Harmony House: Happenings


Twyla Jane

Disclaimer is I don’t own them, never will. Borrowed them a bit for sheer entertainment. This is my answer to Heather’s May Mag 7 ‘Break a bone’ Challenge. Since I am AU happy <g> this is another realm for the boys to play in. A place called Harmony House, a home for wayward and displaced young men.


Bodily soaring off the hill across the snowy afternoon sky.

The breath was pushed from his lungs as he smacked straight into a tree then plummeted to the ground. He lay there for a long moment stunned not even feeling the cold wet snow as it started to melt and seep into his clothes nor noticing his left leg was bent at an odd angle underneath his body. Then odd sensation of numbness gave way to a pain that screamed through his slight frame as he finally remembered how to breathe.

It hurt
Everything hurt
Please make it stop

Never in his life had Ezra Standish prayed, he would have given anything to make the pain stop. Cursing his twisted luck at the same time.

Seemed like a good idea

The teen would have bet anything that he could have gotten the old parachute to fly, and he had done just that. Taking bets from not only the boys in Harmony House but other children around the neighborhood as well, before his feet had left the ground the pool had grown to over three hundred dollars. Though in retrospect tying it’s tow line to the back of a battered pick up, driven by fifteen year old Vin Tanner, to help launch it wasn’t one of the most completely thought out decisions. Knowing he had won made him smile but it changed to a tight grimace that crept across Ezra's face when he heard voices calling down to him.


But at that moment the fifteen year old didn't think he could open his mouth without screaming, so he concentrated on breathing slowly instead.

Gawd it hurt to breathe

Soft thudding sounds were accompanied with an insistent voice.

"Standish… talk to me…" The speaker was seventeen year-old Larabee.

"Don't move him Chris…" Sixteen year-old Nate Jackson's voice disrupted Harmony's eldest resident, something was draped over Ezra in a seemingly vain attempt to help him retain what little warmth he had left. A second winter coat joined the first. " J.D. and Buck went to get help."

Another younger voice joined the first two, Tanner.

"Woo wee Ez … sure showed them… ya know you ain't a bird right? … cause ya flew about as well as a stone."

"…it's cold…"

"I know you're cold Ez .."

Lord they certainly knew how to state the obvious

"laying in snow… of course I'm freezing…." Standish gasped out as he managed to get some of his wind back suddenly realizing he couldn't bear the cold one second longer awkwardly lurched up.

"Stop it Ez lay back down…"

Swaying Ezra staggered forward not hearing Jackson's panicked instructions. Broken bones grated. His vision grayed as pain seared through him, the world violently tilted giving way as blackness rolled in and took over.


The winter sky was growing dark, snow began to fall in earnest and slogging through the deep snow proved to more of challenge for the youngest of the two boys thirteen year-old J.D. was having a hard time keeping up with the seventeen year-old’s longer strides. He didn’t ask the older boy to slow down it was too important instead he followed Buck’s tracks in the churned up snow trying not to fall too far behind.

The boys kept up the grueling pace until they could see the porch lights glowing through the falling snow that’s when Wilmington took off chugging through the almost knee deep blanket of white. Dunne could see the light flood out of the front door, as it swung open, revealing two dark silhouettes.

Cold and tired J.D. slowly made his way up into the house where Mrs. Wells hustled him inside just as Buck was heading back out the door with Josiah, the older man tugging on a dark wool coat. The dark haired youth only caught part of their conversation.

“…where did you say they were?” Sanchez asked as he grabbed the blankets Nettie held out for him.

“In the woods just off Mr. Jenning’s north pasture… ”

The door slammed shut cutting off the rest. J.D. stood there, with the melting snow dripping off him on to the floor, staring at the closed door praying that his friend would be all right. Nettie gently touched his shoulder and spoke to him.

“Hang up those wet clothes young man then come into the kitchen… your supper is waiting for you.”


Twenty white knuckled minutes later Josiah brought the old station wagon to a halt as the headlights shone upon the ancient pick up. The truck still lay in the ditch on its side but now a thick layer of snow coated it. Josiah stared beyond the toppled vehicle to the pockets of trapped silk fabric billowing in the trees. Despite what Buck had revealed on the ride over there, he wasn’t sure what to expect down at the bottom of the hill. It was times like this he questioned his sanity and that of the six teenage boys entrusted to his care. Though that thought quickly dissipated when a figure slipped and slid out of the darkness to meet them, Vin. The shivering boy was wearing only a sweater.

