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From samtyr:  When you see this on your flist, quote some Shakespeare on your LJ.

"I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?..."
        Shylock, Merchant of Venice.

Regardless of creed or orientation, we are all human beings and should be treated as such.  I don't agree with the revenge bit when taken to the extreme, as Shylock tried to do.  Besides, as is attributed to Dorothy Parker sometimes, "Living well is the best revenge."



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Author's Note:  That's Ennis talking!  Like the last line, almost demanded in a growl!

Poem Of The Week: June 18, 2013

Submitted by Bonnie Boss
Jun 18, 2013 - 08:18 AM
Poem Of The Week: June 18, 2013

Wrongly Accused 


Don't shoot him!
A voice cried out from just beyond the barn.
I'll take him!
Don't make him pay, he didn't mean no harm.

I've watched that black beauty grow up,
watched his tail grow long.
He's like next of kin!
I can't begin to tell you how terribly wrong

T’would be to put a bullet
in that old boy’s proud old head.
How can you think it best to take his life,
leave him for dead?

He only took a swat at some big old black fly,
when that wanna-be-never-gonna-be
cowboy kid walked by
and threw a fit, swore he was kicked.

‘Twas all coincidence!
Old Black ain't bucked or kicked or bit no one before.
Plain fools sense!
Don't blame Black! Twernt his fault!

Don't take some stranger's case!
To know the truth
I'm beggin' you,
look into his face.

Those soulful eyes of moose-hide brown,
those big ears that warn of every sound.
It’s your turn not to let him down.
Now, put down the gun, hand me the rope, and slowly back away.

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Author's Note: How many of us feel this way, too?  I do.

Poem Of The Week: June 12, 2013

Submitted by Calder Lowe
Jun 12, 2013 - 09:53 AM
Poem Of The Week: June 12, 2013

The Old Cowboy

I’m not sure when you first sauntered into my heart. Perhaps

while I memorized lyrics to the ballad of Pecos Bill playing

on Grandma’s wind-up phonograph, straddled a log over

a waterfall, reading Zane Grey, sniffled farewells in darkened

living rooms and movie houses at flickering images of Hopalong,

Tom Mix, Alan Ladd, Gene Autry, Sky King and Roy.

In my mind, you were 6 feet tall, lean, lanky, circumspect in speech,

and wherever you walked, the smell of roasted chicory

Wafted from an enameled blue pot, stars shone with a clarity

and brightness captured only in glossy magazines, eagles soared

majestically, coyotes howled in the distance, horses looked

somehow prouder,  cattle more dignified, pastures more verdant,

horizons more expansive, and clouds, well -- more welcoming

to wool gatherers on sultry, summer afternoons.

Two nights ago, when I dreamt you were dying, I held my son

in my arms and consoled him.  He felt your passing, as well.

This morning, I know you are leaving me.  A chill of certitude

grips the air and a shadow falls on the foothills.  The harshness

of our world is anathema to you who could no sooner wrap your mind

around an unkindness than rustle another rancher’s livestock.

You stand for something idyllic, true, a bygone era, a mystique

of innate goodness, an unquantifiable rightness.  I refuse to make

my so-long permanent.  With your bandanna around my neck,

creased Stetson on my head,  and denim shirt enveloping me,

I will lasso only the purposeful and noble, sidestep malice.

Astride my palomino, I take it all in -- zigzagging tumbleweed,

a spectacular sunset heralding Technicolor glory.  On cue,

daybreak is full of bluebonnets and promise.  You're Hopalong.

You’re Tom. You’re Shane. You’re Gene. You’re Sky. You’re

Roy. You’re  a little girl's comforter and incorruptible hero. You’re

in my very breath. You’re in my bones radiating warmth. You’re

my compass, my North Star. You’re glowing. You’re glowing always.

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AN:  This is the poem of the week from the magazine, from the weekly email sent today.  I subscribe to the magazine, and recommend it highly.

When I read this, I thought of Jack, watching hope slip away, never enough time. Then I thought of Ennis, and his unacknowledged love for Jack, and his love for his horses.  To see the picture that accompanies this poem, click here: http://www.cowboysindians.com/Blog/March-2013/Poem-Of-The-Week-March-20-2013/?utm_content=jwcjd%40tfb.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=Read%20it%20here&utm_campaign=Action%20Photos%2C%20Fashion%20Picks%2C%20Weekly%20Poemcontent

Poem Of The Week: March 20, 2013

Submitted by Peggy Gilman

“On a trip to California last year, I had time to kill at the airport. Went to a little shop and purchased one of your magazines. Sat and read it cover to cover and when I got home purchased a subscription. I look forward to it arriving in the mail and lose my self in the articles. Especially the ones [about] places I have not been.

"One of my favorites is the poems people send in. Started thinking about dabbling in that as well. Don’t know if I am any good at it but love to read poetry, that’s for sure. So, sending you one I have been working on and would like your opinion. I have attached a photo of my beloved mustang that the poem is about.

"My main mountain pony, Rowdy, is one of four BLM mustangs I have purchased and trained. Being the first, he’s the one I have bonded with the most. I trust him with every careful step he takes in the high country. He is an amazing companion and alerts me with his body language of danger or any kind of movement ahead that I cannot see. He never forgets where he has been and I have learned to trust his instincts as they are far superior to mine on the trail. As he ages (now 16 years) I contemplate the sadness I will have ahead, at his loss. I have never owned a horse that I have had this deep of a connection with.”

