Here's an excerpt from one of the books I'm working on. Hope you enjoy it.
Glancing over her right shoulder, she backed onto the street. Right into a very solid something. The impact snapped her head forward. Instinct jammed her foot on the brake. She leapt at the falling flowers. Her hands closed around the vase, her elbow hit the cup holder, and her coffee painted the inside of her car espresso brown.
As she lay across the seat with the vase in her hands, coffee dripping from the dash, she heard a tap on the side window, and looked up to see a policeman standing beside her car.
By the time he’d walked around the front, Ellie had grabbed the flowers, jumped out and was standing beside her car with the vase in her hands and water dripping down the front of her blouse.
At least the coffee had missed her. It had only doused most of the interior. She glanced into the car and thought of the sticky, sweet drink flowing into all the crevasses of the dash. I really needed that caffeine.
Her gaze moved from the mess inside to the man in front of her. She tried to smile, but her lip just trembled at the sight of this small town policeman wearing a stern cop expression like he’d been born with it.
When Ellie looked over her shoulder and saw the rear end of her car, she knew why. She’d backed into the police cruiser. Less than one hour in town, and she’d become an enemy of the law. She took a deep breath then let the air out slowly. Maybe that was blowing things out of proportion.
Turning back, with every intention of apologizing, Ellie froze. She’d calmed down enough to look at him again and recognition dawned. The words she’d prepared to say stuck in her throat and refused to move. Realizing her mouth hung open, she snapped it shut. Her really-bad-luck day had just become the worst.
Not only was she in trouble with the law, the law in Unique, Idaho was Damien, the devil, Quinn.
Being a good farmer takes a certain type of personality.
I don’t have it.
My cowboy and I have raised cattle and hay for the last thirty years usually with seventy or more acres of hay. I tend to be rather laid back when it comes to farming. The water will eventually get to the bottom of the field. Most of the hay will grow. What’s so hard about this?
On the other hand, the cowboy has an elaborate set of farming rules. We
argued about, uh, discussed our differing opinions for several
years until I found a job in town, and he farmed to his heart’s content.
One of the scourges of growing that much alfalfa is a small rodent called a gopher. It moves into a perfectly nice field, has tons of babies and each digs holes at an unbelievable rate. As the irrigation water runs down the field and into a hole, it disappears. The area below the hole dries out, and the hay dies.
The cowboy has waged all-out war on these burrowing invaders for years, checking his traps daily, spring, summer and fall. During this time, he’s tried repeatedly to convince me that since my hands are smaller, it would be easier for me to set the traps in the narrow little holes.
I’m proud to say I didn’t fall for this con.
The county pays two dollars a tail and with three hundred gophers a year, this is a nice little side line. He’s saved the tails and cashed them in and the bodies were…well, let’s just say our dog Cindy was a gopher gourmet.
Three years ago, he checked his trap line and found a trap was stuck. When the cowboy finally worked it free, there he was, Humongo-Gopher. It was the biggest gopher he’d ever trapped, maybe the biggest gopher in the world.
He told his friends about Humongo, and they scoffed. He was forced to take the body in for a farmer viewing and was proved right. All agreed it was the biggest rodent they’d seen.
It was a fact. We had a trophy gopher.
Now how many people can say that?
Since it was a trophy, we couldn’t feed it to the dog, so it went into the freezer to be preserved for posterity.
The problem is I don’t have much of a memory. If it isn’t in front of my face, I tend to forget it exists. Because of that, I’ve spent the last three years calmly going to my big freezer to get meat for dinner only to be confronted each time I opened the door by long yellow teeth and curved claws. Humongo looked like he could leap off the shelf and attack. The only thing that kept me from jumping out of my skin was the fact he was enclosed in a Zip Lock bag. Still, it was a shock.
Humongo finally went to the big gopher heaven in the sky this fall, and I no longer have to fear my freezer.
The cowboy suggested we have a taxidermist mount Humongo and put him in the trophy room (TV room) with the Elk and Deer antlers. That’s where I put my foot down. I guess in the cowboy’s mind a trophy is a trophy but really, Humongo was just a super-sized rat. If he’d had his way, I would be jumping every time I wanted to watch TV.
Have any of you had this problem?