Summary: Was it a case of "divine intervention" or just the wandering urges of a cow? Jeff Metcalf sure would like to know. "The Traveling Lemo All-Stars" inspired this very short Homefront story.
Disclaimers: Homefront characters belong to their creators. No copyright infringement intended. No profit is being made.
Author: Tracy Diane Miller
A cow is a species that is often found in herds; perhaps it is an expectation following the natural order for cows to cleave to similarly situated brethren. But who is to say that instinct or desire doesn't contribute to the overwhelming wanderlust of a bovine ever so often?
The night sky was calm when the cow departed from its familiar pasture and headed towards an unknown destination.
It wasn't something that he had learned in his Catholic schools and he doubted that she had been similarly educated in her schools in England. It was instinctual, really; a mating dance performed by men and women since the dawning of time. Pheromones, a smile and a wink, that inviting twinkle in the eyeall "tools" that assisted in the seduction. Body language. Once a "rookie", he had now learned that lesson quite well.
He swallowed hard. He knew what he wanted. He "wanted" her. But Jeff was wrestling with his conscience; it was a duel of wills that he could easily lose. Maybe he wanted to lose.
Maybe he didn't.
Technically, Caroline was still a married woman. Sure, she was on her way to Reno for her divorce, but at this moment, she was still Mrs. Charlie Hailey. Engaging in an intimate relationship with her at this juncture would be a first class ticket to Hell. Were a few moments of pleasure worth an eternity in Hell? Mom had always asked that question. But hadn't Mom and Al..Good Lord! This was certainly not the time to be thinking about his mother!
Besides, he could always go to confession later, admit his weakness and sin, and ask for forgiveness.
There was a part of him that felt justified in doing this because of what happened between him and Ginger. They should have been on their honeymoon by now. They should have been working on making their little short stops. He had bought those yellow pajamas especially for her. And he was really looking forward to seeing her wearing the top of those pajamas. Instead, he ended up wearing them on this tour, hounded by Mr. Melon and the "Iron Maiden" Miss Wescott. He hadn't gotten "demerits" since his school days and as for bed checks, well, he was a grown man not some little boy who needed screwy rules (like wearing a jacket and tie at all times, no drinking, and no swearing) and a curfew.
Schillab thought he was clever getting a roommette on the guise of studying those fancy law books of his, but Jeff was on to that ham-fisted yahoo. The only thing that Schillab planned to "study" was Ginger, to put his filthy paws all over her. How could Ginger fall for a guy like that? Jeff wanted so much to knock that perpetual smirk off Schillab's face, the smirk that conveyed the jerk's bragging and flaunting of his "little tomato" in front of the whole team. But he wasn't going to give Schillab or Ginger the satisfaction of knowing that seeing them together hurt him this much.
Maybe he really was just using Caroline to get back at Ginger. Then again, maybe Caroline was only using him to get back at Charlie. Did it even matter? They found each other attractive. What was so wrong with them enjoying each other's company?
Caroline had told him that even if she changed her mind about the divorce, she wouldn't regret this. Then why should he?
They gazed into each other's eyes before their lips met for a hungry kiss. The kiss was raw; maybe a bit too desperate, but it made him feel as if his body shook all over. He was ready to...
It wasn't the "force" of the kiss that shook Jeff and threw him from his upper berth face down to the hard floor below. Of course, the resounding thump that he had made in the fall was enough to alert Mr. Melon's attention and earns him his fourth demerit. His expulsion from the tour seemed imminent.
"There's a cow on the track!" The train attendant bellowed.
Was it "divine intervention" or merely wanderlust that sent that cow to the track? Jeff didn't know. What he did know was that the moment had been lost to "bovine interruptus".