|100 Word Challenge|
|Suggested by Keesha|
Disclaimer: The characters and situations of the TV program "Big Valley" are the creations of Four Star/Republic Pictures and have been used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended. No infringement is intended in any part by the author, however, the ideas expressed within this story are copyrighted to the author.
|Challenge: Write a "mini-scene" that is complete in itself using approximately 100 words.|
|Annette - 109|
|Heath stepped back chalking his que while glancing around the room. An air of contentment settled on him like a fog on the Louisiana Bayou. Although Leah had been a kind, gentle and loving Mother, Heath had always felt a slight restlessness, the cause of which seemingly always remained just over the next horizon. Tonight he knew, as he watched Nick eye his next shot, as Jarrod and Eugene sat lost in their books, and Audra, sweet, beautiful Audra and Mother, yes Mother, a woman who had opened her heart and home to envelope Heath in love, as they quietly conversed, Heath knew he had seen his last horizon.|
|Barb - 100|
|Audra leaned over the piece of
paper on the writing desk. Pen in hand, she frowned deeply and appeared to be lost in
thought. She did not hear her brother enter the room.
"What are you writing, Sis?" asked Nick.
Audra looked up. "A one hundred word story."
"Is that a fact? A hundred word story, huh? That shouldn't be too hard."
"But it must make sense, must say something logical, mustn't ramble on," Audra countered.
Nick turned and walked from the room, muttering to himself. "Make sense, be logical, not ramble on." He laughed aloud.
"She'll never do it."
|Barb - 100|
|The room, the entire house for
that matter, had a different feel to it. Jarrod observed as his three brothers and one
sister ambled aimlessly about the living room. Audra, wearing her sadness openly, Eugene,
trying not to act childish and cry, Nick, covering his anguish by displaying nervous
energy, and Heath, quiet and reserved in his grief. And how am I acting? Jarrod
silently asked himself. The answer was obvious. Now that Mother was dead, he was acting as the wise, level-headed, compassionate patriarch of the family. But, like the others, his heart was broken.
|Barb - 96|
|Heath regained consciousness slowly. His head felt huge. Opening his eyes, at first he couldn't focus, but then he honed in on the form of someone lying close to him on the ground. He saw that it was Eugene, his younger brother. Heath's first attempt to get up failed, but succeeding on his second try, he desperately sought to recall what had happened. And then he noticed his pistol in his hand, a pistol still smoking. He glanced again at Eugene, from whom blood flowed. "What happened?" Heath spoke aloud. "Did I shoot my own brother?"|
|Beth - 101|
|Victoria stared into the
fireplace - but could not find any answers. Jarrod sat next to her quietly with tears in
his eyes, how much he wanted to comfort his mother, but the words could not come - he had
been here before.
She looked at her son and put her tired head on his shoulder. "Jarrod, why won't the tears come?" She murmered. "Give it time Mother, you're still in shock"
He brushed her hair gently with his hand but she pulled away from him.
"First your Father, now David" she said, "the two loves of my life, both gone!"
|Beth - 97|
|Nick stared out their bedroom
window at the setting sun.
"Beautiful sunset, isn't it" Amy had come up behind him unnoticed and caught him off guard.
He didn't even glance at her.
"What is it my love?" she asked as she laid her head on his shoulder.
"Its nothing" Nick said sadly "I was just thinking about Jarrod; how much I wish he were here."
"Because of Thomas", she continued, "you wish Jarrod were here to see our son off to law school".
"Yeah, he should be here!" Nick angrily pulled the window shut and walked away.
|Cathy - 100|
about it on the train ride. She knew what she wanted. But how would she go about it?
. What she wanted was one night of passion before she was forced to marry someone she did
not love. Some beautiful memories for the years to come. But how would she go about it? He
was so proper and it was so unladylike. How about the truth, Jarrod? I have had a
crush on you since I was ten years old and
I would like you to make love to me.
But that all changed when she saw Nick.
|Denise, Cathy, Jana - 100|
|Where is Eugene?
Eugene is gone, gone, gone.
Nick and Heath can find Eugene.
Nick and Heath can ride.
They will ride and find Eugene.
See Nick and Heath ride.
See the bad man.
The bad man has a gun.
See the man shoot.
Oh no, no ,no.
Bleed Heath Bleed.
Carry, carry Heath to Mother.
Rip, rip, Audra rips up her petticoat.
|Dianne - 100|
|Jarrod paced nervously across
the drawing room floor, ultimately drifting over to peer out the window.
"Willing that buggy to come up the drive isn't going to make it happen," Victoria observed without looking up from her needlepoint.
"I know," Jarrod admitted and allowed the lace curtain to drop back into place. "I still don't fully understand why you allowed her to go to dinner with someone we barely know," he grumbled.
"Audra is a grown woman," Victoria explained patiently. "We have to trust her judgement."
Suddenly, Nick came crashing through the front door. "MOTHER! JARROD! There's been an accident!"
|Elayn - 114|
|Today she was barefoot, wearing
only a lightweight, pale yellow robe. Her hair was damp and she smelled of fresh soap and
honeysuckle. Heath drank in her scent as she bent down to lift his head and help him
drink. He was strong enough to sit up and handle the coffee himself but enjoyed the
ministrations so did not let on.
