the return (by LC)


Summary:  When you’re gone for a while, the atmosphere can shift…

Rating: K  Word count: 601


                                                           The Return



“Hello, brother.”

The tension in the room, spanning the gap between the two men, nearly crackles in its tangiblity.

“Did you find a spot for your horse?”

“Yeah. I helped build the barn, remember?”


“What’s that supposed to mean?”


“Since when have you made disgruntled noises and not meant anything?”

White knuckles imply unthrown punches as a new set of boots sounds on the staircase.

“Adam! We were expecting you tomorrow! I wanted to meet you in—“

“The stage came early.”

“I’ll be upstairs. Call me when dinner’s ready.”

“Now wait just a—“

“I’ll be upstairs. It’s not like I’m leaving for God only knows how long or anything like that. I would never do something like that.”

Again the tension, stretching as the space between them grows and yet somehow remaining just as thick, broken only by an awkward clearing of the throat.

“Have a seat, son. How was your trip?”

“Uneventful. The train makes things so much easier.”

“How are May and the girls?”

“Your grandnieces are growing into lovely young women, completely enamored with the idea of having a great uncle who’s a real life cowboy. It was all I could do to keep them from stowing away in my trunk.”

“I should write to May again and invite her out.”

“You know she won’t come?”

“That’s not the point of an invitation, Adam.”

“I just wanted to be sure you knew.”


“…you’ve both taken it hard. I see it in your faces.”

“It’s…been a rough couple of years. Yes.”

Across the room, the grandfather clock chimes the hour, and both turn instinctively to it. The noise fills the silence, and for just a moment the discomfort is eased.

“I wanted to be here, you know… But the letter got lost and I didn’t know until…”

“I know, Adam. I forgave you long ago.”

“And Joe?”

“Joe was married.”


“I never mentioned it in my letters. It was…his news. And then his grief.”

“How long has it been?”

“Almost a year.”


“He’s getting better.”


“I heard him laughing with a few of the hands recently.”

“Pa, I’m sorry I haven’t been here…”

“Adam. You did what you had to do. You chased your dream, just as I chased mine. I’m just glad to see you now.”

“Missing the funeral haunts me every day. I…I stopped by the grave on my way here.”

“How long are you home for?”

“I’m not sure.”

“You are welcome here.”

“I got that impression.”

“Joe’s been hurt…is hurting. Give him time; you’re brothers.”

“Some brother I’ve been.”

“I’ve had a reoccurring nightmare about adopting a bratty red-headed teenager. Trust me, you have nothing on this kid in terms of bad-brotherhood.”

“Seriously, Pa.”

“Give him time, Adam.”

“Sure. I’ll do that.”

“I’ve made up your old room for you.”


“Unless you had something else in mind…?”

“No. My room is perfect. I chose its location, remember?”

“Oh, trust me, I heard your brothers complain about it often enough that I couldn’t forget if I tried.”

“I think I’ll head up and wash for dinner. Travis Benet is supposed to bring my trunk out later; if he arrives, would you just holler at me? I don’t want for you to have to carry it up.”

“I’m not as old as I look…”

“Mmmhmm. How many candles were on your cake last year?”

“Ask me no questions and I’ll tell you no lies.”

“At least you didn’t burn the place down. That would have been inconvenient.”

“It’s good to have you home, Adam.”

“It’s good to be…home.”

Other Stories by this Author


Author: LC

I don't do too much writing, due to a lack of perserverance and too many ideas begging to be commited to paper. I deeply appreciate positive and contructive feedback, as this is the only way I can possibly improve. I hope that I can bring at least a small smile to your day and hope that I don't astonish you with too many plot/grammatical/spelling mistakes.

5 thoughts on “the return (by LC)

  1. A great vignette of how it could have been. Yes, men do talk that way not saying everything and leaving a lot left to be understood without being said. You’ve captured the voices very well.

  2. Enjoyed your story. Agree with Chavel that it left me wanting more. And that’s one of the biggest compliments a writer can get. Thanks for writing it and sharing it with us.

  3. I’ve been away for a bit, and this was a good story to return to because it left me wanting more. I want to know what happens at dinner and the following days.

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