The Spectacular

On this first day of autumn, when clouds the color of timber wolves spilled over the Bighorn Mountains, Conrad O’Keefe knew that even as the hail beat down and bent the grass sideways, the squall would quickly pass. The unseasonable rain had become a pattern in northern Wyoming that September, and Con knew too that the sun would break through, the wind would settle, and he’d have a good two hours to fly his falcon before the afternoon bled into evening.

He had recently retired, building and selling his last saddle at the age of sixty-four, and could come and go as he pleased now. He had earlier that morning stopped at Del’s for coffee and a sweet roll and was on his way home from Levon Ranch & Feed, having purchased three bags of sunflower seeds, two of nyjer, and one of peanuts, all for his backyard birds. Pulling into the long gravel driveway that led to the Eyrie—the ten acres he called home—he cut the engine, got out of the pickup, and released the tailgate. As he reached into the bed to grab the first of the forty-pound bags, his back went out, sending a jolt of pain from his neck to his lower spine. Stars catapulted across his eyes. Resting his elbows on the tailgate, he waited for the spasm to pass. He knew the drill, understood that three minutes could well turn into thirty, so he reached into the pocket of his jeans and took out his cell phone, one finger hovering over Bob Zelle’s number.

People on couch
To continue reading please sign in.
Join for free