Today I’m sharing five paragraphs for #FiveforFriday from my western romance novelette (fancy schmancy term for long short story… Is that an oxymoron?) A Permanent Woman.
May 9, 1889
Platte River City, Northeastern Colorado
Simon Driscoll splashed a generous dollop of whiskey into his coffee, swirled the dark liquid, and took a hefty swallow, grimacing as it went down. “What the hell am I going to do, Ben? I’m all out of ideas and time’s running out.”
Ben moved the bottle out of Simon’s easy reach. “This is not the solution to any problem.”
“Yeah, well, it sounds pretty damn good right now.” Simon blew out a heavy breath. “There’s not a widow woman or old maid in three counties crazy enough—or desperate enough—to hook up with an old cowboy like me.” He gulped another mouthful of laced coffee. “I asked every one of them. Must have been upwards of two dozen. Took me nigh onto a month. Even if there was time to do some courting the right way, I’m no good at it. Most were polite enough, but they all laughed at me. I even asked Elsie Rutledge. She slapped me! Called me depraved. I didn’t expect that from a divorced woman. Now the whole community’s poking fun at me. I’m too embarrassed to even show up at church now.”
“Yes, I’ve heard a few stories, but they’ll forget soon enough.” Ben shook his head, laughing softly. “Although well-meaning and certainly amusing, your initial wife-gaining approach did lack in planning and execution. It’s unfortunate I was in Chicago purchasing a new printing press. I could have assisted with your matrimonial efforts for a more positive outcome—or at least a less disconcerting one to your pride.”
Simon went to the opened window where the view of his pastureland sloped the mile toward the river bottom and ran on west for five miles with a railroad right-of-way along the river. It had been a snowy winter followed by a wet, grass-growing spring, and he hadn’t lost a single calf this year. With just a little more luck and continued cooperative weather to keep the grass green, he’d make a decent profit on the calves when he sold them. But not enough yet to buy more land and water rights. Maybe in a few more years. Sure want to leave something solid for the grandkids when I’m gone. Something they can build their futures on. He turned and leaned against the windowsill, half sitting on the ledge, staring at the floor deep in thought.
A Permanent Woman is available on Amazon.com
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time