After Burner – The Lesson

By Jan Verhoeff I remember one afternoon, my husband handed me the weed burner and told me to call one of the hired men and have him come help me burn out the corrals. They’d been vacant for several years and tumble weeds had filled them up fence-top high, filling the inside of the sheds, and binding up the fence rows. I mentioned that I’d never burned weeds before. I even reminded him that I was seven months pregnant and not moving so fast as I should be to do such a task, and pointed out that the girls would … continue reading…

Grizzly Escape

Written by John Davis Bold steps carried him from the mountain in a rushing walk, increasing speed as the elevation dropped. Darius wrestled his pack to the over sized rock near the water and dropped belly flat on the sand near the base of the path. He’d seen better days, but he would survive this one, too. Face down, he washed the crusted blood from his neck and shoulder, allowing the cold to seep through him, easing the pain. Most didn’t survive a run in with a Grizzly, but most were not Darius Glover, Lone Hunter of the North Woods. … continue reading…

Red Mohair Chair

By Jan Verhoeff Insomnia, isolation and destiny ravaged by the cross hairs of life. I stood there looking out the window wondering if I was still in the crosshairs or if I’d somehow managed to elude those who’d spent much of the days prior chasing me. The breath I took felt ragged and raw. Where was I? The city outside looked just like any other city I’d seen. I didn’t have any idea where I was. I struggled to lift myself out of the bog I’d slid into with the medicine. “Mark?” the nurse entered the room. “Oh, good! You’re … continue reading…

Hinder Mills Mystery

By Jan Verhoeff When the smell of smoke assails your senses on the prairie, high winds and weather conditions become a concern, but the worst is finding who set the fire. The culprit is usually close enough to be caught in the cross hairs if you just know where to look. On that night in July, first to respond to the acrid aroma of smoke, I realized I’d have to make sure there were no victims inside Hinder Mills, before I could take time to call for back up or support. If Mr. Beaver was inside, I’d only have a … continue reading…

Chief Angry Bull in the Bathroom

By Stan Grant Today I’m going to share a (mostly) true story that I’ve entitled “Stan & The Angry Bull In The Bathroom”. Read on, I’m sure you will find this entertaining. There was a time in my life when I was between real jobs. So rather than draw unemployment and think like a liberal, I decided to herd buffalo and work at a meatpacking plant. It was available as employment, I was bored, and it seemed like the thing to do. The work environment was entirely Hispanic, and I was the only Gringo. But hey, it was a paycheck. … continue reading…

Over the Fence

By Jude Laughe Had I knelt down on the other side of the fence that day, things might have turned out different than they did. I look back now and think about what might have been. Johnny was ten. It was his birthday and mamma sent me to the store. Just a mile into town, the skies were blue. I remember listening to the birds sing in the trees along the way. There weren’t many. Just the big one on Miller Road, and then a small forest in the pasture by the canal, but there were birds. Plenty of birds … continue reading…

Of the Prairie

Written a while back, this piece is in dire need of some redline edits, but I thought it worthy of sharing here – as is. By Jan Verhoeff Thunder rolled over the face of the prairie, lightning flashed, fragments dissecting a rich dark sky. The color of royalty, purple, rich, thick and overpowering smothered the light from the night. Rain drops pelted the dry earth. Buffalo grass sucking at the moisture, slurping in gratefully the benefits of water splashed from the heavens. Winds slashed across the prairie, through the valley, driving the rains sideways at the ground. A moment of … continue reading…