— Peggy Gilman, Graham, Washington

Precious Time:

Tic, tic, tic,
The sound of time gets louder.
Age makes you aware of limited time,
With everyone you love,
Everything you love.

Fingers sink deep into his hair.
The softness engulfs you,
Breath warm on your skin,
Would melt the hardest hearts.

Longing for more time, under starry night’s.
Light from campfire,
Dancing in his eyes,
Brings smile to my face.

The outdoors is our solitude.
We are blended as one, you and me.
The light pounding of hoofs,
On a worn trail, nothing better.

The time is nearing to say goodbye,
Freedom awaits his aching joints.
Wanting that for him,
But wanting more for me, I am selfish!

Good night old friend,
Running free, once more.
Wild Mustang, ancestors of you,
Your time to reunite.

Tic, tic, tic,

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Title:   Dear Emmaline
Author: Bud [cwby30]
Genre: au
Brokeback Mountain and these characters (except the OCs) belong to Annie Proulx, Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger and others. I'm just borrowing them for a short time. No disrespect intended. I do this for me for fun, and make no money off any of it.
A letter forces Ennis to rethink his relationship with Jack, and sends him on a trip to Lightning Flat, where he meets more than Jack's parents.
Author’s Note and/or Warnings: PG13 [M/M situation suggested].
Well, This really is it, the second and last Epilogue.  As you might figure out, I wrote most of this for the "Pick a card" Challenge, but never posted it because it seemed to fit in with this story.  So, I re-wrote part of it and here it is.  Always get this funny feeling when I post the last entry of a story, kind of like watching a ship leave port and wishing it God-speed.  No more links to follow... for this one.  I appreciate all the comments.  See you around the campfire when we swap another story.
Thanks again.

--Epilogue 2—

The little things cause the most problems.

I mean, hell, movin in together was a big deal, for me at least.  Thought everybody and his brother’s uncle looked at us kinda funny-like, and way too much whispering went on at the feedstore if you ask me.  Had to put one guy on the ground early on.  Funny thing, we got to be friends after that, sticks up for us ever since.  Even helps out during round-up each year.  Naturally we return the favor.

Things settled down a bit after that.  Still took six months before I slept all the way through, woke up with every little noise.  Finally decided we were safe enough and settled in, ‘specially with Miss Emmaline and Great-grandpa Patrick watchin over us.  Jack slept through it all.  At least when he wasn’t waking me up to… well, you know…

Tellin the kids was a big deal, too.  We both sweated bullets over that.  Told Lureen sittin next to each other across from her on one of the couches in her fancy livin room.  Part of me was glad to be there for Jack, the rest of me wished I had stayed in Wyoming.  But I never considered lettin him go alone, not after seein that broken face a his on those swirlin postcards back in his room that day.  No way.  Knew what I had to do and did it.  Lureen wasn’t all that surprised, but did use it to get a better deal out a Jack in their divorce.  Bobby wasn’t surprised neither, but wouldn’t look me in the eye and stayed away ‘til the next summer.  Comes up twice a year now, sometimes more.  Brought his wife and their baby last time.  I allowed as how that baby boy don’t look a bit like his grandfather, which was a good thing.  Had to sleep alone in ‘my’ room half the night after saying that.  Now the other half… hmmm.

Well, Junior and Francie were different stories.  Francie won’t speak to me. Guess I let her spend too much time alone with Alma when she was little, thinkin she and her sister both would come around on their own if I just gave them enough time.  Junior on the other hand hugged me, and said I would always be her Daddy, and hugged Jack and asked if she could call him Uncle Jack.  Don’t think I ever saw Jack speechless until then.  She invited both of us to her weddin.  Alma just about had a cow, but we both went.  Jack knew how to handle it, always does.  Sat with his mom in the last pew on the back of the church durin the service, but sat between me and his mom at the reception.  Francie ignored us.  Junior danced with both of us, and Kurt danced with Jack’s mom.  And no, we didn’t dance with each other, weren’t ready for that, probably never will be, at least out in public.  Different story back in our hotel room.  Danced a lot that night.  Yeah… a lot...

Um, sorry, where was I?  Oh, the little things.  Yeah.  Like which side a the bed we sleep on.  Both of us wanted the left side.  Finally split the thing, I got the left side in ‘my’ room, and Jack got the left side in ‘his’ room.  That was back then.  Nowadays we still keep my room for show, but spend our nights in his room.  I get the left side.  Most a the time.  Don’t really matter so long as it’s next to him.

And like doing the laundry.  Not stuffing it in, both of us can do that.  I mean takin it out a the dryer and puttin it away proper like.  Finally just started dumpin all the clean clothes on the bed in Jack’s room.  No fun stuff until we get it all put away.  And pushin it onto the floor don’t count.  If we’re in a hurry, we use my room.   Kinda handy at times, having two bedrooms.

Then there’s doin the dishes and cleanin up the kitchen.  Things started pilin up right from the get go.  Used to get to the point we had to do em, ‘cause we didn’t have nothin clean to cook with or eat off of.  One night in October, or maybe it was November, whatever, that first year I made dinner, Jack wouldn’t clean up.  I could tell he was diggin in.  So I got up and left the table.  He crowed about winnin, ‘til I came back with a deck of cards and spread em out in a line on the table.  Told him to pick one, low man cleaned up and did the dishes.  He balked at first, so I went ahead and pulled out the nine of Diamonds.  He smiled and said somethin about easy pickins, until he pulled out the two of Clubs.  Lots a bangin around in the kitchen as I read the paper.  Surprisin we still have plates left at all.

