to me.” he laughed. “Them two old nags’ll eat chu’ out a’ house and
home, boy.” they shared a laugh together.
Master. They will be appreciated and taken good care of.”
“I have no
doubt. You have the care and compassion and Cole has the
know-how. You thought about where you gonna’ live, Son?”
arrangements to stay with an old friend for a while. I’ll be
taking Cole with me.”
afternoon after the court hearing.”
“I think a clean
break is for the best, Master. Beside I don’t care to be around
when Master Bill comes back.”
Maybe you’re right. Birds gotta’ fly. You know you got a
party at our brother’s ranch on Saturday and one at Parsons on
Sunday. Seems like the Grange is pulling out all the stops for
Saturday and the colonies been planning for weeks for Sunday.
We’ll git all them papers and contracts together tomorrow morning and
have them ready for the judge to look over. We’ll go to the bank
on Friday after yore’ hearing, and I’ll make sure you have access to
your money. You can have them cut me a check for Cole and you’re
on your own. I love you, boy, and I’m proud of you.”
“I love you,
too, Master Angus.”
it! Let’s drop the slave/master shit, Son. Barring some
tragedy, God forbid, I don’t see you not sailing through tomorrow and
Friday. Call me Angus or brother from now on. You’ve earned
the right. It’s good to have my little brother back.” Angus
teared up again. Then he added, “Thank, God, we got us a
plan. Now can we go back to the ‘Captain Goodnight’ suite and
seal this deal with another fuck. Talk’n horse or slave trading
turns me on some’um fierce. Sometimes after winning a good
bargain I got’s to find me a restroom with a private stall and
jack-off.” Angus laughed.
“I shore’ could
use me another big ole help'n of yore’ fine cowboy dick, brother.
That last one just warmed me up. My guts been growling like an
old hound dog hungry for his bone.” Shane poured on the cowboy
“Let’s slap some
leather, cowboy. I can’t wait to git in yore’ saddle and ride off
into the sunset; that is, if’n there was one on Mars.” They
shared another laugh.
until almost midnight Earth time. Shane set his travel alarm,
they grabbed several hours sleep, and were up by four, had a hearty
sunrise breakfast on the balcony, checked out and went back through the
gates to the ranch. On the way, Shane had to sign several more
autographs and Angus noticed he signed them Captain Shane
Goodnight. They immediately went to Angus’ office and spent the
morning gathering paperwork pertaining to their agreements. Shane
typed up their contracts and plan for Angus to present to Judge
Potter. By the time they finished Shane was tired, but it was a
good tired; he had a light heart. He hadn’t even been out to tell
“Angus, is it
all right with you if I share our agreement with Cole?”
“Don’t see why
not, Son. S’far as I’m concerned it’s a done deal. Tell him
to start git’n his shit together and loading it into the old
truck. Tell him to git them ponies ready, and hitch up the small
two stall trailer. You can take your saddles, too. You can
bring the trailer back in a day or so. H’it ain’t used much no
how. If’n I gits any calls for farrier work I’ll take their names
and numbers and tell ‘em you’ll git back to ‘em in a few days.
You gonna’ give the Grange a deal like I done?”
“Oh, yeah, for
sure. They’ve become some of our best customers. They’re
also the nicest to work for.” Shane allowed.
They barely got
all the papers together and in one folder for Angus to carry to Judge
Potter. He left about a quarter to eight and walked into the
Judge’s office at five to nine. He was right on time. The
old judge ushered him in, shook hands, greeted Angus warmly and set him
“Talk to me,
Son. What’s going on?” the judge was short on time.
“Me and Shane
got away yesterday and had a great afternoon and evening at a lodge I
think he mentioned to you. Says he promised to take you there
soon. I know you’ll enjoy it. We talked and came up with
what I think is a good plan.”
Angus told about
the bank account for all the donations and his own contributions to
Shane’s ‘freedom fund.’ He showed the judge his accounting of
gifts for Shane and deposits to the bank. They were all carefully
entered and dated into a ledger and were accompanied with bank deposit
receipts. Angus went on to tell him about Shane’s plan to work as
a farrier and what he wanted from Angus. Angus seemed to get more
excited and animated as he went on describing the hard bargain he held
The old judge
was laughing inside to find out everything he saw in his dream and what
Shane told him was coming true. He was thrilled for Shane and
Cole, but he didn’t let on. He was all business with Angus.
He wondered why Angus couldn’t have just given Cole to the boy, but
somehow he knew Shane would want it this way so’s not to be beholden to
Angus. Actually, thirty thousand for a prize slave and a good man
like Cole Jenkins was more than a fair price to Judge Potter. He
entertained the idea, Angus Goodnight, for all his bull of the woods
bravado, was the one who came out on the short end of the deal.
Did he plan it that way? Was Angus a wiser man than the old judge
and Shane gave him credit for being? Maybe it was Angus’ way of
testing Shane to see if he could swim with the sharks? To get
them to gather you have to spread chum in the water to make it
interesting for them. Once Shane convinced Angus he could,
indeed, swim in shark infested waters, maybe Angus gave him a break.
complimented Angus and told him he did a good job. He made
his judgment about Shane, but so Angus wasn’t too surprised there would
be a small change in his original decision. He would announce it
in court tomorrow, but he assured Angus it would be in the boy’s best
interest. He asked if Shane said where he would be staying?
Angus said he would be staying with an old friend. The judge said
they could get that information tomorrow at the hearing. If Shane
didn’t want Angus to know right away, Potter wasn’t about to tell
him. The judge took the folder from Angus, bid him farewell,
watched him leave his office and shut the door. The old man
leaned back in his chair, smiled to himself, pulled out his small
silver flask from his inside coat pocket, raised it the air and spoke,
“Here’s to you, young man, and your love for your adopted dad.
