The Writer's Corner
Don't You Worry About Me
Written by Vanessa Rose aka
Inspired by Matthew Parker's songs:
I also used some scenes from Michelle Palmer's stories.
'Where did the days go?' Lucas asked himself. He watched his
fifteen-year-old son aim at the buck with his brand-new rifle. Mark
pulled the trigger. Lucas leaned against the tree trunk...
"Pa! I gotta a fish!" Ten year old Mark yelled as he ran to Lucas.
They were fishing at their favorite watering hole. Lucas smiled as
Mark dropped the fish and ran into his arms.
"Great job son!" Lucas whispered.
"Pa! I got the buck!" Mark yelled faintly sounding like when he was
"Good job!" Lucas smiled.
"Are you sure you're not jealous?" Mark asked as they headed home
with the meat. Lucas ruffled his son's hair.
"Of course I'm not son; you're the best hunter all around!" Lucas
swallowed when he remembered when he came back from Wyoming...
Mark turned his head and looked up the hill. "Pa...Pa!" He suddenly
turned and looked up the hill.
He saw me coming down with my horse and the young bull and heifer I
had just bought. “Pa!” he cried as he flew off the porch. He ran
down the lane as fast as his legs would take him crying my name. I
saw him and climbed off my horse. As he continued running, calling
my name, I stood and smiled, just enjoying the view of my son
running towards me. It was good to be home!
Then I ran toward him. I couldn’t say anything. All I could do was
run and smile as we came closer and closer together. He cried my
name over and over and I smiled with outstretched arms.
Finally, we met. Mark jumped into my arms and I tightly wrapped my
arms around him as he began kissing me. I closed my eyes and
ravished in this moment. My son was back in my arms. I kissed him
back. We were together again and everything was going to be okay!
I can’t tell you how long we stood there like that with my boy in my
arms. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to let him go!
"Pa? Are you tired? Aren't you coming off your horse?" Mark asked
Lucas. They had arrived at the ranch house safe and sound.
"Sure son. I'm gonna go into town and ask Micah and Lou to come over
for dinner..." Lucas said still caught up in the memories. Even
though Lucas felt this gnawing feeling about something bad he didn't
Lucas, Lou Mallory, and Micah all arrived at the ranch house only to
see Mark's horse missing and the buck's dead body was still lying
there on the ground. It was getting darker and there was no fire in
"Mark!" Lucas called. He shuddered in fear. What had happened to
I ran toward the house, desperately hoping my boy was there and was
But by this point, Mark was in tears. He had heard the shots and
feared the worst. “Help…anybody…help,” Mark cried quietly as he
leaned against the door.
I ran inside. “Mark!” I cried desperately. Pa suddenly yelled from a
closet. I dashed toward it, desperate to hold my son in my arms and
look at him so I’d know he was alright. I ran and opened the door.
Mark was standing there. Oh, how beautiful he looked!
Mark jumped into my arms and threw his arms around my neck as he
cried. I held him tight and thanked God. Finally, he pulled away
from me. I held onto him as we stared into each other’s eyes. "Thank
God you’re alright, Son,” I said passionately.
"Lucasboy! Snap out of it!" Micah yelled. Lucas sighed. "We'll find
him, Lucas." The tall man followed Micah into the home. Lucas walked
towards the table. Mark had scrawled a note:
I saw a loose cow. I'm taking care of it.
Lucas sighed in relief. He told Micah what Mark had said.
"Good, we'll just wait for him." Lou said. "I'll start cooking'."
Mark whoo-hooed as he galloped towards home. He was almost
home, when his horse slipped on muddy ground and Blue Boy reared.
"BLUE BOYYY!!" Mark shouted. He felt himself losing the reigns, his
body landed on the ground hard and he hit his head on a rock.
'I can't leave Pa' He thought before he blanked out.
Lou gasped when she heard, "BLUE BOYY!!" coming from outside.
"Did anyone hear that? It sounded like Mark!" Lou said as they all
ran outside. Lucas ran the whole way, his legs hurt from the stress,
he finally reached his son's side.
"Mark!" He cradled his head. "Oh, Mark." He patted his son's face
gently, trying to wake him.
"Should I get the doc?" Micah shouted from the house. Lucas
"Yes Micah!" Lucas shouted back. "Oh, Mark."
At the doc's, in Mark's mind he was having terrible dreams of his
"Pa!" He struggled in the bed but Lucas held back Mark's arms.
"It’s all right son, shhh... You've got to hold on, son. You have
"Hold on son. Hold on son." The voice begged. Mark relaxed slightly
as he tried to hold on. "Hold on son."
I rode Blue Boy up that hill just like we had done that day four
years ago. I stopped beside the tree. I could hear Pa’s voice just
as clearly as if he were standing next to me. “Well, it’s new and
mighty find country, son.” I turned and looked behind me, almost
expecting to see Pa ride up behind me. “There’s no looking back,
we’ve come too far.”
I closed my eyes. “No looking back,” I whispered. “Pa, how can I not
look back when you’re back there? You are no longer in front of me -
you’re behind me. What else can I do?”
That day there had been cattle in the yard. There were no cattle
there today. There were tumbleweeds. “It’s like a ghost town, Pa! We
usually have chickens right there. And pigs behind the barn and
horses in the corral and lots of cows. But today…today there’s
nothing but these dumb ol’ tumbleweeds - something that indicates
that what once was is no more.”
I slowly walked around the yard and stared at the loneliness. Then I
walked to the side of the house and looked at the sign. August 1881.
That’s when we had rebuilt the house after it burned. But exactly
four years today - October 11, 1880, my Pa and I first stood on the
spot. I sat down on the porch and cried as I realized how far we had
And now Pa was gone.
Mark woke up finding himself floating. He looked at his Pa...and
"PA!" he shouted.
"You gotta wake up son. Please." Mark watched his Pa shake his body.
He gasped. Why didn't his pa answer him?
"Mark," A familiar voice said behind him. Mark turned to see his Ma.
"Ma!" He ran into her arms. She kissed his forehead. "I've missed
you soo much!"
"I know you have son. I know."
"Wait. Last time I was here with you... I was..."
"Yes, son?" Ma prompted.
"Dying." Mark finished. "I'm dying?"
"He needs you, Mark. You have to go to him. You still have a long
life ahead of you, young man."
"Mark McCain!" Ma said softly. "I love you so much, dear child." She
hugged him again tightly.
"All right, Ma... I love you."
"I love you too, son." Mark turned to look at his Pa.
"Hold on, Son." Pa begged at his side.
"I'm trying, Pa. I am." Mark replied even though he knew that his Pa
couldn't answer. He turned to Ma. "Why aren't you coming with me,
"Don't you worry about me, Mark."
"Bye Ma.... I'll see you again...someday...."
Lucas watched his son closely when his eyes opened.
"Son!" Mark noticed that he had tears on his face.
"Pa! I love you so much!" Mark had never told him what had happened
when he was sick with typohid five years ago... He wasn't ever going
to tell him.
"I love you too son!" Mark lifted his gaze and smiled as his pa
hugged him in the bed. "I worried about you so much, son!"
"You don't need to worry about me, Pa."
This is a story based on the TV
series The Rifleman
Here are some other great stories. Enjoy!
around The McCain Ranch