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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Farm - 1. The Farm

Based on ideas from Prompts 886 and 887.

I wandered around the barn.

When I was a kid, it smelled of hay and cows. In the box stalls, Pops kept the bull calves. Bulls weren't of much value, he said. They were allowed to feed from their mothers for only short periods, and then they had milk only from buckets. They were taken away and kept together in the roomy stalls, but they couldn't leave the barn. They bawled loudly, missing their mothers. I remember them suckling on my fingers. Once the calves were big enough, they would be butchered for veal.

Now the barn smelled unused and musty. It would need work before the farm would sell for a price that would satisfy my brother and sister. They'd already started fighting over the contents of what my grandparents had left us. There were so many memories here.

Pops’ old red Chevy sat in the adjacent garage. It was still in great shape. We should try and sell that old car to a collector.

Outside, Gran's old blue bike leaned on the wall. She'd purchased the unsightly green bicycle second-hand. I remember her painting it. Bird's egg blue, she'd said. She had been pleased as punch when it was dry. She added a wicker basket and a bell to transport her hens' eggs out to the road stand in it.

I looked inside. The piece of quilt batting still sat in there. Its job to gentle the eggs' ride out to the road.

Leaving Gran’s bike, I walked over to the farmhouse. My brother and sister were due to arrive shortly. They were bringing some real estate guy with them to value it.

The truth be told, I did not want to sell, but I didn't have the funds to buy them out. The bank officer I saw about borrowing to help me finance the farm nearly laughed me out of the branch.

The mudroom was on the side of the house. Outside the door were four mismatched patio stones, and on the top of those, nearest the door, was an old sisal doormat. Tears felt close as nostalgia washed over me after I'd stepped inside. Everything was warm and familiar, including my grandparents' muddy boots that sat there as if waiting to be worn again.

I washed my hands and face in the old porcelain sink. I’d always loved the separate taps—they’d been so cool to me as a child. After drying myself off, I straightened up my shirt so I’d be presentable when my siblings and realtor arrived.

It was a beautiful day, so I went outside to sit on the porch while I waited. I dozed off because the next thing I knew, I was gently roused by a handsome man with a bass voice.

“Hi, I think I’m a little late. You’re Connor?”

I blinked a few times and sat up. “I am. Connor Davis. You are?”

“Jake Orten. Orten and Sons Realtors, at your service.” He put out his hand to shake.

I accepted the offer and grasped his. “Where’s my brother and sister? Not with you?”

"I waited for them, but they never showed or called. So, I thought I'd drive out on my own."

“I shouldn’t be surprised.” I know I was frowning a little and said, “Don’t I know you? I’m sure we’ve met.”

He grinned. "Well, yeah, we have met before, several times. I keep asking if I can buy you a drink when I see you at The Tawny Feather, and you keep declining. I figured you're not into men like me."

It dawned on me then. In my head, I’d always called him Bear. My usual type is un-hairy bodybuilders, but I could not stop staring at Jake. He’d trimmed his salt ‘n pepper beard. His tailored suit looked made for him and showed off an admirable physique.

I grinned at him. “Well, if you asked now, I don’t think I could say no.”

“I see. It’s the plaid shirts you don’t like.” His smile disappeared. “Well, we all have our own tastes.”

"Yeah, I guess we do." I felt kind of bad now. He seemed like a decent guy and very sexy with it. Wanting to change the subject, I said, "Well, let's look around and then you can tell me what you think this place is worth."

“Great. Lead the way.”

I spent an hour showing Jake around the farm. I'd enjoyed it and was a little let down when we completed the tour.

“I think I have enough to give an idea of what the farm is worth today.” Jake opened his car door. “I’ll put together the valuation, and I’ll be in touch with you, Connor.”

"That sounds great, thanks." I regretted never accepting his offer of a drink, and I felt comfortable with the man now, so I took a chance. "I hope you'll let me buy you a drink when I see you next at the Feather, Jake."

“I just might.” He got into the car and pulled the seat belt across.

He smiled at me before shutting the car door. Why had I never noticed what a great guy Bear is?


About a week later, my brother Anthony called and said he'd just finished at the farm with another realtor.

That was a surprise to me! “Why, what was wrong with Jake Orten? I showed him everything.”

“He dropped out. I was so pissed off. I had to drive in to show this other woman around.”

“Dropped out?” I was confused. “Did he say why?”

"No. I wouldn't bother with Orten in the future. That was so unprofessional and a waste of time."

We chatted for a few more minutes and then hung up. The conversation had left me feeling confused. Jake had said he'd contact me, but he hadn't. Had I hurt his feelings?

Anthony told me of the new realtor's valuation, and based on it, we then chose to put the farm up for sale. I bought lottery tickets in hopes I could come up with the funds to buy them out. Stupid, yes, but it was my last resort.