Good for you. I’m proud of my new family.” With that he
threw back his head and indulged himself with the sweet, dark amber,
fiery liquid. He couldn’t wait until tomorrow afternoon for the
and best official act of his career, his retirement and the start of a
new but final era of his life.
* * * * * * *
slowly back to the bunkhouse. He wondered why he didn’t run to
the arms of his surrogate dad and lover. He didn’t want to
hurry. He wanted to enjoy and savor the moment. Shane
thought he knew how the guy felt in that movie about that big boat what
sunk, like he was the king of the world. He found Cole sitting
with Phil and several of the other, older, seasoned cowboys in the
slave mess hall. They were taking a break to sit down and have a
cup of coffee together. Shane sat down next to Cole. Cole
smiled at him.
odd-job.” he said quietly, “How’d it go with your brother.”
thought it might.” Shane allowed.
“You know he
appointed me lead cowboy early this morning. He should be give’n
the job to Phil. He’s senior waddie around here.” Cole insisted.
“Don’t make me
no never mind,” said Phil, “I don’t like responsibility no ways.”
congratulations, big Phil, Master Angus just told me to tell you,
you’re the new top waddie as of this moment.” Shane told him.
why? What’s going on?” Phil asked surprised.
“Cole will be
leaving with me tomorrow afternoon.” Cole dropped his coffee
cup. Coffee went everywhere.
you josh’n me, odd-job?” Cole challenged.
“Think you could
git used to calling me, Master odd-job, Pa?” Shane grinned. The
older cowboys were slapping Cole on his back and congratulating
Shane. They were happy for the two men. They knew they were
a winning combination. Shane grabbed a towel and cleaned up
“I knew you had
it in you. I never had me no doubts. I knew when you walked
through that door you’d done it, you pulled it off. God bless
you, boy. We’re gonna’ be just fine.” Cole said with more
enthusiasm than Shane ever saw from him before.
Angus, said for you to git chore’ shit together and throw it in the old
truck. We be taking it, too. Hitch the two-horse trailer to
the back so’s we can load Jax and Tilly Mae when we git ready to pull
out. Oh, yes, and throw in our saddles.”
tomorrow. Am I gonna’ git to go to court with you?” Cole asked.
“Don’t see why
not. I’ll ask Angus, but I 'on’t see no problem. You may
have to sit in the slave gallery, but at least you’ll be there with me.”
“Hell, I wish’t
we could all be there, Son.” said big Phil as he grabbed Shane and gave
him a big bear hug and kiss. “By the way, what the hell ju’ say to that
baby slave in the shower the other night? He gimme’ the best damn
I got from a baby slave since I fucked you ten years ago. That
little som'bitch had his purtty little butt all over my old
dick. I couldn’t feed it to him fast or hard enough. He
moaned and carried on and told me I was the best damn fuck he ever’
done had. Thought I was gonna’ blow his head plumb clean off when
I shot ma’ wad.” All the cowboys laughed at Phil. He could be
“I just give him
the same advice you gimme’ ten years ago, Phil. He said he didn’t
like to git fucked, and he weren’t never gonna’ be broken.”
“Well, I think
you jes’ might a’ changed his mind. I’m first on his list for
fuck’n tonight.” Everyone laughed. “Fuck, the old man should fire
Master Bill and hire you on as his ramrod and slave trainer.
You’d make a better trainer than him.”
“I already done
got me a job as a ramrod, Phil. Me and Cole start next Monday on
the Potter ranch over to Willow Creek. Cole’s gonna’ be my first
cowboy slave. We’re gonna’ do our farrier work to keep us afloat,
but we’ll see you men a lot. Part of my contract with Master
Angus is to do all the farrier work for this here ranch for three years
for cost; he has to pay for materials.”
ain’t a bad deal, especially for the big boss man. He don’t have
to worry none about that part of his business no more. You men
will git all the business in the area.” allowed Eli Stone, big
Cole and Shane
retired to their room. Cole held Shane and they kissed.
“Do I still get
to kiss my young master after tomorrow?" Cole asked.
“You have a
standing order to kiss him, slave. My pa always has the right to
kiss me. It ain’t gonna’ be hard, Cole. We got the rest of
our lives to work hard and play harder, but we’ll be
together. I will take you places you can’t imagine when we ain’t
working, and when the time comes, I will take you away from this world
to live in another wonderful place.”
“If anyone could
do it, I got a feeling you just might. You lead, young master
odd-job, and yore’ faithful slave will follow.” Cole assured him.
* * * * *
Angus had to
take three vehicles into town that afternoon for Shane’s hearing.
He allowed Shane to pick as many of the older, seasoned cowboy slaves
who could fit into the back
of his huge pickup and Cole drove them and Shane. Angus and his
family took two separate autos. The ranch wagon was filled with
relatives and the go-to-meet’n car was filled with immediate
family. When they arrived it took them some time to find
parking. There were people everywhere. They had to set up
chairs outside and had a huge television screen so people could
follow the hearing. Angus couldn’t believe when they walked into
the courtroom the place was packed. There was standing room only
and people were packed together like sardines. Cole gave Shane a
hug and went with his cowboy slave brothers to the slave gallery.
They had the best seats in the house. There was an
area the sheriff’s deputies roped off for Shane’s family, but Angus and
Shane were ushered to the front of the court to a table in front of the
judge’s bench. Shane looked around and smiled at all his
The entire Grange was there. Charlie, Waco,
Shane’s two other brothers, Jessie and Dermont Goodnight and their
families, Ramrod Long, and his family, all his cowboy brothers, Lucas,
Indigo/Blue, Little Bear, JR, JR’s mom Ida Mae and Hank Morgan.
