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The Cartwright Curse (PG)

Title: The Cartwright Curse
Summary: The Cartwright brothers -- Jack, Sawyer, Sayid, and Boone -- are extremely unlucky in love.
Pairings: Many and various implied pairings
Rating: PG
Spoilers: Up through "The Shape of Things to Come"
Word Count: 1323
Note: Crack!fic born when I realized that Lost really is Bonanza! Merci to zelda_zee for the beta. Dedicated to her, bachlava, eponine119, cmonkatiekatie and anyone else who needs a larf!



Everyone in Widmore country knew the Cartwrights by reputation if not by sight, as sturdy, strapping lads who could always be counted on to get the better of the orneriest steer or the meanest bar drunk. Used to be that all the marriageable women -- and even some already spoken for -- daydreamed about someday being swept off her their feet by a Cartwright.

Their daddy was a somber, unsmiling widower named Christian who ran his ranch with an iron hand. His sons were brothers, sure enough, but you couldn't have come up with four fellows who resembled each other less. There was tall, brooding Jack; blonde womanizer Sawyer, dark-skinned, serious Sayid and the youngest, nearly as pretty as a girl himself, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked Boone. There were rumors that each son had been borne to their daddy by a different woman. A cold-hearted madam in the next town was said to be Jack's real mama. Sawyer's mama, the story went, had been killed by Christian in a fit of rage when he caught her in bed with another man. No one knew who Sayid or Boone's mothers might be, but such was the Cartwright sway on the town that no one spoke their best guesses out loud.

The Cartwright boys were considered the biggest catch in the county, but none of them had ever married. Any lady lucky enough to land one of the brothers was far too likely to meet an untimely end before any marriage vows could be exchanged.

There was Joanna, who drowned in the swimming hole despite Boone's heroic efforts to save her. Nikki was buried in a cave-in at the mine and her beau, Sawyer, had the gruesome task of looking for her body. Then there was Nadia, the shy school marm who was captured by Indians. Although Sayid spent many long years looking for her, he finally had to admit defeat. He thought he'd found happiness with the mayor's daughter, the pretty blonde Shannon, but a stray bullet fired during a bank holdup caught her in the stomach and she died in Sayid's arms in the middle of Main Street. It was rumored that Boone had set his cap for Shannon as well and had sworn if he couldn't have her, he'd kill her himself. But anyone could see it was just an accident, plain and simple. Any rivalry between the brothers was chalked up to the fact that there were fewer and fewer women to choose from.

Even Ana Lucia, the town's tomboy, got herself shot up riding posse with Jack. He never forgave himself and swore off women, although he nursed a secret crush on Kate, the sad-eyed girl at the local saloon who poured all the Cartwright men their drinks and listened to their troubles. Kate knew better than to fall for one of the Cartwrights -- the townspeople didn't speak of the "Cartwright Curse" for nothing -- although Sawyer was often seen leaving the saloon in the wee hours of the morning, tucking his shirt back into his jeans, a satisfied grin on his dimpled face.

It wasn't just the Cartwrights who were unlucky: No one could forget the fate of Danielle and beautiful young Alex, the mother and daughter who ran the local trading post. They both died from a holdup man's bullet when Alex's miserly father, Ben, wouldn't pay the ransom the outlaw demanded. After that, Ben spent day and night muttering at the bar about revenge. No one paid him any mind, just as they'd learned to ignore the ramblings of the burly coffinmaker Hugo, who never got over tragically losing his love, Libby, to a cattle stampede. From then on, he etched her name into every coffin he built.

And John, the butcher, lost Helen in a freak-saw-blade incident. After that, he went a little mad as well, often forgetting to wash the blood from his work off his hands. But in a town of muttering madmen, he hardly stood out.

