Out on the Storm and Straight into Trouble
July 2, 2012
They used a break in the storm to hurry back to the ranch. The soft snow clung like dry powder. Arcs of blowing white danced over the drifts as a deeper cold set in. Looking up, Jack saw this window of calm would be short lived, for a wall of white was descending from the west.
“I think we’d be needing to head back even if we hadn’t found the bodies,” Jack said.
“You might be right, but it still isn’t going to be making my sister happy.”
The men pushed their horses as far as they dared, but when the storm plowed into them like a drunken giant’s fist, they were forced to dismount and walk the steeds the rest of the way in.
Once their horses were stabled, they rushed inside. Both men stopped in shock when they saw a male figure sitting at the dinner table clutching a steaming cup of coffee in his trembling hands.
“Ed!” Hank nearly yelled. “How the hell did you make it back here? What the hell happened out there?”
“After the bear attack, I got lost in the storm.”
“So it was a bear then?”
“Yes, sir,” the man said, without meeting Hank’s eyes.
Jack spoke up. “Was it a normal bear? I mean was there anything strange about it? Those claw marks looked pretty intense to be from just a bear.”
The man grew red in the face and glared at Jack. “Just a bear? Who is this guy? Have you ever even seen a grizzly, boy? They’d just assume eat you are to look at you.”
“Actually, I do know a bit about bears, including that they should still be hibernating in weather like this.”
“Well maybe this one screwed up and is starving because of it. I just lost two friends, you would think you could show some respect.” Turned toward Hawk, he said. “You have never seen one as big as this. I swear he was a dozen feet tall, if a foot.”
“So it’s still out there?” Hank asked.
“We might have gotten a few shots off, but not enough to stop that thing.”
Carrie walked in with her youngest cradled in her arms. “Why that’s just perfect,” she said. “I tried the land line and its down and my cell isn’t working either.”
“Looks like I might need to take a drive into town,” Hawk said, while casting a glance at the storm through the window.
Jack spoke again. “So why the hell were you three way out there, without any horses?”
“Your horses were stabled. Why were you walking out there together so far away?”
Carrie and Hawk looked like they weren’t sure what Jack was getting at, but were more than interested in hearing the answer.
“They must have made it back through the storm.”
“I’m not an expert on horses, but I’m pretty sure horses can’t take off their own saddles.”
Carrie must have been getting ready for dinner, for the table was already set. Ed leapt up, moving almost faster than the eye could follow and grabbed up two steak knives. Before anyone could even question what was going on, Ed lunched one at Jack’s head!