How's that for an alliteration to wake you up with? :)
It was so nice to not have to think about posting on Wednesday! Perhaps someday I'll post twice a week again, but for now it is delightful to only post once. This week has been slow and busy at the same time. I went over to a friend's house on Tuesday and she and I spent 2 1/2 hours trying to get my book in the right format to upload for Kindle. If it wasn't for her brother-in-law we'd either still be sitting at the computer or we'd have given up. The brother-in-law is going to fix the last little part that wasn't working quite right and then send it back to me. Now I know who to send any other books to. :)
We had the animal control come a put a trap out so we can hopefully catch the skunks that have moved into the neighborhood. The first night we caught a cat. Don't know where this one lives (we have strays and neighbor cats and none of them are supposed to be in our yard) so we let it out. Then later that morning, we caught a squirrel. Poor thing. I let it out and it sure scolded me! :D Last night one of the skunks got in the trap, but it didn't close. Phooey! But, at least we know he'll probably be back and not scared of it.
I've been busy getting ready for Family Round-Up. That is a day some friends of ours put on at their place. As you may have guessed, it is all western theme and there are games to play and things to do and a pie judging and door prizes. I'm running the Possum Hunt. :) It's hard to believe Round-Up is tomorrow! Looking forward to it!
Most of the evenings this week have been great for writing. I really get in the mood to write when it starts to grow chilly. Especially when I'm writing a fall story. :) I'm not sure how long this story will be. My instructions were 2,000 + words. I've almost reached the 2,000 words and then we'll see what happens.
I believe I promised you a Triple Creek Ranch today. So, here it is. I hope you enjoy it. I know, Orlena is so awful that it is hard to really "enjoy" it.
Norman had finished brushing his horse when Jenelle came into the barn. He looked up and greeted her with a kiss.
“How was your day?” he asked.
“Quiet,” Jenelle replied stooping to pick of a small kitten that was attempting to climb her skirt. “Orlena has been out since she ate breakfast. She--”
But she got no farther for at that moment a sudden, terrified scream filled the air!
In a flash, Norman was out of the barn glancing about. The scream came again and he rushed towards the hill followed by his wife while the foreman and the hired hands poured from the bunkhouse. At the top of the hill Norman halted suddenly and ordered firmly, “Orlena, stop right there.”
“A skunk,” Jenelle half moaned before calling a few of the hands to go fetch some jars of tomatoes. “Norman, you take her out to the pump behind the barn. I’ll fetch some clean clothes and more tomatoes and then I’ll take over.”
Norman nodded, turning his head away as he beckoned his sister. The smell was almost nauseating.
Thirty minutes later, Jenelle and Orlena made their way to the dining room where supper was waiting. The smell of the skunk was nearly gone, though a faint aroma from the striped animal was still present, lingering unperceived for several minutes only to torment those nearby by coming forth unexpectedly. Orlena had on a different dress, one more suited to daily life though still far too fine for a ranch.
Seated at the table together for the first time, Norman drew a deep breath, frowned slightly at the smell of skunk and tried to prepare himself for anything. He had never seen his wife and sister together other than briefly at the station and on the way home. He could tell by a glance at his wife that she wasn’t worried, in fact, she looked slightly amused while his sister looked ready to explode.
Hardly waiting until Norman said “Amen,” Orlena burst forth, “Norman! You must fire that man!”
Pausing with his glass half way to his lips he asked, “What man?” In the excitement of the skunk he had forgotten about Lloyd’s meeting with Orlena.
“Lloyd Something-or-other. He dared to try ordering me about and refused to do as I directed!”
Instead of growing angry or stern as Jenelle had expected, she was amazed to hear his calm reply. “I already did.”
Orlena gave a satisfied sigh. She knew Norman would do as she told him to.
“Norman,” Jenelle gasped, “you didn’t really, did you? He is one of the best hands we have!”
“Oh, I fired him all right,” Norman told her. Then, with a grin he added, “But I hired him back not ten seconds later. Of course I wouldn’t lose a hand like Hearter.”
Before Jenelle could do more than sigh with relief that her husband hadn’t dismissed Lloyd, Orlena burst forth in fury.
“You’re making fun of me!” she raged, slamming her fork on the table. “You can’t keep that impertinent man on this ranch! I won’t stand for it. And further more,” she stormed, “this place is a disgrace! You have filthy animals, all of whom are ill-tempered and you don’t even care enough about your own sister to order the hired hand,” and Orlena spit the words out as though they tasted bad, “to follow my directions! My dress is ruined and you will have to pay for a train ticket for me to go back to the city to have a new one fitted and made and you will pay for the new one too.” She sat glaring at her brother as though he was personally responsible for what happened to her dress.
As the angry girl paused for breath, Norman spoke tersely, holding himself sternly in check. “Are you quite through?” he asked. “Because if you are not, perhaps you had better finish all your complaints now before your dinner grows cold.”
“Dinner,” snorted Orlena. “Grandmother wouldn’t have served this to the servants!”
Watching the faces of the angry brother and sister, Jenelle wondered what she could do or say. Should she try to make peace now or would it be better both for Orlena as well as Norman to have it out all at once. Before she could decide, Norman spoke again.
This time his voice was low and stern. “Now it is my turn to talk. In the first place, no one on this ranch is, nor will be, under your orders. At least not until such a time as you can prove yourself worthy of such responsibility. In the second, you will obey any directions given you by anyone working or living here. Third,” unintentionally Norman was slowly raising his voice. “Third, the ruined dress was the fault of no one but yourself, and I will not send you nor it to the city. And fourth, if you don’t wish to eat your dinner, you may leave and go to your room.”
Half a moment of silence followed while the brother and sister locked eyes in a power struggle and the tension in the room mounted higher and higher with each passing second. Then suddenly, Orlena exploded.
“How dare you talk to me like that!” she screamed. “I won’t follow anyone’s orders like a common slave! And you will pay for a new dress just like that other one!”
“And,” the spoiled brat pushed back her chair in fury and turned on Jenelle, ignoring her brother, “you are nothing but an ignorant country nobody and you WILL do as I tell you!”
“Orlena!” Norman brought his hand down on the table with a thud, causing the dishes to rattle. “That is enough!” He commanded hotly. “No one speaks to my wife in that manner. Now either apologize this instant or go to your room.” His eyes flashed for his temper was roused.
“I won’t apologize!” Orlena snapped. “And I--”
Oh that girl! Do you feel the same way?