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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
The real follow-up of the first part of my story of Mal's childhood. I've already got a third one goin, just need to type it. You'd better be proud of my tenacity... or something.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 508 RATING: 9 SERIES: FIREFLY
"Did you sleep the afternoon away, lil one?" Geoff, the ranch foreman asked Mal in his gravelly voice. It was gravelly because of the bitterstim he used to smoke with great fervor as a young man. "Again."
Mal didn’t ask how Geoff could tell. He simply nodded and grinned.
"Such a little slacker." Mica leaned in and ruffled Mal's hair. He was the youngest of the hired ranch hands at fifteen, only five years older than Mal.
Mal shrugged. "My chores were done."
"Like hell!" Mica burst out, his sunburned face breaking into a huge grin.
"Seriously." Mal insisted.
"Time you got more chores then, boy." Geoff rumbled. "If yer mum'll allow it, you can mount up with us tomorrow and ride the range."
Mal's eyes lit up. Any chance to wander interested him. He'd often helped with the round ups, but riding the range was reserved for the hands. His mother had been quite clear about that. "Will you talk to my mom?" He begged, his blue eyes shining with excitement.
"I'll do it." Geoff smiled and downed his tankard of sake.
Mal loved to hang out in the ranch hands' wing of the big house. Here he heard tales of ranching long past and of lovers and (his favorite) travels.
Greg Bultice had the best traveler's tales. He had been born on a core world, a boy in a wealthy family. His father had been persuaded to oversee a new settlement on the rim, and their family had permanently relocated when Greg was twelve. He had then completed his growing up years as an overseer's brat on a backwater mining world. He had become discontent (as Mal could understand) and had stowed away aboard a freighter when he was eighteen. From there on, his tale was wrought with adventures involving near death experiences and much space travel. Mal had yet to be told how exactly Greg had ended up on Shadow and why he remained after so many years.
Mal's mother often worried that her young son would be a bother to her hired men, or that he would be adversely influenced, but neither was ever a factor. She allowed him to mingle with the men, so long as he stayed out of their way and obeyed her ultimately.
The next day Mal woke at dawn and padded downstairs to eat breakfast with his mother and all the hands that didn’t have to get up earlier.
"Morning, Malcolm." His mother said cheerily.
"Hi, Ma." He rubbed his eyes and slid into his chair. Breakfast was a delightful mixture of strips of their own steak and a few precious eggs from his mother's hens.
"Geoff asked me a peculiar thing this morning, Malcolm." She said slowly. Mal's eyes lit up.
"Uh, huh. He seems to think you should have more chores." She grinned at him. "I said I could find some." Mal's face fell briefly. "But then he mentioned you riding the range with the hands."
Mal dared not speak. Dared not even look at his mother for fear of giving away his anxiety.
"I'll allow it." The boy jumped from his seat and flung his arms around his mother's neck. She hugged him back, but continued. "On the condition that you do exactly what Geoff tells you and don't wander off by yerself."
"Course, Ma." Mal's grin was wide. He was about to thank her profusely, when she shushed him.
"Eat yer breakfast, boy."
A/N: Seems to me that something is missing. I dunno. Obviously there is no real storyline... but... suggestions are grand.
Monday, June 05, 2006 12:44 PM
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