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Careful what you wish for...(A rewrite)

Tell us about your adventures, amazing stories, wow us with your wit...use your imagination, tell us some of the greatest moments in your life.

Post Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:01 pm

Careful what you wish for...(A rewrite)

Careful what you wish for...A western story, though fiction, contains some real things in it.

Edited by - Finalday on 8/14/2005 3:40:41 PM

Post Fri Apr 22, 2005 5:02 pm

Careful what you wish for...

The day was a hot one. One of those with no wind, you know what I mean? Just plain hot. Another day on the roof fixing leaks. Tar flows just about as fast as the seat on my face. Third wipe of my face and I’m done for the day. I always love Fridays. The long weekend and all. Brings a laugh within. Two days is hardly enough time to rest up for another week run.

Climbing down off the old rung ladder, I gather up my things and head for the shop. This one couldn’t end fast enough for me. Tar all over and getting messier by the moment did not add to my attitude any. I had had my fill of these type days and wanted a more simpler time, if you know what I mean. I have been reading a lot of western magazines and stories lately. They talked of a colorful and peaceful time in life. It’s one that I long for, not this headaches.

Time to clock out and head for home. Now that sounds sooo good, except home, is an hour or so drive away still. Hazards of little work in a small town. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for a city job. No way and no how. After getting the A/C to crank up a little and cool the truck off, I slide a Hank Williams Jr. CD in and turn the music up. The first song, A County Boy Can Survive, strikes a cord in me. Seems to add to the attitude I got today. After a bit, I’m humming along and the time picks up.

An hour and a half after getting off work, I pull into my apartment community. Trudging inside, I drop keys and all into the basket by the door. As usual, I head to the computer and cut it on and key on my internet program with the modem screeching in the background as it connects. I disappear into the kitchen to start some supper. Something simple tonight should do. So, I open a can of tuna to make a couple of sandwiches. The “Ding” of incoming mail reminds me to head back to the computer to hit the “Enter” button to start downloading the mail. Hopefully it isn’t all junk or spam.

Finally, with sandwiches and a drink in hand, I head back to the computer. I love the bigger desk, and it gives me more room for such things. The mail has been downloaded. The usual newsletters and updates from sites I registered at, and a personal letter from a friend in Texas. I click on my computer and then the D: backup drive and head for the music folder. Tonight, I feel like a little John Denver for background music. I open the sub folder in Media player and set it to repeat the whole thing when finished.

After a half hour sorting mail and reading the newsletters, I open up the browser and pull up The Lancers Reactor. It’s a space sim game forum. Been a moderator for a little bit, but it’s a good diversion to go to on long days. People there from all over the world to meet. There is even those that provide humor, even if they don’t intend it. Tonight, one of them, who had been missing for a while, decided to come back, but adding the phrase, “Drifts back into the shadows” to his posts. Always brings a smile to me.

I created a thread, about wanting simpler times. I dug up and posted some western pictures. I went there first to see what responses I had gathered. A few, usually the younger set, reply back, that it wasn’t what it seems, or have other ideas of a time period, usually about fifteen years before they were born. Something about the 60's that seems to interest them, though I didn’t think they were that good going through them the first time.

I get a couple of replies though, that seem to understand what I’m after. I dug around a bit and found some sites that have Dude ranches, places where you can go a ride horses and live a little of the western life. I want more for that kind of life. Something so that I could get away to and get a little peace a quiet, but one that did not cost near one thousand dollars though. Ouch, that price did bite a little bit. So, those are put on the back burner for a bit.

Well, getting near eleven o’clock and bed time. At least tomorrow was Saturday, I could sleep in and catch up on it a little. One of the few things I get to look forward to. I glance through one of the Cowboy magazines I picked up. Some very beautiful country, with majestic mountains and clear blue skies that I could love in the drop of a hat. I lay the magazine on the bed side table and reach for the lamp switch. “I wish I could have a chance at that type of life, I would give anything to be there” I said out loud to no one. As I started to drift off to sleep, a voice whispers, “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it.”

Chapter 2

“What the heck?” I yelled out. The bed seemed hard as a rock and a rolled up pillow in the middle of my back. I wondered if I had rolled off and was on the floor. I slowly reached over for the lamp but found nothing. I opened an eye, it was still dark, but there was enough light from over head to see, I was not in my bed, or my bedroom. I was in a barn laying on straw, and it suddenly hit me with the smell as well. I quickly tried to wake up. Where was I? After what seemed about five minuets, I started thinking, that it was just a dream and I wanted to enjoy it and see how it played out. But the assaults of smells and sounds didn’t set well with me. Dreams didn’t get this detailed, at least not mine. Even though I had some dreams before that seemed so real, only to wake up later.