Since then, we always keep a deck handy.  Never know when we’ll need them cards to settle a disagreement.  Even have one on the side table next to the bed.  My side.  Use it now and then in there.  We both win.  Every time.

Yep, it’s those little things that make livin with Jack Twist so interestin.  They don’t cause much of a problem no more.  Not that they ever did, not really, tell the truth.  Jack’s just too easy to rile, and it’s hard to pass up the chance a settin off a Twist tirade.  Think he woulda figured it out by now.

Anythin else you like to know?

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Title:   Dear Emmaline
Author: Bud [cwby30]
Genre: au
Mountain and these characters (except the OCs) belong to Annie Proulx, Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger and others. I'm just borrowing them for a short time. No disrespect intended. I do this for me for fun, and make no money off any of it.
A letter forces Ennis to rethink his relationship with Jack, and sends him on a trip to Lightning Flat, where he meets more than Jack's parents.
Author’s Note and/or Warnings: PG13 [M/M situation suggested].
Well, One more Epilogue to follow.  Follow the links!!  I appreciate all the comments.
Thanks again.

--Epilogue 1--

February 14, 1985

Dear Miss Emmaline.

Last year in May your column had a letter from a woman signed ‘Confused in Casper’.  She had a good lady friend who wanted to be more than just friends, and she wanted it too, but was afraid of what people would think and what could happen to her friend.  You told her the real problem was her fear of disapproval and embarrassment, and she had to make a choice and either way she would pay a price, but she should be true to herself.

That hit home to me.  I was in the same place, had lots of fears about what could happen, and had to make a decision between doing nothing and losing my friend.  I thought hard about it and about what you said, and made the choice to be with my friend.  It ain’t been easy all the time this past year, but I don’t regret it a single minute, best thing I ever did.  If you really want something, you gotta do something about it.  So I did.  I hope ‘Confused in Casper’ took the chance, too.

Please sign me “True To Myself”.


Ennis Del Mar


February 20, 1985

Dear Mr. Del Mar.

I appreciate your writing about how Confused’s letter and the advice given in response helped you make your decision.  This kind of letter from a reader always cheers me up.

However, I can’t find that particular letter and response in any of my columns from last May or the year before that.  Perhaps it appeared in a different advice column, and you have confused the two columns.  In any event, I hope you and your friend have many happy years together.



Margaret Anderson


Epilogue 2:  http://cwby30.livejournal.com/35612.html

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Title:   Dear Emmaline
Author: Bud [cwby30]
Genre: au
Mountain and these characters (except the OCs) belong to Annie Proulx, Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger and others. I'm just
borrowing them for a short time. No disrespect intended. I do this for me for fun, and make no money off any of it.
A letter forces Ennis to rethink his relationship with Jack, and sends him on a trip to Lightning Flat, where he meets more than Jack's
Author’s Note and/or Warnings: PG13 [M/M situation suggested].
Well, here we are, at the end of the ride.  Hope you enjoyed it.  Have two Epilogues to follow.  Follow the links!!  I appreciate all the comments.
Thanks again.

Chapter 10

“Penny for your thoughts.”  He inhaled and passed it on.

His partner gave it a long look, looked over at the shirts hanging on a nail across the room, and then threw it over his shoulder into the flickering fire, which flared briefly as it consumed the object, sending shadows dancing across the room.

“Hey, what’d you do that for? That was good stuff!”

“Thought we’d quit.”

“Why now? And why we?”

“Because I want to remember this, and want this,” he gestured between them with his free hand, “to last as long as possible.”

“You do, huh?”

“Yes, I do. Don’t want a lose any time ‘cause of that cancer or some other thing you get from smokin.”

“Ennis Del Mar, you really know how to say a lot when you say a little.”  Jack shifted sideways and eased back even further into Ennis’ shoulder, then extended his left arm across Ennis’ waist.  With a contented sigh, he continued, “So do I, want all the time we got, never enough as it is.”

Ennis held Jack tighter.  After a few minutes, he asked, “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Sure glad the fireplace works.”

“Me too.  Woulda been somethin buildin a fire on this nice wooden floor.”

“What I meant w-a-a-s-s, I’m sure glad the fireplace works, so we didn’t have to build one outside and advertise we were – as my Daddy put it more than once – having ‘unnatural sex’ under the stars.”

“Don’t think the stars really care, and don’t care what your Daddy thinks.  He’s wrong, anyway.”

“Think the same, and told him so more’n once.”

“Don’t know what to make of him, other than bein mean.  He always like that?”

A sigh.  “Yeah, like that and worse.  Never could do right by him, always put me down, always findin fault.  Told ya what he did to me when I was a kid, didn’t I?  Pissin on me and all?”

“Yeah, even my dad, mean as he was, never did anythin like that to me.  Now that I’ve met him, I gotta wonder why you still keep comin back, and why you did all this here.”  Ennis gestured around him.

Jack answered in one word.  “Momma.”

Ennis understood, but still had misgivings.

“He gonna keep his mouth shut about us?  I don’t want a have to leave here, ‘specially on account of him, but if we do, we do.”

“Don’t think he’ll say anythin to anybody.  He knows he needs us, place been goin downhill so long, can’t stop the slide alone.  Besides, we can handle whatever anyone throws at us.”

“Earl couldn’t,” Ennis murmured, still painfully afraid of what could happen to Jack.

“One thing Daddy did get right for sure, this place is nothin like Sage, and that was thirty years ago and more. I’m not saying it could never happen, but folks is tight around here and mostly keep their nose outta other’s business.”

