Practical Joke

by Tonny

Disclaimer: sigh, not mine and never will be, and there is no money made here.

Written in answer to the November challenge:
Thanksgiving trappings in non traditional forms and ways. In other words, let’s see Turkey and stuffing--ANY definition of turkey and stuffing-- but no cooked birds or Stove top allowed (unless the box is being used to prop up a table leg or something). Throw in as many Thanksgiving related things as possible, pilgrims, Indian corn, family gatherings, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie but remember NONE of it can be used traditionally!

What? Was that, the alarm clock already? Damn….

A hand came out of the cover and waved around until it hit the offending clock with a resounding whack that made the hapless timepiece end up on the floor.

The ringing didn’t stop.

Phone, it was the goddamn phone!

Angrily, Buck Wilmington grabbed his telephone and barked into the receiver, “Who’s got the nerve to phone me this early? Whoever this is, it better be good!”

“That’s what you got for letting free three damn turkeys on my property, Wilmington!”

“Turkeys? Property? Who is…. Oh, wait! Angry voice, early hours of the morning… Yep, that's gotta be you, Larabee.”

“Yeah, it’s me and….”

Buck Wilmington had already slammed the receiver back down.

+ + + + + + +

Chris stopped his tirade. He just realized he was talking to no one, the other end sending a distinctive tuut-tuut-tuut his way. The bastard had hung up on him.

“Oh no, you don’t!” Chris muttered, looking out of his window at three turkeys walking over his drive way. He hit the speed dial of his friend and team member again.

“This number is currently unavailable. Please leave a message after….”

“Shit!” Not that it would help Wilmington in the least. Chris immediately hit another speed dial and after a few moments the sleepy voice of JD answered.

“H… Hello? JD Dunne here.”

“JD? It’s Chris Larabee. Get your ass out of bed and wake up Buck!”

“Eh… Chris? I’d rather not. He had this big date last night and eh… I think she might still be there.”

“I don’t care,” Chris grated. “Get him on the phone now!”

“Chris, please don’t make me do this, please? Oh, alright, if you’re that way about it I guess I could wake him up.”

“Very wise decision, JD,” Chris told him. “You just saved your ass from filing all the old cases left by our ATF predecessors into the computer. And JD? Hurry.”

“Y… yeah Chris.”

Chris heard some shuffling, a thump, a curse from the kid and something about his toe, then JD was banging on something. That something had better be Buck’s door, he thought angrily. A crash and a shriek from JD followed the banging, with over it all Buck yelling that, “Goddamn it JD, the house had better be on fire!”

Someone else seemed to be there, calling out.

“Ain’t nothing, Pumpkin Pie, I got everything under control! Now, JD, this better be damn good! Me and Teresa here were on a role!”

“Role?” Chris heard with some amusement the squeak in JD’s voice. Damn kid was still nervous about Buck and his dates.

“Eh… what is all that, Buck? That white stuff drifting out of your room?”

“Stuff? Oh, that! It’s the stuffing from my pillows. Me ‘n Pumpkin got a bit rough.” There was a definite leer in Buck’s voice and JD suddenly seemed to have had enough. Chris heard him say “Here, it‘s Chris, for you, I’m outta here!” and what sounded like running footsteps.

“Dammit, Chris!”

“Hi Buck, how’s Pumpkin Pie? What kind a girl DO you call Pumpkin pie?”

“The one that’s crisp on the outside and all wet and mushy on the inside off course. Chris, this ain’t funny! I thought I’d made it clear to leave me alone!”

“To wreck more of your bed? Well, guess what, I don’t think those damn turkeys outside are funny either. Right now it’s my driveway they’re walking on, but in a minute it’s…. Buck? Buck, quit laughing!”

“Turkeys? You got turkeys parading in your yard? That’s hilarious!”

Chris gritted his teeth and counted to ten before he barked through the insane howling on the other side. “No, it ain’t hilarious. Damn it, Buck! Ever since I was forced to go undercover in that ultra right group calling itself the Pilgrims you’ve been going on with these stunts! And since you know I’ve gotta be in that stupid ‘white right parade’ they have planned in Plymouth this weekend, you’ve been getting worse. Well, these turkeys go too far. You know I’ve gotta be on the planE today to get to Plymouth! And the turkeys can’t stay here!”

“Why not?” Buck was laughing again.

“If you think this assignment is funny, you got another think coming. You have no idea about the stupidities I have to listen to! Now, I have no way to get out from attending that horrible parade, so you are in charge of getting those turkeys, you hear?”

“Me? Why me? Stud, I swear, I didn’t leave those turkeys on your property.”

“You’ve been getting me cornbread every lunch since I got this assignment, haven’t you?”

“Eh… well….”

“How about that cranberry sauce suddenly finding its way on my chicken sandwich two days ago? You wanna tell me that wasn’t you? Damn it, you know I hate cranberry sauce!”

“I eh…. Eh, maybe a little…?”

“And how did those yams and green beans turn up all over my desk Tuesday morning? They were even stuffed between my files! You’re telling me that’s not your work either?”

“Eh… I guess I….”

“Or the book ‘A Pilgrim’s Progress’ sitting in my briefcase when I opened it during my meeting with the brass?”

