The Lancer Fanfiction Archive

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EJ

 

 

Drabbles

 

2014 Drabbles

2016 Drabbles

2014 Drabbles

Alone

He couldn't believe it, alone at last. It seemed someone was always around. Lancer was 100,000 acres, why was it so hard to get away from people?

Johnny dismounted and ground tied Barranca, “Enjoy” he patted the golden rump.

He left a trail of clothes as he walked to the water's edge. The cool air felt good on his bare skin. Johnny took a deep breath and jumped into the cold water.

After his swim Johnny found a sunny spot to lay down and dry off. It felt good being alone but something was missing.

He missed his brother.

*******

Bath and Bed

“Ahhhh,” every muscle of his body ached as Johnny eased down into the tub of hot water.  He hated cows and now he was bruised all over because he tried to pull a stupid cow out of the muck.

An hour later Scott knocked on the door, “Johnny, did you fall asleep in there?” He peeked in, and Johnny was asleep.

When Scott touched his arm, Johnny jumped, “Dios Scott.”

“Come on brother the water's cold and you need to go to bed.

“Yeah.”  Johnny yawned then slowly stood and grabbed the towel. 

“But I ain't wearing no nightshirt.

******

Caught

“Damn!”  Johnny slammed the drawer shut, “Where did Teresa put them?  Bet she did that on purpose ‘cause I won't wear the damn nightshirt.”

‘Oh well they're all at church so the coast is clear.'  Johnny headed for the laundry area by the kitchen.

He was so intent on the laundry that he didn't hear the kitchen door open.

At the sound of a feminine yell, Johnny turned.  Murdoch was frowning, his hands covered Teresa's eyes, and his brother was fighting to suppress the laughter.

Murdoch growled, “Go!” and nodded to the back stairs.

As Johnny stormed off he called over his shoulder, “Well she wouldn't see me naked if she'd put my clean clothes in my room.”

*****

Checkers

Murdoch sat back and watched his two sons at play. The older brother was patiently explaining to his younger brother the rules of the game.

Unfortunately, Johnny wasn't interested in the rules. He wanted to jump all of Scott's checkers.

“Johnny” Scott huffed, “you can't just move anywhere you want.” He looked to his father “Pa, make Johnny play fair.”

Murdoch smiled at his son, “Scott he's only 6-years old I don't think he understands the rules.”

Scott nodded at his father, “Okay Johnny, you win, take all the checkers.”

Scott loved to hear his little brother laugh.

 

*******

Guilt

Scott stood listening at his little brother's door.

It was his fault but Johnny was the one being punished. Pa said as the older brother it was his job to keep Johnny out of trouble. How was he supposed to do that? Johnny was an active 6-year old and could move fast on those little legs.

When he ran into the corral and up to that horse Scott thought his heart was going to stop. Then he heard his Pa yell and knew they were in trouble.

Scott heard the three hard smacks and started to cry.

 

*****

Hot

Johnny wiped the sweat from his face and replaced his hat, “Hey Scott, how about a swim?”

“Sounds like a great idea little brother.”

“Who you callin' little?”  Johnny smirked and took off at a gallop toward their favorite pond.

When they reached the pond they raced toward the water leaving the ground littered with their sweaty clothes.

A loud yell was followed by two splashes and lots of laughter.

Unknown to the brothers their father watched from the hilltop, he loved finally being able to watch his sons laugh and play.

The smile on his face was the outward sign of the happiness in his heart.

*****

Hurry Up

Johnny wished his big brother would hurry up. Papa said they was going to see Miz Aggie and get cookies.

“Come on Scott” Johnny pounded on the door.

Scott opened the door and glared at the pest making all the noise. “Hold your horses I'm almost ready.”

“Don't got no horses, Papa says no horses in the house.” Johnny wondered if Scott forgot that rule.

“Ohh go away.” Scott slammed the door.

Truly frustrated the 6-year old stomped to the Great Room.

“Papa make Scott hurry up. Cuz we got to go see Miz Aggie an' get cookies.”

*******

Johnny's Pony

Johnny peeked into the great room, all clear.  Papa and Scott were in the kitchen talkin' to Mamacita.

With the way clear, he grabbed the rope and gave a tug to get his pony moving, “Come on Oro.” Johnny whispered.  Papa said no horses in the house but this wasn't just any horse this was his beloved Oro.

Earlier Johnny had heard Papa tell Tio Cip to geld Oro.  He didn't know what geld was but Tio Cip had a knife. Fearing the worst, Johnny knew he had to hide his pony.