“Couldn’t bear it if I lost you.”

“Me neither, and you aren’t, you’re gonna have to put up with me for a long time to come.”



Jack planted a kiss on Ennis’ bare chest, and continued to hold on to his new-found contentment.  After a few minutes, he asked, “Penny for your thoughts.”

“Hope you don’t run outta pennies.”

“Not to worry, got lots up in my old bedroom in an old Farmer Brothers coffeecan.  So?”

“Glad you still had all this gear in the back of your truck, especially the air mattress.”

“Me too.  Much easier on the back.  But we can’t sleep on it forever.  We’ll have to go into Gillette and find some furniture, and I need to go into town and set us up a box at the Post Office.  How about we do both tomorrow?”  He felt Ennis tense up and heard his heartbeat speed up.  But, after a very short time, Ennis eased, and surprised Jack when he said, evenly, “Guess we should, only…”

“Only what?”

“Only we get stuff for both bedrooms.”


“You’re gonna make me say it, aren’t you?”


Ennis sighed.  “We get two beds and all, so each of us has a bedroom.”

“For show, but not for real.”

“For when others come in and look around, or the kids are here.  Ain’t their business, but don’t want a… you know.”

“Yes, I know.”  This will take a lifetime, but that’s what I wanted and what I got, more’n enough time now. He pulled his arm in, and shifted so he was lying more on his back again, still within the circle of Ennis’ arm.

After a few minutes, Ennis asked, “Whose chair is that we brought over?”

“The high-back chair?”

“Only stick of furniture in the room, so yeah, that one.”

Jack pinched Ennis, “Dumbass.”

Ennis flicked one of Jack’s nipples, “Dumbass yourself.”

They kissed, Jack’s hand slowly withdrawing across Ennis’ check afterwards.

“My Great-grandma Emma’s.  The only piece of furniture we have of hers.  Thought it belonged over here.”

Ennis nodded in agreement.  Then asked, “What else’s in the paper bag?”

“Couple of things.”  Jack tried to act nonchalant about it.

“Such as?”

With a smile, Jack untangled himself and crawled on all fours towards the front door to retrieve the bag from its resting place on the floor at the beginning of the trail of hurriedly-cast-off clothing.

“Like the view,” Ennis commented.

Jack looked around and wiggled his ass, before heading back.  He lay on top of Ennis, kissing him soundly before rolling off.  Picking up the bag, he started pulling out its contents:  the horse Ennis had carved for him during that summer, a scarf Ennis recognized as one he thought he’d lost a few years back [could a used that last November], the picture of Jack and his parents on his first day of school [already smilin at the world], a bundle of postcards held together with twine which Ennis immediately recognized as the ones he had mailed to Jack [wait’ll he sees mine!], two trophy belt buckles [ain’t seen these before], some yellowed newspaper clipping about Jack in his rodeo days [damn, wish I’d a seen him ride], an old cracked picture of a serious little boy in short pants standing on the porch of this house [must be that little boy that died], a picture of Ennis up in the mountains from one of their trips [how’d he get that?], and… the last item made Ennis give a slight gasp.

A picture of a woman in a frame, a wisp of a woman, dressed in a dark long-sleeved dress that went down to the floor and up to her neck, gray hair pulled back into bun, a silver locket in the shape of a heart hanging from a silver chain around her neck, lips pressed together, stern, but yet a hint of a smile on her lips and a twinkle in her eyes, sitting straight up in that same ornate high-backed chair that stood across this very room, holding a baby wearing a long white gown.

“Who’s this?”  Ennis touched the picture, gently, almost reverently.

“That’s my Great-grandma Emma holdin me on my christenin day.  Gramma and Momma sure did have a lot of stories about her.  They kept tellin me things she’d told them, like ‘If wishes were horses…”

“…even beggars would ride,” Ennis finished.

“Yeah.  And, ‘If you really want somethin…”

“…you gotta do somethin about it,” Ennis finished again.

“Right again.  Say, you been talkin to Momma?”

“How’d you guess?”

“Thought so.”

They both looked at the picture.  Jack’s words held a wistful tone as he said her name.  “Emma McFearson Anderson.  ’Course Emma wasn’t her full name, it was short for…”

“Emmaline,” Ennis said. “Dear Emmaline,” he murmured.

“Huh? How’d you know that?”

“It’s nothin… just a lucky guess.  Tell you a story some day.”

“No way, huh-uh, tell me now, no more secrets, no more lies, we gotta talk about things, everythin, and this is as good a place and time as any to get started.”

So Ennis did, leaving out nothing, nothing at all, holding onto the picture the whole time.  When he was finished, Jack turned to him revealing the tracks of tears down his cheeks.  Ennis put the picture on the floor next to him, gently took Jack’s face into both of his work-toughened hands and with his thumbs erased all evidence of those tears.

“No more a these, Bud,” he whispered.

“I love you, too, Cowboy.”

Ennis got up and placed the picture on the mantel, then returned to Jack’s arms.  As the fire continued to burn low, they created more shadows dancing on the wall across the room.

Later on, in the dark, Ennis asked, “Who was her fiancé?”

“Patrick McGinty.  Why?”

“Patrick Kiernan McGinty,” Ennis stated

“Yeah, but how…”

“Her fiancé did write again and sent money for her trip, but the letter came back undelivered and marked ‘Deceased.’  He wrote again, but that second letter came back marked ‘Deceased”, too.  He mourned, started drinkin, and almost lost the place he had.  But after a year or so a family moved onto the next place and started ranchin. They got to know each other, helped each other out, went to church together, and soon he and the older daughter got married and raised a family.  But he never forgot Emmaline.”

