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 Utter

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PostSubject: Utter   Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:38 am

Your new prompt, should you accept the challenge, is to give us your best interpretation for the prompt 


safe  utter  Draw


That can not only mean something said, muttered, last words, declared in writing or by word of mouth, an oath, or anything which can be said or written, it can also mean to pass over money, forged or otherwise. Allthat gives you a very free hand to give us a story.


Don't forget to comment on last months story before starting on July's as comments are the only thanks our writers get.     
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Cal

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PostSubject: Re: Utter   Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:23 am

I'm in like greased racing snake this month.... Huge apologies ...to everyone.... Hope I don't get excommunicated...


Utter Drivel


“Hi love … What you doing?”

“Not much … Thought I’d make an early start on a challenge this month … Left it really late last month …. Nearly missed it!”

“And … How’s it going?”

“Utter drivel! Can’t think of anything … Huuuumph … Where’s a dimpled ex-outlaw when you need one?”

“Heyes?  Haven’t seen him ‘round …fer weeks … Thought you must have done something to upset him.”

“Me! Since when did I upset him … When’s the last time I shot him?  Or had him go back so young his voice went up three octaves?  I’m the nice remember … the kind, woosy one … I hardly ever hurt him.”

“Ok … Ok … Just thought … as how we hadn’t seen him for a bit… Can’t Kid help?”

“He’s gone… already.  Think I may have upset him …with a vegan lunch … He said something about heading out West fer a bit … I think he meant fer a steak… hehehe…. Anyway… This needs Heyes’ genius.  Its tricksy.”

“Ring ‘round the gang … Someone’s feeding him …you can be sure.”

“Yeah … yeah … OK … Good idea.”
 
BIRRRRP BIRRRP BEEP


Allo allo… I am so sorry … MoulinP can’t come to zee phone right now … Listen very carefully … I will say zis only once …. Leave a message after zer…


BEEEEP


“Hi… Moulin … It’s Cal …. I was wondering … is Heyes there? Could you get him to ring me … it’s about this utter drivel I’m writing … it needs some genius input … Well … If you do happen to…”

CLUNK


“Allo? Cal? Is zat you?”

“Oh…. Hi Moulin… Yeah … I’m looking for Heyes…”

“Oh… Zis is terrible … You ‘ave just missed ‘im … ‘e ‘as been…. ‘ow you say…. ‘elping me … wiz… um… zer crumpets… er… zer baking of zer crumpets….”

“Oh … That’s nice… Did he say where he was headed?”

“Well… He said ‘e thought …Kelpie …would like to share in zee crumpets…”

“Kelpie? Silver kelpie…. Ok …Thank you”

“Au revoir“

CLUNK




 
“Any luck love?”

“No … Moulin thinks he’s heading to Kelpie’s… for crumpets…”

“Crumpet with Kelpie … Yes… That sounds like Heyes.  I been thinking…”

“I thought we had a pretty fair arrangement about that…”

“Ha … ha … Save it for the page … I’ve been thinking … Didn’t you have Kid, give Heyes a pretty good thump, not so long ago?”

“Well …yes… It was necessary … for the story … Heyes knows I don’t just thump him for nothing.  You think he’s sulking?”

“Point is… you didn’t thump him … Kid did.”

“Huh?”

“Kid has a thump like a mule … I remember … “

“Oh, come on… I thought you were over that … You know Kid was just being gallant … He didn’t know you’d cut your head open, playing footie, the day of our first date … and it was your blood all over me, after we slow danced… He thought…”

“I know … I know … But I’m just saying… Kid’s got a hell of a thump and Heyes isn’t going to forget that in a hurry… And you wrote it.”

“Perhaps I should apologise?”

“Perhaps you should.”
 
BIRRRRP BIRRRP BEEP


Ouch eye …. Hallooo … I’m afraid Silver Kelpie can’t come to the phone just now… I’m away busy … wait for the…


BEEEP


“Oh … Hello … Kelpie ... it’s Cal… I’m looking for Heyes… I think I may owe him an apology… and I need his help with some utter drivel… I’m trying to write… Moulin said…”

CLUNK


“HALLLOOOOO…. Cal? Is that you, yourself there… looking for Heyes… What makes you…mmm….mmmm…. uum …..What makes you think …he’s been here, Dear?”

“Kelpie... Are you eating crumpet?”

“CRUMPET? … The very thought, Dear… What’s that Moulin been saying about me an’ Heyes?”

“Oh… nothing ... nothing at all … it’s just, I was just hoping to have a word with him…”

“Well… he was here, Dear…. Earlier … But he heard Distant Drums … and he said he had to fly… I’ve got to fly too Dear … sorry…. I just had this utterly fantastic idea for a story… pop right into my head… Goodbye Dear!”