So, I sat up, and noticed my clothes had changed, not the ones I own, but a pair of jeans that seemed really old, and they had suspenders too. Don’t know where these came from, I don’t keep them when they get this old. I had on cowboy boots as well. I looked to the right of me and saw what looked like a bed roll, or at least what they looked like in pictures. Then it hit me, the magazine was what fueled the dream, so I grinned.

Standing up, I brushed the straw and dirt off me. when suddenly I heard a horse whinny. There were three in here. I moved toward the first and reached to pet it. It’s coat seemed so real, not like the other dreams, where you can’t feel things. I could feel the muscles ripple under the coat and it stepped closer towards me. It seemed that the horse was friendly enough, almost like it knew me. I looked for the door of the barn or whatever I was in.

I was thirsty, which also seemed strange for a dream. The big barn door was off to the right. I pushed it open and saw the night sky. It was cloudless with a big beautiful moon, which explained the light I had seen inside. The roof had holes and let the light in.

As I looked around, I noticed more buildings. There were wooden walkways and what looked like oil lamps near a couple of doors. For the most part, the street, if you could call the dirt that, was deserted. Only the darkened shadow of someone walking cross the street about two hundred feet away. I turned back to the barn. There was a trough near the door, with a pump handle. I pumped it a couple of times till water came out. It as cool to the touch, and tasted just as good. Then I stopped in my tracks. I have never “tasted” anything in a dream, ever. I had eaten food in dreams before, but none had any taste, even though I knew what the taste should be like. This was creeping me out.

Thirst satisfied, I went back into the barn and sat at the bed roll. I was going to either wake up from this dream or wait for daylight. It seemed so real, like those dreams that would scare me, because they had seemed so real. I tried everything I could to wake up, moving around and all, hoping to toss and turn in bed and wake myself. But it was of no use. This dream, was a weird one.

About an hour later, I guess, the barn door creaked open and the foot steps moved inward with another sound with them, a jingle. It stopped then turned my way and came to me. “Hey, Michael, you awake yet?” I looked up at the voice that spoke. It was a kind one, not one however that I was familiar with. The man had a worn shirt and jeans, similar to mine, though a bit better in shape. He held an oil lamp up for me to see. He had five days worth of beard on his face, but friendly eyes. I looked downward to his belt. A six shooter was strapped on and tied to his leg.

All I could do was shake my head and ask the obvious. “Who are you, and where am I” not sure of the answer I would get. He looked at me strangely, like I would at someone who asked a stupid question.

“Are you ok, Michael?” he asked again, “ What did you do, get too close to the horses and one of em kick you?” He grinned at that thought. “It’s me, Will,” when that did not register, “Will Carter, this is my livery you holed up in because you had no place else to go.” He just shook his head and began to saddle one of the horses, the very same one that seemed to like me.

I stood and again brushed the straw off aw the man opened a stall and led the horse out. “Tell you what, head out of town, about one mile, when you reach the creek, follow it up stream for a half mile to the De Kock farm, you can’t miss it.” He finished cinching the saddle in place and handed me the reins. “ Dusty needs a good grooming, bring her by tomorrow and I’ll take care of her, and don’t worry, you can work off the cost if you want.”

All I could do was stand and stare while trying to keep my mouth closed. Was he expecting me to ride this horse? Then I realized he meant for me to ride the horse. I looked at the head and the tail, then put on foot in the stirrup. “Did you forget how to ride over night Michael, my word, you really must have gotten kicked in the head, here, let me give you a hand.” He gave me a lift up into the saddle and made sure both feet were in the stirrups. He handed me the reins and a word. “Dusty seems to know you real well even if you seem to have lost your mind.” It was followed with a grin. “Let her lead you when you need to, least till you get your memory back.” For a second, he scratched his head and then a thought came to his mind, “Oh, tell Olof to stop by this week sometime, I got the news shoes for his mules he wanted.”

Chapter 3

I had watched a few westerns, so I wasn’t totally with out a clue. I pulled on the reins and Dusty turned toward the gate of the corral and I rode over to it. Will opened it and waved as I ambled on out and out of town. It is true, that its darkest before the dawn, but here, there were no city lights to help.

An hour later, the sun slowly peaked over the horizon. The sky, bluer than I have ever seen it. A few small clouds drifted over head. The trail, dusty and narrow, showed no signs of cars or other vehicle tracks, except for what I took to be wagon wheels and those looked old, as if no had been this way in a while. The brush, tumble weeds, if I remember, rolled slowly with the light breeze. Horse back riding was fun, once I got over the nervousness of it that is. I looked backward, and saw only the smoke of the town. It was just a dot now.