Lucas waved to him and showed him his crossed fingers for good
luck. The entire Steele family was there including the four
gospels, their bat-shit crazy sister and her tranny husband. The
slave gallery was packed. He could even see
Waco’s big lummox, Ox, standing at the rear, head and shoulder above
the men. There were even a few alien faces among the crowd no
one else would guess. Captain Vinceeth and a number of his men
were present, dressed in their best cowboy clothes. The not so
old looking Chief was there with several of his chiefs and wives in
full headdress and costume. Shane noticed Little Bear was dressed
like his Indian family. He made a small wave to them and the old
Chief nodded his head in acknowledgment, smiled and gave him a thumbs
up. Shane almost got emotional but reached down and grabbed
Angus’ hand. Angus didn’t pull away. He gently squeezed
and held on. He was as moved as his little brother.
Hear ye! All rise for the Honorable Judge Clarence Potter.”
came from his chambers, climbed the steps to his bench, set in his
chair, raised his gavel and slammed it to the block.
“Court is now in
session. Please be seated.” Everyone sat down. It
sounded like a sea of bodies moving at once. The old judge
grinned as he looked around the room at all the well meaning
faces. For all the perversion the American government suffered,
this was still the root of his country. These were the
people who shared his joys and bad times over the years, and he loved
everyone of them. “Amazing!” he
said to no one in particular, “Of course you’ve all come here today to
see me, right?” everyone laughed. He looked directly at Shane and
spoke. “What do you think of this, young man? These good
of your community have come out to wish you well and see this old man
does right by you. What say you, petitioner Goodnight?”
“I have no words
to tell what’s in my heart, your honor. I’m overwhelmed.” Shane
you. So say I. I’m truly overwhelmed. I can’t imagine
better gathering for such a fine young man who has turned his life
around, served his time of indentured servitude and is looking forward
a bright future. I’m glad the entire
town has turned out for this young
man’s hearing. It does this old man’s heart a world of
good. I will have more
words to say about that later,
but now we must get down to business. The first order
of business this afternoon is an announcement of a personal
nature. I’m hoping Shane won’t mind if I steal the spotlight from
him for a moment.” The people laughed. Shane smiled at the
judge and shook his head. He knew what was coming. “I’m
announcing my retirement from the bench effective immediately, at the
close of this court session this afternoon. Monday morning the
court will be presided over by the Honorable William L. Anderson.
All the papers have been signed, filed and accepted by the federal
government. That’s why this particular session has such
importance and poignancy for me. Thank God, my last case to
decide doesn’t have to be a murder trial or one where I must, by state
or federal mandate, ruin some young man’s life for a minor offence by
having to sentence him to a lifetime of slavery, or worse, to a
corporate work camp. I know we all wish Judge Anderson a long and
successful tenure on this bench.
The second order
of business before the court is the case of a slave petitioner who
wishes to petition the court for his freedom. Today completes ten
years of slavery for Shane Goodnight, and as he was instructed when I
sentenced him, if he behaved himself and had no marks against him he
would be eligible to become a free man in ten years; however, he would
be subject to probation for another five years. He has come
before this court this afternoon to petition for his freedom. As
is the custom of the court I must ask if there are any among you who
will stand for this young man to help him in his adjustment period to
free man status and help insure his success in his freedom,
emotionally, spiritually and financially. If so will you please
standing next to Shane who remained seated. At the same time,
fifty other men in the community rose as one. They looked around
at each other and smiled. A few chuckled. The old judge
just shook his head in amazement. Shane turned to look and tears
started rolling down his cheeks.
“That about says
it all, young man. I dare say I would shed a few tears too, to
see so many fine men, all good citizens of our community, who had that
much faith in me. If you gentlemen will permit me,” the old judge
rose from his seat, “so I may be counted among you as one who will
stand for this young man.” the bailiff took a head count including the
judge, “Now, that we are counted we may all sit down. He set down
and everyone joined him.
and master also happens to be his older brother, Angus Goodnight.
Usually the court frowns on relatives becoming the owners of members of
their family, but in Shane’s case an exception was made. Angus
Goodnight and his partner Bill Birdsall are known to be two of the
foremost slave trainers and owners in the state of Texas. They
also known for their exemplary care and fair work ethics among slave
owners. They set the standard for good slave care and
management. Even at that, Angus Goodnight and his ramrod were
under close scrutiny and observation to make certain Shane was not
treated as family, but served his function as his sentence demanded as
a slave. Angus and his ramrod were subject to surprise onsite
inspections any time of the day or night to make sure Shane was not
being shown favoritism over other slaves. You may rest assured
the young man hasn’t had a cakewalk; Shane was treated like any other
slave with all that implies.
brought some papers by my office yesterday morning which have been
noted by the court as certified legal documents. Notable among
them is Mr. Goodnight’s decision to sell one of his slaves, one Cole
Jenkins, to his younger brother upon his manumission. It is the
order of this court that will
all be taken care of immediately after this hearing. Will the
slave petitioner please rise.” Judge Potter indicated for Shane to
stand. Shane rose from his chair and Angus rose with him.
They were still holding hands. Potter saw it and smiled to
himself. His question of Angus’ ‘wiseness’ had just been
answered. He knew Angus planned all along to see Shane got Cole,
but he wanted Shane to think he did the work.
Goodnight, it is the opinion of this court you have served your time
an indentured slave. You have paid your debt for the damage
you caused, also to the society at large and are therefore, in the eyes
of this court, eligible for manumission with the condition you serve
five more years probation; however, in rare cases the court has the
option to rescind previous judgments that seemed appropriate at the
time, but through selfless actions of the slave in question might be
considered grounds for reconsideration. I have another folder
here on my desk,” the judge held up a four inch thick manilla folder,
“in which I have received letter after letter from the people of this
community, from the youngest to the oldest. I have a couple in
here from pre-school children who insisted their parents write me about
their beloved Shane who helped them in some small way. All these
letters attest to the same thing. This is a fine young man who
deserves a break.