Friends called on Friday afternoon and suggested we should head out for a few drinks. I decided to go with them. After all, what could it hurt?

We ended up at The Tawny Feather. I was finishing my second drink when Jon, who sat on my right, said, "Oh boy. The Bear is on his way over. He never gives up, Con."

"So it seems." I swallowed the last of my drink. The others were giggling into their drinks, so I knew that Jake was close.

“Connor. It’s nice to see you again.” Bear’s deep voice came from behind me. “I wonder if I may have a moment of your time?”

My so-called friends glanced at each other, and I pushed my chair away from the table and stood up. I could hear their curious whispers.

“Yeah. I’d like a moment of yours too.” I turned back to my friends. “I’ll be back.”

“I have a table over there.” Jake pointed across the room. “What would you like to drink?”

“Thanks, I’ll have a vodka and orange.”

Jake smiled. "Sure, go have a seat, and I'll be over with the drinks in a sec."

I sat down to wait and watched Jake. He dressed as he always did while here, in blue denim jeans and a plaid shirt. He was in excellent shape, clean, and well-groomed, just as he always was. Today though, I didn’t feel like laughing at him with my friends. I’d let myself get to know him a little. I knew I’d been rather adolescent in my treatment of him in the past.

Sure, he's a bit older than me, but not that much.

Jake put the drinks down on the table. "Here you are." He slid onto the chair next to mine. He smelled fresh and clean. I wanted to bury my face into his shoulder.

"You're looking a bit flush, Connor. Are you okay?" There was that smile from within that great beard.

“I’m fine, thank you. Thanks for the drink.” I sipped and put my glass down. “My brother called me and said you’d dropped out of the agreement to sell the farm. Can I ask why?”

He looked at me for a second. I could not stop staring at him.

"Yes, you can, and I'll be happy to tell you after I ask you something."

Annoyance at this flashed through me and was gone. “Okay, sure. Ask away.”

"Will you go out with me? On a proper date?" Jake stared at me. His head cocked to the right just a little.

I nodded and, to my surprise, said, “Yes. I’d love to do that.”

The Bear’s eyes widened. “I’ve wanted to ask you for such a long time, Connor. Thank you.”

"Is that why you dropped out … because us dating would be a conflict of interest or something?" I leaned forward to be closer, and he reached for my hand.

“Something like that, yes. Also, because after seeing the place and talking to you about it. And after experiencing a similar loss with my parents, I decided to put an offer on your farm.”

I sat back. I was suddenly angry. “What?”

“Don’t be upset.”

"What the fuck? Don't be upset?" I wanted to get up, but he hung onto my hand.

Guys at nearby tables turned to stare. The Bear just ignored them and focused on me.“Listen to me, Connor. Stop reacting and listen.”

I took a deep breath and stopped struggling.

"Thanks. I'm not trying to hurt you. I had to sell my family's place for the same reasons you have to sell the farm. I made enough from that sale to buy elsewhere, but I just banked it." He squeezed my hand. "I could tell how much you love that place. I wanted to find a way to help.

“I dropped out so I could bid on it.” He held my gaze and tightened his hold on my hand a little more. “This next part is a bit out there, I admit. I think you and I have some chemistry. I want us to live on the farm. See if we work out. If we don’t, I’ll sell you the farm.”

I was feeling the chemistry. I sighed. “I’ve wanted to live there for years. I can’t afford to buy it. If I could, I’d have done it.”

“I’ll sell it to you for ten thousand.” He continued to gaze right at me.

“Are you serious? The down payment will be a lot more than that. You could lose thousands.”

“I’m not a child. I know what I’m doing and what it would cost if we don't work out." He released my hand. "I can't make you stay or love me. I know that."

I just sat and listened. And considered.

"Connor, I've watched you, finally got to talk to you and spend a little time with you. I know this sounds insane, but I think what we could have together is worth the risk and the money."

“Even if I agree. You’re still the owner of my family’s farm.”

Jake swallowed some of his drink. "Okay. How much can you put down now toward a down payment?"

I wondered where he was going with this. “Well, about eight thousand.”

"Fine, you put in the eight, and we'll be joint on the mortgage and the deed.”

“You’re serious?”

The Bear made a fist and banged it on the table. Not with full force, but he got my attention. “Yes, I am. I mean each word, Connor. You and me, we have a chance to do something together. So, are you in?”

I thought about it a little and thought a lot about how it sounded. “Yeah. I am.”

He smiled then. It was infectious. “Okay. We need to cement this partnership.”

A myriad of suggestions popped into my head. I may have been blushing.

Jake laughed. “I’m not sure what you’re thinking about, but I was thinking more along the lines of dinner.”


