Sheralynn stared out the train window at open prairie rolling by. The XYY Ranch was nestled in the shelter of the New Carpathian Mountains…or so the online website said. She snapped her laptop shut; her battery was low and the circle of dark mountains would gobble up her wifi bars. She leaned against a stack of carry-on luggage not hers (her kit bag was stuffed under her seat), and closed her eyes.
“Oh! Yes!” Sheralynn’s cabin mate snorted and sighed, deep in the throes of what was surely an erotic dream.
“Gawd, Mitzi!” Sheralynn’s eyes snapped open. She nudged her boot toe into Mitzi’s curvaceous ass. She loved her cousin, grateful that she’d agreed to this western adventure. Sheralynn needed to jumpstart her new life after breaking up with David. But sometimes Mitzi was more embarrassing than a dog with indigestion.
Mitzi yawned widely, popping yet another button on her tight denim shirt. “Oops! So, when do we get to this Dude Ranch?”
Sheralynn nodded to the gates ahead. The train station stopped in front, the tracks continuing into a roundhouse inside the mountain.
Mitzi grabbed her designer saddle bag purse and a small overnight bag. “Grab my suitcase, willya Hon’?” Slinging her kit bag over one shoulder, Sheralynn grabbed the case, gasping at its heft.
The gates opened as they approached, revealing a skeletal man, dressed in black and topped with a dusty bolero. He raised his hand as the train sighed and clattered toward the roundhouse, then beckoned to the two women.
“If this is a Dude ranch, where are all the dudes?” Mitzi whispered loudly.
At that, a blond, burly cowpoke stepped around the gate, lifting a worn Stetson. He sheepishly wiped his brow, smiling as the setting sun glinted off his long canines.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2018)
297 words, exactly, 24 hours (New York Time) to write, edit and submit. Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo 2018. Prompt = “Ranch romance” Go.