CLUNK


“Oh … That’s nice … Oh … You’ve gone…”


 
“Any luck with Kelpie? Here… I’ve brought you a nice cup of tea… and a biscuit… vegan… just like you like it when you’re writing… Are you writing?”

“Not so you’d notice.  Oh … that’s so thoughtful of you… Don’t suppose you got any ideas this month? … You were brilliant helping me write Harry Briscoe Rides Again.”

“Yeah … it was my idea that the older partner in the law firm already investigated Crooke, wasn’t it?”

“Yes!”

“No.”

“No …. what?”

“No … no new ideas…. I’m utterly clueless… Why don’t you try NebraskaWildfire? … Got to be worth a try… Now Heyes ’as been East of the Mississippi … there’s no stopping him.”

“Guess you’re right…  I could really do with his help… What I’ve written so far … IS UTTERLY DREADFUL!”

 
BIRRRRP BIRRRP BEEP (Not another answer phone… Doesn’t anyone just pick up any more?)

Boom ba boom boom … Boom ba boom boom … Shucks… Hi … This is NBW’s phone… We’re kinda busy right now… um ….  DD and NBW out…


BEEEEEP


“Hello? … Hello? Is that Distant Drums… I thought I called Nebraska Wildfire… Sorry …. This is Cal …. I was wondering if either of you had seen Heyes?”

CLUNK


“Cal?... Cal?... Is that you Honey?... Hi…”

“Heyes?”

“Yeah… it’s me… I’m kinda… tied up right now… But I’ll ring you back… soon as I can … Bye!”

CLUNK


“Oh … Bye…”


 
“Well?”

“Says he’s tied up…”

“Really? Hahaha …. Did I hear drumming?”

“Yes… I think DD was there too…”

“Really??? Hahahahaha…”

“You’re really not helping you know… I need inspiration… it’s utterly maddening…”

“You know you can always rely on RosieAnnie…”

“OK… But I just may not be able to think of anything this month…”

 
BIRRRRP BIRRRP BIRRRRP BIRRRP… (Come on… come on… at least it didn’t go to answerphone)

“Hello… RosieAnnie here… Who’s that?”

“Hi Rosie… it’s Cal… I’m having a little trouble…”

“Excuse me Cal… Just one second… 
 
HEY KID… COULD YOU MAKE SURE EVERYONE HAS NIBBLES… I THINK YOU MISSED GIN16 and SKYKOMISH… THERE OVER BY THE DVD COLLECTION WITH HELENWEST AND GRINGA… AND KID… WILL YOU FIX KEAYS AND HANNAHEYES A DRINK… BOY… DID I KNOW YOU’D GET A KICK OUT OF THAT ONE…

Cal? …Cal? You still there?”

“Yeah… yeah… I’m still here… Kid’s with you then… and the whole gang?”

“Yeah… Plenty of room for the rest of you… If you got nothing better to do… get yourselves over here … I was just ringing Moulin and Kelpie… You got Heyes with you?”

“No…. no… but he’s ringing me back … soon I think… He’s with DistantDrums and NeBraskaWildfire.”

“Well… what you waiting fer… Round ‘em up …and get yourself over here… If we’re lucky … we might persuade Kid not to sing us a song…

HEY I HEARD THAT!

What do yer say?”

“I say… Thank you… that would be UTTERLY BRILLIANT… “

---oooOOOooo---
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Nebraska Wildfire

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Location : East of the Mississippi

PostSubject: Re: Utter   Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:23 am

   
Nothing as cute as Cal's effort, but just a sweet little tale I hope you enjoy, as much as I've been enjoying the wildflowers around here, that inspired it.
  
  
Blue


His eyes were bluer than the cornflowers in the field.  

They were the first thing she had noticed about him, all those years ago, when they first met at the Valparaiso Home for Waywards.  She remembered staring at him in utter amazement, being lost in those eyes.  

He, of course, had not really noticed her, since she was three years younger than he was, and at that age a few years mattered a great deal.  He had always been kind to her, in an older brother kind of way, scaring off any of the bullies who had operated below the notice of the Sisters at the Home.

She still remembered how lost she had felt when he and Han had run away.  

The Sisters had been good to her, eventually finding a teaching position out here.  Then there was the miracle of finding Sam, the love of her life to marry and start a family.

But there had always been that small hole in her heart, for her first love, her first crush.

Now, all these years later, he had come down her lane, with those blue, blue eyes seeing everything, but still not really seeing her.  Sam had gone into town, looking for a couple hands to help repair the corral, after the storm.  Back he had come, with Jed beside him, and with that dark shaggy hair and chocolate brown eyes, it could only be his cousin, Han.

