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June 2013

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100 Moods – Another Collection of Brokeback Drabbles – Nos. 1 through 20

Pairing: Jack/Ennis

Rating: G through NC-17

Disclaimer: These characters are the legal property of Annie Proulx, and–by her gracious permission–of Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry. I am writing stories which include these characters solely for my own amusement. I make no money from this endeavor.

Comments: Are always welcome.



001. Accomplished – Lureen.
She watched her competitors’ rides, but she wasn’t concentrating so hard that she didn’t notice the good-looking young cowboy prepping for bull-riding in the back of an old pickup.

During her run, she ignored everything but her horse and the barrels. But once across the line–good time, too; good chance for a win–she tossed her head just so. And her hat, which had remained securely on her head throughout the race, rolled in the dust.

Sure enough, the bull-rider caught it and handed it up to her. He had a great smile. Lureen decided she’d watch him ride.

002. Amused – Ennis.
“I dunno…” He looked at the bottle of whiskey in his hands as though it held the answer of what to do about Cassie. “How bout you n Lureen?”

It didn’t sound as though Jack’s marriage was any too satisfactory. But then Jack went on to tell about a fling he was having with a neighbor’s wife–probably no more than half-truth–and Ennis, grateful for the lightened mood, chuckled and kidded him. Jack fucking Twist had been entertaining Ennis for more years than he cared to reckon. Ennis smiled warmly and waited to hear what Jack would say next.

003. Angry – Alma.
“Once burned…” Ennis muttered.

She thinks: He's burned? What about her? He cheated on her for years–with a man. He never held a decent-paying job, and wouldn’t even look for one. Their sex life went from bad to worse. He never took her and the girls on a vacation; wouldn’t even go to Friday night church socials. But he'd go off on week-long “fishing” trips two or three times every year. And he's got the gall to complain to her that he was burned?

Years of repressed anger and shame rise up. “You still go fishin with Jack Twist?”

004. Annoyed – Aguirre.
Businessman first and foremost, he isn’t about to give this fuck-up a third chance. But a cold greeting and a bald statement that he’s wasting his time isn’t enough discouragement. Twist tries again–asking about work on Brokeback. “Ain’t got no work fer you.” That should get the message across. It does, but now the kid’s asking after del Mar. What the hell does he think this is–a dating service? Aguirre decides to tell this persistent bastard exactly what he thinks of him and his goings-on last summer.

Shrugging off the interruption, Aguirre goes back to “The Progressive Farmer.”

005. Anxious – Junior & Jenny.
They had been watching figure-skating on TV with Monroe while Daddy and Momma talked in the kitchen. After a few minutes, the placid conversational tones changed to Daddy’s growl and Momma’s misery-voice. Then plates were breaking and Momma was screaming, “Get out! Get out!”

Monroe sat up, startled, calling, “Alma?” just as Daddy rushed through, Momma’s angry voice shouting after him. Junior and Jenny ran out onto the porch, calling, “Good-bye, Daddy! Bye!” as he hurried down the walk. Then they went back into the house, exchanging confused looks and wondering if they’d ever know what that was all about.

006. Apathetic – Ennis & Alma, Thanksgiving 1986.
In the kitchen, she asked, “You ever think about getting married again, Ennis?”

“Nope.”

“Why not?”

“Well, now, Alma, it wouldn’t hardly be fair to her, would it?

“You got… a… friend?” she asked distastefully, her lips in a thin, disapproving line.

“Nope. Wouldn’t be fair to him neither. Even if I wanted one. Which I don’t.”

Turning back to the dishes, she muttered, “Couple years ago you was ready to kill me over a hint.”

He looked at her sternly until he had her full attention again. “Since Jack died, there’s a lot I don’t care about any more.”

007. Aroused – Ennis.
“What’re you doin?” he mumbled. Feeling stupid because even drunk and half-asleep it was obvious what Jack was doing. He was making a pass at Ennis.

They knelt there, forehead to forehead, Ennis paralyzed with indecision. Then Jack took off his jacket, and undid his belt… It was as though that sound triggered a nerve that ran directly from his ears to his cock. Clink. And Jack’s pants were down and Ennis’ cock was up, and hard.

A shove to unresisting Jack, a scramble with clothes, spit, and gotta have it, gotta get in, get in now, now… and Jack…

008. Awake – Ennis, 1958 (age 14).
Ennis del Mar wakes before five, basking in the afterglow of a half-remembered dream. There were hands–warm hands. Earl and Rich, alive and young and happy. They were telling Ennis something very important–though he can’t remember what. Earl was standing behind Rich, arms around Rich’s shoulders. They smiled at each other. And then at Ennis, as if to say, “You’ll have someone who smiles at you like this, one day.” They pulled him into their embrace…

Shit! Ennis scrambles out of bed, recoiling from the cooled semen in his pajamas. Nasty dream last night. Them two old queers…

009. Blank – Alma.
She rubbed the side of her pencil slowly across her cheek. Grocery list–where to start? Well, bread and milk, always–not even worth writing down–not likely to forget them. Eggs? Still have almost a dozen. Maybe not. Hamburg, chicken, pork… whatever’s cheapest. Butter–no, margarine. She sighed. Would she ever be able to afford butter? Pancakes for supper tonight–cheap, filling, the girls liked it, and Ennis was away and wouldn’t complain. Fish would be nice. But, no counting on fish from Ennis and him. She continued rubbing her cheek with her pencil, eyes on the empty paper.