“Yes. You like Chinese food?” He was enjoying this, I could tell.

Suddenly, I felt foolish. I was enjoying this man's company. He was kind, thoughtful, and fun to be around. I found myself wanting to touch him and talk with him. Yes, and more.

“Yeah, I do like it.”

Jake leaned toward me and whispered, "Let's go eat. It's on me. I feel good, and I'm hungry."

I was filled with indecision for a moment but gave myself a mental shake. “Thanks, I’d enjoy that. Do you mind if I just tell my friends I’m leaving?”

"No, of course not. You go do that. I'll run to the john, and we'll go. Sound good?" He got to his feet.

I rose also. “Sounds great. I’ll meet you by the door.”

He smiled and put a big hand on my shoulder for a moment. “Right, see you soon.”

As soon as he’d gone, my brain kicked in, flooding itself with questions. What are you going to tell the guys? They think Jake is a joke. Old fashioned and with poor taste in clothes. Connor, you idiot, you had no man, not even a hint of one. Now you do or a good chance at one. If they don’t like him, well, that’s fine. Go and tell them the truth.

So, I did.

“You’re going to dinner with Bear?” Jon stared up at me.

"Yes. Jake asked me, and I said yes."

They laughed and said, at least it's a free meal. I'd had enough, so I turned and walked away.

Jon caught me. “Hey, look I don’t know why suddenly this guy is interesting to you … but he is. It’s not my business or the rest of the idiots’. But he is to you. As long as you’re happy, Con. Go for it.”

“Thanks. I spent some time with him business-wise and got to know him a little.”

The hand on my shoulder squeezed, and Jon smiled. "Good. Maybe a lesson for us all to not judge, huh?"

“Yeah. It was a lesson for me too, Jonny.”

Jon indicated toward the door. “He’s waiting for you. Go and have a good time.”

I felt grateful for Jon’s acceptance. “Thanks. I’ll talk to you soon.”

He grinned and walked back to the table.

I watched him go and then went to meet my date.


Outside the bar, the night air was cool. The skies were clear, and some starlight managed to outshine the city lights. We walked along together, neither of us talking. It didn't feel uncomfortable at all.

I decided to break the silence. “Where is the restaurant?”

“Not too far, just around the corner off Church. Still in the Village. Ben Chow’s.”

“Oh, I’ve seen that place. Never been. Is it good?” I moved a little closer to Jake. I was sort of wishing he’d take my hand.

“It’s great. Ben is a cool guy and makes excellent food.” Jake was turning right and grabbed my arm to tug me in the right direction. “It’s just here.”

We stopped, and he opened the door for me. "After you."

Inside was small and smelled heavenly. Several of the simple, plain tables were empty. From the rear came a voice. "Jake! Take a seat. I'll be right out."

Jake led me along the wall to a table near the back of the room. There was no background music, just the happy chatter of patrons. We sat at the table Jake selected.

“It’s not fancy, but the food is good.”

“I like it already. It seems like a popular place.” I looked around and then at my date. “I don’t need fancy.”

“I’m glad. I like to feel relaxed.”

“Hi, good evening!” A slim Asian man approached. He set down a pot of tea, two plastic-covered menus, a pad, and a nub of a pencil. “Take your time. You can write your dishes here. Just so you know, each dish, there’s enough for two, if you don’t mind sharing.”

“Thanks, Ben.” Jake smiled. “You here alone?”

The man pushed back a lock of thick black hair. “Yes, out here at least. Jen will be here, but she’s late tonight. So, I can’t play the usual congenial host.” The restaurateur grinned. “It’s nice to have you both here. I’ll bring out a little starter for you to share in a second.” With that, our host left us.

Jake poured tea into the small round china cups. “He’s a good guy. Jen is his daughter. Ben came to the realization later in life that he’s Gay. His partner is the cook here.” Jake picked up his tea and sipped.

I did the same. “Mmm, that’s so nice.”

Ben returned with a small plate. On it were hot spring rolls and plum sauce. He smiled at us. “Enjoy.”

The rolls looked delicious. We each picked up a half and dipped it. I bit into mine. It was glorious, filled with fresh bean sprouts, shrimp, and pork.

I let Jake fill out the order form. He seemed pleased about that. We both decided not to drink any more alcohol and stuck with tea.

“So, Connor, what do you do for a living?”

I grinned. “For a living? Well, I work in an art supply store. I don’t make a lot, but I get good discounts, so that makes up for it.”

“Art supplies? I’d never imagined that.” Jake grinned. “So, what do you need them for?”

“I paint. I’m a professional artist. Right now, I’m trying to get a show together. It would be in a small gallery. But mostly, at the moment, I paint portraits and murals for people. It’s not amazing, but it helps pay the bills.”