Now, being without the gentling influence of womenfolk, it must be said that the brothers were a rambunctious lot, prone to getting into all kinds of trouble. Sawyer spent more than his fair share of nights in the local jail for disorderly conduct and even Jack got himself locked up for being drunk and picking a fight on at least one occasion. Truth be told, it was his daddy that he punched out, for he suspected Christian of seducing his new bride, Sarah. Yes, Jack had finally found himself a woman, a teacher he'd nursed back to health after she broke both legs in a fall from a horse. They'd spent long hours talking as she healed and before he knew it, he had proposed and they were wed.

But he was a jealous sort, like his daddy, and took to drinking and following his wife wherever she went. Sure enough, she was visiting another man's bed, although it wasn't her father-in-law's, but a gambler who lived on the very edge of town. With a pistol heavy in his hand, Jack laid in wait for the other man one dark night, determined to put a bullet in his head the way his daddy had supposedly done before him, but fate saved him the trouble. An Indian raid caught both Sarah and her lover, burning their love nest to the ground. Jack cried manly tears of relief and rage when he identified Sarah’s bloodied scalp and he vowed to never love again.

After Sarah's gruesome death, Kate had come to believe in the curse of the Cartwrights so strongly that she wouldn't even wait on the brothers at the saloon anymore. Soon even Sawyer stopped coming into town at all.

The only unwed woman who would go near the Cartwrights was the doctor's aide, Juliet, who carried a terrible curse of her own: her first husband was dragged to death underneath a coach, while her second husband met his death on the battlefield, impaled on a savage's lance. Only the widower Ben courted her, but she would have none of him and no other man would have her. It seemed the whole town was full of people who had loved and lost and would rather get drunk and fight than try their luck at love again.

The brothers seemed destined to die bachelors, never finding happiness or the soft touch of a woman. Never let it be said (although they were really only half-brothers at best), that they turned to each other in their loneliness. There was absolutely no sweaty fumbling in the hay loft, no writhing in the tall grass of the field and no stifled moans in the middle of the night when their father was away buying up more cattle.

If there had been, well, no one would have blamed the poor, doomed brothers, who, (everyone was almost positive), weren't even related at all.

Oblivious to such talk, the men lived out their days on the Cartwright ranch, handsome and strapping as ever. It's true that when Boone died, cruelly crushed by a wagon wheel, some said that they'd always known he was too pretty to be a man. Maybe, they said, he'd merely dressed in men's clothes like Ana Lucia had done to avoid all the terrible tragedies that could befall a woman in the great Wild West.

So the Cartwright line died with Jack and Sawyer and Sayid, although people say they each sired a bastard or two. One little blonde girl had Sawyer's dimples, another had Jack's sad, dark eyes while there was nearly a whole generation born with dark, curly hair like Sayid's.

Maybe the idea of a bevy of Cartwright brats was just wishful thinking. It was a damned shame none of them had ever found true love, but life was hard on the frontier, as everyone knew. It was just sad to see the last of the Cartwrights. They were such handsome fellows.

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Comments

( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
zelda_zee
Apr. 28th, 2008 07:55 pm (UTC)
Yay! This is so fun and inspired. :) It's good to be able to turn it all on its head and laugh at it.

Thanks for the dedication - I did need something to make me smile about Lost!
halfdutch
Apr. 28th, 2008 08:06 pm (UTC)
Yay! My pleasure, hon! It really is a ridiculous body count, isn't it? :)
inthekeyofd
Apr. 28th, 2008 08:08 pm (UTC)
OH.MY.GOD!! I knew you were right about them being like the Cartwrights and you've proven it!

You win for POST OF THE DAY!!! I have to come up with an icon or something, because there's been a few of them I've given the honor as well.

Seriously, between Ben, John, the freak saw blade accident, the boys gentling influence on the womenfolk....OH MY GOD YOU'RE GOOD, seriously I could hear this totally as a narration as all this played out.

And you put in Juliet as well, but the Boone too pretty to be a man..PRICELESS.

YOU. ROCK!!!!

