Ranch Stories


Instead of carefully peeling meat from turkey bones, laying it out on one of the cat's china plates and setting it with a crisp clink on the back step, she clutched the entire carcass by a nub of cartilage and from her place in the doorway, the house full of people and lit up behind her, flung it as far as she could. "Come and get it," she yelled and the cats, looking up with wide, surprised eyes, scattered.


The deep freeze, tucked into the corner between the workbench and the horse tack, hummed as it cycled on and off. She was scared of it, the white, growling monster in the corner, until one day her father coaxed her over and lifted the lid to reveal rows and rows of oblong, papery wrappers, the top of the deep freeze filled with fudgesicles. It only made it worse.

Thursday, 3:30 pm

You're drunk, Vera said after he'd stepped from the cab of the Ford, adjusted his belt, and started for the house. This was not the only time he'd been out at Eddie's Corner drinking and Vera thought about starting something, but as he neared the door, head down, he reached out a hand to rest on her hip and she let him pass.


While her husband saw about things at the bank, she waited at home for the Smith and Sons septic truck to arrive, and watched the lower pasture as it turned into a muddy swamp, a few cows standing it, not knowing any better, also waiting.

First Day of Work

Balanced on the thin rims of the cattle guard, she kept track of her father's truck by the thin line of dust billowing up after it as it moved down the road, but even that too was disappearing into the sky. Alfalfa swayed against the horizon and the only thing that was steady was the roar of semis speeding by and the for sale sign at the end of the road, pounded into the ground.

About the author:

Megann Sept grew up in Montana and currently lives in Boston where she is a third-year MFA student at Emerson College. To earn money, she attempts to teach composition to 18-year-olds.