Part of USS Denver: Prologue

8 Seconds

Riley City, Terra Alpha Colony
July 15, 2398
1 likes 489 views

The sun was hot as Ethan stepped over the chute and straddled the roan the swayed within the narrow confines of the chute. Ethan lowered himself into the saddle slipping his boots into the stirrups. The reign was already measured with a stand of the horse’s mane. Settling down in the saddle he locked his thighs into the swells. The rosin creaked as he rubbed his legs against swells once or twice to warm it up and help with the adhesion. He leaned back with his chin in his chest and his left hand holding the rein up. With his right hand he set his black cowboy hat lower on his head. Ready he nodded his head. The whole world exploded.

One second. ~Feet forward. Center your ass,~ Ethan told himself.

Two seconds ~Lift your arm on the reign. You are coming out of the saddle. Okay good bring your feet back to spur the bronc now.~

Three seconds. ~He’s one hell of a bucker!~

Four seconds. ~Okay Ethan concentrate. You almost came out of the saddle.~

Five seconds. ~Okay I got my head back in the game.~

Six seconds. ~Let’s try to steer him away from the fence.~

Seven seconds. ~Close one. That would have tore the hell out of my leg.~

Eight seconds. The buzzer sounded, and Ethan reached down with his right hand to help hold him on the saddle while he started looking for the pickup man. The pickup man rode his sorrel up against Ethan, and he half jumped and was half thrown onto the back of the pickup man’s horse. Ethan slid into the dust of the arena. With a wide grin. He waved his black hat in celebration before running back to the chutes. By the time he climbed over the fence and straddled it the judges had already scored him. A 74 . Ethan shook his head in disappointment. The leader was sitting with an 80, but you can’t win them all.

Trinity was the first with the ‘WHOOs!’ when he came out of the chute and the first person to run to his side.” Soooo damn close!” Trinity said with a laugh. “You should have let me fix the tension on your hand and leg, might have gotten those extra 6 or 7 points.” she said with a playful swat to his arm and kissed him on the lips. Not really giving a care who was watching the big macho cowboy get kissed by the ‘filly’ in tight denim and a tied up flannel shirt. It wasn’t often that she embraced the ‘farm girl’ look, but this was a show after all. ”I’d say Ethan already won even if he didn’t.” one of the other ranchers said with a laugh. ”Someday I really should try that.” Trinity glanced at the bull he just rode. “They ah… do come smaller right?”

“No, they were fine. This one was on me. Hell, most of those points came from the horse,” he admitted. He worked his left arm out, “Just a little rusty. You don’t just jump on a bronc and expect to win the world. It’s been what? Two years since that Douglas rodeo?” He bent down and unbuckled his chaps and tossed them with his gear bag. “You wanna ride bulls? Girl, you have nerves of steel. They will usually start you off as a kid on a sheep, then as you get older you move into steers. Not too many girls willing to do it. There was Maggie Parker back in the 21st century.” He shrugged with a grin, “Naw, I’ll just stick with the broncs. Horses don’t cover you in cow shit, and they won’t run you down or try to step on you either.” He walked over to the back pen where the hostlers had pulled the saddle off of the horse he just rode. He quickly, with expert ease, wrapped up the stirrups and cinches over seat, and tossed it with the rest of his gear. “Well, you wanna watch the team roping or grab something to eat?”

“I could go for something to eat. I oddly have the worst craving for steak after watching that.” Trinity said with a smirk. “I never tried anything like that, although then again, I have held onto a speeding truck going about 75 and fish tailing all over the place.” she pecked his cheek. “Someday you and I have to do something insane together. Like we used to do when we were a little younger. We’re still young and dumb.”

He grinned and pushed his Stetson back, “Like what?”

“I don’t know… something spur of the moment, stupid as hell and yet entirely ‘us’.” Trinity said with a smile as she looked into his eyes. “I mean… I’m hardly a fragile flower, I got bucked off of Stevie Ray that annoying ass quarter horse that everyone said ‘oh he’s a great ridin’ horse’. Big M, that Percheron we got is more calm, even if I look like a monkey riding a border collie when I get on his back.”

“You gotta’ make Stevie Ray buck. Once he gets it out of his system you can ride him all day, but he will buck with you. Once you’ve done that, he’s like riding on a cloud.”

Trinity harrumphed, “You ride him then.  You like it when the buck.”

“Not when I’m not expecting it,” he chuckled. “C’mon let’s get the hell out of here,” he announced as he threw his bronc saddle over his shoulder and picked up his gear bag in his free hand.  “I need a beer.”