“Josiah… I didn’t mean it…” The boy started to say something only to be interrupted by Sanchez who grasped him gently by the shoulders.

“Where are they son?”

“Down there… ” Vin pointed down a snowy slope.

“Get in the car before you freeze…”

Not waiting to see if the boy followed the order by climbing into the back of wagon, Josiah with flash light in hand headed down through the trees. The beam of light caught the trio huddled together at the bottom of the hill. What a pitiful spectacle his boys were as they looked up, Chris sat close to Nathan who had a slack faced Ezra cradled against him swaddled haphazardly by coats apparently in an attempt to keep the youth warm. Below those a crudely assembled splint strapped the boy’s legs together.

“Boys…” Josiah called out as he rapidly approached his charges. Fear and worry were deep etched into the teenagers’ faces.

Neither boy spoke.

The implications frightened Sanchez unsure if young Standish was, Lord help them, dead, unconscious or merely asleep as he carefully gathered up the limp boy and slowly began the ascent back to the car.



Furrowing his brow as Ezra tried to make sense of where he was and what was going on. The throbbing pain in his left leg was out of sync with his ribs and it had him teetering on the edge. But for some odd curious reason his mind still couldn't fathom as to exactly why he would be floating. The boy opened his eyes a little befuddled because he couldn't see properly something was obscuring his view when a sharp bone-jarring jolt nearly sent him back into the dark hazy world he had awakened from. Battered muscles tensed. A strangled groan slipped out.

“Easy son I got ya.”


"Can't see…"

Whatever it had been blocking his vision was tugged away exposing his face to a bitter wind revealing a strangely lit white world. The snow was coming down heavily now almost obscuring the path they trod upon. The lights that led the way bobbed up and down.

"Better?" Ezra relaxed at the deep resonating sound of the older man’s voice. All he could manage at that moment was a weak nod as he tried to remember what happened being nauseous and dizzy at the same time didn’t seem to help matters much leaving him to puzzle it out as he tightly clutched onto Sanchez’s rough winter coat. The boy could hear the worried chatter of his housemates near by.

“… my fault…”

“Vin, we’ll talk about it later… Nathan… climb in … ”

Suddenly Ezra was being lowered into the back of the station wagon, he was too tired to figure out when it had gotten there.


Later turned out to be the next day.

Hazy memories of the previous night followed Ezra into the waking world. Doc Bixby. An embarrassing examination that revealed he had cracked ribs, a mild concussion and was bruised nearly head to toe. Then there was that decidedly unhappy moment when his badly fractured leg was being painfully set.

Eyelids fluttered open.

Gray light morning light barely illuminated the room.

The boy blinked several times to clear his blurry vision.

“Morning son…” Ezra slowly rolled his throbbing head to look at the man speaking to him. A concerned looking Josiah sat at his bedside warmly gripping his hand with one of his own while gently testing his forehead with the palm of the other. The hand was withdrawn as the older man continued speaking. “How you are feeling this morning?”

“Fine and I’m not your son Mr. Sanchez.” Ezra rasped out trying his best to sound convincing. A small lie considering that his whole body ached.

The dubious reply was greeted by a broad smile Josiah ignored the latter half of the boy’s response. “Good then we can discuss your punishment…”


“Yes your punishment… since the other boys are spending their day removing the ‘borrowed’ truck from the ditch and making repairs to the section of fence that damaged when Vin plowed through it… it would be hardly fair to them if you escaped without penalty…”

“Yes Sir.”

“So I expect a three thousand word essay on yesterday’s events and how you plan to resist such temptations in the future. I’m going to go down and tell Nettie she can bring up your breakfast… that essay is due by the end of the week. ” Josiah released his grip and patted the teen on the forearm as he rose to leave the room.

“Yes Sir.” Sighing the boy sank back heavily in his bedding thankful that he still had his winnings from this disaster.

“Oh and Ezra… the three hundred dollars is going to Yosemite to fix the pickup and towards all the damage you boys did.” The big man’s departing words made Ezra cringe.

“I feel ill…”

The disgruntled remark had Josiah’s rumbling laughter rolling through out the house.