tagNovels and NovellasGritty Times in Wyoming Pt. 02

Gritty Times in Wyoming Pt. 02


The wind was howling on Friday night and wood fire in the family room fireplace was roaring when Ryan heard a vehicle arriving.

"Someone's coming, only idiots would drive for pleasure on a night light this."

"Or real friends," Skye said, and left the room.

"I'll go," Fergie said, burping pre-dinner beer and tucking in his shirt.

Glenys heard the noisy greetings and wondered who that could be and her son said one of his dad's old pals.

"Look who I have here," Fergie said, pushing two young people through the door.

"Omigod, Omigod," Glenys said and lunging forward tripped over a coffee table but Ryan was quick enough to catch her.

"Careful mom," he chastised. "It's only your daughter and son-in-law."

Linda only just managed to hold clear the big bouquet of flowers before her big mom slammed into her.

After a few minutes Linda said, "Where's your star guest? I'm really looking forward to meeting her."

"Go get Skye son," Fergie said, arriving with a full round of drinks.

Ryan returned, looking rather pale and said, "Skye is gone and taken most of her things."

He handed the note addressed to his mom, Appearing quite shocked Glenys read it aloud:

My dear adopted family. Have a great night and a great day tomorrow catching up. This occasion is all about you guys, not me, a true reunion. I need to catch up with my parents and my publisher and thus the timing for that is good and so I'm off and feeling very happy. Linda (and Larry too I guess) we have missed meeting up this time but when I return for haymaking I promise I'll go through to Billings to see you, if invited. Love to you all. Skye.

"If invited, of course she's invited," Linda said, almost crying. "I love her. I know I do. You have to love a person who urges you to visit your family and then makes comments like that as Skye has done in that note. She really would have loved been here with us, I know she would have."

Glenys was looked stunned. "You are here because Skye invited here?"

"We don't need an invitation to come here mother. She pressured me into dropping everything, we have been so busy, to come here this weekend because (sob) she said my family was (sob) missing me."

"Omigod," Glenys moaned.

Ryan threw his glass violently into the fireplace and stalked out.

"What's wrong with him?" Linda sobbed.

"Nothing," sobbed his mom hugging Linda.

Fergie didn't baulk at telling Linda what she was attempting to find out.

"Under stress during calving Ryan and Skye came on heat. It was one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. They were kneeling on the floor, covered in shit and blood and so happy about Ryan miraculously saving a calf when even I thought she'd been done for. Then your mother forbade them to touch again and I believe they'd not touched since them."

"Oh mom," Linda shrieked, attempting to push her away.

"Oh Linda, hold me, I've been so stupid," sobbed her mom.

Meanwhile Larry scuttled out saying he'd get Ryan to rejoin them and Fergie went out to get another beer muttering, "Linda will fix this."

Later in the evening Glenys attempted to call Skye but the phone wasn't answered. She left a message asking Skye to please return and share in an enjoyable weekend.

* * *

Skye was happy to be returning home. Presumably life there would be much less stressful. Her father was a doctor at a medical center and her mom was a university senior administrator and as neither worked weekends she knew she'd really enjoy the quiet times with them. She wondered should she seek regular employment and revert to writing as a hobby? She decided to drive until she began feeling weary but to her surprise she felt she was on a high, as if nothing but good could come at that reunion back on the ranch and that would produce benefits for her. She didn't know how but she just had this feeling about it.

As to be expected her parents welcomed her with open arms. They were expecting her because she'd called through after listening to Glenys' message.

Heather Brock was reading the Saturday morning newspaper out on the deck in lake-chilled sunny weather when she answered a call from Glenys Hobbs.

"Oh hi Heather, it's so lovely to talk to you again. I hope I'm not too early for you."

"No it's gone 10:00. The other two are still asleep. Skye slept quite a bit of yesterday after driving home through the night, silly girl. When she went out to you she had a stopover when reaching South Dakota."

"But she is okay?"

"Yes, blooming in fact. I don't think I've seen here looking this good in years. She attributes that to good food, good care and riding with you most days."

"She hasn't told you how she saved us and before that how I upset her?"

"Saved you both, of goodness, what happened?"

Glenys related the bull incident.

