In the Arms of an AngelbyMyhands316©
Trying something different with this story. This is a straight forward Romance. As always, I hope you enjoy it and are welcome to make comments and vote. Yes, this is a copywrited work of adult fiction and all legal disclaimers apply.
What happens when you're hurling toward your thirtieth birthday and you figure out you're un-loveable? It sucks, let me tell you. How the hell did it ever get this far? What the fuck did I do wrong? Why does God hate me?
Oh fuck this.... Enough of this being pitiful bullshit! I'm stronger than that. So what I'm bigger than most women. I'm use to it by now. No matter how much I hate it, I've become used to being called "Large Marge". I prefer Maggie. But, in this little farm town, trying to change your name, is as about impossible as making the sun come up in the west.
So what... I'm six two, two hundred and thirty pounds of Mid-West farm girl. Yes, I have tossed my fair share of hay bales. It's not my fault that my grey eyes freak most guys out. Oh sure, once my 44DD chest started growing, I caught some of the boys attention. Not that they didn't learn to keep their wandering hands to themselves. No woman likes to be groped like they're checking melons in the field.
You're also totally screwed once you get a ball-buster reputation too. Yes, I once thought I was in love. I even let him convince me that sex between lovers is okay before the little trip down the aisle. Not that it was anything to shout about. It felt okay, but no fireworks, no explosive orgasms, like they describe in books. It was just okay. It filled the void and reduced the urge for me to reproduce.
I guess I was lucky I missed that bullet. I didn't know he thought it was also okay to be 'in love' with more than one woman at a time. If it wasn't for my best friend, I might be spending the rest of my life in prison. I know I had homicide on my mind, when I learned Sherry Simpson was bragging about being pregnant by my supposed future husband.
Thinking back on it, I should thank Sherry. From what I hear, Mr. Wandering Prick; has gotten three other women pregnant, while he was 'visiting' other towns. He could be a millionaire and still be broke; he owes so much back child support. I never understood how someone with such a small dick, could get so many women pregnant?
Anyway, enough of this prattle. I have chores to get done before I headed to my 'cute' little sisters baby shower. Oh, I don't blame her. She got all the little girly genes and I got all the stocky farmer genes, from our parents. She has the perfect little life as a doting wife and teacher in town. More power to her I say.
Hell, we both knew once our parents decided to buy that house on wheels and see the country, that I'd be the one keeping the farmstead going. I sure the hell wasn't going to sell it. I even like the work on most days. When it snows or on really rainy days, it can be a real bitch. But you have to take the bad with the good, or the whole thing will tip out of balance.
As I pulled up to the house, I was met by Manuel. He's my onsite help. In olden days, he is what was called a share cropper. But since he did so much more on my two thousand acres, I usually just called him the yard boss. His wife kept their kids and kitchen tended and I made sure they had enough money to live comfortably. It all works in the end.
"Miss Maggie, My wife, she get the mail. There is a letter for you." He said to me in his corny false Mexican accent.
"Manny, you know that pisses me off. Your family has been farming this land longer than mine." I scolded him. "Just wait until I tell Wilma..." I left the threat hanging. I knew Manny was one of the most intelligent people I'd ever met.
"Oh, you're no fun...." He complained. "Anyway the beans are doing okay, as long as the locusts don't come. The feed corn is getting a slow start and you're going to have some white faced Angus again. Satan's Ass, got lose and now we know what he was up too. If we don't get enough rain, we're going to have to tap the well again if the pond goes dry."
"And...?" I asked, knowing he knew I already knew all this. "I've got to get to Charity's damn shower, cut to the chase!" I dusted my jeans and boots before going into the old farm house.
"And the hay is infested with mold and I have someone coming to visit." He said so fast and muttered I had to listen hard to understand it all.
"Who, and how in the hell did they cause moldy hay?" I asked, trying to untangle his mutterance.
"John didn't cause the mold.... Those stupid college kids didn't stack it right, and caused the mold. Fucking idiots...! It looks like we'll lose at least half." He made a face and changed his voice to a higher pitch. "I've got a degree; I know what I'm doing." He spit in the dirt. "If they had a brain they'd be dangerous!" He ended, kicking the dirt with his worn boot.
