Boss Cowboy Entries

13 Apr

And here they are! The 5 brave souls who entered the Boss Cowboy Contest.Who are YOU voting for?

The winner gets a fabulous BOSS COWBOY mug from the Romance Yardsale.

Caitlin Whitaker

Nine o’clock in the morning, Boss stands in front of the john with the phone at his ear and his big brass buckle unlatched to drain the lizard.

“I don’t think you’re hearing me. I said you’re coming in anyway or you’re fired.”

Shaking things back into place, he ambles back to his office past Bria’s desk. Her eyes follow him without lifting her head away from her laptop.

“A biopsy takes what, twenty minutes?” He holds the mouthpiece away to talk to her. “You in my Facebook account, Hon?”

“Why would I be on your Facebook account?”

The tone of her voice makes him bristle. She didn’t have the same healthy degree of respect that she had when she first started working for him. The rodeo only went off without a hitch if the girl who fixed his saddle was willing to shovel manure when he needed her to.

“Hang on there, Jimbo.” Deep breath and back to the secretary. “My bell peppers. They were ready to harvest first thing this morning. We been over this, Hon; I got to be able to count on you to make things happen.”

Bria’s eyes narrow into slits and her fingers tap out something like Morse code on the keyboard. “I’ll get right on it.”

She sneezes and it takes her a second or two to recover.

“You getting sick?”

“No, just a tickle.”

“Uh huh. You just keep that to yourself. Don’t need you sharing that around here. Like I was saying, Jimbo, a biopsy’s just an outpatient thing. If it turns out your wife has cancer and she’s got to have surgery then I can see letting you leave for a couple of hours.”

More furious typing behind his back. He stops in the doorway of his office and glances back at blondie’s desk. BOSSMAN’s only seven letters so she’s typing too many for his password and there isn’t anything to harvesting Farmville veggies but mouse-clicking.

She flashes him a bright smile but drops it just as fast when she turns back to the screen.

“Didn’t have such a tight little rear-view, I’d a kicked her to the curb by now.” He mumbles. “What was that, Jimbo? No I ain’t talking about your wife.”

Someone’s shuffled through the clutter on his desk. It bothers him at first, until he spots the 20-oz Dr. Pepper glistening with condensation. At least the girl’s doing something right.

He picks up the plastic bottle and the sound of Bria’s typing disappears. The soda pauses in midair while the neurons fire in his brain and Jimbo prattles on in his ear. After a moment, she seems to be back at it again. The lid twists open without the usual cracking of tiny plastic tabs, but the hiss of carbonation is still there. The typing stops again.

“Listen, Jimbo. I can’t hear a word you’re saying with all the crying on your end. I’m gonna let you go.”

Boss tips back the soda and empties half the bottle in one go.

Bria’s typing again outside his office with a smile on her face.

 

Lucy Woodhull

MEMO:

Office underlings: it has come to my attention that y’all exist and have lives of your own.  Well, I rootin-tootin don’t like it. Cease and desist immediately or I’ll shove my boot so far up your ass you’ll sneeze my socks out!

Best,

BC

Boss Cowboy set aside his Dr. Pepper can with a sloshing clank, sent the e-mail, and folded up his laptop.  Grumbling about the kids on his lawn, he punched his pillow into submission and snuggled into his Toy Story Sleeping Bag for nite-nite.  It had Woody on it.

He wondered if anyone would ever understand him.  Sure, he was a tough Boss Cowboy, baddest ass in the tri-county area, but on the inside… one the inside he had always dreamed of a different life.  A gentler one…  He yawned and began to drool onto Woody’s wide grin.

The blazing white stage lights dazzled him, as they always did.  Thousands of admiring fans stared up at him like he was Jesus visiting a revival.  Well, by God, he would give them their money’s worth.

He looked down.  He was wearing his favorite outfit — white with rhinestones.  It sparkled like Dolly Parton’s teeth.  Taking a deep breath, he tensed, anticipation in every furious beat of his heart…

Coupé jeté en tournant!  He leaped and turned!  And leaped and turned!  The crowd at the American Ballet Theatre went mad with applause, and even some bull horn blats.  His soul fluttered light as a butterfly, flitting from dandelion to petunia.  Oh, how gay and happy he felt, to finally be living his most secretest dream!  He executed a series of  échappé sur les pointes, his form: perfect.  His smile: resplendent.