They almost made it to the stairs but then he heard the yell…

“Johnny!”

 

*******

Mischief

Johnny tiptoed into the great room and over to papa's desk, he looked around, ‘good', no one in sight.  When he opened the bottom drawer he saw his heart's desire, “Ooooh!”

Excited Johnny reached for it but it was heavier than he expected, and when Johnny tried to buckle it around his waist it crashed to the floor.

At the loud noise Johnny sucked in his breath and looked around.  He thought he was safe until he peeked over the desk and saw an angry papa.

That night a 6-year old with a sore bottom dreamed he was a famous gunfighter.

 

*****

Nightmare

Something woke Scott but he wasn't sure what it was at first, then as he turned to go back to sleep he realized, “Johnny.”

Scott ran to Johnny's room and saw him tossing and turning on the bed.  “It's okay Johnny, I'm here I'll protect you little brother.” Scott sat and rubbed Johnny's trembling back.

Soothed by his big brother's voice, Johnny woke and leaned into Scott's hug.

Murdoch heard the noise and headed for Johnny's room but stopped when he saw Scott comforting his little brother. 

Relieved, Murdoch walked over to sit with his sons.

Everyone was safe.

 

******

Trouble

Two boys faced an angry Papa. Both were sure a tanning was in the near future.

“Well?” demanded Papa.

“I wanna be a gunfighter,” declared 6-year old Johnny.

Papa shook his head and rubbed his face.

“I tried to stop him, but you know how he always tries to get a gun.” Scott hoped this was a good answer.

His hope was dashed when Papa sat down and pulled Johnny over his knee.  Three firm swats then Johnny was set on his feet. “Next time young man you listen to your brother.”

Scott sighed he had escaped the tanning.

 

*******

What If?

“Johnny do you ever wonder…if we would be this close if we had grown up together?” Scott asked.

“Nope” Johnny replied.

“Why not?”

“Why, can't change it.”

“I know but I always wanted a little brother. You, Johnny my boy, are not what I always imagined.” Scott smiled.

Johnny admitted, “Yeah I used to want an older brother. Someone who would protect me.”

“I would have…protected you.”

“I know.  But the bother I imagined wasn't a gringo.”

“How could that be?”

“I was a kid how would I know that?”

Scott laughed and pulled his brother into a hug.

 

*******

What? No Apples!

Okay, where is he, I hauled his ass all over the ranch today.  Hell he didn't even brush me down, that Walt guy doesn't do as good a job.

Wait, I hear his spurs, it's about damn time.  He better have a couple apples to make up for being handed off like I'm just some ordinary horse.  Well I ain't no ordinary horse not by a long shot.

I don't smell apples, what's going on?  Wait a minute those things aren't apples.  Hey what's he trying to pawn off on me?

Wait till tomorrow.

You'll be sorry.

 

******

 

Chase

Scott was as mad as a wet hen. Not so much a hen but he was wet and mad.

“When I get my hands on him…”  Scott stomped from the barn and headed for the bath house. 

Johnny was enjoying his hot bath and proud of himself getting the better of big brother.  Unfortunately Johnny didn't keep track of time, so he was still in the tub when the door slammed against the wall.

Scott crossed the floor in seconds and grabbed Johnny by the neck and pushed him under the water.  Johnny came up sputtering, “What the hell…”  He rubbed the soapy water from his eyes.

“Yes, little brother, what the hell?”  Scott stood with his hands on his hips and tapped his foot.  “Well?” 

“Look it was jus a joke…”  Johnny eased out of the tab and grabbed a towel and wrapped it around his waist.  Big brother was pissed and he was unarmed.

Scott moved closer to block Johnny's move for his gun, “Don't even think about it.”

“Aw come on Scott, I'm sorry…”  Johnny tried to slip out.

Scott lowered his head and sighed, it was all Johnny needed and he made his move.  He slipped past Scott and headed for the open door. 

The chase was on...

 

 

Murdoch's Desk... from the desk's PoV

The hacienda was finally quiet with the patron's sons safely asleep in their own beds.  The master of the house, lost in thought, absently rubbed my smooth wooden surface while he savored a fine single malt scotch.  

I have shared many memories with the patron, good and bad.

I remember the gentle lady from Boston and how happy they had been with the news of an heir.  Then the time of danger and the fear for the lady and unborn c hild.  Followed by the overwhelming sadness when the lady died and the child was stolen from the father.  I had silently witnessed the father's pain at being unable to bring his son home.

