Whenever she found herself at the bottom of dark-echoing well, she floated back to the gilded chapter of her childhood, “Rodeo Days”.
She’d gazed up-up-up, deep into his denim eyes, and lassoed his heart; it happened quickly, such was the power of a small abandoned child of intriguing mystery, at once innocent and precocious, to captivate the man—a rescuer, hero well-drawn—driven to right wrongs resulting from human frailty.
Destiny, often cast in strangely inexplicable decisive moments, entwined them unyieldingly when she’d first clung to him—sole buoy ‘mid endless midnight sea—on that aqua-sky day; perhaps it was concussion he’d suffered when a recent bronc slammed him to the dirt (crowd-pleasing 85-point ride)—this was his traveling partner Tom’s logical explanation, while trying to reason him out of his impractical (insane) plan to haul the unclaimed pup with them, rather than leave her with the sheriff for delivery to nuns (her parents, likely on the lam, never did make inquiries).
‘Mid-fitfties home-schooling was managed in dusty Ford pickup’s cab, seated between the two cowboys as they drove the rodeo circuit: miles-a-million, meals in diners, sleeping on a pallet beside his bed—arriving at each town, county fairground, she’d exclaim, “You’ll be champion and win the gold buckle!”
But you can’t rodeo forever—exchanging spurs, snap-button shirts for suits and ties, he became a clench-jawed criminal investigator, locking bad guys away; as she matured, they loved each other differently: she’d have crawled through broken glass to rest in his embrace—and he believed she was the only woman he could love without soul’s compromising reservations.
She’d kept him vigorous, though Conscience berated him for painting her uneasy profile—a top-cop’s commendations guaranteed salary but no less danger than riding rank horses; Time is fickle—youthful by decades, dazzling to behold, she watched his splendor gray and stride slow—his final glimpse found her clinging to him as on long ago summer day, wishing for another rodeo season; gold buckles had eluded him, she was his legacy.
©Avia Morrow, 2020 ~ All rights reserved.
Denise hosts Six Sentence Stories each week—her prompt this time is RODEO. Click the link above to join in🙂