"Oh my goodness. Skye has never shot anything in her life except at fairgrounds. She didn't say a word about that. Look there is no need to tell me how you upset her. Skye is such a delight to live with but at times can be quite a pain."

"I need to talk to someone Heather and because you are Skye's mother you are the best person to discuss this with."

"Well as you wish. Fire ahead and please remain calm, it can't be anything major otherwise she would have told me when we were out for dinner last night."

Heather listened without interrupting Glenys.

"Well Glenys I won't get bouquets from Skye for saying this but she acknowledges my right to speak my mind. It was your house, your son and I say you were entitled to take the stance you did."

Heather smiled when she heard Glenys exhale hugely and thought she must be a big woman.

"Glenys you'll be glad you've got that off your chest. And I admire you for telling me. I'll not tell Skye about this and not mention you have called. She'll call you when she's ready. She mentioned your daughter was coming to visit and so, knowing my daughter, she'll probably call you this evening to see how it went."

After Skye and her parents returned to the apartment after eating out that evening (her parents ate out most evenings), Heather said casually, "You mentioned once Mr Hobbs is rather huge. How tall is he?"

"Almost six-seven."

"And his wife?"

"Almost six feet I'd say. She's big-bodied and carries extra weight but you couldn't call her fat."

Skye looked at her watch and said, "I'll call Glenys now to say I've arrived safely and to find out how the weekend went with her daughter and husband."

"I'm sure Mrs Hobbs would like that."

"Call her Glenys when you speak about her mom. I've never heard anyone call her anything other than Glenys apart from kids."

"Well I suppose it doesn't matter what I call her because I think being back here in the comfort of your old home and among many people you know very well, it's likely you'll baulk at returning to that ranch when the time comes."

Skye was rather shaken, not having thought of that possibility. You couldn't really tell parents this but it almost seemed her real life and her er almost her real parents were out West. But she not wishing to return? Oh god, it would be such a waste after all the progress she'd made in getting on side with Glenys and having a rough plan to soon introduce young Ryan to sex with an older woman.

* * *

On Monday Skye called to make an appointment to see her editor and was invited to lunch at the publishing house the next day. She was told they had been frantically trying to get in touch with her and her parent's had refused to give an alternative phone number after the editor had discovered Skye's phone had not been used for some weeks.

To lunch? Skye was most surprised and what was frantic reason they had to talk to her? Usually writers who made the best-selling list were invited to lunch. Well at least she wouldn't be invited to lunch just to be informed the company was terminating her contract.

Skye entered the building feeling a little naughty. Rather than wear 6-inch heels, patterned stockings, pencil skirt and an embroidered shirt like most of women in those offices wore, she had on her scuffed ranch boots, clean but very tight work everyday light blue jeans, a thick man's shirt and wore no jewelry and her slightly battered Stetson hung down between her shoulders.

She swaggered in and saw eyes pop and none popped more than Julie's. She was her editor's assistant.

"Omigod you look straight out of a Western," Julie breathed. "You are so daring and look so tough. God just look at your skin. You are even more beautiful that when I last saw you."

"We eat our meat out West almost raw," drawled Skye, really enjoying herself.


Julie led her past the editor's and senior editor's offices and down a passage Skye hadn't been aware existed.

"Whose office is this down here, the janitor's?"

"Skye," Julie said shocked. "The executive editor is putting on this lunch for you and Nancy your editor and Phyllis the senior editor have been invited to attend. To put pressure on you I should think."


"No more. I've said too much already."

They had wine with lunch and it was the first time Skye had met the very elegant Mrs Beecham although she'd seen photographs of her in the social pages of magazines and pictured in the newspaper at charity events and book awards nights.

Mrs Beecham had practically giggled when she saw how Skye was dressed when all of them were dolled up.

"You do take your research projects so seriously Skye. God I was so envious of you living with all those sailors, most of them male."

The other editors weren't the only ones shocked by that disclosure. Skye was left thinking Mrs Beecham was rather all right.

"Skye we have a problem with you."

"Oh," said Skye, with sinking stomach.

"Yes since you have hidden yourself away in Montana..."


