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Mad About Reading by Southernfrau

Sadly, Southernfrau is no longer with us. Her stories are archived here for her friends to remember her by. Enjoy her legacy to Lancer.

Word Count 825

Disclaimer: This is the yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah mouthful of insincere words about me not owning the Lancer characters.
Author’s Note: I had to find a way to handle the over whelming feelings of fury that consumed me when I realized I had just used my free time reading another story I would have never started had I realized it was a death fic.
Author’s Note 2:  This author would never presume to tell another one what to write.  Their choice of what they want to write is entirely up to them; just like them I’m giving life to my emotions and feelings in the written word.
Warnings: The author of this story was in a murderous rage when she wrote this yet she managed to not kill any of the major characters (that’s your clue this isn’t a death fic).      

~*~ L ~*~ A ~*~ N ~*~ C ~*~ E ~*~ R ~*~


The report of five gun shots echoed throughout the hacienda marring the peaceful quiet of the rainy afternoon.  Sitting at the kitchen table enjoying coffee and cake, Murdoch and Scott Lancer jolted in surprise.  Scott spilled his cup of coffee and Murdoch’s fork clattered noisily down on the tile floor when it slipped through his nerveless fingers.

Father and son leaped up from the table so fast their chairs pitched over and crashed to the floor.  They raced towards the Great room because that was the direction the gunshots had come from.  They feared someone had entered the room and ambushed Johnny, who they had left in the room, earlier, totally absorbed in a book.

Detouring to the Great room by way of the foyer, Murdoch and Scott retrieved their weapons from their gun belts hanging on the coat tree and advanced to the room.  “What the Hell?” they muttered in unison at the sight that greeted their eyes.

Blue-gray smoke hung in the air from the discharge of the colt clutched in Johnny’s right hand as he jumped up and down, cussing in Spanish and stomping something.  His face was a livid shade of purplish red. His lips were pressed into such a tight white line you couldn’t fit a blade of grass between them. His eyes had a wild and dangerous gleam in them. 

All of a sudden Johnny’s body twisted and contorted and the gun flew from his hand and sailed across the room, narrowly missing Scott and Murdoch’s heads as they ducked in the nick of time.  The colt hit the glass door of the curio cabinet near the archway and shattered it.  The sound of the destruction didn’t divert Johnny’s attention on his mission of demolition as his fit continued.

Bending over the youngest Lancer picked something up off the floor and began to hammer at the corner of the mantle with it.  When that action didn’t satisfy him, he threw the object in the floor, grabbed the fireplace poker and began to beat and stab the item.  Growling loudly, he leaned over and snatched up the bullet hole ridden book and ripped it apart with his bare hands, torn pieces of white paper soared upward and then fluttered and spiraled downward like one winged butterflies in death throes.  The cover he tossed into the firebox and watched, breathing heavily, as the flames consumed it and the scent of burnt leather filled the air.

“Young man, what in the world is wrong with you?” questioned a stunned Murdoch.

Turning to face his family, Johnny’s body shook with the barely contained rage that continued to boil in his blood.  “That…that…book is what’s wrong with me!”  Searing his older brother with a skin blistering glare, Johnny barked, “I can’t believe I wasted my whole damn afternoon reading that piece of shit! It took me all day to decipher what some of them words meant.  Ol’ Shakespeare might have been an English man but he didn’t write in normal English.  And he don’t know Jack Shit about happy endings…HE KILLED THEM!!  Why the Hell write a story about two young lovers just to KILL THEM! HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN NAMED DUMBASS INSTEAD OF THAT FELLER THAT WROTE THE THREE MUSKETEERS!”

Scott began to back up as his still furious younger brother began to approach him, his fists clutched to his sides.  Holding his hands up in a protective and placating gesture, the blond nervously pointed out, “Why are you mad at me?  I didn’t write it.”

“You might not have written it but you told me I should read it, that I would enjoy it,” Johnny ground out through clenched teeth.  “You could have at least warned me he was gonna kill them…I would have never read it then and saved myself the grief.”

“Now wait a minute, I told you Romeo and Juliet was a tragedy,” Scott protested, his voice rising an octave as fear for his well being sung along his taut nerves.

“Telling me it was a tragedy didn’t let me know all the good characters were gonna die.  Tragedies can be lots of thing, like your horse breaking its leg, or the church burning down, or your father having to hire an extra ranch hand to do your chores while you’re laid up with two broken arms and legs,” Johnny shouted as he took off after his rapidly retreating blond brother.

Speaking to the empty room, Murdoch muttered, “A tragedy can also be the lost of part of your wages to replace my destroyed book.”  Strolling to the liquor cabinet, the big Scot poured a double measure of Talisker’s. Walking across the room, crushing the torn bits of paper under his boots, he sat down at his desk. He chuckled as Scott raced by the window with Johnny in pursuit, perhaps the cold rain would help cool off his youngest son’s hot temper.

August 20, 2009 

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