When the lady from Mexico arrived the house was again filled with love and laughter.  For two years the small boy, I remember his shiny black hair and vivid blue eyes, filled the Patron's heart.  He dared to hope he could bring the older son home and raise his boys together.  Alas it was not to be, the lady and the son left and again the house was filled with despair.  The older son was lost to him and the younger son was missing.

For so many years the house was a shell, as empty as the man.  He continued working to build his ranch, always hoping that someday his sons would be home.  The reports told the man about the older son but the younger, there was nothing.  Finally the report arrived with news the younger boy was alive in Mexico and the older son was coming from Boston. 

I witnessed the awkward meeting of three strangers, the ups and the downs getting to know each other, and the arguments between the patron and his wild son.  I also saw the three men try to blend into a family and they are to an extent, succeeding.  It will take time, so many years were lost.

Yet, I know someday the sons will sit in the father's chair, they will have heirs and Lancer will survive.

Yes, I know it will happen...and I will be a part of it.

 

Skedaddle

Jelly had long passed his tolerance threshold with the antics of a certain dark-haired boy.  Sometimes he wished he could drag Johnny to the barn for a good tanning, and today was just such a day.

Jelly saw Johnny sitting on the top rail of the corral fence and headed his way.

Johnny may not be as educated a s his big brother but he wasn't stupid and he recognized ‘pissed-off' when he saw it.  So he took Scott's advice about discretion and valor, and jumped from the rail and headed for Barranca.

Jelly shook his head and watched boy and horse head for the Lancer arch. 

“Yep Johnny boy, ya better skedaddle.”  Jelly laughed and scratched his chin.

 

 

The Stable
(Johnny thinking back on his life)

There was no place in the world he felt more comfortable.  When he was little and his mama threw him out for a night with one of her men, the stable was safe and warm.  He loved the smell of the hay and the leather, but especially the company of the horses.

When he was drifting and the only money he had was needed for bullets and food he would sleep in the stable in exchange for mucking out stalls.  On more than one occasion he hi d out in a stable to heal up.  Yep the stable was a haven for him.

Now that he was home at Lancer it was different.  Now the stable is where he went to talk to Barranca when he needed to calm himself after a fight with Murdoch.  It was also the place his brother would come looking for him to offer support and advice.  There were even times Murdoch would seek him out and they would come to some kind of agreement. 

His favorite stable was at Lancer, because that's where his best friend lived.

 

 

A Warm Fire

Johnny hated winter, he was cold and now wet thanks to some stupid cow stuck in the creek. “I hate these dumb critters.”  He grumbled as he hit it on the ass to get the cow moving away from the water.

Barranca wasn't happy either and made it plain by shaking the water from his coat.  Johnny glared at his horse, “Thanks, I wasn't wet enough.”

Finally home and after bedding Barranca, Johnny headed to the bathhouse for a long, hot so ak. 

He felt better after his bath and a hot supper, then Murdoch poured drinks and the men settled in the great room.  Murdoch sat in his leather chair and Scott settled on the sofa with his feet propped on the table.  They smiled as they watched Johnny pull a rug in front of the fireplace.  He stood for a moment letting the heat warm his backside then he sat down.  He raised his glass to salute his father and brother.

 “Ya just can't beat a warm fire.”

 

********

 

 

Don't Ya Wonder?

“I don't know Scott.” Johnny leaned on the bar his head cocked to the right.

“I don't know either Johnny, but since you claim a prowess with the ladies you should...” Scott followed his brother's stare.

Before Scott could finish his sentence Johnny interrupted, “Well, seeing as how you are the educated one I think you should go over...”

“No way Johnny,” Scott shook his head.

“Aw come on Scott, just go over and introduce yourself.”  He aimed his best shit-eating grin at his brother, “Go on, you know that gentleman thing you do.”  Johnny couldn't stop the chuckle at his older brother's expression.

Scott ground his teeth and whispered, “No, and quit staring.  I am not going over there.”

Both men remained at the bar, nursing their drinks, and couldn't help but sneak peeks at the table.  The lady in question was dressed in the elaborate style expected in the establishment but she was too old to be a saloon girl.  She noticed them when she entered the bar but then seemed to ignore them and settled into a chair at the table by the window.  

Sam had taken her a drink but no one else moved to join her.

