The storm had finally passed.  Ronda Livingston seized the opportunity to open every window of the old farm house.  Stretching her long chocolate arms toward the ceiling, she inhaled deeply, filling her lungs with the fresh air that always came after a good downpour.  A contented sigh escaped from her parted lips as the action helped soothe the dull pain that had started in her lower back.

Worm farming was a bitch.  She had taken up the hobby for no other reason than to prove her know-it-all husband wrong.  Four years in the country, and he still insisted on calling her a soft city girl.  The only thing soft about her was… Okay, let’s not go there.

Ronda had spent the last week digging, pulling, and raking the earth until every muscle in her lean body cried out in pain.  But it had been well worth it.  Patrick had told her he couldn’t have done a better job himself.  Of course she wasn’t going to confess to bribing the kid next door into handling the worms for her.  Actually touching the slimy things is where she drew the line.

Turning from the window, she sat down at her desk and dove into working on her latest novel, which she had put off for the past week.  Engrossed in her work, she almost didn’t hear the sound of rain as it picked up outside her study window.  Reluctantly, she rose from the desk, and made her way back to the window.  She closed it and started toward the others in her home.  But something stopped her.  The sun’s out!

Bemused, Ronda turned back to the window and opened it.  Sure enough, the distinct sound of rain continued to filter in, but there wasn’t a cloud to be seen for miles.  Listening carefully, she was able to hone in on the sound.  Her gaze fell to the blue tarp she had laid out next to the worm shelter to kill the many weeds that had taken over the area.  There, to her amazement, were dozens of little birdies diligently stomping the yard.  The rapid movement of their tiny feet as they pranced around was the source of the racket.  The artsy side of her couldn’t help but be enchanted by the poetic scene in front of her.  Enchanted, that is, until she realized what the little bastards were up to.

“My worms!  My worms!” she gasped, the vision of hours of hard work lost propelling her into motion.  The words “save the chair” vaguely registered as she flew past her teenaged son, down the basement stairs, and out the patio door.

Her blunder became evident after her sudden encroachment on their territory caused the normally passive creatures to take flight. The retaliation was horrid.  As Ronda twisted and turned, bobbed and weaved, to dodge the miniature hellions resembling flying fur, her son’s words finally registered.  How the heck did you manage to mix up “Don’t go out there” with “Save the chair”, dumbass.

Dreadful fear was quickly replaced by anger, brought on by the sight of her only child laughing his ass off behind the safety of the glass door.  At that moment, she knew she’d survive this attack, if for no other reason than to eat her own young.


Instinctively, Ronda covered her ears and dropped to the ground for cover.  The sound of gunfire was followed by one united resounding chirp before her feathered nemeses dispersed, and fled the scene.

“Are you alright?” a God sent voice inquired.

Ronda opened her sticky eyes to find the love of her life staring back at her, his thick, blond eyebrows drawn together in concern.  The smoking shotgun was still in his large, pale hands.  She jumped to her feet with all intents and purposes of showing her gratitude.

“Whoa! No! I don’t think so!” Patrick shouted.  He stepped back from her, putting a hand up to halt her advancement.

Yeah, that’s about when the smell hit her.  The odor of gun smoke did little to hide it.  A quick inspection of her attire, bare legs, and arms alerted her that she was utterly covered in bird droppings.  The sound of their son’s laughter drew both their hot glares in his direction.

“Jamie!” Patrick started in a harsh tone.  “How could you just stand there while your mother gets attacked?  You little turd!”

Jamie’s initial response was more laughter.  “I couldn’t have said it better myself, Dad.  Awesome choice of words,” he stated, grabbing his mid-section and laughing harder.  “What?  Don’t look at me like that.  I told her not to go out there.  Now who’s the one that never listens?”

Ronda shifted her gaze back to her husband and smiled. “Got anymore shells for that shotgun?”


Written by: Deneice Tarbox

(Thanks for the contribution, mama ;))



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