Cal coiled up his riata. He had no goals to improve on his already impressive rope skills, but granddaughter Flora required kid glove treatment these days. Continue reading “Home On the Range”
She’d worn new Oboz hikers and thin wool socks, afraid of snakes on the trail since there’d been none on the plane. She’d strapped on a hip belt with double water holsters, and a chin-strapped billed cap with cape for sun protection. Continue reading “Too Far From Home”
Sunlight flashed a line ‘cross the floor
Rusty squeak of batwing doors
A buckaroo walks into a bar… Continue reading “Slim’s Search for Inspiration”
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.
She strode down the corridor, Gravboots beating a driving rhythm, her Sikshooter clanging warning bells off her generously curved hip. Ready for transport down to the moon, Arizon’, she suspected the Space Cowboy Coalition was playing them for fools. No profit, but maybe an adventure. She’d arranged her own transport.
There once was a settlement on Arizon’, 20 kliks from a ruined moonbase at the far edge of what the Space Cowboy Coalition called the 66th Quadrant. The planet to which Arizon’ had been attached is as long-gone and forgotten as its name. By all that’s natural and what we believe to be the laws of science, the tiny golden moon Arizon’ should have spun off and disappeared as well. But there she sits, spinning slowly, holding her place in the quadrant, wreathed in pearly-gray clouds.
A transformation is occurring…
Many, many years ago, when the red planet was untamed and sparsely populated–not like it is now, with its towering star scrapers and rumbling freewheelways—Schmitties roamed the plains, and the atmosphere was breathable.
A man could make a fine life for himself as a Schmittyboy. The pay wasn’t great, but the vistas couldn’t be beat.