bowl_of_glow: (jack_light)
[personal profile] bowl_of_glow
A/N: Thought I’d write something- just cause it’s been a while. Is that enough of a good reason? :)
’Summary’: 3 different moments in Jack’s life
Genre: Canon-ish
Warnings: always the same *rolls eyes*
Disclaimer: Ennis and Jack were not created by me, but by Annie E. Proulx. No infringements or disrespects intended.


“Are ya listenin’, boy?”

The harsh words came right before the blow, one he didn’t see but surely felt- a hard slap accurately placed a few inches below his left ear, that left his neck and his jaw stinging.

“Y-yes, sir.”

“And such a liar ya are, too. Think I can’t see ya? Pretendin’ to listen, but God knows what the hell’s goin’ on in that head of yours.” John Twist looked down at his son with narrowed his eyes, and that -Jack knew it quite well- was always the first sign of trouble. “I done told ya a million o’ times. The fucking barn door has to stay closed. Thought it was easy enough to understand, even for someone like ya.”

“Yes sir.”

“‘Yes sir’. If ya understood so well then what the hell was it doin’ open, uh? Reckon ya oughta have a sensible explanation for that, boy.”

Jack Twist gulped, trying to stall for time to think of something -anything- that would sound as a sensible answer to his father. A few seconds were more than enough to realize that nothing he could said would manage to calm him down, and so he might as well go with the truth.

“I forgot. I’m sorry.”

“You forgot,” his father repeated slowly, almost incredulously. He snorted bitterly and shook his head, and the anger seem to drain out of him at once. “Ya fuckin’ forgot. Swear to God, I’d pay jus’ to see what’s inside of here.” His long, bony fingers grazed Jack’s skull, his index tapping the kid’s temple. “No use in having ya here. I’m startin’ to think maybe ya are o’ no use at all, boy.”

“I’m sorry,” Jack repeated. He felt he had to say something, but since a sensible explanation of any sort still eluded him, excuses was all he had to offer.

“As ya should be. Ya spend half o’ yer time with that dumb look on yer face ya know that?- like ya ain’t even there. What should I do with ya?”

“I don’t know, sir.”

“O’course.” John Twist shook his head, scoffing. “Ya can say what’s really on yer mind, son. I know ya hate this place anyway. Prob’ly thinkin’ about a way to get outta here as soon as ya have a chance. Prob’ly feeling like ya are stuck in this place, am I right?”


“Well, I’m sorry for ya, but here ya are and here yer gonna stay. The sooner you realize this, the better.” He spat on the ground, his spit mingling with the dirt at Jack’s feet. “You’d better smarten up, boy. Y’think yer too good for this place, but I c’n already see ya ain’t never gonna go anywhere.”

He made what was meant to be a poignant pause and Jack, thinking the lecture had to be over and anxious to get away, made a move to leave. Before he could take a single step his father grabbed him by a wrist.

“Dreams are for fools, Jack,” he spoke quiely. “I know that.” His words were remarked by a short nod, then he fell silent for another moment. Jack waited.

“Yeah, she used ta dream a lot, too. But she never been real happy with was she’s got.” John frowned, then sighed, looking past his son with a faraway look Jack had never seen on his face. “Swear to God, sometimes you’re just like yer mother.”

“You what?”

Jack’s mom stared at her son, taking in his dishevelled clothes, the dirt on his jeans and shirt, and the beaming look on his face.

“Rode a bull.”

“Yes, Jack.” His mom’s voice was laden with irritation. “Yes, I heard that.”

He was tempted to ask why she’d wanted him to repeat it then, but kept his mouth closed.

“So tell me if I got it right. Ya just went there and rode a bull, without tellin’ anyone? Without havin’ ever done it before?”


“It’s dangerous, Jack! People get killed in there!”

“But I’ve been careful,” Jack protested, trying to keep his voice down.
He hated when he had to fight with his mother, but he already knew this was too much of an important thing to him, something he wouldn’t –couldn’t- give up.

The moment he had mounted that bull he had felt he’d found what he was born to do. Jack the bulls’ tamer- defiant and free.

“Can never be careful enough,” his mother murmured. She sniffed. “Promise it won’t happen again.”


“Promise me.”

Jack jammed his hands in his jeans pockets, ducked his head to hide his expression behind the brim of the hat. “Can’t.”

His mother let out a shaky exasperated breath. Jack glanced up.

“Dad used to ride bulls, too. Why not me?”

“It’s a different thing.”

“Yeah,” Jack retorted, his voice resentful. “’Cause I’m not as good as he was.”

There was a moment of tense silence.

“No. Not because of that,” she confessed. “I think you’re just the same, actually.”

Jack looked at her, surprise evident on his face.

“You sure are as stubborn as he is.” She sighed, turned back to the kitchen stove. “Don’t tell him, uh? Not yet.” She went on, talking more to herself than to her son. “No point in forbiddin’ you to go. You will do it anyway. I know that.”

She looked out of the window, at the miles of nothing that stretched ahead.

“Sometimes you’re just like your dad.”

Two pots and a pan were sizzling on the fire. Jack threw a quick look at the tent.
Still asleep.

He poked at the embers, sat down on the log again.

Should be ready in a minute, he thought.

He smiled to himself.
The stubborn mule was always up at the crack of down. He had never happened to be awake before Ennis.

First time for everything, apparently.

He straightened his back, inhaled the fresh morning air.
It smelled like pines and grass and sunlight, and it filled him with an inexplicable sense of happiness.
The sun was still pale and low, and it shed a surreal light on the mountains, and Jack sat there for while, looking around as the world seemed to wake up.

He was suddenly startled by two arms sliding around his shoulder.

“What are ya doin’ awake?” Ennis’s rough voice muttered into Jack’s ear, his breath tickling his skin.

“Makin’ breakfast,” Jack announced, something akin to pride in his words.

“Hmm.” Ennis stood up and and walked around the log to sit beside Jack. “Could’ve woken me up.”

“Didn’t want to.” Jack peeked at him. “And I didn’t mind.”

They looked at each other for a short moment, Ennis’s expression one of soft surprise, Jack’s slightly amused.

Ennis grabbed the kettle, fixed himself a mug of steaming coffee.

“Thanks,” he said, his gaze shifting to the ground. He gingerly took a sip, careful not to burn his lips. “It’s been a long time since someone did that for me.”

He looked at Jack again receiving a bright smile in return, Jack’s eyes a shining blue.

Maybe Ennis didn’t talk much. But he was the only one who could make Jack feel so special -unique- with just a few words.


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May 2014

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