“How do you know all that?”

“Patrick Kiernan McGinty is my great-grandpa, my Momma’s grandfather.  My Momma heard the story growin up, and told it to me one day.  She named my brother after two of our great-grandfathers, Kiernan and Eugene, K.E.”

Jack remained silent, stunned.  “Well I’ll be.  Fate?”

“Maybe,” Ennis conceded.  “She did lay into me upstairs, made me face up to things.  Guess she didn’t want me to lose what we have like she and Patrick did.”  He turned to Jack.  “This here’s forever, you know that, don’t you?  Just us, no one else, better or worse, sickness and health, and anythin else that comes along.”  He looked steadily into Jack’s eyes waiting for his answer.  It hardly took a second.

“Yeah, I know.  It’s a one-time thing, you and me, one time forever.  Just us, no one else, better or worse, sickness and health, and anythin else that comes along.”

“Jack, I swear…”

Somewhere after midnight and before dawn lies the darkest of the night.  Pitch black.  Can’t see a thing except dim outlines of what may be there.  Disoriented, the mind forgets that darkness is only the absence of light, and conjures up all sorts of images of what may be and what could be, fueling fears… but still manages somehow down deep to hold fast to what really is and will be when dawn arrives. 

In the midst of the darkness that night, while spooned up behind Jack, one arm around him protectively, Ennis roused from his sleep thinking he heard a noise coming from across the room.  Looking over, he saw the outline of the chair near the front windows in the dim light of the last sliver of the waning moon beaming through the windows.  As he watched, wisps of smoke from the still smoldering fire drifted across the darkened room towards the chair.  They gathered and swirled, until gradually a form appeared, Emmaline, from the picture, sitting in her chair, smiling a tight smile at him.

As he looked at her, a few wisps of smoke broke away from her, mingled with more from the fire, gathered, swirled, and took another shape, the figure of an elderly man standing next to her in the moonlight.  Ennis recognized him from faded pictures in an old family album, long ago lost, his great-grandfather Patrick.  Patrick took Emmaline’s hand into his, and they looked at each other and smiled.  As they did the years seemed to drop away, until they appeared as a young couple in their mid twenties, eagerly looking forward to a life together.  Ennis smiled and nodded at them.  Still holding hands, they nodded back, then gradually dissolved into tendrils of smoke which dissipated and disappeared like smoke from a dying fire rising through the pines high up in the mountains.  If they ever were there in the first place.

Ennis lapsed back into sleep.  They would always be safe in this house.

The End… and The Beginning

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Title:   Dear Emmaline
Author: Bud [cwby30]
Genre: au
Mountain and these characters (except the OCs) belong to Annie Proulx,
Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger and others. I'm just
borrowing them for a short time. No disrespect intended. I do this for me for fun, and make no money off any of it.
A letter forces Ennis to rethink his relationship with Jack, and sends
him on a trip to Lightning Flat, where he meets more than Jack's
Author’s Note and/or Warnings: PG13 [M/M situation suggested].
Well, only one more chapter to go after this, with Epilogues to follow.  Follow the links!!  I appreciate all the comments.
Thanks again.

Chapter 9

The banjo clock announced 7:00 pm, as John pushed his empty dinner plate away from him and wiped his mouth with his napkin.

“So,” John began, dropping his napkin on the table, “where you two aimin on puttin up this cabin he’s been talkin about for years?  Gotta know what land you’re aimin to take out a production, and best not have your eye on that bottom land on the West side, need all of that for hay.  And it better be far enough away so I don’t have to hear or see anything what you two… do… you know, none of that… stuff.”

“About that,” Jack started, “I got a different plan in mind.”

“What?  Not the two of you sleeping upstairs, no way.   This is my house and I won’t have none a that goin on under my roof.  Bad enough as it is.”

“Our roof,” Emma reminded him quietly, as she rose to clear the dishes. Jack rolled his eyes.  Ennis frowned.

“Leave that, Momma, Ennis and me’ll take care of the dishes.  You sit down and finish your coffee.”

She smiled, and complied gratefully.

“Humpf,” granted John.  “Well… okay… for tonight.  But you gotta sleep in different rooms, and after tonight, you gotta figure out somethin else.  And you still haven’t answered my question.  What this new plan a yours?”

“The homestead.”

“The homestead?!”  John frowned.  Emma smiled.

“What’s the homestead?” asked Ennis, looking at all of them.

“My great-grandparents’ house, next place couple a miles on up the road,” explained Jack.  “Great-grandma Emma came West from Boston in the 1880’s, by herself, looking for her fiancé who’d come West the year before promisin to send for her.  He wrote twice, from Cheyenne, second time sayin he’d found a place and was goin to stake claim to it and would send her money and directions soon, but he never wrote again.  She didn’t find him, found my great-grandpa instead, Ezra Anderson.  They settled these two sections of land, built the homestead and raised two kids.”

“Three,” reminded Emma.  “One died when he was only four.  She kept his picture on the mantle the rest of her life there.”

“I got it up in my room, maybe you saw it?”

Ennis shook his head, no.

“Well, anyway, after Ezra died, she stayed on with my Grandma Megan and her husband, George Yost, my grandpa, and sold this piece to my Granddad Twist.  Grandpa George did well, got elected to the State Legislature, raised Momma and her brothers over there.  Granddad Twist built this house, raised my daddy and Uncle Harold, his brother, here.”