I didn’t believe
anyone could be so good so I found out for myself last week. I
wanted to see what this man was all about. I won’t keep you folks
all afternoon by telling you of his kindness and consideration for
others, but I will tell you something my father told me many years ago
when I was a young man. He said, “Son, watch how a man treats his
animals and you will see how he treats his fellow man.” I watched
this young man go out of his way to bring comfort and healing to three
older, suffering animals. In his own words he told me he would do
the same for any of God’s creatures who were suffering. I believe
him. Therefore, young man, Mr. Shane Goodnight, it is my great
pleasure to rescind my judgement of fifteen years, to ten. There
will be no probation for you. So let it be entered into the
record, from this day forth, Shane Goodnight is a free man with all the
privileges afforded all free men.” The old judge banged his
gavel. “This ends our court session. Let me be the first to
congratulate you, Shane, you are now a free man.” the old judge said.
A roar went up
from the crowd and everyone rushed to get to Shane. Judge Potter
came down from his bench. The crowed let him through. He
Shane’s hand, then hugged and kissed him in front of everyone.
“I’m no longer a
judge. I can do this.” he whispered to Shane. “Will I see you and
Cole later this evening, Son?” he whispered to Shane.
“I think so,
Judge. My brother knows I want to get out of there
immediately. We agreed on it. I’m gonna’ hold him to his
word.” Shane said through his tears. Cole Jenkins was standing in
the slave gallery with tears streaming down his face. All the
cowboy slaves were weeping for Shane. For an hour or more it was
utter chaos, but he and Angus still had business to take care of.
Charlie made an announcement everyone was invited to a celebration
party at his ranch tomorrow starting at ten o’clock in the morning.
The banker held
the bank open an hour longer for Angus and Shane to transfer funds and
to establish Shane’s right to his money. Everything was made
legal. Shane was given Cole’s papers and copies of all agreements
and contracts. The originals were held by the court. Cole’s
papers of ownership were given to Shane. Everywhere he went
people wanted to hug and kiss him to congratulate him. All Shane
wanted was to be with Cole as quickly as possible. As the banker
took information from Shane as to where to send his statements and
further information Angus was with him. Shane gave his address
as, “Mr. Shane Goodnight, Foreman, Potter Ranch, Rural Route 4, Willow
Texas.” Angus got a huge grin on his face, slapped him on the
back and broke up laughing. He didn’t see that one coming.
“Good for you,
little brother. You’re casting your lot with the best.” he
waited for Shane and Angus to come out of the bank to give Shane a ride
back to the Goodnight ranch. When they came out of the bank the
cowboy slaves watched Angus shake hands with his younger brother, hug
and kiss him again, and walk away to drive his family back to the
ranch. Shane strolled over to the cowboy slaves with the
exaggerated swagger and rolling gate of a cowboy surely full of himself
with a big grin on his face as wide as Texas itself. It was the
first time in ten years he had money in his pocket. Cole had a
big smile on his face. He dropped to his knees on the main street
in front of everyone including his brothers and kissed each of Shane’s
boots. Shane was ready for him and went through the slave/master
ritual. They shared a kiss that got all the cowboys wet and hard
and garnered a few lustful looks and erections from many so called
straight cowboys around town.
official? Am I your slave, now, Master odd-job?” asked Cole
indeed, my slave, Pa. Let’s go back to the ranch, gather up our
shit, and get out of there.” There went up another whoop and roar
from their brothers. They climbed into the truck and made the
journey back to the Goodnight ranch. Some of the cowboys who
stayed behind already loaded their ponies into the trailer. Shane
and Cole had all their gear in the old truck before they went to
court. They said tearful goodbyes to everyone. Angus’
family came out to say goodbye and wish Shane and Cole well.
Angus got Cole aside for a minute. Cole dropped to his knees and
went through the slave ritual with his owner of many years. Angus
kissed Cole with all that was in his heart, and Cole returned it in
“Take care of
him, Cole. He’s ma’ baby brother. For all the shit I done
put him through, I love him like no other. He’s special in ways
you ain’t got no idea about, but he will tell you; he will share
everything with you.”
“You know I’ll
do my best by him, Master Angus, just like I done tried to do for
you. Thanks for having the wisdom and courage to sell me to
Master Shane.” he said.
“If there was
one man on this planet I’d want to be with my little brother it would
be you, Cole. I trust you that much, and the two of you ain’t
fool’n me for a gotdamn minute. You been in love with that boy
since he come to this ranch as my slave. He looks up to you like
the dad he never had, and loves you with all his heart. He done
told me last night he had to become a slave to find hisself a dad, but
I knew he weren’t talking about me. You should be proud of him
like he was your own son. He fought me tooth and nail to git chu’
away from me, and he done a damn good job of it.” Angus grinned.
Cole didn’t answer. He just got a big shit eating grin on his
face, looked down at his old boots and shuffled them in the dirt.
Angus didn’t expect him to answer. “You been the best slave I
ever owned, Cole. Don’t let me down. Make me proud of you.”
“You can count
on it, Master Angus.” the two big men shook hands, hugged, and
Cole returned to Shane’s side.
Shane and Cole
pulled out with everyone waving to them wishing them well. Shane
Cole to drive. He didn’t think he could keep his mind on the
road. Shane had Cole pull over as they drove past the
orchard. He got out and grabbed a couple of ripe apples off a
tree. He jumped back in the old truck and Cole started up again.