About twenty minutes at the slow pace I was going, I reached the creek. It looked about twenty five feet wide, but very shallow, maybe half a foot. I turned Dusty upstream and we ambled on at the same pace for another thirty minuets, till I could see a fence paralleling the path. Over the next rise, I saw a farm house, barn and a garden. A woman and a young girl were working the garden, looking like they were picking vegetables. Both were dress like they were in the Little House on the Prairie show bonnets and all. The barn door was open and the sound of metal on metal came from within it.

At the sound of the my approaching horse, the woman looked up, and the hammering sounds from the barn stopped. A man appeared in the door way of the barn. He wiped his hands with a rag and then his forehead. Recognition appeared on his face and he waved to me. I looked behind me, as I had no clue who he was. He waved me over again and went back into the barn. Dusty, though, did seem to know them and headed towards the barn. It seemed that I was just along for the ride. As I neared it, the man came back out and up to me and patted Dusty on the head, “Dusty, old friend, how are you doing” he spoke.

“Are you Olof” I asked, unsure as to what to do. He scratched his head a second.

“Don’t tell me you got kicked in the head again for sleeping with the horses?” He said and then leaned back a little, and gave a good old fashion belly laugh. I tried climbing out of the saddle but ended up falling straight on my face. Never had a day, seem to go so wrong. Now, I ached in body and in pride. Olof helped me up and I tried to salvage as much pride as I could and began to dust off as if nothing was wrong.

Olof just shook his head as he began to loosen the saddle and removed it from Dust and set it on the bench where he kept the rest of the Tack. He called to one of his daughters to come into the barn. The youngest was the one that arrived. She looked to be about sixteen or so. He asked her to give Dusty a good brushing and then to stall him and give him some feed. Then he turned back to me and motioned for me to follow him out of the barn. I took another look at the young girl. It was like I had seen her somewhere before, but I couldn’t place it. For that matter, Olof looked more and more familiar as well. I scratched my beard and followed on out.

Edited by - Finalday on 8/14/2005 4:45:31 PM

Post Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:38 pm

Ooh... New forum, And I'm the first to reply!

Good story, though. It has potential. But I hope that this doesn't mean that you're stopping your other one.

Post Sun Aug 14, 2005 4:50 pm

No, the other is still on, just been posting stories here for a long time. Change the View to last year.

Post Sun Aug 14, 2005 5:18 pm

His wife opened the door of the house just as we arrived. Olof explained that I would be staying on the farm a few days and would need a few things to bed down in the hay loft. She nodded and turned back into the house and went to retrieve them. He motioned me to a chair at the table near the fire place. I sat as he turned a chair around backward and sat facing me. “Now tell me, how much do you remember”. The question caught me by surprise. It was like he really believed I had been kicked I the head or something.

Chapter 4

What do I remember, hmm. That’s a good question I thought. I still ‘remember’ computers, my truck, and work, but what he’s asking, if I remember my past here and now. There was no memory. I didn’t belong here, yet this is where I found myself. That kept me in thoughts till he prompted me again. “Well, nothing in regards to here and now, but, I do remember how to get on the internet, how to work in apartments. But, I don’t have any idea of why I’m here, how I got here or any idea of how to get home. It all seems a dream to me”.

He took a moment to digest this and compose a new thought. “Your saying, you have no memory of this place, the town, or of us” he said indicating his family. I just shook my head. He scratched his and thought a moment the said “Well, it looks like we might just have to educate you in the ways of the west my friend.” he replied with a grin. We headed out to the barn. He wanted to show me around, to get the feel of things. I figured I might as well go along, at least till the dream was over. It seemed interesting enough, even if I couldn’t control the way the dream was going.

Night came quickly enough, and Olof’s oldest daughter Carla, showed me where I could bed down in the hay loft for the night. It was comfortable enough and I got a lay out of where the out house was before turning in. The sounds of the horses below was strangely comforting. The smell was less than I had thought, and still strange to me that I could even notice it in a dream. Maybe now I would wake up at home and get on with things.

Sleep finally came. I had dreams of sitting at my computer again, but was typing something unusual. It was a note to family and friends that I was leaving, but would be ok. I explained to them I would not be seeing them again, but loved them and would miss them. It was a bit too weird to be believed. Like a dream within a dream. It repeated a couple of times. In each, I would send a copy of it in e-mail and in a letter to the people. I even typed better in the dream than I did in real life.

The dawn finally did arrive, but not with an alarm clock like I was hoping. It came at the sound of a rooster crowing and sounds of sheep. I sat up, brushing straw from my hair. I was still here, in this barn, in this dream world. I just shook my head and pulled my boots on and found my hat. It had taken me a while, but I was getting use to wearing a cowboy hat now. I rolled up the bed roll and tied it up and headed for the ladder. Olof was waiting at the bottom when I climbed down. “Breakfast will be ready in about ten minutes, so I brought you a towel, incase you wanted to get cleaned up first.” He pointed to the freshly filled trough at the pump.

