The Tractor
by Mary Ann

Main Character: Chris

Author's Notes: Not my guy, tho I wish! Borrowed for this story
From a Prompt on the Vin Feedback group: Choose a character. Have them looking out a window. Where is he? What does he see? His thoughts?
Thanks to Melissa for looking it over for me.

The long line of traffic crawled another five feet. Chris Larabee took another deep breath to calm himself. It didn't help to get mad. A bad accident had happened ahead of him, but he was lucky he hadn’t been in it. He looked at the countryside wondering if he could get off the freeway.

He was worn-out, and the glaring sun beat down on the grey Federal car with a vengeance for late October. Ahead of him, as far as he could see to the left and right were the Rocky Mountains marching across the land. Their peaks covered in dark, threatening storm clouds. The land around him stretched for miles of undulating stubble filled fields. The harvested fields reminded Chris of the wheat harvest celebrations last month.

Chris sighed and took a drink of hot coffee that he poured from the thermos he'd filled at the last gas stop. It had been a long week; he’d had to go to Kansas City, Missouri to testify against some gun runners that they had busted two months before. Due to all the publicity, the trial moved to Kansas City. He testified the day before and had been dismissed after several grueling hours of cross examination. He waited today to hear the closing arguments before leaving. All he wanted to do was to get home. He had left Josiah in charge of the office, but he was sure Vin and Buck were up to their shenanigans. Those two just could not behave all the time, and with him out of the office, he was sure they were busy trying to out-do each other. He wouldn’t put it past Ezra to join in on the fun too.

Thinking of his men and their craziness he smiled. He stared out the window, over the unending fields hoping to see something, when his gaze zeroed in on a distant dot and small dust cloud. All of a sudden the traffic started to move, and for a moment Chris was hopeful his time on the freeway was shortened, but the traffic only moved about a half mile. When the traffic stopped again, Chris looked around for the dot; he finally spotted it once again and kept an eye on it.

Time passed slowly as he waited for the freeway ahead to clear. He watched as the dot grew larger and larger, the dust cloud growing behind the approaching dot. The sun suddenly was gone, the storm clouds had arrived, making the sun disappear and now Chris could see the dot was a huge John Deere tractor coming towards the freeway, pulling a wide field harrow behind it. As it got closer Chris could see that the harrow had close to eight sections, before disappearing into the dust that followed them. The tractor was one of the largest he'd ever seen. As he watched the tractor slow to make the corner turn, the dust cloud enveloped it totally. The tractor appeared from the brown cloud in a minute and traveled beside the freeway a ways. Chris could see the man inside, and, as if the farmer sensed Chris' interest, he waved as he went by.

Chris gazed in amazement at the tractor as it passed the long line of cars and trucks stuck on the freeway, and wished it were he in the driver’s seat, moving that fast. He had heard about some new-fangled tractors that used GPS systems to work their fields. By the appearance of this tractor he thought it was one of those, all the driver had to do was set the GPS and sit there and watch the gauges. If they touch the steering wheel to correct something, they'd have to start all over to get the system re-set.

Watching the tractor pulling away, Chris wondered what the man did all day long in the small cab. He knew the cab had air conditioning and probably a better radio than he had in his new truck.

As the tractor disappeared behind a small rise, Chris decided that he would rather be an ATF agent and putting up with the six men he called brothers than going around and around thousand acre fields in a fancy machine. He might want to shoot his friends - brothers now and then, but his life was never dull with the six others around.

Smiling at the disappearing dust cloud, as the first rain drops that hit the windshield, Chris picked up his cell phone to call the office and let them know he was still stuck on the freeway almost a hundred miles from home.

As the phone rang he quickly changed his mind about telling them how far away he was, he could just imagine Buck and Vin singing that old song about 500 miles from home. His smile widened as Josiah's warm, deep voice came over the airwaves.

Yep, he'd never change his job to be a wheat farmer.


Feedback to: