Drabbles by Vicki L. Nelson

Drabbles of 100 words


Asked and Answered
A Lancer episode Drabble, “Blue Skies For Willie Sharp

All he saw was our family as it is now.  He couldn’t know how new and fragile it was.  He couldn’t know how deeply his question affected me.  “What if he doesn’t want me?”   Couldn’t know that I’d asked myself the same question for years.  Asked, then answered, as time went by and no contact made.  “No, he doesn’t want me.”  What sin could a newborn infant, toddler, child, young man commit?  Was I inherently flawed?  A lie hurt me; a lie might save Willie.  I will do for him what no adult did for me: he will feel wanted.


Big Brother – Little Brother

He’s damn funny, but pure puzzling.  His smile lights up a room.  He is so smart; too nice.  Everyone loves him.  He ain’t perfect; sometimes he pisses me off!  He can be preachy, self-righteous and stubborn.  We don’t look at all alike ‘cept for the blue eyes.  Oh yeah, we share the same father.  No one’s ever gotten this close to me; I’ve never allowed it.  Love the old man (wouldn’t tell him,) but Scott means the world to me.  I have his back; watch out for him.  I would take a bullet for him and that scares me shitless. 

He amuses and intrigues me.  He has a dazzling smile; effortless charm.  I’m told I’m charming but I work at it.  Everybody loves him.  He’s not perfect:  he can be rash, reckless, and obstinate.  We look nothing alike and only have three things in common:  blue eyes, our father’s blood, and the walls we’ve built around us.  I suppose I love my father, but my feelings for Johnny cannot be summed up in one word.  I feel a responsibility for him; would even die for him.  I wouldn’t want to live without him and that keeps me awake at night.


Father Knows Best
 Episode Drabble, “The Experiment

The ride back was deathly quiet.  Scott cut his eyes over at me.  He was a little scared of Murdoch after all.  Came bearing gifts for “Pa” – two cows.  He saw right through us, chased us home.  Boston had a sneaky idea. Made me proud!  Plan went terribly wrong.  Lucky we ain’t ten years younger, Murdoch would probably tan both our hides, nail them to the barn.  We already feel bad enough and I think we’re in for the ass-chewing of our lives.  ‘Brother’ better leave the sneaky ideas to me from now on; he ain’t good at it!


Go West, Young Man
A Lancer episode Drabble, “The High Riders” – Scott’s Story

Clink, earrings in a champagne glass.  Pounding at the door, harsh words, “I know who’s in there: Scott Lancer!”  Stealing a kiss and apple, the young dandy vaults over the railing.  Sets his top hat at a jaunty angle and struts down the Boston street.  A portly man steps out of the shadows, “Mr. Lancer, is your father Murdoch Lancer?”  “So I’ve been told though I’ve never met the man myself.”  “A thousand dollars for an hour of your time.”  Money is not his motivation; boredom and curiosity brings him West.  Crushed and insulted by a barbaric cowboy.  My brother?


A Hair’s Breadth Away
A Lancer episode Drabble, “The High Riders” – Johnny’s Story

Hot Mexican sun.  A good day to die.  Wish I were dressed flashier; white just ain’t my color.  Angel swoops down in the guise of a Pinkerton Agent, bribes the Rurales to save ‘mi vida.’  “Your Father wants to see you.  One thousand dollars for an hour of your time.”  “For a thousand dollars, I’d go to Hell!”  Maybe take the Old Man with me.  Lost my horse, toting my saddle.  Hitched a ride with Wells Fargo.  Ended up sitting on an Eastern dandy.  Tried to get a rise out of him, but he’s too well-bred.  Fancy Dan – my brother?


I’ve Been Hurt Too
A Lancer episode Drabble, “The High Riders” – Murdoch’s Story

Never let them see you sweat.  Heard the Lancer bell toll and the cry, “Muchachos!”  Both here, at the same time?  I’m not prepared and they’re right outside the door.  Even though I know what to expect from the Pinkerton Reports; I’m still surprised.  My sons:  a Dandy and a Gunfighter.  I see hatred in the youngest boy’s eyes; detached indifference from my eldest who looks at me with his mother’s eyes.  Which expression frightens me more?  I’ve been hurt, too.  Is that why I am being so cold, so distant? What can I say to make them stay?  “Drink?”


Taming The Wolf Cub
A Lancer episode Drabble, “The Kid

Nobody steals Barranca.  Skinny, filthy, half-starved kid tried.  Took him back to Lancer.  Cleaned him up and ‘whomped’ him for his attitude.  Reminds me of me, had to learn my manners the hard way too.  Andy hired me for ‘short money’ to avenge his father’s death.  Andrew Cutler was dragged to death: he wasn’t a White Knight, he wasn’t a drunk, turns out the truth lay somewhere in the middle: an accident.  Madrid came to town; took care of things.  Andy finally figured no one comes back from being dead.  Called off the killings and broke down in my arms.


Who Makes Me Happy
A Lancer episode Drabble, “Legacy

Harder than Libby Prison-betrayed by the very person you’ve loved all your life.  Motherless since birth; unwanted, unclaimed by his father.  Lies believed.  Twenty-five years aren’t enough; Grandfather can’t share.  Julie confesses; trickery to bring Scott east.  Emotional blackmail: Murdoch facing a murder charge.  Who makes me happy?  My brother, my father, my new life and purpose at Lancer.  Hostage to fortune, a human pawn.  Heartbroken at my brother’s ‘good-bye’; couldn’t answer, couldn’t look back.  Wounded, not broken.  I’m home, loved for myself.  My happy legacy: Lancer


I’m not afraid… much
A Lancer episode drabble for The Experiment

“We are in BIG trouble, Johnny!”

“Whatta ya mean ‘we,’ Brother? Ya gotta rock in your pocket? ‘Sides, it was YOUR bright idea!”

“You didn’t have to go along with it, you know!”

“You’re the older brother.  You’re supposed ta be the ‘smart one,’ the one to cover my backside!”

“Maybe…if you were a kid, which you aren’t…I think.”

“Uh oh, here comes the Old Man and he don’t look happy!  Good thing you’re not afraid of him, Boston!  Somebody’s in t-r-o-u-b-l-e!”


Gone, But Not Forgotten

His fever won’t break; I sit vigil.  I haven’t had him long enough.  His head thrashes on the pillow; he mumbles incoherently but does not wake. 

Does he dream; what of? 

I apply another cold compress to his forehead. 

I doze. 

A blonde toddler with his mother’s eyes reaches up his arms to me.  I kneel to scoop him up and breathe in the scent of him. 

“Papa?” he questions. 

I wake to see the same blue-gray eyes staring up at me.  Did I speak the name or did he?

So many years gone by; my child is finally home.



A Lot of Things I Don’t Know About Him

He’s everything a father could want: Dependable, steady, educated – a handsome lad gazes out at me through his mother’s eyes.

He uses ‘ Sir’ more as a weapon than a courtesy to fend me off, never allowing me to draw close.

My younger son is easier to read.  We have short fuses and erupt, but the storms pass quickly.

My firstborn has banked fires within him that smolder; he’s an enigma to me.

What tools are at my disposal to tear down his self-imposed walls?

Can he come to love me as I have him?

I may not like the answer.

(July 2014)


~ end ~

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