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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2213408-Ranchers
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2213408
A short story written for Screams!!! 2/19/2020. Perhaps some dreams should stay just that.
Ranchers

"You've done what?" I couldn't hide my incredulity.

"Calm down, Sal, it'll be fine." Wilson turned back to his laptop and began typing. He'd just informed me that our house was sold, the one we had lived in for twenty years, and that he had purchased a ranch.

A ranch! What did either of us know about cattle farming, that's what I wanted to know? I, for one, knew absolutely zero. And Wilson couldn't have picked up many tips when he was working away in an accountancy office.

"You'll love it when you get used to it." I noticed that he didn't look at me as he spoke. "You know I've always dreamed of this. The chance was too good to miss."

"Yeah, and I always dreamed of making it big in Hollywood, but I knew it was just a dream. What about all my friends?"

"That's the thing, Sal, the house is huge. You'll have plenty of chances to invite them for working holidays?" Wilson nodded his head, smiled at me in a way that said he was in no way joking.

I laughed; I mean I couldn't help it. The idea of 'the girls' getting all sweaty and dirty as they worked with the cattle was just so hysterical. "So, Mr Rancher, tell me when we leave?"

"What's the date today? Wilson looked down to the bottom of his laptop screen. "Uh oh! You and me had better get packing. We'll be leaving here tomorrow."

I stared at him, opened and shut my mouth in shock, then dashed off looking for boxes. Packing up everything in a day was gonna be impossible. And there'd be no chance to bad-mouth him to the girls.

We couldn't take any furniture, for Wilson had sold it lock, stock and barrel. It was just our personal effects, but we'd collected a lot of stuff over the past twenty years. "There's no way we're going to be able to take everything in one go," I told Wilson.

"Then prioritize, woman!" I looked at the pile of boxes that he had been filling, coming to the conclusion that he should be doing more than a bit of it too.

My next surprise was the truck. Both his car and mine had disappeared and in their place stood on big, rugged truck. I turned round, narrowed my eyes at him. "What's that?"

"Rancher transport," he said, already working at piling in the boxes. "Come on. If you hand them up to me, it'll be quicker."

"You're kidding me, aren't you? Most of these, there's no way I'm gonna be able to lift."

"Sal, your the wife of a rancher now. You need to toughen up."

The drive was long and pretty torturous. I was not going to talk to him, no matter what, and when he tuned into a country music channel, I shut my eyes and bit my tongue. The motion of the truck sent me to sleep.

When I opened my eyes, it was almost dark. Wilson was turning off the road onto a smaller one. He broke the silence. "Welcome to your new home, Sal!"

There were fields either side of us, rolling hills that stretched as far as I could see. The sudden screech made me scream out loud, and even Wilson pushed his foot on the brake pedal. Up in the sky I could see the shape of some massive creature, and the screech when it came again made me shudder. There was something primeval about it; it just didn't belong.

Finally it disappeared from view and Wilson picked up a bit on the accelerator. I squinted through the windows, thoroughly unnerved. What I saw in the gloom did not make me feel any better. Great hulking creatures were heading our way.

"Wilson, what kind of cattle are on this ranch?"

"You know, Sal," he said, "I never actually asked. I just assumed it would be, you know, normal cattle."

"Wilson, look out! There's something running straight at us and it sure doesn't look like a cow to me!" Did my voice convey my terror? I guess I'm never going to know, for ramming into the side of the truck is a triceratops, and it is not alone!


(708 words)

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