cowboy love

"A Life Filled With Awesome Love" Free Excerpt From Cowboy Love Story

I’ve been wanting to post an unpublished Free excerpt from A Life Filled with Awesome Love since before the holidays but haven’t had time. Here it is below. You can check out the other free excerpt at ARe, and read the entire description as well.

In the most basic sense, it’s a vintage gay love story set in 1959 when there was no such thing as gay. It’s also one of my longer cowboy short stories, about 12,000 words.

Then, in the next letter, O’Dell sent a small black and white photo tucked neatly into a brief note that read, “Just so you know and there’s no confusion, this is what I look like. I like to do right by people. It was taken last summer. If you still want the job after this, it’s yours. I’ll understand if you don’t.”


Travis moved closer to the lamp on his nightstand. He gazed at the photo of a tall, slim man in a plaid shirt, a cowboy hat and well-worn cowboy boots. He was standing next to a horse and leaning on a fence. The photo had been taken with one of those old Brownie cameras. Travis’s mother had one just like it. Though Travis couldn’t see his slightly gray hair because of the cowboy hat, he didn’t think O’Dell looked older than thirty. He had a few lines on his face, but they gave him character.


So, Travis pulled out a piece of paper and an envelope and wrote, “I’d like the job. I can start October first. I could start before that, but I’d like a few weeks to prepare and tie things up here. Please let me know if that’s okay.”


A week later, he received a reply from O’Dell in the same unemotional tone he’d been using since he’d replied to the first letter. He told Travis the job was his; he would expect him at the bus stop on October 1st,and that he was looking forward to the their arrangement. He put the word arrangement in quotation marks. Though Travis still wasn’t completely certain, the word arrangement alone almost confirmed what he’d been thinking all along…in quotation marks, he knew there was a hidden meaning. Men like them would not have put anything in writing that could incriminate them, not in those days.


The next day, Travis told his family he’d taken a new job. “I’m going to be moving out the first of October. I’m taking a job as a ranch hand in a small town called Wildflower.” He made his announcement while his father was passing the mashed potatoes to his sister. The sister had been talking about getting her hair double processed.


Everyone stopped moving. The room went silent.

His mom said, “This is sudden.”

His sisters sat there gaping at him as if they couldn’t believe what they’d just heard.

Then, his dad said, “How’d you get this job?”

“I answered an ad in that rodeo magazine,” Travis said. He had trouble looking them in the eye. “I’d like to get out on my own.”


“I answered an ad in that rodeo magazine,” Travis said. He had trouble looking them in the eye. “I’d like to get out on my own.”

“You’re too young,” his mom said. “It’s too far. I want to know more about it.”

“I’ll be working for a guy who owns a small ranch,” Travis said. “He lives alone, and he’s been having trouble getting help way out there. I told him I could start on October 1st. I’m not going to change my mind.”

“It’s too far,” his mom said. “You know nothing about this person. For all we know, he could be a murderer. I’d at least like to see where you will be living.”

“What’s poor Sally Mae Somerloon going to say when she hears about this?” his oldest sister said.

Travis shrugged. Sally Mae and this sister had been good friends in school. “Doesn’t matter what she says, because I don’t really care. I’ve never been serious about Sally Mae Somerloon, and I never will be.” Just being in a room with Sally Mae made his dick go limp. This time, he sent his sister a direct glance from across the table and didn’t blink once.

“You’re not moving that far,” his mother said. She seemed so distressed, she tugged the tablecloth.
 
Before Travis had a chance to object, his dad raised one hand, glanced at his mom and said, “I think it’s a good idea, and I don’t want to hear any more about it. I’m sure Travis knows what’s best for him. If it doesn’t work out, he can always come home.”
Travis took a deep breath and sent his father a smile. If his father knew about him, he never said it aloud. It was the unspoken support he received that night from his dad that he would always both cherish and wonder about.
Of course, his mom tried to speak up in protest, but his dad finally slammed both hands on the table and said, “It’s finished. If he wants this job, he has our support.”