010. Bored – Lureen.
After dinner, they’re sitting together in the living room. Jack drinks whiskey, staring at nothing. Lureen sips wine, legs crossed, shoe hanging from her toe. Bobby is in his bedroom, supposed to be studying, but probably playing games on his Atari. No guests tonight, not even Mama and Daddy.

She could talk to Jack. He’d turn his attention to her politely, and answer whatever she said. Smile if it was appropriate. Then drift off again into space, or wherever he goes–maybe Wyoming. Lureen jerks her foot nervously, bouncing the dangling shoe, and her sips become longer and more frequent.

011. Bouncy – Cassie.
Ennis arrives early, and has a beer as he waits for Cassie’s shift to end. He first catches sight of her hair, flipping side-to-side. Then her round little butt, as she sashays to a table with a tray of drinks, laughing and flirting. What does a lively little gal like her see in him?

Tonight’s the night. They’ve had a few dates–danced, kissed. If he makes a pass tonight, she’ll say yes. And if he doesn’t, she’ll know he’s not really interested–and wonder why.

He shifts uneasily. He decides that the slight queasiness he feels is just nerves.

012. Broken – Jack.
With malevolent accuracy, John Twist commented: “You ain’t said nothin this visit bout that Ennis del Mar feller who’s supposed a come and help out. Guess you finally figured out he ain’t comin.” He spat.

“Reckon not.”

“Well, you been promisin fer near twenny years, so now what, huh?”

Jack shrugged. If Ennis decided to break things off, he might as well hook up with Randall. “Know a guy, ranch neighbor a mine. His marriage is goin south. He’ll be ready for a change, maybe.”

“A change, huh?” the old man sneered knowingly.

Jack refused the challenge. “Whatever,” he sighed.

013. Calm – Cassie.
She wasn’t going to make a scene. No crying, shrill demands, name-calling, recriminations. She was an adult, and she would act like one. But she deserved an explanation. He owed her that at least.

Off he’d gone on his fishing trip with his Texas friend. And that was the last she’d seen of him. He’d come back to town, but not to her. Didn’t call; wouldn’t answer his phone or his door; ignored her notes… He could try to avoid her, but not forever–not in a small town like Riverton.

So here they were, face-to-face. “Hey, Ennis del Mar…”

014. Cheerful – Alma and Ennis.
Alma shrieks with mock terror as the toboggan speeds down the hill. It’s a short, smooth run, and not particularly steep, so their spill at the bottom is deliberate sabotage by Ennis. When he reaches to help her up, Alma pulls him down into the crisp snow. They wrestle playfully, Ennis–quicker, stronger, and a natural fighter–overpowering Alma quickly. But she capitulates, laughing, before he can rub her face with snow. Cheated of his just revenge, he rubs his handful of snow over her hat, smiling tolerantly at her easy surrender. Their lives are before them; all seems possible.

015. Chipper – Cassie.
Those quiet ones sometimes need a lot of encouragement before they let down their guard and have a little fun. Dancing didn’t do it for him; he was too self-conscious, too wrapped up in his own embarrassment to appreciate her sexy moves. Well, maybe he’d like to talk about himself… Or maybe not. Something physical? But not too obvious?

“What’re you doin?” Tolerantly.

“Tryin a get a foot rub. Dummy.” Teasing.

And there it was: the sweet, reluctant little smile. She settles back in her chair and relaxes. Yep, she has a real good feelin about this Ennis del Mar.

016. Cold – Ennis.
Ennis awoke shivering, a frigid breeze and a blue-white glare invading the pup tent. It had snowed overnight. Crawling out of the tent, he wrapped the blanket over his coat and danced in place, trying to warm his numbed feet as he scanned the flock to check how they had weathered the storm.

Later, he rode down to the camp, hoping to find a hot breakfast waiting. Instead, Jack was breaking camp, packing up the tent. The job was over; and Jack scarcely seemed to care. Ennis could barely comprehend it. He felt numb. Empty. Frozen from the inside out.

017. Confused – Carl.
“I dunno. It was kinda weird. I knew she was still sorta carryin a torch for the guy, but I thought she’d moved on from that. We saw Dragonslayer and went for a bite to eat after at the bus station. He’s sittin there and she has ta go over and talk to him. They didn’t exactly argue or fight or anything—she talked real calm and he was just kinda hangdog—think he prob’ly said sorry. But she starts cryin and just drags me outta there.”

He shook his head. “I just don’t know what’s goin on with her.”

