Monday, May 23, 2011

Chapter two

          Hell, they were only bones. He’d been called upon to identify bones before. But veterinarian
Gil Tailor was skittish as a gopher in a badger hole. Maybe it was the fact that he hadn’t practiced his profession in more than two years. Maybe it was the irritating manner in which Deputy Jarmillo had asked him to view the bones during their earlier phone conversation. Could it be premonition? Nah, he’d never been a big believer in that paranormal bullshit.
            Dr. Gillette Tailor drove the Spanish Peaks Veterinary Clinic truck up to the secured entrance to Rough Mountain Ranches. He was early. The huge wrought iron gates were closed and could only be opened by someone who knew the code. So he parked to the side to wait for Huerfano County Deputy Sheriff Jarmillo.  It was the deputy who had called about the bones.
            Gil was surprised to see his knuckles were white from holding the steering wheel so tight. He needed to relax. To pass the time and calm himself, he read the advertising signs bordering the highway in front of Rough Mountain Ranches.  Own Your Own Colorado Ranch. 40-160 Acre Ranches. 
            Gil snorted. “Ranches my ass. Forty acres wouldn’t sustain even one animal in this country.”
            But grousing didn’t relieve his tension. Nervous perspiration ran down his back, causing his shirt to stick.  The hot summer sun blazed through the window churning the odors of naugahyde, hay, manure, medicine and sweat into a sour amalgam. He opened his window and tried to focus elsewhere – his new opportunity as a relief veterinarian for Dr. Bramlett, getting his life back together, distancing himself from the death of his wife; but he couldn’t keep his mind from returning to what was beyond that gate.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No More Bull - Chapter One

Pauly Rodriquez heard the thonk over the roar of the backhoe. Pauly knew his thonks. This one sounded like a king-sized ball peen bouncing off a large tin drum. He remembered the one when that sonofabitch Roger Pearson’s head hit the curb outside the White Swan Bar. Pauly had been charged with manslaughter. He had gotten off because he hadn’t started the fight, but still remembered that sound.

But this thonk was different, more metallic, and the concussion shook his parked truck.

“What the hell?”

He leaped from his big red 4X4 and ran to look in the hole before Harry could shut the hoe down. Fine yellow dust poofed as Harry set the bucket on the dry rocky ground.

“Sonofabitch” Pauly grumbled. “Damnit Harry, I’m already a week behind on this house, concrete will be here tomorrow, and now you’ve hit something.”

“Well it’s not like I’m out here looking for something to hit,” Harry Bower fired back. “What the hell could it be? There’s nothin’ out here but cows and coyotes!”

Until the previous year the four-thousand-acre place, near La Veta in Southern Colorado had been a cattle ranch. When Oscar Nasher died ten years ago his family leased the property to various cowmen for summer pasture. Two years ago a Colorado Springs developer had bought the land and split it up into what he called ranchettes.

Pauly stared in the hole. “Damned if I know what it is.”