Four boys glow on the porch of the mountain cabin. The morning sun tints them in orange. Their denimed legs create infinite shadows down the rippling floorboards. The dew-soaked, bark-stripped, rough-hewed, corner-post Ponderosa steams from the warmth. The west side of the cabin and the unkempt meadow grasses shiver in the shade and the frost. Someone’s written their name with a hot-from-a-pocket index finger in the slick-soft white stuff: “KARL”—with a ‘k’.
All four matriculated from High School. Probably all four in college back home. One of the two in the middle is old enough to drink. Every one of them thinks himself a full-grown man.
Before the day is done they’ll saddle up and kick their heels into Rounder, Rust Bucket, Taint, and Taylor’s Rod. Before the day is done they’ll round up a remuda of nearly a hundred horses and head to the higher Spring pasture. Before the day is done the youngest will be dead and the other three wishing it weren’t so.
When the sun is gone another one will be dead and the other two pleased.
Well, that went dark on me fast. Nice that I don’t make it hard on myself to write. Shouldn’t be too challenging to kill two of them off and leave the other two happy about it in less than a day’s time.