"Oh I'm not used to being corrected but Wyoming it is. Well we have been flooded with fan club applications and 99-point-something of those membership applications are to join your fan club that had to be hastily formed. Are you interested in knowing how many members your club now has?"

"Oooh, let's be bold and said um one hundred and twenty?"

"Would you believe 73,432 at the latest count?"


"Yes we asked ourselves the same thing. It seems so unfair because we have so many fine writers but the next largest fan club totals 8708.

"There's been some mistake."

"My god girl you are good as saying things I'm about to say. We thought so too and so I put the head of the PR division on to it and it seems your Carey Green has become the new age Wonder Woman for er women. Companies in China are already marketing Carey Green bracelets and charms, ankle socks, bikinis, holders for CDs and DVDs, hair bands and one enterprising company composed the Carey Green theme and hired some cute-voiced bimbo to sing it and it's now working up the pop charts just about everywhere and, oh dear, including America."

"This is so unbelievable."

"I was about to say that dear. Before you leave today we want you to sign of new contract with us. We are desperate to get another Carey Green novel on to the market and want you to revive your rejected manuscript. We want you to slap a bit of sex and jazz up the dialogue somewhat and change the heroine's name to Carey Green and rush six chapters at a time to us. It will be printed in eight different countries including China of course where Carey has almost become a living legend with giggly girls and, dare I say it, with adult women as well."

"God this is so embarrassing."

Mrs Beecham echoed, "God this is so embarrassing,"

"And you'll want me to change the heroine in my yet to be written Wyoming ranch novel to Carey Green?"

"Yes how thoughtful of you. I was about to ask you that."

"But Mrs Beecham I'm not even sure Carey Green can ride a horse."

"Darling you are Carey's creator and can do anything with her. I suggest she could set Wyoming alight with her bouts of torrid sex, although more suggested that brutally portrayed because you do have very young fan club members."

"No Mrs Beecham. No way. I bet one of the reasons why Carey has burst into popularity is because she's a bit of a wimp, cries when she messes up, and is never torrid about anything. Don't you see? Probably you don't because it's only just occurred to me. These people have taken to Carey because she's just like many of them, just a dot on the face of civilization. But the one thing Carey does is to have these fascinating adventures that are almost homely in nature. These people see Carey as just a normal nothing sort of person who yet manages to have these adventures they can never have because Carey, the new image of modern fiction, just packs her bag and goes. She finds it that simple. End of story."

The other two editors clapped and Mrs Beecham joined them.

"Omigod Skye, with that little inspiring outburst you've even got me rooting for Carey. Um would you mind if we changed your name, er both of them to two more commercially marketable names?"

"Yes I would."

"Oh well please forget I even mentioned it. I guess Skye sounds a bit more classy than Daisy."

Skye looked murderous.

"Mrs Beecham you haven't read my two books have you."

"Well no just the briefing from your editor. Awfully busy and that sort of thing," said the English immigrant.

"Carey Green's doll, invalided with a missing leg to Carey's bed since Carey turned seven and a half, is called Daisy Green."

"Omigod, Skye. Please forget we ever thought about possible name changes, indeed highly unlikely name changes."

"Very well but please demonstrate your sweetness in the terms of my new contract. I'll arrive with my attorneys when it's drafted."

"Attorneys? Oh yes. Please escort Skye to the elevators Phyllis. We will be in touch Miss Brock."

On the way out Skye thanked Phyllis and said she would stop to chat to Julie.

"Isn't this exciting for you Skye, two books published, one manuscript in the trash and nevertheless you are becoming known internationally?"

"But that's just it and why I'm lurking," said a thin-faced woman.

"Journalist," Julie whispered.

Skye said, "Please wait at the elevators ma'am. I'm talking to my agent."

The woman sniffed and walked off and Julie looked in awe at Skye.

"God what a consummate brush-off."

"I only did what comes naturally Julie. Right now you are more important to me. My correspondence please."

"Yes nothing has been sent out. Here are the latest sales figures and payments advisories."

Skye glanced at the totals, turned white and her knees began giving out. She lurched to lean against Julie's desk and Julie ran around to hold her.

"Scary stuff eh?"

Skye, suffering unaccustomed reflux, squeaked, "No kidding."

Her book sales had soared from a few thousand to be approaching 5 million.