“The one that was sick,” commented Ennis.

“You remember that,” stated John.

“Remember a lot about that summer.  He got sick, then got better.”

“Then got himself killed in a car wreck a year later,” stated John.  “Damn fool was driving tired, been on the road seven, eight hours heading home, ran off the road and hit a tree.  Only curve in five miles, and the only stand of trees in ten, but he found ‘em both.  Happened outside of Bozeman”

Ennis shuddered involuntarily.  Just like my folks.  Could a happened to Jack!  Why did I wait so long?

“Yeah, I miss him,” added Jack, “he was always nice.”  All were silent for a moment, contemplating how life could end so suddenly and unexpectedly.  John let the ‘nice’ comment go by without responding.

“Anyway, Momma married Dad in ‘38, moved into this place.  Granddad had a heart attack and died in ’40, and Gramma Mary died about a year later.  And then the War came.  Grandpa George and Grandma Megan died during the War in late 1943, U-Boat sunk the ship they were on headin to England as part of the war effort.  At 81 Great-grandma couldn’t handle the place by herself, and my uncles weren’t interested in ranchin anymore, went off in the Army or some such durin the war, never did come back except to visit.  So they sold the place, split the money, and she moved in here.  She had my room before I did, and died in her sleep up there when I was almost two years old.”

“Got a picture of her holdin little Jack right after he was born. She surely did love you, son, said you looked a lot like her brother,” Emma said with a smile.

“Yeah, remember you tellin me that.  And I thought,” Jack turned to face Ennis, “we’d take over the place.  It’s been empty for over twenty years now, folks that bought it gave up and moved away, but it’s got good bones.  Wanta see it?”

Before Ennis could answer, John took over the conversation once again.

“What for? Just a waste of time.”  He almost seemed to gloat at the pending misfortune of his son.

“How so?” asked Jack.

“Guess you ain’t traveled that far up the road in the past few days.  Some rich lawyer from Laramie beat you to it, bought the place last Fall, after the last time you were here.  Musta spent a fortune fixin it up.  Talk a the area.  Hired Charlie McGowan to do it, remember him?”

“Yeah, I do.”

“Been over there half a dozen times or more this past Winter, eyeballin the work.  Don’t know what that Laramie feller is thinkin about, putting so much money into the place out here in the middle a nowhere, must have money to burn. Wonder what he knows that we don’t.  Hmmm…  Anyways, like I was sayin, he had Charlie redo all the wirin and plumbin, put on a new roof, and screened in most of the porch.  Changed one of the bedrooms upstairs into a bathroom, but you can’t get into it except going through the two bedrooms left up there.  Then he added on two other bedrooms and another bathroom downstairs.  Where’s the logic in all that?  Must have some kinda big family.”

Ennis suddenly had an inkling about the logic, and he shivered inside at the thought.  He fixed his eyes on his empty coffeecup held firmly in his right hand, and started smoothing out a nonexistent wrinkle in the tablecloth with his other hand, waiting for both boots to drop while John continued on with his litany of restoration and remodeling horrors.

“And the guy also redid the kitchen and added what he called a ‘family room’ right onto it, and painted the place inside and out, the whole works …even put a new furnace and air conditionin! Now for God’s sakes, who needs goddamn air conditionin with all the wind we got up here?”

“You been over there?” asked Jack of his mother.

“Yes.  Charlie was kind enough to give me a tour last Thursday before he gave the keys to the new owner.”

“Just finished up last week,” inserted John.  “Charlie said the new owner wanted it finished by the start a August, but he had good luck with the weather, and times being what they are found plenty a good workers, so he finished early.”

“And you like it?” Jack again addressed his mother.

“Very much so,” responded Emma with a smile.  “The place looks lovely.  The new owner kept a lot of the downstairs like it was when my Gramma Emma and my parents and me lived there.  I think she would approve of all the changes, especially the kitchen and the bathrooms, I know I do.”

“Glad you do,” Jack paused and put his hand on Ennis’ trembling thigh under the table.    Steady!

That was enough for Ennis.  He knew for sure.  Ennis moved his left hand down, and gripped Jack’s, hard, for balance.  Here it comes! he thought.  What the hell have you done now, Twist?!  I don’t have that kind a money.  What will folks think?

“’Cause you’re lookin at the new owners,” Jack said more calmly than he felt inside.  They held on tight to each other.

“What? You! Land’s sakes.”  Emma and John spoke together.  Ennis remained silent, still looking down his right hand now continually smoothing out a second nonexistent wrinkle in the tablecloth.

“Yeah, us.  Had my eye on that place for a while now.  So I contacted a friend, who had a friend, who knew this attorney in Laramie.  Called him last Fall, when I was up here, went by and met him on my way back to Childress, and had him handle the deal.  Wanted it to be a surprise.  Asked him to be sure to have it finished by August.”  He looked at Ennis.  “One of the reasons I was so mad on Sunday, planned on somehow gettin you to come here before our trip in August and show you the place.”

“Oh, Jack…”

“Yeah, well… you didn’t know… but now you do.  Had it put in his name, so’s not to have anyone find out.  He already signed the deed to the both of us, just waitin for my call to record it.”


“But what?”

Ennis looked directly at Jack, and all forms of protest died an instant death, shriveled up and blew away like autumn leaves in the Wyoming wind.  It’s what they both wanted, and being on their own place way out in the middle of almost nowhere up in the far reaches of Wyoming was as good a place as any.  And, he sure did like Jack’s mom; though his dad was something else.  What was it he promised himself and Jack just a few hours ago?  Never goin to let him out a my sight, and gonna protect him and make him happy the rest of our lives.

