I wrote this story for a contest, but I missed the deadline—wrote the wrong date down. So it’s this week’s flash for the blog, instead.
The Wild One
By Laura McHale Holland
Old Pete left the ranch to his three grown kids. The two sons were too busy helping their offspring with algebra, fixing leaking roofs, launching Internet startups and such to take over the place. They wanted to sell, and I was set to buy. Until his daughter, the Wild One, put her foot down, said she wanted to move back home, run the place herself.
She left her barista job and second-hand lover in some West Coast hamlet and moved back here to Wyoming, her Subaru wagon filled with ripped jeans, patchwork jackets, tarot cards, marijuana and non-diet, diet books like Skinny Bitch and Women, Food and God.
Almost as soon as the she slipped her tattooed body through the front door it was one long party at Old Pete’s place. As far as I can tell she didn’t mend one fence or even saddle up a horse. She was too busy painting her toenails and posting hourly updates on Twitter. Meanwhile, all the animals were starving. I couldn’t stand it, especially seeing Pete’s dog, Spike, turn to skin and bones.
I complained to her brothers, but like I said, they were busy. They didn’t want any headaches, and they didn’t believe me anyway.
So I stole Spike, and then some of the horses. The Wild One didn’t notice. If I’d stopped my thieving then, the remaining horses would have died, and the cattle, too. So I crept into Old Pete’s house late one night and knocked his only daughter out with a Louisville Slugger. Then I carried her home and locked her in a soundproof basement room where I used to have a recording studio.
When I bring the Wild One oatmeal each morning she asks when I’m going to set her free, but I don’t answer. She’ll never wear me down. You see, I up and stole her freedom. I stole it and I’m glad I did.
Everyone thinks she ran off with a new lover, so Old Pete’s place is up for sale again, and I’m set to buy it. I think Pete would be okay with this, because Spike is fat and happy, sleeping at my feet. And his wayward daughter has settled down at last.