"It's mainly in the South-east Asia nations. You write so badly, um, so differently that Carey Green appears as a caricature to them with hidden mystic powers that hold evil at bay, according to what an expensively hired authority has told our editors."

"No kidding," squeaked Skye, pointing shakily to her banking statement.

"Yeah that's a pile of loot. But imagine what kind of millionaire you'll be when sales really go through the roof. Have you any idea of the total populations of those countries?"


"Yeah that's about right," said Julie. "Tell that woman you want lunch and the newspaper's best portrait photographer because your fans by the millions are waiting to have you exposed to them."


"Just tell her. She'll know. This morning we put a media release out about you and your incredible success in sales. During the next few days media jerks will be coming on to you like a rash."


"Just go with the flow lovely lady and you'll eventually pop out the end like a sausage to settle back into some semblance of normality."

"I will?"

"Yes Skye, now go after the nosey journalist and deal with her with a little arrogance like a star."

* * *

Dr Ralph Brock walked in with the newspaper next morning, made coffee and returned to the bedroom and Heather began to pour and as usual asked, "What's the big news."

Ralph unfolded the paper and looked straight at the smiling face of his daughter photographed holding her childhood doll in both arms across her breasts.

"Fucking assholes."

"Ralph Brock, you might consider you are god down at the medical center but I am Queen Bee of this home. Stop that disgusting language and apologize instantly."

He whimpered, "Look."

Heather looked at the photograph of their daughter and doll Daisy spread across three columns under the heading, 'Chicago's Next Multi-millionaire'.

She sniffed, "If that were true Skye could afford plenty of shoes. Ralph it's some kind of stupid joke. Skye has practically no money."

"It-it says here... you know those two books of hers that you and you friends read in a group and giggle about?"

"Yes of course I do."

"Well sales of those books in Japan, South Korea and especially China are rocketing practically overnight ever since a popular young TV presenter spent her entire show giggling about Carey Green. Her show was running an average audience of two million, mostly teenagers, and now the second show two nights ago attracted more than eight million viewers. According to CBS that's the fastest growth of any show ever in the entire Universe."

"How would CBS know that?"

"They don't but does it matter? It makes good reading. It would appear our daughter, being virtually ignorant as an author, has stumbled on some sort of formula writing that that part of the world was waiting for. Skye's total US sales for both novels totaled 66,330 as of yesterday. In China her books are currently being spurted out under license by numerous companies at the rate of 5,500 an hour day and night."

"Then how the fuck didn't we know about this until now?"

"Careful of language dear," smiled her husband. "It's just one of those miracles that occur every thirty years or so and cannot be explained. Our daughter is probably heading to become President."

"No she's not," Skye said, coming into the bedroom wearing huge sunglasses and her Stetson pulled down very low. "I'm out to here to you know where and that happens to be one of the best hideaways in America. If you breath a word where I'm holed out I'll promise neither of you will have anything left that will allow you to have sex ever again."

"Well that would be no loss for me."

"Mom shut up. Promise not to say a word to anyone and that includes relatives?"

"Yes dear."


"Yes baby. By why the panic?"

"Already I've taken more than twenty calls from the media ranging in size from CBS down to Village Mutterings published not far from here. It is becoming a moving circus. I'm out of here."

"Darling we are so sorry to lose you so soon," sobbed her mom. "May we come and see you?"

"Yes but wait to things cool down and fly into Casper. We will arrange security from there so it's impossible for media hounds to follow you. You will need to be screened for bugs."

"Oh will we be suspected of bringing bugs into Wyoming?"

"Not those kinds of bugs dear," Ralph sighed. "She means bugging devices to track movement."

"But our aircraft will be tracked won't it?"

"Oh very smart dear."

Ralph said wouldn't the media zero in on Wyoming and begin to hunt her down.

"That's the whole point of not telling people where I am. I haven't told anyone I've been in Wyoming and my publisher won't be telling anyone because they'll want to keep my next two books secret until they wish to manage news releases."

"Have you almost finished that novel?"

"Dad do you eat corn before it germinates?"

"You've lost me baby."

"Ralph she means why would she begin writing without first completing the research or at least most of it?"

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