So, he smiled and said, “No buts, just wonderin when we were gonna get inside to see it.”

“You want to see it now?”

“Now? Tonight?”

“Sure. Electricity’s on, it’s got water, heat, no furniture, but you’ll get the idea.”

“You bet.  I’d like that.”

“Great!  I’ll get my jacket, be right back.”  Jack bounded out of the room, and Ennis could hear his boots as he took the stairs two at a time in his haste.

“I’ll get you a thermos of coffee to take with you,” offered Emma, as she rose from her chair.  “And don’t worry about the dishes, you can do them next time.”

“Thank you, ma’am, that’d be real nice.”

John looked at him, with some curiosity, but mostly disgust.  “You really gonna do this?  Shack up together right next door to us?”

“Yep, we really are,” replied Ennis, more calmly than he felt.  “Takin a chance on a better idea.”

“Here you go, added cream, just like you both like it.”

“Thanks much.”

“Ready?”  Jack re-entered the room, jacket on, holding a full paper bag turned down at the top.

“Yep, my jacket’s in my truck.  What do you have there?”  Ennis pointed to the bag.

“Oh, just a couple a things for the house.  Let’s go. And I need you to help me get something from the basement on our way out.”



Chapter 10:  http://cwby30.livejournal.com/35285.html

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Title:   Dear Emmaline
Author: Bud [cwby30]
Genre: au
Brokeback Mountain and these characters (except the OCs) belong to Annie Proulx, Jake Gyllenhall, Heath Ledger and others. I'm just
borrowing them for a short time. No disrespect intended. I do this for me for fun, and make no money off any of it.
Summary: A letter forces Ennis to rethink his relationship with Jack, and sends him on a trip to Lightning Flat, where he meets more than Jack's parents.
Author’s Note and/or Warnings: PG13 [M/M situation suggested].
Well, at long last here are the last three chapters of this story, with Epilogues to follow.  Follow the links!!  I appreciate all the comments.
Thanks again.

Chapter 8

Damn! Who’da thought?  Ennis Del Mar here, on this ranch, workin with me, well, not exactly with me, bein all the way over there where I can hardly see him but once in a while, but here, here! And he says he loves me and he ain’t goin nowhere… twenty years I’ve been hopin and dreamin and prayin for this day… and now he’s here!

Damn. Shit. Fucking old fencepost, must be one a the ones my great-granddad put in here a hundred years ago… need to replace all a these with real posts, pressurized ones like they have in Texas now…

Texas!  Lureen!  Jeez, I gotta call her tonight, find out what’s goin on with the divorce… need to get those papers and sign ‘em… she’ll need an address… ain’t gonna have her send em to the house… no way… have to go into town tomorrow early and get a box at the post office so she can send up the papers without the old bastard seein em and snoopin… put Ennis’ name on it too… we’ll go in together, get some time alone in the truck… show him the town, what little there is of it, five buildings at a cross roads and one of them half-empty…get something to eat at Madge’s… introduce my best friend who’s come to live with me… no, goin into partnership with me, runnin the ranch… known him for twenty years now…

Twenty years… lotta goddamn water over the bridge, or under the dam, or whatever it is… yeah, water, water everywhere… tears, too many of em, seems like every time he drove away… wonder if he did too… didn’t drive away from him, he drove away from me… drove me away, fuck, drove me crazy…still does…

But I don’t care… no way Jose… he’s here know, that’s all that matters… he’s here and he said he loves me and he’s gonna stay and there ain’t nothing or no one gonna come between us…not even…

Shit!  Randy… gotta do somethin about that… gotta call him… wonder where he’s headed… big mistake callin him, never figured he’d red-line it up here right away… but he did… he’s got some powerful feelins for me, feel bad about leadin him on… no, we both knew, he knew about Ennis and knew he wasn’t number one… and neither was I for that matter… wonder if he’s gonna try to find Mark after all these years… I would if I was him… but I ain’t him and he ain’t Ennis… gotta find him… end it properly… tell him myself… hmmm… maybe Lureen’ll have his number… 

Dammit! Christ almighty that hurts.  Stupid hammer!  I gotta get a big stapler or something, this pounding brads into fenceposts is for the birds…

Wonder what Ennis is doin way over there… probably what I’m doin, wrecking my hands tryin to salvage the unsalvageable… hmmm… unsalvageable… thought that’s what happened to him and me, over, gone, busted into pieces and lyin on the ground up at the trailhead… and then run over by his truck pullin out as fast as he could like always… course he did break a bit, fell down to the ground… but just like old Ennis pulled himself up before I could get out a my truck and moved on like nothing happened … or ever would… just the same old shit year after fuckin year… seein him for a week whenever Pope Ennis would find the time to grant me an audience… never mind what I was goin through, never mind what I needed… no-o-o… reins… yeah Mr. “no reins on this”… bullshit to that, him holding the reins, yankin em back every single time I tried to push on… change things for the better… pulling the strings, makin me dance to his tune… and now here he is, claimin to be a changed man, runnin Randall off, sayin he loves me and ain’t never gonna let me go… how long is that gonna last… til the old bastard shows his true colors and starts callin him “queer” and “unnatural”… know he said that judgment is in the hereafter… but he still judges in the here and now… why’d he come now… thought he’d never se me again… not after what I said to him…why now… what made him change in a week…

