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BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL
I was getting a nostalgic as I reread some of my first fics and decided to repost the the first two since they concern the holiday season.
I also resisted the urge to rewrite them so here it is in all it's glory.
CATEGORY: FICTION TIMES READ: 1016 RATING: 10 SERIES: FIREFLY
Mal stood on the bridge looking out into the Black. He was in the middle of his usual rounds of the Serenity but this was a special night, it was Christmas Eve. The crew was sound asleep, full of real food for a change and plenty of inter engine courtesy of Kaylee. Mal had thrown back a couple of glasses himself and now that he was alone memories of Christmas’ past he kept only to himself bubbled to the surface.
Some were good memories of childhood Christmases on Shadow. Christmas days filled with a big tree in the parlor that Mal would watch his Ma decorate, longing to be tall enough to help. Finally on those last few Christmases on Shadow, he went with one of the hands to find a suitable tree to bring home and set up in the antique holder.
On Christmas Eve, Mal’s Ma made sure Mal and the hands attended midnight service at the local church. one period too many The Shepherd would elaborate on the phrase “peace in the ‘verse, good will towards men” in his short homily. There would Christmas greetings to friends and neighbors after the service outside the church, but no matter how warm the wishes the cold night air made Mal long for his warm bed.
Christmas dinner was the biggest meal of the year on the Reynolds ranch. His Ma ,along with Sophia, the foreman’s wife, would cook for days in preparation for that great day. Roasts, casseroles, vegetables and other good things to eat came out of the oven and made the house a torture of heavenly smells.
Pies and cakes would also come out of that oven, including Mal's favorite apple pie .He'd never admit to the weakness now, but he would do anything for a piece of his Ma's apple pie. Even now Mal’s mouth watered at the thought of the exquisite blend of apples, cinnamon and sugar that his mother baked to perfection.
There were, of course presents on Christmas Day. Mostly practical ones, because Mal outgrew or wore down clothes and boots at an amazing rate. There were also hats, gloves and the like.
Every once and while he got a surprise. Mal had been up on a horse even before he learned to walk. But at eleven, he still rode whatever horse that was available in the corral. He had particular horses that he liked, but not one to call his very own.
“Mal, you can skip your chores for a little while. There's something that I want to show you.” his Ma said right after breakfast.
”Are you sure?” Mal asked cautiously because Ma insisted that chores be done before any thought of anything else.
“Yes, just come to the corral with me and you'll see.”
As Mal came around the barn, there she was.
When he first saw her she had her head down picking at some hay on the ground in the corral. She was a black and white pinto, with a fine head, intelligent eyes that showed a lot of spirit.
When she saw the boy she raised her head in his direction and pricked her ears. Mal approached her slowly with his hand out and ran it along her muscled shoulder, checking her out.
“Ma, she’s sure a shiny horse. Whose is she?”
“She’s yours son. It’s about time you start pulling your weight around here and you need a proper horse.”
“Really, she’s mine?”
“Yes, she’s yours. Of course you’re responsible for her, grooming, feeding and all. She's your complete responsibility now”
“It’s the best Christmas present ever!” Mal said excitedly as he turned around and threw his arms around his Ma.
“Whoa there, you just about knocked me down.” she said as Mal slammed into her. She smiled and returned the hug just as exuberantly as he had hugged her.
“Do you have a name for her?”
“Haven’t had a chance yet, but some how I know her name is Lucy.”
“I don’t know. She just looks like a Lucy.”
“It’s time for you to do your chores. Christmas morning is no excuse for gettin’ nothin’ done.. Animals got to eat every day, just like us.”
“Okay ma, just a few minutes more?.”
“Five minutes, then it’s chore time. You don’t eat breakfast ‘til the works done.”
Later that afternoon under the Shadow winter sky, Mal slipped down to the corral with a carrot swiped from the kitchen in his pocket.
“Hi there, girl. You remember me from this morning?” He approached cautiously and held out the carrot.
She moved toward him slowly, took the carrot into her lips and crunched it thoughtfully.
Mal ran his hands over her and examined her just like Chi Linn, the ranch foreman, had taught him, murmuring soothing words as he felt each strong leg and looked at each hoof.
After twenty minutes getting to know Lucy and she him, he saddled and bridled her and climbed aboard.
The first thing Lucy did was catch him unaware and throw him in the dust of the main corral. Lucy turned around and just looked at him sprawled in the dust with her wise eyes as he lay there breathless for a second or two. Nothing was damaged except Mal’s pride.
No one saw his disgrace except for Chi Linn, who had been walking between the bunk house and the barn. Not wanting to show any fear of the animal with Chi Linn around Mal dusted off his pants and his pride then hauled himself back on board.
From that moment on Mal knew who was the teacher and who was the student and the two became inseparable.
The pinto cow pony with Mal aboard soon became a common sight around the ranch and in the neighboring town. When you saw either the horse or the boy you could be sure the other was somewhere close.
The next spring his Ma let Mal go out with the hands part time and help with the cattle. Lucy had excellent cow sense and without fail she would put Mal in perfect position to separate a cow from the herd so Mal could drop a loop over the reluctant cows head for brandin' or doctorin'.
When Lucy got older Mal retired her to the pasture near the house. She became a mother 3 times over. Mal trained and rode each of Lucy’s colts and while each was exceptional in their own, none captured Mal’s heart like Lucy did. She died one winter of old age and even though Mal was just about grown he cried like he had lost his best friend.
Sunday, December 28, 2008 5:16 PM
Monday, December 29, 2008 5:45 AM
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