The Bum Lamb

by Twyla Jane

The disclaimer is and always will be I don’t own ‘em and never made a plug nickel off ‘em. Wish I did. This is part of ‘The Chronicles of Skin and Bones’ story arc. This is an alternate path that follows the ending of the “A Question of Time Chronicles” sort of.  This takes place several weeks after the events in ‘Yet Another Day’. This is a series of stories where Ezra’s a child and the remaining seven are adults. In a Modern universe where the boys are working in Chris’ and Buck’s 4C agency as private investigators, bounty hunters and body guards.

I know I just couldn’t get this idea out of my head, wondering what would have happened if things have turned out differently.

Bum lamb: definition- a lamb that is rejected or abandoned by its mother

Christmas had been an eye opener. Chris hadn’t realized how far he had fallen. Not when Buck had burst into his ratty hotel room, not until his hang over was in full swing on the airplane and he lay there unable to move away from Wilmington as the man quietly lit into him.

The air was frigid, gust of wind sent the falling snow into a mini spiral as it made its way down to further coat the earth with a thick blanket of white. The snow lightly crunched under his booted feet as he made his way up the long drive. Instead of immediately heading towards the house, the boy sought out the comfort of the barn and the animals within its confines.

Ezra slipped through the large wooden doors. The musty smell of hay and manure went unnoticed by his stuffy nose. Ambling inside he wandered over to the first stall to give Chris’s Black a pat on the nose, mitten covered hands fumbled with a wadded up brown paper sack fishing out a small plastic bag offering up the remnants of his lunch to the gelding. The horse lipped the tidbit before taking the small morsel of mottled fruit letting out a contented snort as the boy gently scratched under his cheekbone.

Leaning heavily against the stall door Ezra slowly stroking the horse’s muscular neck was lost in thought. His arrival back into Denver had been more than a little surreal, but Christmas was over and Ezra was finally enrolled in school. Public school was little different than Pendleton save the fact the students were a little more unruly. The environment changed little from school to school,  having attended classes in numerous school systems, no matter how he tried he simply didn’t fit in. Too smart and world weary for children his own age. His short stature and sharp tongue tended to bring on unwanted attention from his much older and much larger classmates.  Today was no different but the youngster was feeling more a little off and with his normally sharp mind sluggish he narrowly avoided a fellow juniors ire, thankfully he managed to escape the day unscathed because school had been let out early due to the inclement weather. A chill settled in his bones since their return from South America, no matter how warmly he dressed indoors or out Ezra had been unable to rid himself of it.  Thankful that it was too early for anyone to be expecting his presence, a tired Ezra stroked the quivering horseflesh getting a small measure of comfort that someone was happy that he was around, when a wave of dizziness crept up, finally overcoming him. Bewildered he wavered a moment, a shaky hand wiped feebly at his sweaty face, before knees gave way as he slumped against the stall door and sliding senseless to the floor.


Flipping through the contents of the worn manila file folder, Chris Larabee had spent the past hour rereading several of the papers in vain, hoping that they would reveal something anything that would give him a clue as to where his son was. Nothing in the pages that lay before him gave him more than the vaguest shred of information. Gnawing at him was the feeling that he had missed something. Gazing out the window of his home office. The snow had begun falling in earnest adding another layer to the previous storm’s.  The distant chime from the mantle clock brought him out of his reverie. It was nearly one o’clock. Turning up the volume of the radio, he had silenced the device hours earlier in a fit of irritation, in time to hear the list of area school closings and early dismissals. Ezra’s had been one of them.

Chris was out of his chair cussing under his breath realizing he hadn’t heard the boy come in.  A quick search through the house confirmed it. Moments later Chris was tugging his jacket on as he exited through the front door.

After taking a few hesitant steps Larabee stopped at the edge of the porch straining to see through the heavily falling snow before decided to head out to the barn.


He had no idea exactly where he was but he felt like he was moving -- a curiously disorientating sensation considering Ezra knew was lying down on a hard cold floor. His waking brain couldn’t decipher what exactly had transpired to bring him to this miserable state. A bone chilling draft swept over him, swiveling his head in the direction of its origin, he lay there trying to figure out how to get his eyes to cooperate. Footsteps and rustling noises finally kick his sluggish mind into gear and managed to get his burning eyes to blink open to a blurry world just as cool hand brushed over his forehead.  Some one was speaking to him but he couldn’t quite understand all the words. Instead he tried to answer by merely stating, “I don’t feel well,” as if that simple statement could convey an all encompassing answer as a way of explaining his wretched condition.

“I can see that,” was whispered into his ear as he was lifted up and held tightly. His bare cheek resting against a slightly damp rough material.



Another quiet gurgled cough escaped as he wheezed out a painful breath. He was so tired and it hurt to breathe.  Ezra wasn’t sure how long he lay there in abject misery listening in the dark to the sounds of the night. Hot and sticky, his breathing was rapid and unsteady, and each inhalation taken in sounded wet, full of congestion.  A light came flooding into his room from the hall temporarily blinded him startling him, his groggy mind didn’t try to make sense of what was going on,  instinct kicked in and he was almost off the bed but a strong grip on his left ankle kept his backside from abruptly meeting the hardwood floor. For one long terrifying moment he was unable to recognize the concerned voice speaking to him.

“Whoa.. whoa… Ezra it’s okay… just me …”


The realization allowed rigid muscles to relax as the adrenalin ebbed away unsteady limbs no longer had the strength to support and the youngster weakly slumped back into the damp twisted blankets and sheets.

TBC This is in progress