018. Content – Cassie. (See also #45 Guilt in the first set of drabbles.)
Cassie wakes as Ennis leaves the bed, but doesn’t stir; he’ll feel guilty if he thinks he’s disturbed her. She listens to him moving quietly around her apartment: using the bathroom, making coffee.

She prefers it when they stay at her place, rather than his. Raised middle-class, she finds the stark poverty of Ennis’ trailer heart-wrenching. Well, he’ll probably never earn high wages, but he’ll be better off once the child-support payments are through. She’s doing well as a cocktail waitress, and if–no, when–she gets her nursing degree…

Dreaming of their future together, she drifts back into sleep.

019. Cranky – Everybody.
“Ennis! Could you wipe Alma Junior’s nose?”

“If I had three hands I could!” he snapped. Jenny was red-faced and howling–and wet, too, but clearly in no mood to be changed just now, even if neglecting Junior–clinging fiercely to his leg and sobbing–was feasible.

He took them up in his arms, one on each side. But they wouldn’t be jollied out of their distress with funny faces and mouth noises. So he settled in for a long session of stroking and “there-there,” suppressing his own irritation at the aggressive rasp of Alma scrubbing laundry in the kitchen.

020. Crazy – Jack, 1960 (age 16).
Jack stared up the road outside his window with a gaze so intense, it should have drawn him miles along it by sheer willpower. He tried to sit still, be calm, but his body was strung too tight–legs jerking, fingers drumming, breath hitching. His daddy… Damn him. Goddamn him… The old man was crazy, that was the only explanation–insane.

He calmed slightly, still staring up the road, trying to figure some way to get out into the wide world of possibilities, away from the repressive life on the ranch. Crazy to be somewhere, anywhere, else than Lightning Flat.
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Comments

Very nice :)

I think I like the last the one the best

Thanks for sharing :)
Thanks for reading :)

My, you're fast! I think this entry was up for a whole 5 minutes before your comment showed up!
These are wonderful! I just love drabbles, and these were all excellent! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you! Yes, drabbles are very special. So glad you enjoyed.
Wonderful! Thank you!
Thanks for reading. Love your avatar!
I greatly enjoyed all of these. You have a real gift for setting the scene early, something not so easy! I'm looking forward to the rest of the set.
Love,
Jenna
Setting the scene early is an absolute necessity in a 100-word drabble! Thank you for your kind words. I know I've said it before, but praise from Jenna is praise indeed!
Hi Sid!! I sure liked reading all of these. They always left me wanting more. And yet, each one was just enough to peek inside a moment. So many of them were unfulfilling on behalf of the subject speaking, weren't they? You realize how each of their lives were initially based on such hope, only to be slowly dulled by the reality of the 2 guys being in love and that love hugely impacting those who they involved themself with.

Cassie, pinning her hopes on Ennis. Alma pondering something as simple as a grocery list, only to be reminded that her husband never brought home no fish. Lureen, realizing that Jack just wasn't "there" for her like he should be, something wrong in their relationship but unable to see yet what it was, unless it somehow had to do with that Wyoming place.

Heavy sigh. What a tragic story, what a beautiful story. How can a story be both? Brokeback can.

Thank you, Sid. I haven't visited the OS for awhile and this brought it back to me for just a little while.

Big hug to you & I hope things are going well!

Mary
Yes, my drabbles seem to be almost 100% canon. And that means tragedy: unfulfilled hopes, disillusionment, despair... and death. And even when the characters are briefly happy, we know that it's on a false basis.

Thank you for reading, and for your thoughtful comment. I always like hearing which drabbles made an impression.
Hi Sid,
I really enjoyed the drabbles, so much said in such few words!
I hope that "100 moods" means that 80 are still to come :)
Thanks for sharing
A big hug
Roby
Thanks for reading! Yes, there are 80 more in the list, and I have 6 of them done. I hope to be a little quicker in posting the next batch, but we take what the muse sends...

(I have another list of 100 after this one. Maybe I'll still be posting BBM drabbles in 20 years?)
FABULOUS! VERY INTUITIVE INSIGHTS. MORE! :) PEGGY B.
Thank you so much! More (hopefully) forthcoming.
These are all excellent. Perceptive to the highest degree.
Thank you so much for sharing, Sid.

Paola
Thank you so much for your kind comments. So glad you enjoyed.
Almost too much to absorb in one reading session. I especially liked Amused ("...waited to hear what Jack would say next." Ouch.), Apathetic (double ouch) and Bouncy (everything for appearances).

Looking forward to the next set.
Like Altoids, perhaps. Or chocolate-coated espresso beans. Small, but very intense.

I'm always interested to learn which drabbles particularly caught a reader's attention. Sometimes they're my own personal favorites, sometimes they're ones that I wasn't sure anybody would like.

Hope to have the next set of 20 posted "in a timely manner."
Thank you very much.
In brief, well described, perfect.
Succinct and emotional.
Happy weeks
Carmen
Thank you! "Succinct and emotional" is exactly what I'm usually aiming for!

Happy weeks to you also.
i loved them all
6 killed me though
great job
vanessa
Those were amazing!
Thank you!
HT