Written for the Tea Room 2011 Jan/Feb Three Minute Story Challenge
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"Are we there yet?"
The driver resisted the urge to remove his hands from ten and two and strangle his partner. It wasn't because his blood pressure and overall health wouldn't benefit from strangling his partner, but because driving required two hands on the wheel at all times and eyes focused on the road. He was saved from repeating himself for the thirteenth (thirtieth if he was being honest with himself) time by the sight of the barn as they crested the hill.
"Is that it??!" his partner asked excitedly, getting pulled back into his seat by the retracting seat belt.
" Considering we're in the middle of nowhere Wyoming and there's a barn with cars parked far and wide and no rodeo going on in the next pasture….yes."
"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God…." His partner was bouncing in the seat as his eyes scanned the area, looking for those eye catching Stetsons. "I don't SEE anyone! I TOLD you you were driving too slow!"
The driver slowly shut his mouth, swallowing the initial, shocked reaction to that comment, his brat obviously suffering short term memory loss brought about by no sleep the night before, at least no sleep until the alarm went off at six am and suddenly an atomic bomb would have gone by unnoticed by his slumbering brat. He pulled into a parking place, barely getting his hand off the wheel and onto the seatbelt just released by his partner with the door half open before the truck went silent.
"What? Come ON, we're LATE!"
"Listen to me. You are to stay RIGHT with me, and I mean, right with me. No wandering off. Is that clear?"
"Yes, OKAY, right with you! Let's go!"
The driver got out of the car, wondering not for the first time whether or not they made leashes for older brats, not just dogs and small children. He'd even consider buying one with a backpack animal if it meant his partner would always remain within easy reach. He snagged his partner's hand and headed towards the door, wondering when they got close how they'd get in around a massive black guy.
"Bear," his partner remarked quietly in awe.
"That's not nice," the older man hissed as the big guy broke into a massive grin, stepping aside to let them in.
"That's his name, silly."
"Name? That's not a name. Where's the coffee?" he asked, seeing a side table set up with drinks on it.
"There won't BE coffee. It's water or juice, or hot tea if you're desperate. They don't do caffeine."
"You have GOT to be kidding me."
"Nope," the brat replied, looking rapidly around the room. "I've never seen so many Stetsons….. LOOK! There's Flynn. And that has to be Jasper. Wait. There's another Jasper. And twin … Rileys?"
"This is a convention. People like to dress up like the characters, hon. Now….if star trek fans are called trekkies….are these people called…falsies?"
"OH my GAWD, I can't believe you just said that! Falsies are what…what…ew. I can't even TALK about that. Come on, we need to look around. And be a TOP for goodness sakes and don't come up with awful things like that. It's against the rules."
The two men wandered around, dodging Stetsons and cowboy boots left and right. He younger man kept having to close his mouth as he wandered around, seeing in plain sight so much of what was talked about in the books he devoured online. His partner didn't read them but didn't really need to. There was no mistaking when a new chapter was released as it was all the younger man could talk about for days on end. He not only got the highlights, lowlights and punctuation of the chapter, he also got to hear all the comments that the group members made about the chapter as well.
"Let's stand in line at this table."
"Whhhhyyy? They aren't the ranch people!" the younger man complained.
"You'll see." They waited in line for twenty minutes before they were close enough to really see what was going on.
"Who IS that?"
"It's the authors, Rolf and Ranger," the older man replied.
"How do you know? You've never seen them before?" And that isn't what I was picturing. What…You….YOU ARE SO NOT FUNNY," the younger man said indignantly to his partner.
His partner smiled and turned to accept the signed copy that Rolf handed to him after Ranger had signed as well. "Thank you, both, very much. This is the perfect memento of this Falls Chance Ranch convention." He turned back to his partner, and grinning evilly, showed him the signed Lexan paddle.
Copyright Rolf 2011