Gasping, he sat up, covered in sweat.  Drat!  He was in his bedroom again, alas, and not dancing upon the grand stage, as he had dreamed since he was a young’n.  But someday, someday it would all be his — the leotards, the makeup, the tights.  Until then…

MEMO:

Office underlings: stop taking so many pee breaks.  Who do you think you’re foolin’?  I wasn’t born yesterday, varmints.

Love,

BC

 

MG Buehrlen

“You’re late.”

Bria dropped her bag on her desk with a thud, the hairs on the back of her arms bristling. She squeezed her Starbucks cup so tight the lid popped off, and the spicy scent of chai swirled into the air on ribbons of steam.

Two minutes late.

Never mind the three extra hours she stayed last night, fixing his dinosaur of a computer because he’d downloaded some virus. Again.

How many times did she have to tell him? If you want to know more about Viagra, ask your doc, not Outlook Express.

Before she could tell him where to stick his two minutes, he said, “Dammit, woman. Didn’t I tell you I wanted to see more leg? Those granny pants make your ass look like two hams in a tow sack.”

Bria closed her eyes and drew in a steadying breath through flared nostrils. If he had any idea who she really was, he’d bite his tongue and cower in the corner, scared as a sinner in a cyclone.

She heard him laugh and lean back in his chair. He propped his boots on his desk, his spurs tinkling as they dug into the wood.

Yes, the man wore spurs. To the office.

A buzzing sound from her bag made her jump. She slid into her chair and fumbled through the bag’s contents until her fingers closed around her sleek, tiny cellphone. She flipped it open with her thumb and sucked in a sharp breath as she read the words on the screen: IT’S TIME.

Firing up her computer, she sipped her latte, her knees bouncing, as the hard drive whirred into submission.

“You working on my Farmville?” he called out.

Bria didn’t answer. She only had ten minutes, at best, to reformat the hard drive and erase all evidence of her existence—emails, search history, tweets…

“What’re you doing?”

She gasped, almost knocking over her latte. Boss Cowboy stood right behind her.

He grabbed her wrist and whirled her around in her chair, his nose just inches from hers. She could smell Dr. Pepper on his breath, warm and sour.

He gritted a stubby cigar between his teeth. “If you’re doin’ what I think you’re doin’—”

The front door burst open and a dozen men dressed in blue stormed inside, guns raised.

“Hands off my fiancé, Cowboy.”

Bria’s heart melted at the sound of Luke’s voice, the man who’d inspired all her fiction heroes.

Boss Cowboy’s mouth fell open, and his cigar dropped to the floor.

“Cuff ‘em, Bria,” Luke said, giving her a nod.

“With pleasure.”

One swift kick and Boss Cowboy was on the ground. With a twist of his arm, she flipped him onto his stomach, dug her knee into his back, and crimped the cuffs around his wrists.

“What the hell, Bria?” he wailed, his cheek smushed against the chipped tile floor.

“It’s Secret Agent Quinlan to you, boss man. I’m with the IRS, and you’re under arrest for tax fraud.”

 

Tami Moore

“So, Mr. Cowboy—” Elise began.

“Just call me Boss,” he said, flashing what he no doubt thought was a charming smile in her direction.

“Mr. Cowboy,” she repeated firmly, steepling her fingers and peering at him over the rim of her spectacles. “You are here because you believe you are cursed, is that correct?”

He laughed and leaned back in his chair, plonking a pair of garish cowboy boots on her desk, directly atop a stack of files. Elise fought to keep a curl of distaste from her lips. “Darlin’,” he drawled, “I don’t put stock in any of that voodoo mumbo-jumbo horse-apple hogwash, if you catch my drift.”

Elise lifted an eyebrow and checked to make sure that her door still read “Elise Dawson, Paranormal Investigator.”

“Why then, if I may ask, are you in my office, Mr. Cowboy?”

