Tag Archives: The Taking of Orders

Creative Writhing: The Taking of Orders Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, it’s here.


Somewhere in the American Unorganized Territory 1850


It was easy to catch the thread of Rankin’s story as it unravelled.

He pasted the floor as he spoke: I was already glued to my chair.

“I was riding Of Course to Whitey the blacksmith with an ax to grind when a few trees knocked me off Of Course and he ran off at the mouth of the river.

The trees put up a pretty good fight, but I went all out on a limb with the ax and left them pining and kindling for better days. I was hunting around for my horse Of Course when the bushes bushwhacked* me. I whacked back, but soon found myself on thin ice … which I fell through.
I managed to pull myself out of the river further downstream, get out of my britches before they froze, and came here.”

Rankin had been lucky.

A similar freak event had happened to me a week earlier.

I had walked slowly in to some quicksand and quickly found myself over my head and grasping for air.
I would have been a goner for sure except a passing goat fancied my hat and tried to grab it as it floated on the quicksand’s surface. I grabbed on to the goat’s neck and it pulled me out.
I’ll always think of it as my personal escape goat.

Nature was against us for some reason.

Rankin and myself had been spared so far; our younger brother Otto hadn’t.


to be continued …

* S. Le‘s contribution to this amazingly saggy saga

Creative Writhing: The Taking of Orders Part 1

Somewhere in the American Unorganized Territory 1850


The dog days of winter.
It was so cold I had to start a fire to warm up my wood before I could start a fire.
I was sitting at my kitchen table drinking coffee from my only cup; I’d heard having more than one cup would keep me awake at night. Being awake in the daytime was bad enough these days.

Looking out the window I saw a figure coming out of the horizon vertically.
It was Rankin Order walking in the snow away from the distance toward the cabin. He must have burnt all his britches cause he was in his underwear.

I’d recognize him in any wear anywhere.

He was tough as snails and as cruel as a cucumber. He was rough like a sanded table top with sand on it. He was as hard as a soft boiled egg cooked for too long. If he hit you, you’d squeal like a stuffed pig and probably run around like a cow with its head cut off.
I’m sure walking a smile in his boots would produce a frown or a sneer as I can tell.

He was Rankin to most, but to those close to him, he was just Rank.

He’d always been Rank to me; I was his brother.

As he came closer to the cabin, he called “Justin! You in there?

I answered “no“, but that didn’t fool him.

When I opened the door I asked, “What happened to you?

Got ambushed” was his reply.

By who?” tumbled out of my mouth.

More like ‘By what?’    By bushes!


This may sound strange, but I didn’t disbelieve him for a second.