“That’s great. Good for you.” Jake looked at his plate and raised his head. “So, tell me then. When we buy your farm, what do you see happening?”

“I suppose that depends on what we’re going to do with the farm. It was a market farm. They grew tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, some peaches, plums, and apricots. Those trees are still there. They kept a few cows back then.”

“There’s plenty of land there. Enough for us to grow food for our own needs.”

I looked at him. “Yeah, there’s tons of land. What are you thinking?”

“What if we rent out the land we won’t use for ourselves?”

“That’s interesting. Do you mean like plots of land? So, people can grow their own?”

"Yeah, what do you think? Far enough from the house, so we'll still have privacy." Jake tore off a piece of the order pad and drew a rough design.

“You know it could work. We need to think about it and work on a design. We’d need contracts as well, so we can move people on, should it be necessary.”

Jake nodded. “True. So, we need a list and likely a lawyer to do it right. It can be done though.”

“I like it.”

“Good, here’s what I think.” He drank the rest of his tea. “You paint … houses, canvas, portraits … whatever, and you work on the business, our business.”

I thought about that. It could work. “And you’ll be?”

“I’ll continue to sell houses. Of course, I’ll help you around the place and with the business too.” He leaned toward me. “This can work, Connor. I know it.”

"It feels good. Is that crazy?" I stared at him. It was kind of crazy. People would think I'm nuts, but it felt right to me. "I say we do it. Just go for it all. Why the hell not?"

“Yeah, exactly, why not. It’s all ours if we want it.”

Then, over top the remaining spring rolls and half-empty cups of green tea, Jake kissed me for the first time, and nothing had ever felt so right.



A year later, we set up and rented out fifteen plots of land. Each of these had a compact shed, electricity and cold water. People brought trellises and planted. And what they planted grew, and they shared and made new friends and tried new things.

Jake and I opened a mid-sized garden centre. We sold a lot of what we grew. Our little community got together to share the surplus crop with people in need.


One summer night, after we had cleaned up from our al fresco meal, we sat in our pair of Adirondack chairs. It was warm, and the sun was starting to go down. We sipped a crisp, chilled white wine.

Jake reached over and took my hand, and I smiled and squeezed his. Our silences were comfortable. Our life was good. I'd never felt more content or happier as I did with my Bear.



"I hope that you're happy." Turning toward me, Jake looked very serious. "I mean that your happiness means everything to me."

“I am happy. I love our life here.”

“Is that all you love?”

I put my wine glass down beside my chair and went to him. I climbed onto his lap. “Nope. That’s not everything.” I slipped my arms around his big, hard body and kissed him.

He held me tight and deepened the kiss. I was breathless when he broke away. “What else do you love?”

“You … I love you.”

He gently pushed my head against his shoulder. I closed my eyes and listened to his beating heart, and I could tell as his cheek pressed against my forehead that he was smiling.



The end

Thanks to all of you who choose to read, like and/or comment. Your thoughts are appreciated.

Thanks to @comicfan for the two prompts which stirred the ideas for this little story. Thanks also to @mollyhousemouse who jumped in to edit this and to @Wayne Gray who read for me.

Copyright © 2021 Mikiesboy; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

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2 hours ago, Reader1810 said:

One of the things I remember from my grandparents farm is the sink in the summer kitchen. My memory is of the delight my little self felt (the farm was sold when I was three, so sometime before then) over having a sink I could stand at without needing to stand on a stool to reach it. It was meant to be sat at by a bigger person as they cleaned veggies I think. 

Connor’s fondness for a certain porcelain sink, brought this memory to the fore. Thanks, tim. :) 

As for the rest of it? You always manage to create characters I would love to know in real life, so that’s another reason to thank you for sharing your stories with us. :) 

Lovely people to read about on an early Saturday morning, and I must say, I didn’t miss the “siblings” one bit, I don’t think. Good thing brother only had a cameo. :P 

Connor and Jake have carved out a wonderful life for themselves with their home and business. If only we could all have a little bit of that. 

This was a true treat to read. 

Well done, tim, well done. xoxo

Thank you, Reader. i'm glad this worked and brought back some nice memories. xoxo

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1 hour ago, Carlos Hazday said:

Not sure if you know how much I enjoy simple, feel good stories. This one fits in perfectly with my likes.  Nice job, tim.

i didn't know that, C.  I do like them too and right now, with the world as it is, it's what i want to write.  Thanks for reading it. xo

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57 minutes ago, chris191070 said:

A great feel good story. Thanks for that tim.

Thanks very much, chris.  Nice to see you back more often these days.  xo

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1 minute ago, Mikiesboy said:

Wow, how cool is that!!

Very cool if I say so, myself. 

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