Scott finished his drink, put the glass on the bar, and reached for his hat, “Well little brother I'm heading out.  Are you coming or just going to stand here staring at the lady?”

“Naw, I'll head out with you, but ain't ya curious who she is?” Johnny grabbed his hat and took one more look over his shoulder then followed Scott through the batwing door.

The lady in question just smiled, she appreciated the sneak peeks by the handsome young men.  Her business trip to Stockton was finally over she just wanted to get home. 

She missed Matt and would be glad to get back to Dodge. 

 

 

********

 

Every Man Has His Price

A frowning Johnny sat in his padded chair, still mad that Sam ordered him to stay in his bedroom.  Johnny huffed at his confinement, he was fine and healed better if allowed up and moving.   Hell he thought, it's not like he's never been shot in the back before. 

So he sat and stared out his bedroom window to make sure the world was still there waiting for him.  When the sun glinted on something gold Johnny's face lit up, contented he watched his shiny palomino horse prancing in the corral. 

Johnny remembered hearing a priest say, ‘that every man has his price'.  He smirked and knew as Madrid he had been the best and demanded the big money. 

Johnny shook his head and thought about the changes in his life. In these last few weeks he learned the truth about his father, found a brother, and realized that maybe price didn't mean money.  

Yep, now as Johnny Lancer, he knew exactly what that price was… 

Barranca.

http://www.peterbrown.tv/lancerbarranca.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Drabbles

 

Johnny's Flower
(In Memory of Marlene)

We are going to miss a special lady and her Johnny stories.

Johnny stared out his window but this morning the sun didn’t warm him like it usually did, no, there was no warmth. A friend was lost, a lady he hadn’t known that long but she had made such an impact on him. 

When most people saw Madrid, she saw Johnny. When most people would cross the street rather than pass near him, she would come up to him and lace her arm in his. She would ask how he was and never failed to invite him to join her for some lemonade. Usually they would sit on her front porch and talk about the ranch, or the horses he was working, he even enjoyed listening to her talk about a book she was reading. 

The lady never pushed him to talk about his past and she never discussed hers, they were friends and that was that. He reached for his gun hanging on the bed post and strapped it on, making sure it was adjusted he left his room and slipped out to Teresa’s garden. He had a plan.

The air was scented by the blooms, he inhaled deeply then made his way to the ones he knew she liked and picked the biggest one.

Mourners lined both sides of the open grave while the minister gave his blessing. Avoiding being seen, Johnny stood back under a tree and waited for them to disperse. When everyone was gone he moved to the grave and knelt by the wooden cross. Then he kissed the bloom and placed it on the wooden casket.

“I’m gonna miss you, you’ve been a special friend to me and I don’t have many of those…” He bowed his head, “… and now I have one less.”

He slowly rose and rubbed his hand over the name on the cross…

Marlene.

 

Boy, Do I Love Corn on the Cob
Holiday Observances: June 11 is Corn on the Cob Day June 2016

The small village was a hub of activity; it was the harvest season and for the farmers it had been a very good year. So good in fact that the farmers decided to share some of the bounty with the villagers.

The men had set up iron grills over several fires, while the women busied themselves setting up tables and chairs. Each villager contributed what food they had to increase the bounty. Meanwhile the children played nearby in hopes of sneaking a treat. There was much laughter in the poverty-stricken village that day.

Not so for the young boy hiding in a tree, avidly watching the man who was turning the husks of corn. He could smell the enticing aromas and looked around to make sure no one had heard his stomach growl. To make sure he was out of sight he scooted closer to the tree’s trunk. If anyone saw him he knew he would be driven away. Johnny and his mother were not invited and never would be since he was a mestizo and she was…

From his hiding spot Johnny watched the villagers and farmers celebrate. He rubbed his empty stomach when it gurgled again. Please, he hoped let there be some scrapes leftover. Hunger over-ruled pride and he would scrounge through the garbage left behind.

Finally the celebration was over; he looked around but no one was on the street. He climbed down and snuck to alley by the cantina where the leftovers had been tossed. He rummaged through the corn husks and almost shouted with joy when he discovered a half eaten corn on the cob. Licking his lips he savored every bite. Next he found a small piece of a tamale, then another cob with a couple bites of corn, and even a piece of fat with a tiny sliver of meat attached to it. Still hungry, he gobbled it down while continuing his search.

A growl startled him from his feast and out of the corner of his eye he saw the cantina owner bearing down on him. He jumped up ready to run for it when the big man grabbed him…

***

“Johnny… Johnny wake up.” Teresa shook his shoulder. “The corn is ready.”