"Half... that's over twenty tons... We've already got buyers." I cussed under my breath. "Who the hell is this John? I know you wouldn't even think of trying to set me up again with some wandering asshole." I gave him the evil eye, knowing his tricks. Hell half the town kept trying to set me up. Couldn't they just leave me well enough alone?
"NO...! I promise.... John is a friend of my brother's. He needs a place to stay for a bit, a new start. They were in the same unit together. He came home to his wife having an affair with his best friend and six months pregnant. My brother wrote me about it before he...." He looked down.
"Why the hell didn't you say so...? Have some of those over educated idiots, you keep telling me are such a great idea, clean out the old bunk house."
We agreed after the funeral, we wouldn't get all sappy, thinking about how Manny's brother, Michael died. Yeah it really sucked that he didn't make it back from that godforsaken Desert. But dead is dead and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it.
"Right after they clean the baler." Manny said, still not looking up.
"Just get it done... I'll be home after the baby shower. Tell Wilma not to fix me anything for dinner. I'll get something in town if Charity doesn't feed me." I turned and headed into the house. I had to hurry or be late... again.
Outside, Manny looked up at the big farm house and sighed. "There needs to be a heard of children running around, making noise and getting into the hay loft." He shook his head, knowing if his boss and friend didn't slow down and take the chip off her shoulder, she'd never allow anyone to love her.
Looking at his watch, he saw they he needed to get his people busy, or he would be late picking up John at the bus station.
John Nelson looked out the window blankly as the flat farm land passed. He had no idea where the hell he was even going. He didn't care either. All he knew is that he couldn't subject his family to his demons any longer. He knew they didn't support the actions of the government, but he was still proud to have served his country.
He was tired of listening to his brother's Jeremy and Jimmy bitch about the deficit and all the money wasted in blowing holes in a useless desert. How the hell he ended up with a buddy like Mike was another question he pondered, while his mind wasn't trying to forget the hell he had lived through.
Mike was a short, smart mouthed, pain in the ass, half breed, Tex-Mex. He would tell just as many wetback jokes as whitey jokes and pissed every one off. That was until you needed back up in the field. His nickname was the Tasmanian devil. He was fucking fearless, dependable, and just too good at his job.
It cost him his life. John absently scratched the side of his face, ignoring the long ugly scar. He felt the stiff paper in his pocket. He knew ever word on it. He just didn't know why the hell he listened to his dead friend and was on this damned, hot, overcrowded, bus headed to the middle of nowhere Oklahoma.
"John, if I don't make it back I want you to go to where my brother lives and tell him that I love him. He has made a life for himself away from all the shit we grew up with. I just couldn't spend all day shoveling cow shit and picking beans like so many of our family. He loves it though and is far enough away from the border where his half Mexican decent will not be an issue."
"I want my only real friend to find a small slice of heaven after all the hell we've been through. I know my brother, and he will give you the fresh start you need. Just don't put up with his bean dip bullshit and everything will be fine."
"Thanks for putting out all the fires I started and being there for me when I needed it. If you weren't such an ugly man, I'd say I love you. But you're just too fucking ugly to love. I'll be laughing my ass off at you from the other side. Taz."
In the middle was a folded piece of scratch paper with a faded address. He didn't have to look at it any more. He had them both memorized. He wondered if all of Oklahoma was so brown and flat.
The bus pulling away covered John's six five frame with dust kicked up by the engine. He yanked up his duffle and looked around the backwater roadside depot that didn't even to bother paving the parking lot. It smelled of cow shit and rust.
"You must be Mr. John. I am here to pick you up, Senior." A fawning voice came from behind him. John turned, ready to pounce. He held the eyes of the thin guy and he knew who it was. He had the same smart assed look his brother did when he was trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
"You must be Manuel. Mike said you'd try some 'bean dip' shit. He also said you were smarter than most college graduates." John dropped his bag again and held out his hand. "Nice to meet you, I'm John Nelson. I owe you my life."