Laying his head back and setting down the cup, she went to the dresser where she poured a fresh bowl of cool water from a flowered pitcher. She sat the bowl on the chair next to his bed as she sat down next to him, their hips just touching through the cotton sheet.
|Nick paced his room... "getting married," he smiled, "and in my own home, like it should be." This time he was sure. She was not a flirt like Hester. She was not a user nor a liar. He loved her with all his heart and knew she loved him. He would be lost without her. She had his heart, his soul. She was his reason for living. Nick was so engrossed in his thoughts he did not hear the heavy footsteps coming down the hall. He did not hear the buggy pulling away. There was a knock on the door.|
|Gail - 100|
|Heath awoke, then rolled to his
side, and slid his arm around the woman's waist. He buried his face in her dark hair to
breathe in the sweetness of her perfume. He loved her, and he wished longingly that he
could simply stay with her, in this warm bed of hers, forever. Taking her hand in his, he
kissed her palm, then her lips. "We got to work this thing out, honey.
We've got to tell him. This just ain't right. I can't look my brother in the face, anymore. We got to make this legal, you'll be showing soon."
|Hobby - 100|
|"How much longer is this
gonna go on?" Nick demanded, stomping across the foyer, spurs jingling with every
Nick wore agitation close to the surface and tension showed in every muscle.
In contrast, Nick's brother Heath appeared to be calm. Heath leaned against the wall, and only someone who knew him well would notice how he nervously twisted a cigarette paper.
"It's taking forever," said their older brother, Jarrod. Jarrod, accustomed to using movement and gestures to advantage in the courtroom, now aimlessly paced. All three held Jarrod responsible for the anguish upstairs. Mother's stricken face haunted them.
|Jana - 100|
|Nick was in trouble again and
Victoria was tired of having to go to school and bail him out. What was it this time?
Punching--Kicking--Yelling, he did them all.
As Victoria spoke with the teacher she was told he had bitten a child who was teasing him. As the teacher continued to extole Nicks bad habits Victoria's temper rose. Finally she could take no more against her son. "It must run in the family" she said as she leaned over and bit the teacher.
Gathering Nick from outside the door she said "Son, remember Barclay's always stick together".
|KK - 106|
|"Sleeping on the couch
Heath looked up at the sound of the voice, to see his oldest brother leaning against the doorway. "Yep . . . what about you?"
"Me too," Jarrod replied, walking over to the decanters and pouring himself a drink. "Sarah didn't agree that the kids were never in any danger."
"Neither did Jenny . . . got yelled at for 30 minutes for this last stunt."
Jarrod looked up. "You were lucky. Sarah yelled at me for 45 minutes."
"We're going to have to kill Nick, you know," Heath said as he lit a cigerette.
Jarrod smiled. "Or get him married."
|KK - 111|
|"What the hell did you
think you were doing?" Nick yelled as he knocked the ranch hand down.
"I was trying to help, Nick," Don said.
"By beating up my brother?" Nick asked incredulously.
Don spoke hurriedly,"But he's not--not really. We were just encouraging him to leave . . ."
Nick stared. "What gave you the right to get in Barkley business? If I want the boy beat up, I'll throw the punches. If I want him off this ranch, I'll throw the boy off myself. And I'm the only one who can--BECAUSE HEATH IS A BARKLEY!" Nick threw another punch. "And don't you, or anyone else, forget it."
|Keesha - 100|
|The sadness permeating his brother's entire countenance made him want to weep. He reached out a tentative hand to offer comfort, but jerked it back as if it were on fire, when the recipient deliberately turned his back. 'Don't turn away from me', Heath mentally screamed. 'Let me help you Nick; I'm not too proud to say I need your help. She may have been your mother by birth, but she was mine by choice. Physically, we fight back to back, why not emotionally too?' But Heath's words were left unsaid, as Nick walked away to fight this battle alone.|
|For the briefest of moments their eyes met; cerulean blue gazing warmly into liquid brown. Heath felt like he'd been struck by lightening, but instead of a whiff of sulfur, the only scent that wafted through the breeze was that of her heavenly perfume. His throat was dry as the desert. His mind whirled, searching to latch on to the right words; trying to find a combination that made sense, a combination that would impressive this vision of loveliness before him. She solved his problem by simply saying, in her deep, husky voice, "I am Maria Lopez Sontebona Montero Ebolita."|
|Jana - 96|
|After returning from her third trip in as many months Audras family was eager to see her. Immediately upon descending the stage Nick began "What was it like?" "How was Teresa?" "Did you get to see all that you wanted to?" Jarrod added. As Audra politely answered all their rapid fire questions she could feel her head pound and her palms begin to sweat. Was her family really this trusting and what was she going to do? As she answered their first innocent questions she was appalled with herself, and that was only the first lie|
|Linda - 100|
|"Look Mother" flashed
Eugene, "I'm leaving college, going my own way and that's it!"