He jumped up and ran toward his father, “Thanks Murdoch.” Johnny eagerly grabbed the ear of corn from his father’s hand and striped off the husk. In absolute ecstasy he bit into a little piece of heaven. “Boy, do I love corn on the cob.”

 

 

A Tempting Target

Sam woke me up early this morning so after feeding her I went back to bed for a few more hours sleep when a vision popped into my head. It was of Johnny when he was draped over the ottoman playing chess with Jelly. Well, I have made some changes and hope y'all like them. If you do be grateful to Sam otherwise I might not have had the vision.

 

The Patrón of Lancer relaxed into his leather chair ready to enjoy a glass of his favorite Scotch, the latest newspaper from San Francisco, and his family.

Glancing around the room he grinned at Teresa’s pout as she stuck her finger through the newest hole in a blue and white flowered shirt. His older son was comfortably stretched out on the sofa and based on his expression seemed to be enjoying his new book. Murdoch was grateful that at least one of his sons loved reading as much as he did.

When he heard a frustrated sigh he turned to the old man sitting opposite himself. Jelly’s arms were crossed over his chest, his foot taped on the tile floor, and his angry glare was aimed at the figure draped over the ottoman. 

Murdoch covered his mouth to hide the smile he couldn’t hold back. “Problem, Jelly?”

The old man ignored his boss as he reached out to smack the sleeping man, “Wake up will ya, it’s yer turn.”

Johnny roused, shaking his head, “Yeah, okay.” He reached out and moved his bishop. 

“Ya ain’t gonna think ‘bout it first?”  Jelly’s question went unanswered as Johnny had already resumed his position on the ottoman-asleep. 

By now Teresa and Scott were watching the battle between the chess players. Each one trying not to laugh knowing it would only escalate Jelly’s frustration, and possibly cause severe damage to their brother.

Murdoch was thoroughly enjoying himself when the idea struck him. He looked down at the exposed, leather clad, butt of his younger son. Oh, he felt so tempted, it would be so easy, the victim is completely unaware, and…

While Teresa and Scott were busy watching Jelly fume over the chess board they failed to notice Murdoch’s actions.

The Patrón slowly folded the newspaper into a tight roll, drew back his arm, and,,, WHOMP!

Jolted awake, Johnny quickly rolled over and at the same time grabbed for the nonexistent gun.

Everyone erupted into laughter. Murdoch just smacked his hand with his weapon and gloated that he had outdrawn the great Johnny Madrid.

In full Madrid mode, he glared at his attacker and uttered a threat that would go down in Lancer history.

 

Epilogue: This story is still shared as a cautionary tale among the Lancer descendents.

Lancer Ranch June 2016

Murdoch’s great grandson sat in the old leather chair regaling his grandson, for the fifth time, of the famous Murdoch - Madrid showdown.

“Johnny was jolted awake and he quickly rolled over ready to drawdown on his attacker, but unfortunately there was no gun on his hip.”

Young Johnny drew is toy gun, “Like this Grandpa?” He loved the stories about Johnny. Everyone said he looked just like his namesake with his black hair, vivid blue eyes, and a real knack for getting into trouble.

“Yes Johnny, just like that.” Grandpa Scott smiled at the would-be gunfighter, then continued with the story.

“Not happy about being attacked from behind and hearing all the laughter at his expense, he put on his best Madrid glare and uttered this threat to his father…

“Murdoch, you sure are lucky I don’t have my gun.”

 

 

My Ol' Man Sure Is Big

An exhausted Johnny sat in the shade and wiped his face with his shirt sleeve. He looked out toward the fence line, relieved that he was almost finished and could head home. Grinning he looked at the sweat and grime on his sleeve, maybe he could beat Boston to the bath house. A long, hot soak sure would feel good on his sore muscles.

He leaned back against the tree trunk, lost in thought for a few moments. He sure never thought he would be here and taking orders, never did like taking orders before. Then again, he never expected to find out he’d been lied to and that he had a home waiting for him, and a father who wanted him.

Johnny laughed and shook his head, Murdoch sure is big. Ain’t never seen anyone bigger and he is broad too. When standing next to the Ol’Man it made him feel like a little kid. But what really amazed him was… well, that feeling wasn’t a bad one. He jumped up and grabbed Barranca’s reins.

In fact it felt pretty damn good.

 

 

 

 

 

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