Manuel felt like shit for trying to pull a joke on the big man. He saw the scar and knew the story. But until right then, it was just another story. Now, he could see the evidence, it made the story all too real.
"You owe me nothing sir. From what Michael's letters said, it is I who is in your debt. Please forgive my attempt at humor." He shook the big man's hand. "The truck is this way. Is that all you have?" He pointed to the green duffle bag.
"Yep, lead the way." John just shrugged and followed his buddy's brother. There was silence during the half hour trip out to the farm. Both men were trying to size up the other. John knew this would be totally different than anywhere he had ever been before. He was used to his family's urban home, not the wide open spaces of farm country. The weather was calm, without the unrelenting heat of the Afghan desert.
"How long have you been out of the service?" Manuel asked as he pulled onto the farm.
"About six months. This all yours?" John looked around impressed.
"No, I only have about one hundred acres. The rest belongs to Miss Maggie and her family. She took over from her parents when they retired." He stopped the truck in front of the old bunk house. "You can stay in here for now. It's a bit rustic, but you'll have it all to yourself."
"Works for me. So, what goes on around here? You know, for food and stuff. I have a little bit of money, but I didn't see a store as we came out."
"Don't worry about it. Just come a running when the bell rings. Breakfast and dinner are served at seven in the morning and at six at night. Lunch is usually some sandwiches and soft drinks about noon. Once a week we take the hired hands into town for anything else. Don't be caught drunk and we can go over the rest tomorrow."
"You know I don't know shit about farming, right?" John asked being honest.
"You'll learn." Manuel smiled, liking the plain spoken man.
"Who the hell is that?" John asked when she saw the woman rush from a truck into the main house. Manuel heard the sound of awe in his voice as he turned. She could see the attraction and lust filled eyes. He wanted to smile.
"That's Miss Maggie. She just got home from her sisters baby shower. You will meet her sometime tomorrow." Manuel looked up to see his reaction
"That's a lot of woman." John breathed. He had never liked the skinny frilly model types. He always feared he would hurt them if he actually got involved in his love making.
"And one of the hardest workers. She does twice the work as most of the hands."
"Is she married?" He didn't want to step out of bounds on his first day.
"Only to the farm."
"Are the men around here crazy or something?" He shook his head. "I'd better shut up before I'm eating toe jam. I must be tired. I didn't mean any disrespect." He looked down at Mike's brother and saw the hooded look on his face and wondered what the hell he was cooking up.
"You settle in, I have to go to the hay barn and make sure something is getting done. I'll be there if you need anything." He pointed to the big metal building. "That's where I'll be working tomorrow."
"Works for me." John opened the door and tossed his duffle on the first bed. He poked around and found a box on the last bed. It had a note on it in neat girly script.
"Here is some food in welcome. I know you had a long hard trip. Welcome to the farm. I hope you find peace here." It was signed Wilma. Inside he found two stacked sandwiches, a bag of chips, a chilled soda, and a slice of homemade lemon pie.
"Damn, better grub than the mess-hall any day." He said as he took his first big bite.
The next morning, he woke up at five. He got up and put on some shorts and a shirt. He went outside and went through his morning routine. Since he didn't know his way around yet, he stuck to running around the yard and the barn. He figured each lap was about a half mile so after six, he should be fine.
Maggie heard something out her open window as she was getting up. She looked and saw someone doing laps around her yard. She wondered who he was, but nature called and she had too much to do to stop and worry about it. It was obvious that the idiot wasn't hurting anything, so she'd ask Manuel to look into it.
John saw the flicker of light, but ignored it as he ran. Just some other early riser, he thought. He had heard life started early on the farm. He went in and showered and dressed for the day. At six forty five, a loud bell rang and he walked in the direction of the sound.
He took the piled plate of sliced potatoes, scrambled eggs and four pieces of sausage. He balanced his plate as a full cup of hot coffee was shoved into his other hand. He found the closest empty seat and dug in. He ignored the whispered conversations around him. He was too busy eating.
When he finished, he watched to see what to do with the empties. He walked to the big barn that Manuel pointed out and waited. Seeing no one, he started looking around. The first thing that hit him was the fetid smell of mold. He flipped a bale and saw it. He heard some people talking as they walked up
"I don't know why he's so upset. I do know what I'm doing. Stupid wet-back, he should go back to where he belongs."