“For me?” Cole
looked at the apples hungrily.
they’re for a couple of old friends at the Potter ranch.” he said,
“They helped me get five years knocked off my sentence. It’s the
least I can do for them to say thanks.” he smiled.
git one more. The judge said three animals.” Cole asked.
“I think the
third animal was himself, Cole.” Shane said humbly.
“Makes sense to
me.” allowed Cole.
They made the
drive to the Potter ranch in about twenty-five minutes. They
weren’t burning up the blacktop. Cole was taking his good
time. About halfway there Cole reached over and took Shane’s hand
and held it the rest of the way.
make it. We’ll be okay, Master odd-job.” he smile at Shane.
He had the most beautiful smile, but held his lips together to hide his
bad teeth. Shane would soon take care of that. He would
have Cable generate a whole new set for him. They would be more
perfect than those he grew for himself and would have the extra added
advantage of never suffering from decay or rot. As they drove up
the gravel road to the Potter Ranch, Cole let out a low whistle.
“Damn, it’s a
nothing, yet, buckaroo.” said Shane.
sight of the old judge sitting on his front porch steps. To his
right, with their heads hanging over the fence were the two old
ponies. Shane sent them a message he was on his way and was very
near. He had treats for them. They pulled the old tuck up
under the shade of a big tree and parked. The got out and Potter
was there to greet and shake hands with Shane. Cole fell to his
knees in front of the old man. Potter look to Shane for a
signal. Shane nodded his head to allow Cole to go through the
ritual. The judge did and responded well. He gave Cole a
kiss that would not deny his welcome.
gentlemen hungry?” asked Judge Potter.
stopped long enough to eat since breakfast.” said Shane. “But before we
can think about food, we need to get our ponies out of the back and
settled in. Right now, I need to thank three of my friends.”
Shane smiled at Potter and started walking toward the fence. “Come,
Cole, I want you to meet Race and Pete.” Shane handed Cole one
of his apples as they were walking. The judge fell in behind
them. Shane stopped and allowed him to catch up. They got
to the fence and Shane introduced them to Cole who fed Race his apple
and Shane fed Pete his. They were happy campers.
was all Shane said to them, but the old judge and Cole knew why he was
thanking them. Shane turned to the judge and took him into his
arms and gently kissed him. “And most of all, thank you, Sir.”
There were no other words necessary.
Shane and Cole
unloaded their ponies and put them in the pasture with the two older
horses. They seemed happy to have new blood around they could
talk with. They walked down to the barn and opened two more
stalls, put fresh hay down, and fed them all. Shane could tell
the old man was thrilled to have them there. It was shortly after
mid afternoon and as they were walking back up to house, Shane turned
to Judge Potter and spoke.
Huggins cook up a storm this morning for you, because you might have
two hungry cowhands for supper this evening?”
“No, not on the
days I’m going to be away. She has a schedule. She does
certain chores on certain days. She usually does light stuff on
Friday and leaves early to get home to her family. She only comes
three times a week, but I’m lucky to have her. I thought we might
fix something. I ain’t too good in the kitchen, but I’m
“A group effort
in the kitchen sounds good to me. Cole and I are pretty handy
with a can opener.” Shane laughed. “Do we need to go to the store and
get anything?” he asked.
“No, I’ve got
some steaks in the fridge, a couple a' cans a’ red beans, some taters,
some salad fixings.”
“Sounds like a
cowboy supper to me, Sir.” said Cole.
emotional high it will be nice to spend the afternoon and a relaxed
evening with family.” Shane said.
“Amen to that,
Son.” agreed Potter.
Since it was
still early afternoon, Shane wanted to get settled into the foreman’s
house. They unhitched the horse trailer and set it aside under
some trees. They would return it one day next week. The men
drove in the old truck up the road past the big house and pulled up in
front of the foreman’s house.
“We gonna’ live
here, Master?” Cole asked.
“It comes with
the foreman’s job, Son.” Potter allowed.
“It’s like a
palace. Needs some loving care, but nothing we can’t handle with
a couple a' days work.” Cole allowed.
Wait ‘til you
see the inside, Pa.” Shane said. Potter grinned at Shane calling
Cole ‘pa.’ He thought it was a wonderful honorific
cognomen. Cole was even more impressed after Shane and Potter
took him for a tour of the house. They unload their things and
began to take the covers off the furniture. Everything they did
was like a new adventure together, and Potter took great delight in
seeing the men share each new discovery with one another. As the sun was
setting they decided to walk back to the big house to fix supper.
Between the three of them they fixed a wonderful meal. Angus gave
Shane a bag of slave chow in case they couldn’t get food right
away. He was grateful because it might come in handy when there
was nothing else in the cupboards. They talked about many things,
and it was like Potter’s dream was coming true. He never felt so
relaxed with anyone and knew it had a lot to do with his
retirement. He never wanted to hold a position of power
again. It was just too difficult to juggle personal relationships
with those who would be your friends to curry favors and gain political
clout. While they were not stupid men by any stretch of the
imagination, Shane and Cole were about as basic as you could get.
Potter reveled in that comfort. Shane and Cole cleaned up the
kitchen and put everything away while still jawing with the old judge.
“You are coming
with us to my brother’s ranch for the celebration?” Shane asked
“I don’t know if
I should, Son.” he replied.
“Of course you
should. You’re no longer a judge and you’re very much a part of
our new family with all that implies.”
“I agree with my
young master, Sir. If I belong to him and you, then ain’t it fair
you should belong to us?” Cole reasoned.
“Ah, ha!” Potter
pointed his finger at Shane. “Now I know where you got
your sound reasoning, boy. You’ve been learning from your pa.” he
laughed and Shane laughed with him.
Judge, he never said very much, but when he did I listened, because it
was always important.”
