500 Word Short Story
The Reunion
Scott A. Gese

500 Word Short Story

The forest trail took the young man to the edge of a grassy field where several cows were grazing under a nearby tree. They paid little attention to the stranger who sat himself down on a nearby boulder.

He dropped his pack and laid his rifle down. A tear came to his eye as he pondered the scene before him. Across the field stood a small, well kept cabin, a large barn and a corral which held two horses. One of them nickered as it looked in his direction. “Good ol' Sal, I thought you'd be dead and gone by now,” he thought.

It was a cool morning. A light wisp of smoke wound its way out of the chimney. Along one side of the cabin a man could be seen chopping wood. The man was lost in his own thoughts as he worked but was well aware of the nickering horse.

The boys name was Russell and this was his home. He had left three years ago at the age of sixteen. His father had wanted him to stay and help out on the ranch. He wanted to see what lay beyond the bull shit and barbed wire. His father had a hired man to help out. Russell knew things would be just fine without him, so he left. His mother took it hard, and even though it didn't show, his father took it harder. Russell headed East toward the Carolina's with no real plan and not knowing what he would find.

His talent for writing landed him a newspaper job where he earned a decent wage as he honed his talent and even managed to save more money than he spent.

Home always tugged at his heart strings. It never let up. He knew some day he would return. The question was when.

He walked the last ten miles. They were easier than the final two hundred yards he still needed to go. As he sat on his rock, the sound of wood being chopped came to a stop. He was now the one being watched.

Thomas paid heed to the horses incessant nickering. He scouted the landscape in the direction of its gaze where he caught the image of a man sitting on the far side of the field. He walked into the house.

“Stay inside until I get back,” he ordered his wife, Rebecca.

“What's going on?” She inquired.

“Someone's sitting along the treeline watching the house. I'm going to find out what the hell they want. Stay put.”

Thomas grabbed his rifle and headed for the door. He was strutting across the field as Rebecca watched from the window over the sink. As Thomas drew close, the man stood up. Rebecca saw Thomas drop his rifle and the two men embraced.

She hitched up her dress and ran out toward the two men. Russell had been heavy on her mind lately. She didn't need to guess. She knew exactly who it was.

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