Warm Feeling

“I have a warm feeling for all of my characters even the bad guys and when I finish a book I often find myself thinking about them wondering what they’re doing maybe sitting around like mannequins waiting for me.”

–Elmore Leonard

Life, My Way

“How many minutes in a life; with or without the strife?
Did you ever want to ponder; what he would say up yonder?
Do you put your life in a Mayo jar; or spend it freely like a star”
Old folks always say; I should have done it my way!”

–Richard Milleville

Coyote Makeover

She was coyote ugly; the bar customers would see her as they walked into the bar and the door would swing the other way; her hair was in traction; teeth were missing, eyebrows met in the middle, and her nose went in several directions. They called her Luke for short since she was tall and her chest needed enhancement. Also, Luke had a ranch at the edge of town; her finger nails were unsightly from hard work, and unruly horses would bite her manly arms. Lately, she could not fit into her jeans, but she bore acquaintance well.

Bar customers would assume she was a man in drag; she had hair on her lip and on her chin; men would look away as they ordered drinks. Over time customer complaints to the owner brought her to tears; she usually let others cry in their beer, but today she bared her soul to her best friend, Sam, a plug ugly husky guy that lived on the ranch near hers.

Sam listened, nodded and said. “I’ll make some calls.”

Luke sobbed and continued to clean the bar.

Days later Sam walked in, saying, “Lets go to the diner when you get off.”

They sat quiet for minutes as they drank coffee until Sam spoke, “I have called some people who you all need to see. First you will see this dentist, then go the club where I purchased a membership, see a trainer and work out each day. Next you will go to this surgeon for a nose job and a little frontal enhancement. Later this cosmetology school will get a chance to work on you. They know what they are doing so, let them have their way. Also, I have talked to your boss, told him that I would pay for your time off for a month while you’re in for repairs.”

Luke gasped, broke out in tears and said, “Why are you doing this for me?”

Sam replied, “I have always cared for you, resented those that gave you such a rough time. Over the years you have provided information that has helped make me get very rich, finally I have a way to repay you. There are no strings tied to your acceptance; it just would make me feel good, real good. There is just one condition.”

Luke asked, “What?”

Sam, “If that horse bites you again, I will be out there to end him.”

She was off for a month and returned looking better than most women; the customer count doubled, and doubled again. Luke loved what it did for her, and changed her name to Lucille, Soon she ran the bar and bought out the joint. The bar also got a makeover which tripled the net income. The bar is now called the ‘Hitching Post.’

Within a year she married her best friend; their ranches, families, and hearts became one. They were last seen in a pickup truck, a ‘Willie Nelson’ song, “On the road again,” was heard from their radio. The vast depths of the Grand Canyon was in the background, storm clouds were forming, it was right at the change in seasons.