This, I thought, was going to take a lot of getting use to, no more hot showers. I began to rinse the dust off and washed my face. On impulse, I dunked my head and then toweled it dry. Getting a part without a comb wasn’t easy. I would have to look for one at the local store. I headed to the families house, the aroma of cooking hung in the air. They were all seated there, Carla sitting next to her sister Nicola and Olof pulling the chair out to sit next to his wife. He indicated the chair at the end of the table. Antoinette, Olof’s wife, as it turned out was quite the cook and did a great job with breakfast, though I could have just been more hungry than usual.

After sitting and getting situated, Olof and his wife joined hands and prayed for the meal, thier family and the new guest they had and for God’s blessing on all. This struck me as not typical for most families I knew, but it did strike a pleasant chord within me.

The meal was bacon, eggs and bread. Olof and his wife had coffee, but I opted for water as I had never acquired a taste for coffee. I was so hungry, and then it occurred to me again, for what seemed like a dream, I could taste things and knew them by taste. No dream was ever like this. Small talk was had of the day and chores to be done. Olof asked me to give him a hand setting some fence posts and I said no problem. As the meal concluded, Antoinette began to gather the dishes. Nicola picked up hers and Carla’s and began to help. “I’m taking the buggy this morning, Papa, and should be home a little after three o’clock” Carla said and gathered her papers for school. The buggy was waiting for her outside. It was what Olof was doing after he came to check on me.

I headed for the outhouse and then to the barn. Olof had the buck board loaded with tools and posts and three rolls of barbed wire. I knew I was going top to be tired tonight. We set off for the creek I had past on the way here. His land stretched that far and followed the creek for half a mile. It was also in debate as to the legality of putting up a fence Olof told me, but as he had clear rights to the land and the creek, he was fencing it in to protect his family and animals. He did have plans in place to adjust the fence to leave open a space in the creek at points so riders and others could have access to water. It calmed some of his neighbor’s concerns a bit.

The workings of this day in age troubled me a bit, and I pestered Olof with about a thousand and one questions. He did his best to answer them, and even smiled a bit at some I asked. I know it made me seem stupid to him, but I had so much to pick up that others took for granted here. We got six posts set and strung wire before taking a break.

Olof moved to the seat area of the wagon and dug under some canvas and asked me if I ever shot a rifle before. I said yes, even though it was a long time ago. He pulled two rifles out and tossed on to me. I caught it and looked it over as he moved beside me. He spoke softly and pointed to across the creek. I saw what he was looking at. A pair of wolves. He cocked his rifle and I did the same. He whispered that there was a bounty for wolves here bouts. He said to sight the one on the right and he would get the one on the left. I sighted in and fired and his report was a second after mine. Both wolves went down.

Post Tue Aug 16, 2005 11:32 am

Olof and his wife joined hands and prayed for the meal, thier family and the new guest they had and for God’s blessing on all.

I thought we weren't allowed to discuss religion. Are moderators exempt from that rule? Or do you not mind religious viewpoints that agree with your own?

And what if I were Mod, and felt that I personally could not respond to such a thread without bringing religion into it? Should I then lock it?

The story itself is pretty good. It's a little dry, but not overwhelmingly so. What it could use is a bit of character depth: what kind of relationship does Olof have with his wife? Is there any conflict between him and his daughters? Is Olof and his family exempt from any conflict one would find in a modern family, and if that's the case, what kind of effect does that have on the narrator?

Post Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:14 pm

No Wilde, this is a story, not a discussion, therefore it does not violate the rules. As to family details, some are coming, others are not needed. Again, if you don't like the story, no one makes you read it. Some stories are meant to just be read, not analized and disected.

Edited by - Finalday on 8/16/2005 4:28:46 PM

Post Tue Aug 16, 2005 3:54 pm

therefore it does not violiat the rules

So ostensibly I could write a story concerned with Christianity and evangelism being the downfall of a civilization, pointing out the moral decay in the religion? Would that be acceptable?

I didn't say I didn't like it. I pointed out its faults as I saw them. You responded, and I accepted what you had to say. But what I did is not "analizing (sic) and disecting" it, it's pointing out what could be made better. Why do you have such a negative reaction to criticism? Do you think your work is already in a perfect form, that you know better than your critic, or that the opinions of those who love your work are worth more than those who don't? Do you not want your work to become better?

Edited by - Wilde on 8/16/2005 4:59:07 PM

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