Sam was in a good mood, smiling and laughing with the boys, glad to find a couple of able bodied men to help out.  She and the children walked out to meet them as they pulled up by the remnants of the corral.  Her husband turned to greet her, giving her a hug and kiss.

“Molly, this here is Joshua Smith and Thaddeus Jones.  Boys, this is my lovely wife, Molly.”

She smiled widely.  “Pleased to me you boys,” she replied, but her eyes were searching.  She locked gazes with Thaddeus Jones, but he only responded with a quizzical look.  

“Ma’am.”  He touched his hat.

“Pleased to meet you, ma’am.”  She turned to smile at Joshua Smith.  He met her eyes, and she realized that he knew they had met before.  She didn’t think he had quite figured out where, but knew he was working on it.


*****


Sam had come in to wash up before supper, after settling in with the boys and getting the chores done.

“You feeling okay today, sweetheart?” Sam asked with a question in his eyes.

“Yes, I’m doing fine.”  She smiled at him, but before he could ask more, Mary and Hiram came tumbling towards their father, needing more hugs and kisses since he had been gone to town for the day.

A slight knock came to the door, and the boys came through.

“Not meaning to bother you ma’am,” Thaddeus said softly, but Sam said supper’d probably be ready by the time we had cleaned up.”  

She knew he and Han had lived a hard life in the years since she had seen them, but his blue eyes still twinkled like they did when he was fifteen.  

“Yes, it is, boys.  Just sit on down with Sam here, and I’ll have the rest of it on the table by the time you’re all settled.”

She turned back to the stove, crossing gazes with Joshua.  He was still wary of her.  With his brain, she knew he’d figure it out eventually, but not quite yet.

By the time supper was eaten, with the Mary and Hiram behaving, but extracting attention from both Sam and the boys, Molly was happy to retreat afterwards to clean up, with Mary as a tired but willing helper, and all four boys out on the porch relaxing.


*****


By the time Molly made it to their bed, she had assumed Sam was fast asleep.  The children had taken some time to settle, after the excitement of the day.  She rested her head on the pillow and closed her eyes, but her mind was still whirling.

She remembered when she had first heard that they were wanted.  All she could remember were Han’s dimples and soft laugh, and Jed’s sweet smile and those blue, blue eyes.  She could never reconcile those images with the dangerous outlaws portrayed in all the tales she heard.  She knew they were known for never having shot anyone in all the trains and banks they robbed, but the stories still told of exploding safes, and torn up train tracks.

She remembered when she realized she had not heard of any recent exploits of theirs for quite a while, at least a couple years.  The hole in her heart had expanded just a bit.  She figured if they had been killed, it would have made it to the newspapers, but she had still wondered what had happened to them.

Then today, they sat here at her dinner table, teasing her children, complimenting her cooking, seeming like the Han and Jed of old, and not like desperate wanted men.  She wondered what the next couple days would bring.

“The little one bothering you?” Sam shifted and put his arm around her.  She started a bit, thinking back to see if she had actually said anything out loud as she has been thinking about the boys, but she settled into his arms, taking in their comfort.

“No.”  She ran her hand over her barely rounded belly.  “Maybe I’m just a bit tired.”

She knew Sam wasn’t really satisfied with her answer, as they knew each other too well, but he let it go, and they settled into sleep.


*****


To Molly’s surprise and delight the next few days passed as in a dream.  The boys worked diligently with Sam, not only repairing the corral, but also the roof and outbuildings.  

This day was hot and still.  Sam had gone into town to bring more supplies, since the repairs had been going so well.  Molly had banked the stove down as far as she could without losing the fire, but the house still was warm from its heat.  With her apron, she wiped sweat from her brow, as she went to check on the children who were down for a nap.  They were restless in the heat, but a breeze had started to pick up and was wafting in the bedroom window.  It should help the children sleep a while longer.

She picked up a plate of biscuits, leftover from breakfast, and a jug and cups, and headed towards the pump in the yard.  She filled the jug with water from the depths of the well, and headed over to the barn where the boys were finishing up some repairs to the doors.  

“I have some cool water for you, if you’re ready for a break from this sun,” she called to the boys as she continued and set up under a tree.

“We’d be mighty grateful, ma’am,” Joshua had answered, as the boys came to sit by her, and she poured them full cups.

Thaddeus took off his hat and leaned back against the tree, eyes closed, gratefully drinking.

“I have some biscuits and honey here, if you need something before supper.”  She passed the plate towards them.  Joshua took one, meeting her eyes with a wary glance.  

