the Silence of men

In the valley behind them, a column of nasty grey smoke rose from what had once upon a time been
fine homestead. The leather in their saddles creaked in time to the soft clips and clops of the
horses hooves, plodding down a trail they knew
too well.

The longer the silence between them continued, the harder it seemed to break. His father was a quiet man at the wildest times, and he expected
the same courtesy from others- no one more
than his own son.

Connor knew this, and kept his own counsel as
best he could, but there were
so many questions in his mind this morning, and he had so few answers. But finally...

"Dad?" Clip. clop.

"Yeah?...".  Clip. clop.  Clip. clop.

"I gotta pee".

His father's horse stopped with a twitch, and Connor reined in the mare. When he glanced
over at  his father, the silence hung between
them like a shroud.


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