Author Topic: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886  (Read 4846 times)

Offline 2par

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #15 on: October 11, 2013, 01:43:50 PM »
Gosh, sorry - I'm infringing. Just tell me to get back to my own book.

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #16 on: October 11, 2013, 01:48:32 PM »
Okay, ah. . . maybe ol Bad-Bob robbed the stage . . . he was stashing the loot out on Mr. Baker's land and Baker stumbled onto the scene. Bob's not entirely sure if Baker got a chance to tell his wife . . .  ;D

I'm just stretching it now aren't I?  ;D ;D Now (shakes his finger) get back to writing your own story.  ;D

Offline Alice, a Country Gal

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #17 on: October 11, 2013, 03:07:09 PM »
Or . . . there might be a well heeled snake in the grass that has had his eyes on Her for ages. Arranged to have her husband killed. But the killed do too good a job and his body vanished vanished, so no one knows for sure the husband is dead or simply departed for parts unknown for his own reasons.

This would leave the bad guy in a pickle. He wants the woman but she has made it clear she doesn't return his interest despite all the attention he has lavished on her.

Eventually the BG (bad guy) becomes determined to have her despite everything.

Maybe he buys the mortgage on the farm/ranch to use as leverage to get what he wants.

He could also be the one starting all the gossip about the two of them out there all alone (except for the child).


Okay, I'm going way off, but remember, there are 101 reasons the bad guy might want her and/or the land.

Explore and find the one that fits best for you.   
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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #18 on: October 11, 2013, 03:28:21 PM »
I like the part about not finding Mr. Baker's body even after five years. This could be another reason Mrs. Baker is trying not to fall in love with Rick after all she may not be a widow and then loyalties are called into question. Thanks Miss Alice.

Now we gots-us a plot and a possible tangled mess.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 03:30:21 PM by Skip Slocum »

Offline bri h

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #19 on: October 11, 2013, 04:39:22 PM »
Rick had been riding his mule close to a week to get down to Sticks County. He stopped in the town of Oxbow just long enough to get directions – fifteen more miles west on lake’s (capital L maybe?) road to Barker’s ranch. It was close to noon by the time he got there. He stopped out by the well and horse trough.

A woman stepped out onto her porch with a shotgun. “Show me your hands stranger.” (because ultimately he's gonna be attracted to her, I think a brief descript of her would be good, so we get to picture her as well, imo)

Rick threw up his hands. “I’m unarmed. Please don’t shoot. I’m looking for Mrs. Baker.”

“Who are you?”

“Rick – Richard Donaldson ma’am – Miss Ida Roads sent me. I have a letter.”

“Ida? Let me see it.”

“Yes ma’am. It’s in my saddlebags but I’d really like you to take your finger off the trigger of that twelve-gauge before I get it. I promise, it’s just a letter.”

She nodded and Rick slowly reached in the pouch pulling out a letter sealed with a red wax button. He laid the envelope on the hitching post and backed away. “Is it alright if I water me and my mule while you read?”

“Go ahead.” She tucked the shotgun under her right arm and opened the letter. “This is definitely my sister’s writing.”

Rick knew what the letter said since he was there when Miss Ida wrote it. He picked up the small water jug, primed the pump and started cranking. It made him smile to hear the sound of the water coming up through the pipe so quickly. That meant the water table was high and there was plenty of water just below ground. The mule drank what he needed and rick pulled him away before he drank too much. He tied the reins to a wagon that sat under the eaves of the barn and went back to the trough to wash his face.

“She says you want to work for me. I can’t hire you. There’s no money for ranch hands. No stock to tend – they’ve all been sold off to hold onto this place.”

“If I may trouble you for just a few minutes – I have a proposal for you.”

“Excuse me?”

Rick removed his hat. “A business proposal if you please ma’am.” Rick wiped his brow. “Miss Ida and my mother are good friends. She was the one who taught me and my brothers how to read. Well, a few years ago she and Maw were visiting and I overheard how your Mr. Baker died.”

He didn't just die. He was murdered.”

“Yes ‘um. Well, I know it wasn’t polite for me to be listening but she says you and your daughter Amy were near out of options to keeping your place.”

Mrs. Baker gestured toward the yard chairs under the shade-tree. The screen door opened and a little girl came running out to sit on her mother’s lap “Now you keep still while Mr. Donaldson and mommy talk.”

“I’d be obliged if you’d call me Rick, ma’am.”

“Okay Rick What proposal did you have in mind?”

“I’m trying to break out on my own. It’s not that I don’t cotton to my father’s ways but I’d like to be my own man.”