"Tim, he is the yard boss." A timid girl voice answered.
"So, I have a degree in mathematics, engineering and animal husbandry. I calculated the exact square foot area of the barn and stacked the bales to get twenty percent more in that they were doing before."
"You forgot to account for the air." John said; well under impressed with the boastful man.
"What air? There is air all around." He waved his hands trying to make a point.
"The dry air, that keeps the mold from growing between the bales." John said talking to him like he was an idiot.
"Who are you? I haven't seen you before. What's your name?" The young man asked affronted.
"John... John Nelson." John said hooking his thumbs into his belt. Manuel had heard Tim and was ready to rip him a new asshole when he heard John's reply. He hid behind a stack to see what would happen next.
"Well John, John Nelson; A fungicide will do just as well to keep the mold at bay. You have to maximize your space if you want to increase your profit margin." He said in a superior tone.
"Well buddy, somewhere in that fancy education you've been spouting about, someone should have taught you the first rule of keeping a job." John rocked back on his heels with a cocky smile.
"And what rule is that?" Tim was irritated that this new guy was questioning him. It was bad enough that he had to take orders from that wet-back illegal.
"The 'The boss is always right, so shut the fuck up, and do your damn job like you were told' rule." John wondered how much the over educated dunderhead had cost the farm.
Manuel had to step back so they couldn't hear him laugh. For someone who didn't know shit about farming, he knew more than the college kid who he just slapped back. When he could gain some of his composure back, he stepped out into the light.
"Mornin boss," John greeted him, "so tell me, how much of this feed has the Professor and Maryanne over here, ruined?" John was irritated, but saw the mirth in Manuel's eyes.
"About twenty tons give or take." Manuel looked at John with new eyes.
"You're lucky he don't take it out of your pay." He held up his hand to stop Tim from speaking. "How would you like it if they fed you rotten food? I mean that is what this is, cow food." The young girl who John had called Maryanne, even giggled as the Tim stalked off in an insulted huff.
"So how do we fix it boss?" John looked at the full building and wondered. He had never seen so much hay in one place before.
"We break down every stack with the loader. We bust open one bale out of every ten and see if the mold has gone into the bale. If it has, the whole stack is ruined. We restack the rest, leaving room for the air movers to circulate and keep it from molding more." John knew his back was going to be killing him before the day was over.
"Well my momma always said, 'it don't get done by praying over it'. You show me what you want and I'll get it done." John shrugged. He was used to hard, hot, heavy work. After fifteen minutes of instruction, John waved Manuel off.
"I've got this. You go do the other stuff I know you got to do. My granny could follow your instructions." Manuel looked at him and shrugged. If he fucked it up, he could fix it later. It was time to let the greenhorn get his feet wet.
It was noon before he remembered that John was working by himself in the hay barn. He looked over and saw two stacks of hay sitting outside, and could hear the loader running. He was about to go over and check on the progress, when Maggie came up.
"What don't I know Manny and why don't I know it?" She looked at him and he knew she wasn't in a good mood.
"About...?" He knew better than to back down. "Sorry Mag's, I don't have time for guessing games today." He stood flatfooted and waited for her to unload.
"Tim Holland just quit and asked me to sign off on his internship paper. I told him to take it to you. He's cooling his heels in the kitchen with Wilma glaring him down. What the hell happened and who is the new hand you've hired?" She had her hands on her hips and daggers in her eyes.
"Oh, that." He sighed. "No new hand. Our guest decided to school that arrogant boob in the hay barn first thing this morning." He told her about the conversation he overheard and made her laugh with the 'first rule of keeping a job' comment.
"He didn't...? He told that ass-hat what? You know I was wondering...." Maggie liked this John and she hadn't even met him yet.
"Yeah, just fire him, and refuse to sign his ticket. He'll have to repeat his internship. Set him back on his ass a bit." Manuel knew his boss lady so well.
"I'd like to meet this friend of your brothers." She looked at the barn and wondered just who this guy was.