But he’s here and he didn’t drive off when Randy showed up and when my mean-mouthed daddy showed up and he’s over there… hey wavin his hat at me… Yeah, right back atcha lover boy… oh god I can’t go and call him that, he’ll have a cow…

He says he loves me and he’s gonna stay…

I sure hope so… don’t know what I’d do if he left me after this… probably get drunk and stick my ass out for the first cowpoke that pokes… just like Mexico after he shoved me away after his divorce… and where’d that get me… beat up just like in Mexico… maybe lyin in a ditch like old Earl… 

Nope… Ennis better mean what he says…

Ow!  Goddammit! That hurts!  Shit! Man… who put that hole there… damn rat… ankle’s gonna be swollen… walk it off Twist… no limpin in front a your daddy… done worse ridin bulls… and more than bulls… ain’t ever gonna say a word about that either… the past better stay in the past…that really would put him over the edge… week ago he threatened to kill me if he found out… but he did find out… he talked to Randall and ran him off and didn’t kill me and hugged me and told me he was here to stay and said it to momma and that crap father of mine… 

Crap father… never could do anything right… pissin on me… tellin me I was no good never amount to much… could hardly wait to get away… but here I am right back here… why’s he hatin me so much… what’d I ever do to him ‘cept be born… maybe that’s it, bein born… and not havin any brother or sister… just me… wonder if he’ll ever tell me… huh… ain’t holdin my breath until that happens… maybe momma will… don’t see me askin her that question… just have to accept it… my daddy hates me, always has and always will… crap father…

And he goes and seems all sympathetic like to Ennis… where’d that come from… never showed no sympathy for me… he did clear up things with Ennis’ dad… did something nice for a change… hope that closes the door on that part a his life… nah he’ll never forget it… always be there, pushed down further, but always there… wonder how many pairs of kid gloves I’ll wear out in the next 20 years… crap father…

Crap fathers… me and Lureen sure did have that in common… leastways where it came to me… she could do no wrong ‘cept marryin me… busted up bullrider… “Rodeo”… hope Ennis never calls me that again… fat bastard, rollin in dough, never spreadin it around… yeah well ya can’t take it with you and he’s gone and Lureen her momma have it… and my son is gonna get it someday… so there ya fat bastard… where’d it get ya, huh… still fell down like ya ran into the side of a building when ya had that stroke, still six feet under like everyone else that’s dead… wonder what he’d say if he knew what’s goin on… me and Ennis and what I got… bet he’d roll over in his grave… nah he’s too fat for that… just flop around… bastard… makin me sign that paper when me and Lureen got married… but I got the last laugh…14 years of puttin up with him, learned a lot about makin money and keepin it… 

Hope Ennis doesn’t run off when I tell him…but he says he loves me and he’s never gonna let me out a his sight again… 

Sure hope he means it… sure hope so… 

Sun’s getting kinda low… best be packin it in… don’t want a be late for dinner and have the old man crabbin about his supper getting cold waitin on his good for nothing son and his queer boyfriend…

Sure hope Ennis means it… sure hope so… 


I sure hope Jack never asks me… how can I tell him the truth… it’d kill him… bad enough as it is between the two of em, don’t need that too… know he’ll never say a word… too proud and too… too… stubborn…afraid… tired… don’t want to lose what I’ve got, we’ve got,  in this house now…  isn’t the life either of us expected, but it’s what we got, can’t fix it now … gotta stand it for Jack and Ennis…

Ennis Del Mar… here… in this house… with my Jack…answer to my prayers… haven’t seem him so happy in I don’t know how long…only thing that’d be better is havin Bobby come up too, meet me and his grandpa… hug him and spoil him… wonder if he’d like cherry cake as much as his daddy… meet Ennis too… hope he likes Ennis and doesn’t turn his back on his daddy and Ennis… icing on the cake if he doesn’t… then I’d have all the men in my life at my table… don’t want to take a chance on losin that either…

Sure hope Ennis means what he says… it’d kill Jack if he got spooked and ran off…

No… I’ll never tell him… it’s gonna stay buried in the past… along with him… where it belongs… just stand up tall on the Pentecost and accept the judgment of the Good Lord himself…

Getting late… best be getting supper ready… got three hungry men to feed now… another prayer I’m glad the Lord answered. 

Sure hope Ennis means it…



Chapter 9:  http://cwby30.livejournal.com/34846.html

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Mornin', all.

Well, this time it's older Ennis, years after Jack's death, watching with pride his 8 year-old granddaughter learning how to ride.  I see him with one foot on the lower rail, hat uncharacteristically pushed back a bit, that certain smile on his face.  And then, after lessons, riding along with her, just the two of them, sharing some quality time.  



Katie’s Cowgirls

Submitted by Stephen Clark

In their jeans and cowgirl boots

they go racing down to the pen.

It’s Sunday afternoon

and it’s lesson time again.

There’s Hazel, Hannah and Hank,

Smokey, Shorty and of course old Jud.

With lead ropes and halters in hand

they wade through the manure and mud.

They’re all Katie’s cowgirls

and it’s riding time again.
They saddle up their horses

and lead them out of the pen.

They practice cones and barrels

under Katie’s watchful eye.

After two years of riding lessons

there’s not much that they won’t try.

She’s always there to help them

when they and the horse go astray.

She’s always there to show them

to ride the cowgirl way.

They’re all Katie’s cowgirls

and there’s more to learn of course.

But they won’t ever forget what Katie taught them

whenever they ride a horse.

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