“I guess it
would do me good to get out and form new relationships with the people
of our community. I’ll go if you want.”
starts at ten, but we should be there early to see if we can lend a
hand. I noticed you got stuff for breakfast in the fridge.
We’ll get up early to come up and fix breakfast for you, and have
in there for the three of us. We can go shopping later.”
Potter was thinking out loud.
“They’ll be more
food than you can imagine at my brother’s. My brother always puts
on a big spread. Then all them women of the Grange bring the best
damn dishes you can imagine. I’ll ask his housekeeper, Mrs.
Wallace, for a couple of containers of leftovers. We’ll have
something in the fridge if we get peckish. But before we go, I
need to prepare both of you. Remember our conversation about
telling you all after your retirement and me becoming a free man,
Son.” Potter agreed.
there’s gonna’ be two parties. The one tomorrow is for the town
folks and the Grange together. There will be another party Sunday
in another community close to my uncle’s ranch. Nevertheless, you
men just might see some unusual folks and animals tomorrow. It’s
a part of my life neither of you know about.” Shane explained.
“Is it part of
your alternate reality you spoke of, Son?” Potter asked him.
Like Jack and Jill and more giant creatures like Waco’s lummox slave;
huge warrior-like men, who are fierce looking but have gentle hearts;
talking dogs; and beautiful pixie women and warriors what fly.
Beautifully colored crystal people what can talk and sing to you in
your mind.” Shane watched the two men as they looked at him in a
stunned silence. They looked at each other and broke up
laughing. Cole remember the fantastic rumors he heard about
Angus, Shane, and Bill Birdsall’s adventures away from the ranch.
“I don’t know,
Master Potter, I done heard me some strange things about my young
master. I never gave them much truck, because you hear a lot of
horse shit from cowboy slaves.”
“All I ask is
you men keep an open mind, and I’ll try to explain anything you don’t
understand. I suppose I could show you some videos what might
soften the shock.” Shane went on to
explain how Lazarus Long arrived and told of his close involvement with
him. Shane spoke to Cole. “Remember them
old brooder houses what got struck by lightening and burned down on the
ranch and you an me were suppose to clean up the charred mess?
You helped most of the day but got called away to do another job.”
Shane jogged Cole’s memory. “While raking up I discovered a metal
box. I broke the lock off which had a book and some parchments in
it. I showed them to you, but we kept them a secret for
years. Well, the book was an historical record of Master Long’s
family and how they come to be; plus, there were some weird looking
scrolls written in a language we never saw before.”
remember. You hid it and never said nothing about it after
that. I forgot about it.” recalled Cole.
right. I done forgot about it until I first talked with Lazarus
Long. Them scrolls turned out to be the key what unlocked vast
underground caverns on Mars where we’ve been storing animals and
knowledge for the future, when the time comes to escape from Earth.”
“You mean you’ve
been to Mars, Shane?” asked Potter incredulously.
times. I was there last night with my brother. The lodge I
told you about is on Mars, Judge Potter.” Shane told him.
“How could you
get to Mars and back over night? It just ain’t possible.” the old
possible with the state of Earth’s technology, Sir. I’m talk’n
technology far beyond anything known on Earth. We can travel the
same way I got Jack and Jill here when I needed them, through
gates. Right this minute, as we speak, I got three robo-cams what
watch over me and protect me. They record ever’ thing I do.
It’s so’s my family can know where I am at any given moment and can
contact me, or I can contact them.”
“Where are they,
Master? We can’t see ‘em.” challenged Cole.
shifted just out of our sight. In other words, they’re invisible
to us, but I can make them visible. Robo-cam one, visible,
Captain Shane Goodnight, access code 346-595 Alpha Tango Bravo.” Shane
spoke and instantly there appeared a small silver orb in the
room. Shane got up to walk around, and it moved its position in
relationship to his. The two men were stunned. “It’s
capable of receiving scrambled video signals from my people and
de-scrambling it to send a short signal to any T.V. It’s capable
of transporting people or things from one area to another, like Jack
and Jill for instance. It contains a highly concentrated laser
cannon that can stun a man who might be holding a weapon on me.”
“Has Cole seen
Jack and Jill?” Judge Potter asked.
don’t know about all this. I’ve kept it from him for his
fantastic animals, Cole. They had beautifully colored tails and
were so gracious. I remember Shane told me they were from another
planet in a far off galaxy. Is that right, Son?” Potter seemed
like he was beginning to put things together.
With these devices I can contact my spaceship or Admiral Long’s ship
“You have your
own spaceship, Master?” Cole asked.
“Yes, and that’s
another thing. You may hear some folks or critters call me
Captain Shane tomorrow. That’s why.”
“Where is your
spaceship?” asked Judge Potter.
“Docked on board
its mother ship, the Bandersnatch.”
“Can we see it?”
asked Cole beginning to get excited.
you up for it, Judge?”
wondered if the rumors were true and who’s behind them. Are they
part of our government, Shane?”
This is altogether off world people who want to help us relocate when
the end comes. They’re busy collecting animal species, flora and
fauna, and gathering the sum total of human knowledge. They don’t
have time to be political.”
“You mean it’s
true. There will be a great calamity.” Potter asked.
“Yes, Sir, in
about five years, give or take, life on Earth will cease to exist as we
“My God, so
soon.” he seemed devastated.
“Not to fear,
Judge, you’re a part of my family now. You will be chosen along
with hundreds of thousands of others to be saved. We’ve been
gathering folks for five years. Certainly I will take my slave
with me, but he won’t always be a slave. Like me and my brothers,
he has to play a part even though I’ll introduce him to my greater
family. You will be expected to play your part as well, Judge.”
“What is my
not political anymore, your job is to be a retired gentleman
rancher. That’s what you planned to be, ain’t it? You’ll
just be like me and Cole, part of a greater extended family.”
