Edmund’s mother Carol Anne found him in his favorite spot on the cliff staring out at the green valley below and the blue mesa beyond. Carol Anne flopped down next to him, exhausted.
“Found Dexter grazing ’bout half mile from here,” she said with slight admonishment. “Tied him and Honeysuckle up to the tree back yonder. Honeysuckle’ll keep him calm.”
“Ya know, one of these days, that horse of yours is going to just keep on walking.”
“I’ve asked you time and again, tie the animal up.”
Edmund did not respond. Carol Anne let out an exasperated sigh. ” ‘spose when that day comes Dexter goes and trots on down the road, you’ll just walk on foot out here anyway.”
” ‘spose so.”
“Well, that’s just fine, ’cause I ain’t got the money to get you another.”
Carol Anne took a good long look at her son. As he approached manhood, he looked more and more like his father. She wondered what her late husband would think of their boy. Moody and wistful, and nearly as silent as the grave, Edmund was a mystery to her.
Carol Anne stood up and brushed the dust from her trousers. “I left Melody all by her lonesome, so we best get a move on.”
“Reckon I’ll be along, by and by,” he said.
“Son, that’s enough daydreamin’ for one day. It’s enough I gotta be both mama and daddy to my bairn, than to have you running off every day to do whatever you see fit.”
Edmund frowned and mumbled to himself.
“What’s that?” Carol Anne snapped.
“I swear, boy, you test my very limits! I mean, all the time you spend up here when there ain’t never enough hours in the day to get done what’s got to be done?” Carol Anne lifted Edmund’s chin off his chest, turning his head to look at her. “What you thinking ’bout all this time you up here, anyway, huh?”
Edmund wrenched his chin from her grasp and started walking down the hill. Carol Anne chased after him, “I am askin’ you a question, mister-man. You answer when your mama asks you a question.”
“I just think!”
“I’m trying to understand you, Edmund, I really am, but I cain’t know, if you don’t come out with it.”
They walked to their horses in silence, Edmund stubbornly refusing to speak. As they mounted, Carol Anne could see her son was making ready to bolt and quickly maneuvered to block him.
“Look, I don’t mind you wantin’ to come up here from time to time. It’s a lovely spot. I can see why you like it up here. But,” Carol Anne cautioned, “you have to pull your own weight. Every single day. You’ll be grown in just a couple of years and you cain’t have folks thinkin’ you cain’t, or worse, won’t pull your own weight.”
“We understood, then?”
“I said ‘alright,’ din’t I?”
As mother and son rode together, Carol Anne chatted about any number of things that popped in her head, mostly about the ranch. Edmund usually let her prattle on uninterrupted, but this time something suddenly seized him from inside. He blurted angrily, “Mama, I don’t want to be a rancher!”
Carol Anne reigned her horse, forcing Edmund to do the same. “Where’s this coming from?” She asked.
“I’ve been thinking ’bout it a while now. I don’t want to be a rancher. I want…I…that is, you know how good I am at building things? How I like to fix things?”
“I want to build things.”
“Dunno. Buildings? Maybe trains. I dunno. Just, whatever. Build things!”
Carol Anne smiled the broadest smile Edmund had ever seen on her face. Her eyes twinkled. “Well, now. I think that is a mighty fine thing, you wantin’ to build things.”
“You ain’t mad?”
“No, sir! Not in the least. Not in the least.” She rode closer to her son and gave him a kiss on the forehead. “Now, let’s get on home and finish up what needs be done, and tomorrow, I promise, we’ll carve out some time to sit and discuss this some more.”
This week’s UnOLWG prompts are: Tell me about it; blue mesa; You would if you loved me. Two of the three are more implied. I think. At least, I tried to make it work that way.