He ran from the library and Victoria felt suddenly faint.
At once, Nick was behind her, hands on her shoulders.
Victoria leaned gratefully back against his chest. She felt his kiss in her hair,
Nick's voice was deep and re-assuring, "don't you worry now, it'll all come right you'll see."
Victoria turned in his arms and he held her close, just as Tom had always done. In this, as in many other things, Nick had
taken his Father's place.
Thank God for you Nick, thought Victoria.
|Linda - 100|
|"Mr. Heath!" exclaimed
Silas happily. Heath smiled, throwing his hat, which Silas caught deftly.
They sat companionably in the kitchen, conversing with the ease of old friends, while Heath ate hungrily.
Heath examined Silas's kind old face, how many times have we sat here while Silas filled in gaps in the Barkley family history for me? What a difference he made when I first came here, thought Heath.
Silas examined Heath, more like his Father every day, a true Barkley and a good friend.
"Another piece of pie?"
"Thanks Silas, don't mind if I do" smiled Heath.
|Linda - 100|
|The horse was obviously
suffering, Nick drew his gun.
"No!" screamed Audra, grabbing his arm. Nick's eyes met Heath's. Heath gripped Audra firmly, she fought him but to no avail.
Regretfully but unhesitatingly, Nick shot the animal. Heath let Audra go and she turned on her Brothers.
"I hate you both!" she sobbed.
Nick grabbed her, shaking her hard.
"The next time I tell you not to ride a nervous horse, don't!" he said uncompromisingly.
He strode away and Audra turned to Heath for comfort. It was not forthcoming.
"Tell Ciego to bury your horse." ordered Heath coldly walking away.
|Linda - 100|
|"Well!" exploded Nick
storming from the gunroom, "You sure don't need my help do you?"
Perplexed, Heath turned to Jarrod.
"What did I do?"
Jarrod smiled. "You fought the Garritys alone."
He gripped Heath's shoulder affectionately.
"It's not your fault Heath, you're used to fighting your battles yourself, but you're a Barkley now, you have people to turn to."
Heath nodded thoughtfully.
"I guess I'm not quite used to having a family yet." he said ruefully.
Jarrod squeezed his shoulder. "Try to remember you have Brothers will you?"
Heath's hand came up to cover Jarrod's.
"I will," he promised quietly.
|Madge - 101|
|After he rode away from the
grave he found the trail easily. He could not shake the encounter from his mind. That girl
was his sister. Even without her words he would have known it; one good look showed him a
face enough like his own to convince him. It was true, then; that man was his father. He'd
never really doubted his mother, but now he had to believe. Not for the
first time, he felt uneasy. He heard the distant hoot of a train, and turned off the path to the ranch. A good run would clear his head.
|Muddle - 55|
|Victoria capered down the
staircase refreshed from her nap. She paused and stared at her family gathered in the
drawing room. "Why are you all wearing mourning?"
"We buried Eugene today." Jarrod replied gently.
"Who was Eugene?" she questioned. "I don't remember anybody by that name."
Victoria swept into the kitchen leaving her family dumbfounded.
|Sherm - 100|
|Elizabeth Benedict sat alone, gazing out the stagecoach window. She tried to find some way to distract her thoughts. Aunt Mae had been her favorite of all her aunts. Tears welled up in Lizzies eyes as she realized this would be her last trip to Maes house. She began using an old trick that Mae had taught her to help pass the time. She focused on a tree in the distance and then counted the seconds until they passed it. She continued with this until there were no trees to focus on; only the buildings in the town of Stockton.|
|Audra stood in the shadows
watching Sam paint the little fence around the grave.
It struck her then, she was a fatherless child. Just like Florie Rogers. No, Florie was an orphan, a real orphan. Audras father was dead, but her mother, while grieving deeply, was still alive and well. How alone Florie must be. As alone as Audra felt, Florie was suffering from a far greater loss. Her friends parents had died from the winter influenza and Florie had been sent to the orphanage. There were so many children like Florie there. Audra wondered how she could help them.
|Valerie - 99|
bridesmaids had left; they had a few moments alone.
"What is it, Audra?"
"Did you...well, do you ever have regrets about marrying Father?"
"Audra! Please, don't tell me you are having second thoughts!"
"No, Mother, I'm sure. But, with everything that you went through, even," a pause, "Heath, would you marry Father again?"
No hesitation. "Yes, I would. Despite the hard work, lonely times and his imperfections. Oh, Audra, he gave me so much...I
would in a heartbeat."
A knock. "Miss Barkley, your guests await!"
But there was time for one last hug.
|Valerie - 98|
|The flat grassland flowed
endlessly, toasted to a straw brown by the late autumn sun. There was only one break in
of grass, a small grouping of trees, growing tall and strong, a green island in a tan sea. To the two riders, it meant good
news. If there was water for the trees, there was enough water for them.
The fair young man smiled as he looked around.
"Yes, Tom?" The other rider, a woman, young and slim and dark-haired, rode up beside her husband.
"We go no farther, we have found our home."