Fiction – Embracing The Cliché – Part One

I wrote this story a while back, and since I’ve not yet found a home for it, I thought I’d share it with you dudes. Aren’t you lucky. Read part one after the jump (no naughty bits just yet…)

Journalist Kristina is deep in the shit. Literally. Whisked away from the comforts of London and dropped on a farm in a rural town in the States with a camera crew and an entirely unfit wardrobe, Kristina’s job is to follow a cowboy around on his daily duties. 

Said cowboy is not best pleased with this. Daniel McKillop is a surly, brooding bastard. Who just so happens to be ridiculously sexy…

 

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Sometimes, I really do hate my job.

But I refuse to blame myself for this shitty situation. Literally shitty. I’m ankle-deep in mud and cow crap, holding a microphone and wearing an outfit that might get me sectioned if I wore it on the streets back home.

“And cut!” says the producer, who then starts openly laughing at the face I’m making. It is not a happy face.

When the production team came up with the idea of making a documentary about cowboys and their staying power in fiction, I was their natural choice for host. I have not a single clue why. I’m no fan of dirt, crap and farm life, but here I am, surrounded by all of it. Deep in shit.

“Come on, Kristina, look on the bright side,” says James, said producer who is still in fits of giggles. “You get to interview the handsome cowboy.”

At the thought of this, my mood sinks even more. The cowboy in question has not proved to be a willing subject of our attention. Every time he spots us filming, he gets a positively surly look on his face. He shakes his head and says “Damn city folk,” and then walks away. He could literally not be more of a stereotype if he tried. Damn cowboys, that’s for sure. If only he’d grow some manners.

“What’s the matter? You like burly men, don’t you?”

“You have got to be taking the piss. I told you that I’m not a farm girl!”

“Two days with this bloke, and you’ll be one, mark my words. Ooh… speaking of which…”

James points at the little blip in the distance, which turns out to be the subject of our documentary. He appears to be in a huff, yet again.

“Mr. McKillop! What can we do for you?” says James, shooting his friendliest smile. But Daniel McKillop isn’t having any of it. In fact, he looks positively enraged.

“My cows. Where are they?”

“Cows, sir?”

“Yeah. Cows. You know those black and white critters that say “moo” a lot? Where are they?”

“Oh, those cows.”

“Yeah, those cows.”

“We had your farmhand move them into another field so we could film here. It’s that field over there.”

James points at the field to where we’ve moved the cows, but upon first sight, it seems to be empty. He turns a brighter shade of crimson than he already is.

“Well, Mr. Douglas, unless my cows have suddenly turned invisible…”

“I’m sorry, sir. I’ll get them back immediately.”

“And how do you get a cow back into the field?”

“Ehm… Ehm… I don’t… Kristina knows!”

James pushes me to the front and I make a mental note to have his balls for breakfast.

“Do you now?” says Daniel, staring me down until I feel like the cowpats I’ve stepped in.

“Ehm… Ehm… I could try?”

He sighs deeply and grabs me by the wrist to drag me off. “Fucking city folk… Come on. We’re going cow huntin’.”

*

Half an hour later and I’ve officially given up on life. My jeans are covered in unmentionable amounts of shit and grass stains and my feet are throbbing inside my shoes, ever lovingly picked out by wardrobe, “for that city glam look.”

I don’t exactly know where we are, but at least I can take comfort in knowing that we’ve located the missing herd of cows. Now to get them back will be a different matter.

“Right. Now, d’you know how to handle a cow?”

“Yes sir!” I say, trying to ooze confidence. Daniel peers at me, as though he can see right through me. There is something about him that makes me tremble in my Miu Mius.

“How d’you handle a cow then?”

“Ehm… Gently?”

He sighs with the weariness of someone who’s just tried to explain neurosurgery to a five-year-old.

 

“You’ve got to lead them. Show them who’s boss.”

At this, he approaches the nearest cow and starts nudging it, talking to it in the process.

“Come on Bella. Gotta get you back home.”

I involuntarily let out a giggle. “Bella?”

He turns to me, eyebrows furrowed. “Somethin’ funny ’bout that?”

“No, not at all. It’s just that it’s quite a … typical name for a cow, really.”

“So?”

I sigh. Not a single hint of a smile on his face. “Never mind. So, you just… nudge them? And talk to them?”

“Cow-Herding 101. Keep that in mind for when you’re back in whatever fancy-pants country gave you that accent.”

“I’m from England. You know, you could afford to be a bit more polite towards me.”

Daniel doesn’t even bat an eyelid. He just goes on rustling cows.

“I’d be politer if you helped.” he murmured. “You’re just making it worse.”

I can feel my hackles on edge. Suddenly, something snaps. I run up to the nearest cow and start shouting and nudging.

“Come on, you stupid creature! Move! Move!”

“Will you be careful?!”

“Come on, you fucking muggle, move! You don’t belong in this field, you belong in THAT field!”

Daniel stalks up towards me, but I do not budge. I keep yelling. After a few more expletives, to my surprise, the beast does budge. And so do several others.

“Now come on!” I yell, leading the herd past Daniel. “Let’s get you home!”

The look on his face is priceless.

 

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