“I’m here because of my assistant. Purty little thing, but not too bright, if you catch my drift. Got spooked and found your number.” He tapped his temple. “Then I got to thinkin’. If whatever’s happening to me looks like a curse, maybe someone who makes their living fleecing folks out of hard-earned money by pretending they exorcise ghosts might have a solution.”

Mentally, Elise counted to five. One for each hundred dollars worth of rent that she was overdue.

“That,” she said, firmly reining in her initial response, “sounds like good thinking.”

He BEAMED at her. How self-centered could he possibly be, to insult her to her face and think she’d offer a genuine compliment?

“Let’s start at the beginning.” Pen poised. “Do you know anyone who would wish you harm?”

Boss Cowboy poked out his chin and scratched idly at it, musing. After nearly a full minute’s silence, he shook his head. “No, I don’t reckon I do.”

His cellphone rang. Without pausing to see who was calling, he flipped it open and started talking. “Boss Cowboy speaking! What can I do ya for?” A pause. “No, I don’t want to talk to him. His mother just died and he’s all weepy. Send him some flowers. Sign the card for me. How’s my farmville crops? Did you plant beans like I told you to?”

Elise bit her tongue. He was paying her by the hour. If he wanted to take personal phone calls while the meter was running, who was she to argue?

He truly was cursed, of course. She’d seen the glow of black magic seeping off his gaudy bone and feather hatband the moment he’d walked through the door, but most clients wanted a bit of wand-waving before they’d accept a solution.

In Boss Cowboy’s case, maybe a LOT of wand-waving.

Elise wrote down “Everyone” in the “Possible Enemies” section of her Initial Client Interview worksheet. Some days, she really hated this job.

 

Katrina Williams

The door slammed, rattling the window Junior still hadn’t fixed. Boy was worth less’n his mama.

Boss started to holler for the good for nuthin when he caught sight of the mountain disguised as a man at Bria’s desk, standing there like he owned the place. Hulking over the desk maybe.

Words died in his throat. Intent on closing his office door, he slid to the edge of the chair, slow like, so as not to attract attention, when the man spoke.

“You’re gonna want to tell him he’s in for me, sister,” the hulker whispered, just like in those movies where Clint Eastwood always taught someone a lesson. Somehow Boss didn’t think this guy was acting. He slid a fingertip along the Stetson’s brim and pulled it low, Johnny Cash like, God rest his soul.

Bria stormed into his throne room, pissed, like always. Some people just didn’t count their blessings right.

“Candy’s at lunch again, I’ll be your receptionist today, among other things. Someone’s here to see you and he didn’t buy your standard BS about not being in. Most likely because he can see you.” She crossed her arms and stared at him, but not nice like as she’d been told. And told.

“Try again, hon. You gotta catch them flies with honey, not that Yankee sass.” Boss reached for a cigar, mostly to get under Bria’s skin. Man had to take his entertainment where he could.

Suddenly, the hulker filled the empty space behind Bria. If he hadn’t stopped short, he’d have bowled her right over and while that might have been a nice spare, Boss didn’t especially want to watch.

“You the boss?” he whispered like he’d screamed one too many times at the track night before.

Boss was about to say no, when the man lifted a hand. “Vinnie sent me.”

“That supposed to mean something to me, partner?” He decided on that cigar after all and fished around in his rolled up sleeve for the last Swisher but his hands were shaking so much, he couldn’t get a grip on the cellophane.

“I would think hard if I was you. Vinnie don’t like your style and he don’t like you.”

Bria split and he let her go. She was half the guy’s size and this was shaping up to be a real man’s job. He stood and hitched up his pants, giving the spurs a good ole’ jingle for luck.

“Lookee here, mister. In these parts, we don’t go around insulting strangers, just family. You tell Vinnie to come face me hisself and we’ll settle this.”

The hulker bowed up and Boss ducked, but he hadn’t swung yet. Just like that, the man backed out of the room, shaking a finger.

“Vinnie will not like this. He does not look kindly on those who intrude on his territory. You will be sorry.” And he left.

Boss huffed a sigh. Always something. “Bria! Junior! Get the shovels. We got some relocating to do.”

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