“How old are you if you don’t mind?”

“No ma’am, not at all. I’ll be twenty three next month. But back to what I was saying, I’m a good farmer, can grow anything but don’t have a place to plant. And you . . .”

“And I have land and no cattle.”

“Yes ma’am good growing land too. From what I can see what's[/b] been turned, has gone to seed and turned wild.” repeat of 'turned' here.

“But I still couldn’t pay you.”

Rick set his hat on the bench beside him. “Now see that’s where we could maybe . . . be partners of a sort. You let me board in your barn and I work some of your land. Not more than one man can handle. I’ve been saving for a long time. I’ve got me a hundred and eighty-six dollars. I buy the seed and some food supplies but . . .”

“But what?”

“Ma’am I can’t cook to save my life. I can hunt, fish, grow anything you want and I’m a real good handyman. If it’s broke – spit and bailing wire and I can make it work. Oh, I’m sorry for saying that in front of your little one.”

“That’s all right. So what you’re wanting to do is grow crops on my land and -”

“And we split the profits. I figure you’d be vesting in me as much as I’d be vesting in you so after expenses we go fifty-fifty at market. Your land and water, my know-how and a few bags of seed from the co-op and we’re partners.”

Mrs. Baker looked off in the distance at the empty fields then turned to look at her house. “Rick, Ida trusts you and I’m all out of options. I know I should sleep on this and give you an answer later but we don’t have a later. If this doesn’t work I default to the bank or parcel away all the good land.” She stuck out her hand. “Partners?” The vernacular of this should be 'passel' I think?

“Yes ma’am” Rick tried not to smile too big broadly.

“And Rick if we’re going to be partners, no more ma’am. Every time you say that, I look for my mother. I’m Samantha and this is Amy.”




An engaging story Skip. I enjoyed reading it and would read more. I hope you didn't mind the 'fiddles.' Bri.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 04:44:40 PM by brianh »
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 05:19:08 PM »
Capital L, dah, you're absolutely right.

And good point on slipping in a little description of her.

A couple of your suggestions I'm going to ponder not because they aren't correct, they are but they take place in the dialogue where a bit of choppiness or clipped fragments could be character personality. But in the narrative there is no excuse for fragments or choppiness.

Oh and we might both be correct on parcel /passel

parcel verb --  to divide into or distribute in parcels or portions (usually followed by out).

Smile broadly - spot on again. Thank you.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2013, 05:21:18 PM by Skip Slocum »

Offline bri h

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2013, 06:24:48 PM »
Well they do say . . . One good turn . . . get's all the blankets. heh heh. B
Fare thee well Skip. We're all 'Keening' now. xbx

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 06:34:01 PM »
 ;D That's Bunny, I just let her keep them. She's always cold and I'm always hot so it works out.

Offline Gyppo

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 06:49:34 PM »
What if Samantha's husband wasn't as loyal as she thought he was and the murderer had killed him for messing with his wife or daughter.  Poor Samantha would have another reason to distrust men if that part of the story surfaced.  You could even ratchet it up a further notch if the murderer had in fact killed the wrong man, a case of mistaken identity.

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Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 06:54:29 PM »
 ;D Let me kick a couple of these around and see what sticks to the boots. Maybe with some sort of showdown in the middle of Rick's crops.

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #25 on: October 12, 2013, 08:22:38 AM »
Can't they just remain partners? Each working for the benefit of themselves and each other without a love interest? That way she remains empowered.

I liked the piece, Skip.

(edited for spelling - damn these rustic fingers)
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 09:45:32 AM by Pale Writer »

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2013, 11:58:33 AM »
Thank you. There's something about old westerns that grabs me.

I chuckled at your 'rustic fingers'. When I type, each of my fingers think its funny to see how many keys they can hit at the same time. Then my thumb eggs them on by twitching the space bar in the middle of my misspelled words.  ;D

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #27 on: October 12, 2013, 12:02:23 PM »
I near beat my first electric typewriter to death after switching from manual. Don't know how many extra letters ended up on the page by mistake, but there were plenty enough to start their own story. :)

Offline Skip Slocum

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Re: Cucumbers Potatoes and Corn // Story-Starter 886
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2013, 12:09:48 PM »
LOL

For a time my mother worked in a print shop. Her boss was one of the first to get one of those electric typewriters with the replaceable font spheres. (he had a tray of little silver font balls.) But anyway, those new machines were so 'key-touchy' that if your finger even paused too long on one key you might gettttttttttttttttt a fewwwwwwww exxxxxxtra letttttttttters.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 12, 2013, 12:11:40 PM by Skip Slocum »