This story is an orphan – that is, the writer has not been active in the fandom for a long time, and the story has been rescued from the old, defunct Yahoo groups. So that we don’t lose the story entirely, we’re storing it here.
However the original author still owns this story. Should they reconnect with the fandom at some point, we will naturally respect whatever they want to do with their story.
Word count 1,164
Originally posted in the Homecoming 2005 Lancer Souvenir Fanzine
The day was hot and the dust just couldn’t get settled as the mid-day sun beat down upon the Lancer Ranch as the wind howled through the air and danger spoke through nature.
Murdoch had left the night before for a week’s business trip to settle some dispute with some very annoying ranch owner from–Theresa gave herself a mental shake–what was the name of that ranch? Something to do with a tree–an evergreen, wasn’t it?
She’d been there once before, but all she could remember was that the man had had three sons and the youngest had caught her eye with his boyish charm.
But that was not what she sighed about. Murdoch would be fine, it was Johnny and Scott she was worried about… again.
They had left about the same time as Murdoch had, mumbling some vague reference to fixing fences or whatever guys find amusing to do. But the trouble was, they hadn’t returned yet and it’d been over a day and a half.
And they always seemed to do this to her.
And now she was worried. Again. Like all those other times she worried about those two brothers. They never could keep out of trouble. She remembered back to the days when things were quieter… when they weren’t around. Back then the only sound would be of Murdoch sulking around the house, consumed in his socalled-life.
Yet it had been so less stressful back then…
Her eyes glazed over in rememberance. When life was still simple… of days when quietness was the rule, not a rare occurance, and the only worrying she had to do was if supper was going to be burnt or Murdoch was going to be late.
Hmmm… The good ol’ days.
Her thoughts were interupted by the sound of Jelly yelling for help.
So much for tranquility…
With a slap of her knee, and rolled eyes, she slowly stood up.
“I really need to get married and away from here.”
She made her way to the door, but before opening it she stomped her foot in frustration.
“God have mercy on me.”
As she opened the door, she plastered a fake look of concern on her face.
“What is it now?”
She snapped, her voice betraying her obvious irritation.
“Johnny and Scott are hurt! Really, really badly!” Jelly almost screamed in urgency, gesturing to where Johnny and Scott sat hunched over in their saddles.
Theresa smirked, “And this is so much different then last time how?”
“Wha….” Jelly stuttered.
“What I mean is, is this supposed to surprise me or come as any great shock?” She commented archly as she shook off the look of hurt the brothers cast her way.
She held up her hand before either could comment.
“Shut up and get off the horse… Johnny, when I said get off, I obviously didn’t mean fall… Good Lord you’re such a baby. Scott, go drag yourself and Johnny up to your bedrooms. Now.”
She turned and left to get the supplies that she had set out the day before just knowing what would happened when they did return.
The boys, with much grumbling of abuse, and with Jelly’s help, made their way up the staircase.
Theresa slammed the door.
“Jelly, go leave and play with your poop duck or whatever you do. Maybe send a telegram to Murdoch and tell him his wonderful sons decided to get all target practicey.” She pivoted and shook a finger. “Oh, shut up Scott, I know what I’m talking about more than you do!”
Stunned, and mouth hanging open, Jelly left.
“Now for you two… What the hell have you been up to? Huh? Scott, you’re suppose to be older and wiser! You neither act it nor even try! And Johnny, I thought you were so fast? Yeah, well a lot of good that does you!” She paused. “Let me take a stab at what happened. Hmm…. It all happened when one of Johnny’s past ‘friends’–and I say that loosely–caught up to you and shot Johnny in the stomach for some sort of dumb revenge, then shot at Scott, being an easy target he is, hitting him in the same shoulder he got hit in last week and the week before… But, of course, in the end, good prevailed and the haunted past is slowly being repented for… blah blah blah… You guys are so boring!”
She sighed in annoyance, “Johnny, would you stop your moaning. It’s only a flesh wound. And Scott, could you stop bleeding all over the nice white bedding? Oh, so this isn’t how it happened? Well then explain it to me… Some shadow came out… yeah… it didn’t look human? What have I told you about unhuman shadows? Hmm… don’t go after them, duh! Okay, continue. Johnny got shot by accident when the sheriff thought you were tresspassers… yeah, well serves you right. If I’ve told you once I’ve told you a million times–read the signs! ‘No Tresspassing’ is not written in Chinese! So, he got shot…. What about you Scott? You fell on your gun and it went off? Well, that was just plain stupidity! You guys never learn. How many times did I tell you the safety on your gun is there for a reason? Oh, quiet Johnny, I know you’re bleeding, but that’s your own fault now isn’t it? So, what did we learn today? Yes Scott, that was a serious question and a report will be expected to be filled out. Guys, would you stop groaning and moaning, you act like you are in actual pain.”
Theresa turned to get the bandaging. “You guys are so pathetic. After all this time, you think you’d have learned to duck or just simply walk away with all your limbs! Though it may have been a false rumor, I do believe it is the popular thing to do these days.”
Another glare. “Johnny, stop coughing up blood, for crying out loud. Scott, you ain’t dying, though it’s starting to sound tempting. Why do I even try? I’m so tired of worrying about you guys and having you get all bloody and gross! Every week… The same old thing, blood, bullets, bruises, arguments and more blood! I quit! You’re on your own! Maybe you’ll learn not to get in trouble. No, I’m not being unfair, Scott. He’s your brother–you help him, for goodness sake! I’m not even related to you two!!”
Theresa threw the gauze at Scott.
“I’m too tired for this. I’m taking a nap. You get yourselves cleaned up and stop whining, I like a quiet nap for a change. You act just like a couple of babies.”
The door slammed…
And Theresa woke from her dream.
“Theresa! Scott and Johnny are back and they’re hurt! We need your help… quickly!”
Theresa sighed. I wonder if I shouldn’t ask for a better retirement plan.
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