Some Weird Sin

By Cameragrrrl

Disclaimer and some such:
I do not have the rights to use any characters 
officially associated with The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen 
television series. I am using these characters without the 
permission of FOX, 1013 Productions, Chris Carter, or 
any other copyright owners. Of course, this is intended for 
[non-profit] entertainment only, and no 
infringement on copyrights or trademarks 
was intended by the author.

Any similarities to people, places, and other works of
fanfiction are purely coincidental.

All other characters not officially associated with 
The X-Files/ Lone Gunmen (including, but not limited to, 
Smithee and Ellroy) are property of the author 
and should not be recycled into another story without

No animals were harmed during the making of this fanfic, 
except for two mosquitoes and one waterbug.

Cost of coffee drunk while writing this: $15.82
Cost of paper used to print out draft copies: $2.38
Cost of Anne Hawley's beta-reading skills: PRICELESS

The 'present' of this story takes place a few years 
before The Lone Gunmen series timeline.

* * *

My father sold the farm eventually. It 
shouldn't have surprised me. My mother 
was gone, and he knew - no matter how 
much he may have wished it wasn't true - 
that I wasn't going to stick around 
much longer. He certainly knew I didn't want 
to be a farmer. 

But I really didn't expect him to sell it. 
At least, not while I was still living there.
That would be like admitting defeat, and my father 
never admitted defeat. 

It happened, without warning, on some overly-warm 
spring day. A strange man in a suit came by our 
house and asked to speak to my dad - 'strange,' 
because I'd never seen him before. I knew everyone 
that had ever come to our house - okay, 
not hard when you've lived with the 
same few hundred people all your 
life - and none of them ever wore suits. 
He didn't say much to me, except to 
notice my hair and say, "Don't you kids 
ever go to the barber these days? Got one 
about your age too, same thing." I think he was 
trying to relate to me or something, but it 
just came off as condescending. 

My father greeted him nervously; the first time 
I remembered seeing my father nervous. 
If my suspicions had been aroused before, I was downright 
paranoid now. I hung in the background,
listening in, trying to figure out what was 
going on. But the conversation was all surface,
nothing revealing - except for 
the fact that Suit Man kept calling my 
father 'sir' - also a first. 

When they left the house and started walking 
around the grounds, I tried to follow them. 
They walked for a while - at that point, my father owned 
about seven hundred acres - but in flat Nebraska it 
was hard to find ways to hide 
myself in the scenery. I had to settle 
for picking a fixed vantage point, pretending 
to be heavily involved in some task, and just try to keep 
them in sight. After almost an hour, the 
best theory I could come up with was 
that my father was giving Suit Man a 
tour - which seemed really unlikely. A 
tour of what? Cow pies? 

Of course, I found out in about fifteen 
minutes that that's exactly what they 
had been doing. 

The ended up in the barn. I crouched behind 
one of old horse stalls - a throwback to my 
grandfather, who kept horses on the farm before my 
dad took over - and watched and listened. 

"This is a good piece of property you have, sir."

"I know," my father said. He sounded . . . I tried to 
place the emotion: He sounded numb.

"Frankly, it's perfect for us."

"I'm sure it is." Same tone of voice. 

"In fact - and I hate to even mention this, because 
you're really giving us a wonderful price - I'm 
curious as to why you're selling it in the 
first place."

"There's nothing wrong with the land," my father was 
suddenly angry, defensive - familiar territory. 
I was almost relieved. You tell 'em, dad!

"No, no, not at all. I never meant to imply - I was 
just - curious." Now Suit Man sounded 
nervous. "Listen, sir, I have all the papers with me. I 
took the liberty of preparing them a few days ago,
based on what we talked about over the 
phone. If you're ready, we can sign them now."

My father nodded and Suit Man pulled a pen out of 
thin air. Papers were signed and re-signed. 
They shook hands. Suit Main left. I blinked, and it 
was over. The farm was gone. 

My father stood in the middle of the barn, 
holding a fistful of carbon copies. 
His shoulders shook, I thought, in anger. 
Then I realized - he was crying! Of 
course, I had to notice, even when he 
thought he was alone he tried to hold it 
in, crying through clenched teeth. 
He looked around, like he was desperate to 
remember what he saw.

That's when he saw me. 

My hands and feet went cold, and I thought, 
this is it, he's going to kill me! 
But all he said was, "Come here." Numb.

I walked over to him. His eyes were raw and 
watery. "How long've you been there?"

"The whole time," I admitted quietly. 

He slapped me. Hard. My glasses dislodged 
from behind my ear, and hung crooked. 
I didn't try to fix them; I was too shocked. 
He'd never slapped me before, open 
palmed, stinging. He'd rarely hit me at 
all in the past few years, which I 
frankly assumed meant I wasn't worth 
the effort - a lot of other kids in my 
school regularly came to class with 
bruises or welts. It was pretty common, and 
all I ever thought about it was well, 
at least your parents touch you. 

"Why?" I choked out. "Why'd you sell it?" 

"What's the point?" he said, his voice rising. 
"I'm not going to be around forever, and 
I won't trust this place to hired help. It's a damn 
joke. You're my only child, and lord 
knows you're not going to care about this place 
when you can play with your computers." 
He spat the word out, like it tasted bad. "I 
might as well sell it off now, make a 
little profit, and retire in dignity." He 
was huffing, his cheeks striped 
where tears tracked through the thin layer of 
dirt that was always on his face. 

"You're right, I don't want to be a lousy 
farmer - there are a hundred more 
valuable things I can do with my life!" 
I clamped my hand over my mouth, 
immediately regretting what I said. 
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I didn't - "

He slapped me again, hard enough to 
bring me to my knees. My glasses went 

When he finally spoke, that numbness had 
returned to his voice. "There's nothing 
shameful about being a farmer, Richard. 
It's good work. My father was a farmer, 
and his father before him. This land's 
been in our family for generations, since 
before the Dust Bowl. It's nothing to be ashamed of." 

I said nothing, staggered back to my feet. 
My cheek burned. I just remembered 
the look in his eyes after Suit 
Man left with our farm on a piece of paper. He'd 
cried - !

"When I get the money, I'll give you 
your share. Then I don't want to ever hear 
you asking for my support again. 
You could have had this place. I know you don't 
think much of it, but it would've 
made you a good, honest living. Now it's gone, 
everything the Langlys worked for. Your 
choice. Remember that."

He didn't stick around for my answer - not 
that I had one to give. He parted the 
doors of the barn and walked out into the 
open field. Just before he went 
totally blurry I saw him ball up his 
hand, the one he slapped me with, and shove 
it into his pocket like a bad habit.

That was a month before I left. For some 
reason, that's the last good image I 
have of him in my mind - walking away
from me in his overalls and boots, walking 
back to his big, empty house: His wife 
and son driven away, his livelihood and 
family legacy sold off. Out of focus.
Thoroughly defeated.

So why didn't it feel like a victory? I just 
felt nauseous. 

* * *