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Kenneth E. Baker
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Sheila accepted her lonely life. Working her ranch was a 24/7 job. Unable to depend on her drunken ranch hand, she didn’t know what she was going to do. Then she met Hank broke down beside the road.
Trouble came across the border shortly after meeting Hank. Little did Sheila know she would soon be fighting for her life.
"Damn you to hell, Erick Wilson," Sheila Parks muttered. She raised her brown weather-beaten face to the searing July West Texas sun, and shook her long blond hair from her eyes. The back of her shirt was soaked with sweat. She took off her right glove and wiped sweat from her blue eyes. She swore again as she looked up at the blazing sun.
She put the sweat soaked glove back on and picked up the posthole digger and slammed the dual blades into the hole. The blades hit with a solid thud. "Another damned rock," she grumbled. She lifted the posthole digger out and picked up the sharp-pointed hard bar. She positioned the sharp end into the hole and slammed it down with all her might. Her hands stung as the bar vibrated.
Sheila laughed; even her body was betraying her today. Each strike with the hard-bar, caused vibrations to work their way up her arms to the tips of her breasts. Her nipples were as hard as they had ever been while making love.
Sheila felt the rock crack. Three blows later, she tossed the hard-bar aside and put the posthole digger back in the hole to scoop out the gravel. Ten minutes later the hole was deep enough. She walked off to the side and picked up a six-foot wooden post. She planted the post in the hole and tamped dirt and rock around the it. This made the tenth post she had placed this morning.
She swiped at the sweat on her forehead with her walked to where Champagne, a strawberry roan, stood tethered to a juniper tree. “At least I can always depend on you, boy,” she said as she lifted the canteen from the saddle horn and took a drink. The cool water felt good sliding down her parched throat. “Been one hell of a day so far, Champagne.” Gently, she peeled off the gloves and looked at her red, raw hands. Her right hand had a watery blister in the center of it. Three of the fingers on her left hand had blisters between them.
She sat down on the ground and poured a little of the cool water over her hands. She felt like crying, but knew that wouldn't help her situation. Erick had known for two weeks that she was going to fence in the dry gulch today to keep the cattle away from the pool. A month ago, Sheila had discovered the alkali near the end of the gulch. She had lost two cows before they could move them to the east pasture. Now it was time to move them back so they wouldn’t over graze the east pasture.
Two days ago Erick went on a drunken binge and wasn't back yet. She should fire him, but even that would be hard to do since she didn't pay him anything. When not drunk, Erick worked harder than most men Sheila knew. But Erick's drinking had slowly gotten worse over the past three months. Sheila wondered where he got his money. As far as she knew, he didn't work for anyone else when he wasn't working for her.
As she thought, she realized she knew very little about Erick. He had drifted up to her ranch six months ago, drunk on his rear. Sheila had guessed his age to be close to thirty as she dragged him to the barn and threw him in an empty stall to sleep it off. He was thin as a rail. His body, as well as his appearance, looked wasted. She often wondered what would cause a man to punish himself with drink the way Erick did. Some one had once told her the eyes were the window to the soul. If this were true, Erick had a very troubled soul. When you looked into his eyes, they were the eyes of a lost person. Hurt, sorrow and helplessness were all you saw.
Rating: 4 Cups. "Kenneth Baker has written a unique story. I fell in love with the characters from the first page. He has a wonderful imagination that fills the pages with such detail, I felt as if I were standing right there with the characters. A wonderful book Mr. Baker, keep up the awesome work!" Laura, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 226
Paper Weight (lb): 9.8
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