“Do you mean to
tell me you had these cameras recording us when I... when
we....?” Cole couldn’t finish. Judge Potter slapped his
knee and laughed out loud.
living color and holographic three dimensions, Pa. Ever inch of
fine cowboy dick filling my ass with its sweet goodness. Wanna’
see?” Shane rightly reckoned it would prove to the men he wasn’t
blowing smoke up their butts.
I do!” said the old judge with enthusiam. Shane and Cole laughed
“Kyron are you
“I hear all,
Captain Goodnight. I record all.” Cole and Potter’s eyes got real
big at the sound of Kyron’s deep booming voice coming from the
robo-cams in surround stereo. He sounded like the very voice of
almighty. It was enough to make any man who was unprepared drop
to his knees in fear.
“Turn on your
T.V., Judge, and turn to channel 3.” Shane instructed him.
The old man
clicked on his new, enormously wide screen HDTV and changed its
receiver to Channel 3. There before them in wide screen on Master
Bill’s bed was Shane’s handsome pa fucking his boy for all he was
worth. The old judge broke up laughing. Cole blushed and
shook his head. He kept looking over at Shane and grinning real
“Leave it to
cowboys to fuck with their boots on!” Potter slapped his knee and
laughed. The old man’s unmitigated delight got Shane’s big stoic
cowboy slave laughing with him.
“Seemed like the
right thing to do at the time.” Cole laughed, “I's jes’ carrying out
yore’ orders, Judge.” Cole defended himself.
“And to my way
a’ thinking, from the looks of it, you done a damn fine job, slave.”
the judge laughed again. Shane looked down at the old man’s
crotch. He was hard as a rock and drooling in his
Wranglers. Cole saw it, too, and grinned. He was standing
behind Potter and motioned if Shane wanted him to fellate the old man
while he watched the video. Shane took it from there.
“Sit on the
couch, Judge.” Shane urged the old man, “Pa, be a good slave and help
our partner out.”
The judge set
down not taking his eyes off the screen. He paid little attention
to Cole as he knelt in front of him and removed his handsome cock from
his Wranglers. Cole was on him like a dog on a bone and sucked
the old man until he couldn’t hold it any longer and yelled at the top
of his voice.
boy, you never should a’ went and repaired my dessert making
machine. Take me, my handsome cowboy slave!” he yelled to
Cole. He moaned and groaned as he climaxed into Cole’s well
maw. When he recovered a little and got his breath he spoke to
wonderful. Thanks, men.”
family does for one another, Master Potter.” Shane told him.
for the remote and clicked it off. “I can’t watch no more of that
right now. You men will cause this old man to have a
coronary.” he laughed.
“Would you men
like to see more videos of my other life?” Shane asked.
Master.” Cole said.
“I second that.”
said the judge.
them the micro communities or colonies on the Bandersnatch, the
Buttercup and several other of the ships. He explained that’s
where the party on Sunday would be held among his alternate extended
family. He had a difficult time explaining microminiaturization
to them but insisted they would understand it in time. He told
how the colonies were being populated with people ‘raptured’ by the
Grange with people who were outcast, pariahs, and rejects from the
theocracy now controlling the country. He emphasized these were
people the theocracy had thrown away and whom they rescued from sure
death. Shane stressed he and the Grange were not a political nor
a paramilitary organization, but they definitely had the means to
themselves if threatened.
them videos of him naked on Mars running among the animals, being
lifted gently onto the back of a huge mammoth bull to ride. Shane
showed them videos of him helping a baby Kentaurian and standing in a
grove of mango trees surrounded by unicorns feeding them from his
hand. He showed them the videos of his cowboy brothers riding the
great flying horses at the rodeo in Parsons on the Bandersnatch.
He showed them videos of the Evanescent children dissolving into thin
air then reforming. He showed them pictures of him sitting naked
among many more Langerians like Jack and Jill. The judge
explained to Cole that’s what the critters looked like Shane brought to
the ranch to help his old horses.
them videos of the bladder whales of Venus, his conversation with
Chuchulack and the cowboys singing with Brett Jones and the
whales. He showed them footage of him and his cowboy brothers
mending the huge whales. Potter and Cole were stunned by what
they were seeing. This was not fake video. It was
real. Why would anyone go to such expense to fake something like
this? They were moved by the stories of this simple, humble man
who traveled the universe and was telling them they were now a
part of his family. Shane went on and on to show them the nude
Tao'Mac exercises of the Visallian warriors and they began to
men among them they knew including Shane. He showed them videos
of the singing pups and had them holding each other in laugher.
He showed them more and more videos of the animals and unusual critters
he called his family. It was midnight before Shane called a halt
to the home movie machine.
“Now do you men
understand some of the things I tell you about taking you places and
showing you things you can only imagine?” Shane asked
quietly. They nodded silently, “And why we must continue with our
double lives.” They nodded again like school children. “We’ve
been given a chance for a good life together as family for what time we
have left on this world. We must work hard to make each other
proud of our accomplishments, and we must see to each others comfort
and happiness until the time comes to leave. We will also take
among us, to work for us and support us, those who are worthy to be
saved but have been cast out. This is my dream I hope to share
with you men.” Shane finished.
“Of course we’ll
share it with you, Son. It’s a wonderful dream, Shane. I
felt it in my dreams. It felt so good, so right. Where did
my dreams come from? Were they from you?”
They come from the Voices of the Wind’s of Consciousness and the
Ancients. They are not gods. They are a highly developed
and advanced specie that sort of act like watch dogs and shepherds for
the universe. The voices carry information and suggestions.
