Billy-Jo smelled of raspberries. Her eyes were green as frogs; her hair the colour of coke. Billy-Jo’s father ran the sawmill and he hated his ‘princess’ mixing with the likes of me. But we got round the old buzzard easy enough, thanks to Mitchells Cattle supplies! On their front wall was every darned brand mark in the county. Each one was a different farm – I knew ‘em all.
I wrote up a sheet for Billy-Jo. It had all the marks on it; said what each one meant. When her school bus drove by Mitchells she’d see one of the marks circled in chalk. Worked a treat. Allowed us to arrange meets and nobody was none the wiser. I never went anywhere near their house, not once.
We’d been dating for a good while and I was having them urges. All the other boys had ‘em and their girls sorted them good. She seemed wary; a bit nervous likes. However, she eventually agreed it was time. That morning I chalked the ‘Barons’ brand mark. Across from their place was Verndale Lake. Lots of long grass – a perfect spot.
I got there early. Heck, I was nervous too. The rustling of the leaves signalled company. ‘Hi Mikey,’ said Jemima.
I couldn’t think of much to say. It weren’t who I was expecting but boy she did look good. Jemima didn’t smell of raspberries. She smelled more like my mother. Her hair was blond but the black bits said it weren’t natural. That day was the last I chalked on Mitchell’s wall.
Never did figure out where Billy-Jo got to that night or how Jem turned up instead: ‘just fate,’ Jem would say with a smile. I ended up doing thirty years in the sawmill while Jem brung up our kids. She left me young when the sickness hit the town. God took her early said the preacher. I can still smell her on my shirt now. The smell of love I always told her.
These 333 words, based on the word ‘brand’, form my entry into the Trifecta 91 writing challenge.