This short story was written during my writing class at University. It was inspired by a postcard and was supposed to be about 500 words. I didn't edit it much since my class because it was a good landmark for my skill at the beginning. I was pretty proud of it for being my first story to be criticized. I hope you enjoy it just as much as my classmates did. -Turan
A familiar red pickup truck bounced up the rocky driveway while Doug struck the match. The fizzling flash of light settled into a steady flame before he lit the tobacco pressed loosely in the pipe.
The truck door flew open, and a tall, lanky farm boy hopped out, adjusting his hat and belt before grabbing a case of beers out of the back. Doug watched unfazed, pulling deep on the pipe. Chimney puffs rose while he began to rock his wooden chair.
"Tough weather, eh?"
His gritty voice hummed low to high casually, followed by silence. The farm boy slandered up to the porch step, pausing at the railing to lean against it.
"Been inta town lately?"
Doug scratched his grizzled face with the mouthpiece of his pipe. This young buck commonly came over to cluck like a hen about the town gossip. At least he brought decent beer.
"Not as of late."
The farm boy broke a beer from the plastic with a chuckle and tossed it lightly. Doug rocked forward in time to catch the perfect throw.
"Did ya hear 'bout the farm a few clicks down? Few girls runnin' a horse ranch. Tucker saw 'em pickin' up a few bales at Ken's."
With one hand, Doug cracked his beer open and took a swig. The flavor of bitter-cold beer and tobacco swirled in his mouth a moment before he swallowed hard. The eager buck continued.
"They've been goin' 'round town of'en together too. They seem awfully close for bein' friends."
Doug shot a stern side glance at the kid, puffing hard on his pipe. The buck was unaware, cracking a beer to wet his tongue. Smacking his lips, he looked towards the cows grazing in the field.
"From what Tucker's sayin', they might be one of those people. Ya know? There's been talk that people in town are weary of 'em. Sid's thinkin' bout denyin' 'em service, too."
With a halt, Doug hardened. "Seems a bit stupid to turn good money away at the door."
The farm boy dropped his jaw, face white as a ghost. "Arencha worried? 'Bout 'em bein'... Ya know, Freaks-"
A crashing thud broke through his words before he could finish. Standing tall with fury in his eyes, Doug growled.
"Leave 'em be, Todd. Those girls ain't nothing to be spooked of. Bringin' cash flow to a dead town will do us folks some good. Mind your manners if ya know what's good for ya. Farm hands like you might finally be able to get some decen' work."
Without delay, Doug stormed into his house and slammed the door. Tossing his beer and pipe on the counter carelessly, he paced the room. A truck engine rumbled through the walls, slowly revving off in the distance.
Stopping in the middle of the room, Doug placed his hands on his hips. Time felt eternal as pained eyes held the picture of him and his daughter in the pasture on the wall.