“Now, that actually was Josiah and Ezra! And I swear these turkeys….”

“I don’t care! I’ve got a plane to catch! And you get these turkeys off my property before they end up in my neighbor’s cornfields!”

“Cornfields? Ain’t it a bit early for corn, stud? ‘Sides, what can they do in a cornfield but hide?”

“It’s spring, Buck. That means the corn has just been sowed in. What do you think a seed eating bird will do when he gets in those fields?”

“Well, why does your neighbor grow corn in the mountains, it’s stupid.”

Chris sighed, massaging his forehead with one hand and trying to keep an impending headache at bay. God, he really hated this assignment. Why did he have to look like the kind of guy these groups preferred to have as a member? “It’s a hobby grown out of control, Buck. But that ain’t important here. What is important, is that if those birds get into his fields and start eating his corn seed, I’m doomed to hear another tirade about how priceless his original Indian corn is and I don’t want to be lectured about that stuff no more! You understand me? So while I go get my things and get to Plymouth and work, you get your ass over here and make very, very sure I won’t have to listen one second to complaints from old Pete when I get back. ‘Cause if I do have to, you will pay, Buck, you will pay in a way you can’t imagine, I will personally see to it. Do I make myself clear?”

“Yeah, well, stud….”

“Honey Po-ot? When are you coming back to be-ed?” a definite female voice suddenly sang out in the background.

“Honey Pot?”

“Chris, now, don’t go jumping to conclusions, I….”

“You better say goodbye to your pumpkin pie, honey pot, and be fast. These turkeys seem to be heading towards Old Pete’s fields as we speak.”

“Larabee…!” was the last thing Chris heard before he slammed the phone down and went back to his bedroom, to get his weekend bag. He had a plane to catch.

+ + + + + + +

“Buck? You’re dressed? What… what ‘bout your date?”

“I know I’m dressed! And my date is gone, very pissed I might add. You better get dressed too, ‘cause we got us some turkeys to catch at Larabee’s property.”

“Turkeys?” JD started to giggle.

“Yeah, turkeys. I better call Vin and have him move his ass. And tell him those turkeys weren’t the brightest idea he’s ever had. Chris is really pissed, something ‘bout his neighbor's cornfields.”

“Cornfields? There ain’t no cornfields yet.”

“That’s ‘cause the seeds have just gone into the ground and turkeys seem to eat seeds.”


“So I call Vin and Ezra and you get a hold of Nathan and Josiah. We better get them beasts quick. Oh, shit! Vin and Josiah are Chris’ backup for this weekend, they’re on their way to Plymouth as well. Right, I call Ezra and you call Nate.”

“Ezra’s gone this weekend, Buck. Some family gathering Maude insisted he should attend.”

“Aw hell! Not that he’d have been much help anyhow. Nathan then.”

“Eh… Nate’s gone with Rain, they got this big celebration dinner with Rain’s family. He talked ‘bout it all week.”

“So are you saying it’s just you and me?”

“Nope, I’m saying it’s just you. I have to leave within an hour to check the surveillance equipment in the Pilgrim’s gathering place now that all of them are gone to that parade. I know it’s actually the techno department that’s going over it, but Chris wanted me there specifically to check things out. Sorry.”

With an angry snarl Buck threw away his phone. Yelling “I hate this case!” he stomped out of the door.

JD couldn’t help laughing when the door shut with a resounding bang. Yeah, now Buck suddenly hated this case!

+ + + + + + +

In the mean time Chris had arrived at the airport, where he grinned hugely at Vin while passing him on his way to the other members from the Denver division of the Pilgrims. Vin grinned back, lounging easily against a pillar. He followed his boss with avid eyes, determined not to let his back be unguarded this coming weekend.

“What was that all about?” Josiah asked, perplexed. “I thought Chris hated what was coming?”

“Yep, he does. He jist wanted ta let me know he’s got his payback on Buck fer all them stupid yokes these last weeks.”

“Really? How’s that?”

“He’s got himself some turkeys somewhere and let them loose this morning in his front yard. Then he was gonna phone Buck and accuse him of doin’ it, telling him some hog wash ‘bout why those turkeys had better be caught again immediately and it would be his ass if he didn’t do it.” Vin’s grin grew even larger. “He made damn sure to do it now, too, when there’s no one to help Buck catch ‘em! Must give ‘im at least a few good hours of hard work!”

Josiah started to laugh. “Why would Buck fall for that?” he asked. “He must know it wasn’t him that did it.”

“Chris asked me fer that part. I sorta told Buck all those jokes of his had given me the idea of them turkeys, so he thinks I did it. No way he suspects its Chris getting back at him. Chris asked his neighbor, Old Pete, to go and tape it. Means we at least got something good to look forward to, come Monday. And I’ll sure be interested in what Buck’s gone and done with them turkeys once he finally caught them.”

The two men grinned at each other.

“That’s mean,” Josiah said, clearly loving it. “But then so was Buck. He did get tiresome with all those stupid Thanksgiving jokes.”

“Yep,” Vin agreed. “Ain’t friendship grand?”

Laughing the two men went to catch their plane and watch their leader’s back.