The Ancients guide and direct, but they believe in free will. We
are not controlled. We have the power not listen to them and to
ignore their warnings if we so choose, but it’s never best to do
so. There are a couple of men who hear the Ancients. My
nephew Waco is one and there is only one other.”
“And that would
be you, Master?” Cole asked.
“Yes, Pa, it
is.” Shane confirmed.
“I had my
suspicions. Remember I told you once there were two from the
Goodnight breed I considered exceptional; one was your nephew
Waco? You were the
other, Shane. I only hope I live long enough to see it all come
the old man said quietly.
“Oh, ye of
little faith.” Shane smiled at him, “Did I not tell you I would keep
working on your dessert machine until you were in your late forties?”
“You told me
that, and I love you for the thought.” Potter confessed.
“You also asked
me what my family, the Grange, had to offer you?”
“I did.” the old
judge knew Shane well enough by now to know somehow he could back up
“Well, now that
you’re retired and I’m a free man, I can show you.” Shane said as
he clicked the T.V. back on.
“Kyron, do you
have some comparison pictures of several older men who have been
administered the longshot?”
“I do, Captain
Shane. I’ll put them up for you one at a time. When you’re
ready for another just say, ‘next.’”
picture to appear on the huge screen was that of the old Chief.
He was gray and his face looked like an old boot with lines and
wrinkles. He was missing many of his teeth. Beside this
was another of the same man about the age of forty-eight to
fifty. All the lines were gone. His hair was dark and full,
his eyes bright, his skin was clear and his teeth were perfect.
recognize Chief Ten Penny, Judge? This is before and after an age
regeneration serum developed by the scientist on board Admiral Long’s
ship. Next!” Shane spoke and the pictures changed.
The next pictures were of Jack Hall. Once again, Jack looked like
the old oil field roughneck he was and the picture next to the older
one looked twenty years younger with a full head of hair, perfect skin
recognize this man, Judge.” Shane inquired.
“Yes, he’s Jack
Hall, an oil field worker from Lubbock and Odessa. He appeared in
my court for his buddy who shot him in the back, Elam Stamper’s
trial. He’s a better man than I am. He refused to testify
against his friend, but Stamper was convicted anyway for attempted
murder on the testimony of ten other witnesses. He ultimately
bought Stamper and gave him to his brother in Colorado, I believe, as a
cowboy slave. Damn, he looks so much younger.”
“He and his
mate, who is an ex-temple guard for the Holy Prophet, run a beautiful
hotel on Captain Waco’s ship called the Buttercup. It’s a
favorite vacations spot for the colonies. Next.” said Shane.
The next picture
was a before and after shot of Warren Steele. The first picture
of Warren he looked every day of his seventy-two years and beside it
was another picture of a much younger man in his early fifties.
Judge Potter recognized Warren Steele immediately. They went
through school together as kids. He couldn’t believe the change
in Mr. Steele.
The pics went on
and on until Shane thanked Kyron again and shut off the T.V.
my brother’s ramrod is, himself, over two thousand years
old. I have it verified in his recorded histories. It is a
simple shot that will start your regeneration process
immediately. I’ve had the shot. Why do you think I look so
young? I have the body of an eighteen year old man. So has
my brothers, Angus and Charlie, and their families got the shot.
Angus is in his late fifties yet he looks to be in his mid
forties. Charlie don’t look a day over thirty-five. So has
all my cowboy brothers and many members of the Grange had the
shot. As a free man, Judge, you must give your consent if you
wish to receive it. My pa? He ain’t got no say in the
matter. He’s my slave, and he will have the shot. Sorry,
Pa, but I wanna’ make damn sure I don’t have to go on without you.”
“My God, it just
dawned on me, what you said about twenty years being nothing. I
thought you were being factitious or maybe a bit daft, but now it makes
perfect sense. What’s twenty years when you’re looking at
extending life ten fold. Of course I want the shot. What
man my age wouldn’t? The opportunity and promise of what you’ve
shown us is too great to pass up. I’m somewhat disgruntled and
jaded with this world, but from what you’ve shown us, I see hope for a
better world to come; a world much more fascinating than this one.”
“For what it’s
worth, Master, I’d like to git the shot, too.” said Cole, “Master
Potter’s right, it’s too great an opportunity to pass up. Whither
thou goest.” he added.
It was one
o’clock in the morning before Shane and Cole left the big house after
saying tearful goodbyes to the old man with many hugs and more
kisses. A full moon loomed large behind their new house; larger
than either had ever seen before. It must have been a visual
illusion made possible by some freak atmospheric anomaly. It
completely dwarfed their house standing before it and just to the right
of being dead center to the moon. Shane took Cole’s hand in his
like it was the most natural thing in the world to do as they walked
“Oh, this ain’t
fair. This is so wrong.” Cole stopped in his tracks, took one
long look at the scene before them and laughed, “Did you arrange for
that moon, Master?” Cole grinned.
“No, but I got
me a pert-damn good idea who did.” he laughed.
“You can’t miss
the metaphor.” said Cole.
happened to subtlety? Whoever set it out tonight,— they’re being
downright obvious. Where’d ju’ learn about metaphors, Pa?” Shane
“I read a
lot. I know what a metaphor, an analogy and a simile is.”
“Good, maybe you
can explain the last two to me.” Shane squeezed his hand and chuckled.
They fixed their
bed earlier before they walked down to the big house for supper.
All they had to do
was shower and go to bed. They were so tired Shane even cancelled
the shower, and they went to bed with the full essence of their bodies
surrounding them. They didn’t have sex, but they slept with
erections all through the night. Early the next morning, fifteen
minutes before his alarm was about to go off, Shane took care of his
End of Chapter
55 ~ Waco’s Lummox
Copyright 2008 ~
any right wing politician who has less integrity than a circus
* I. H. truck =