She then turned towards Thaddeus, and he opened his eyes, and the blue shone brightly, even in the shade of the tree.

He knew who she was.  He had remembered.

She turned back towards Han, and saw the knowledge in his eyes too.

She took a breath, and looked over the cornfield, giving herself a moment to compose her face.  She then met Jed’s eyes.

“It is Molly, isn’t it?” Han asked.  “From the Home?”

She nodded.  “How long have you known?”

“A couple days.”  Han held out his cup for a refill and she complied.

“When you and Mary were weeding the garden,” Jed said quietly.  “I remember you doing that at the Home, with Sally, wasn’t it?”

She nodded again.  “Sally lives in Texas now.”

“Mary looks so much like you did when you were young.”  Jed smiled, and Molly couldn’t help but return it.  She turned to look at Han, but he wasn’t smiling.

“When did you remember who we were?” he asked.

She smiled at him, and then met Jed’s blue eyes again.  “The moment Sam brought you down the lane.”

“So you don’t plan to turn us in?” Han asked.

“Of course not!” Molly felt anger rise.  “Why would you think that?”

“We don’t, Molly,” Jed replied.

Molly could see that Han was still wary.  “All these years I wondered about you two.  The reports in the papers just didn’t sound like the boys I knew.”

“Yeah, we made some choices the Sisters wouldna been proud of.”  The Kid looked down.

“We had to survive.”  Heyes’ voice was harsher than Curry’s.

Molly nodded and met his gaze.  It was easier than meeting Jed’s.  “And now what?  I’ve not heard much about you two lately."

“We’re tryin’ to go straight,” Jed replied.

“Really?  After all this time?”

“Yes,” Han said.  “We didn’t want to end up dead, or worse.”

“I’m glad.”  Molly smiled back at them, but then heard Mary call for her, and Hiram’s cry.  She gathered up the dishes and stood.

“And now, Molly?” Heyes asked.

“Now you two better get that door fixed before supper.  I’m making fried chicken.”

Jed smiled.


*****


It was two days later that the posse came through.  

They boys had left early the day before, hugging Molly and the kids, gratefully accepting what Sam could pay them for their work.

“If you ever need us, Molly, send a telegram to Sheriff Lom Trevors, in Porterville, Wyoming,” the Kid told her quietly, as Heyes had pulled Sam away to help fill their canteens.

“A sheriff?” she asked.

“Yeah, he’s an old friend, who’s helping us … go straight.”  Jed gave her one more brief but tight hug.  Then he turned and walked away towards their horses.

They both turned and waved before they rode back down her lane and out of her life.


*****


“We’re after two hardened criminals,” the sheriff leading the posse told Sam.  They had stopped at the homestead, and were offered drinks of cool water.  “We heard in town that you might have taken on a couple of hands recently.”  He looked around.

“Yeah, I did,” Sam said calmly.  “But they weren’t outlaws.  Just a couple of boys looking for work.  They did a good job for me.  Didn’t act like anyone dangerous.  Heck, one of them played hop scotch with Mary there.”

Molly was standing on the porch, keeping the children at her side.  She was close enough to hear Sam’s words, but not too close to the armed men.

“In any case, sheriff, they rode off a couple days ago, after the work was done.”

“Any idea which way they might have headed?”

“No.”  Sam seemed to ponder.  “Didn’t seem like something I needed to ask.”

“Well, thank you kindly for the water.”  The sheriff was back on his horse and gathered the posse to leave.  “If they do come on back, let Sheriff Stanton in town know.”

“Why?” Sam asked.  “Who do you think they were?”

“We’re chasing a tip about Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, so I’d suggest you be careful.”

Sam laughed.  “Well, if you think these boys were Heyes and Curry, I’d say you’re chasing a false lead.  Tweren’t anything dangerous about them, other than one who seemed able to eat us outta house and home with his appetite.”  He turned smiling still to look at Molly, but his eyes were questioning as he turned.  “But then that might just have been my wife’s good cookin’.”

“Just be careful, in any case,” the sheriff replied, and the posse rode back down their lane.


*****


It was cooler that night.  The children settled surprisingly well, after all the recent visitors.  Molly had undressed and was ready for bed in her light cotton gown.  The breeze felt refreshing on her skin.  

Sam was still out on the porch, smoking his pipe.  She came up quietly behind him, putting her hand on his shoulder and staring along with him out at the cornfield.  They could hear it grow on nights like this.

“When did you meet them?” Sam asked gently.

“It was at the Home."

“Oh.”  He turned to take her in his arms.  He smiled and his blue eyes glittered in the moonlight.
     
     
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