Edited at 2008-04-28 08:08 pm (UTC)
halfdutch
Apr. 28th, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Hee, thank you! Glad to know I pulled it off! The comparison was too on the nose NOT to write it! I didn't have anyone get a flaming arrow in the stomach but I swear I saw that on the show once, LOLz.

And Boone IS too pretty to be a man, isn't he? It's instant slash whenever he's around!
elliotsmelliot
Apr. 28th, 2008 08:13 pm (UTC)
This was just what the doctor ordered. I loved it! All the ribs at women's vulnerabilities in the wild west frontier, the slashiness of the Cartright boys, Boone's delicious (and therefore suspect) beauty, and Juliet's curse.

No one paid him any mind, just as they'd learned to ignore the ramblings of the burly coffinmaker Hugo, who never got over tragically losing his love, Libby, to a cattle stampede. From then on, he etched her name into every coffin he built.

Even as I was laughing sentences like this made me gulp. Excellent work!
halfdutch
Apr. 28th, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Yaaay! Glad you liked all of it! I started writing it in my head last night and decided, yep, I've got to do it! :) Very glad it fit the bill. (And even had a little bit of angst in it. I guess I can't let go of it completely!)
bachlava
Apr. 28th, 2008 08:52 pm (UTC)
*Snerk.* Thanks for the lulz - I needed them!

If there had been, well, no one would have blamed the poor, doomed brothers, who, (everyone was almost positive), weren't even related at all.
HAH!
halfdutch
Apr. 28th, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
Tee hee! Yes, good thing their town was so broadminded! :) Glad you enjoyed it, babe!
themoononastick
Apr. 28th, 2008 09:35 pm (UTC)
LMAO! Hilarious! I love it.
halfdutch
Apr. 28th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC)
Yaay! Glad I provided a giggle. (And I was just thinking of your porn!kitty post today and got a big smile out of that again. :D Heee! Awww, we all need a good laugh now and then!)

Edited at 2008-04-28 11:37 pm (UTC)
eponine119
Apr. 29th, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)
I love this! The casting is just perfection, as is the litany of deaths translated into the wild west. It all works out so neatly, and you tell it so well. I was very amused.
halfdutch
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:32 am (UTC)
Hee, thank you! Glad it amused! Of course I saved the worst death for Sarah! :) (Even though Lost has *ahem* yet to kill her off.)
rhopalocera
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:56 am (UTC)
I have only one word:

Cracktastic! :)
halfdutch
Apr. 29th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
Yay! I hit the bullseye then! Thank you kindly, ma'am! :)
cmonkatiekatie
Apr. 29th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
OMG. How did you know I'd need to be made happy?

This works really really well. I know it's supposed to be crack!fic, but it honestly reads beautifully (if slightly cracky ;)). I've never seen an episode of Bonanza at all, but you totally get that western feeling from this, and I really love westerns.
halfdutch
Apr. 29th, 2008 04:45 am (UTC)
Well, I figured you could use some happiness, based on recent comments and posts!

And aww, thanks for your kind words, hon! :) (I just went to check to see if there's a vid on Youtube of all the women dying on Bonanza, but alas, there is not! I did however find that I was accidentally accurate in having the sons all be from different mothers! I'd forgotten that plot point, if, indeed, I ever knew it at all!)
cmonkatiekatie
Apr. 29th, 2008 05:17 am (UTC)
I just got your msg, I couldn't hear Journey over the fan and my super loud tv :(. Will try you tomorrow, k?
halfdutch
Apr. 29th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Okey doke! :)
demonqueen666
Apr. 29th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
Yay crack!! Even better: crack that basically talks about the hotness of the Lost men over and over, and even manages to slip some slashiness in, despite being about their tragic luck with women XD
halfdutch
Apr. 29th, 2008 06:08 am (UTC)
Hee, happy to oblige! And you know, with such rotten luck with women, they'd have to turn to men sooner or later! And with all the hotness in the house, they didn't have far to look. (So not usu. a fan of incest but I couldn't resist here, LOL. Esp as we know they *aren't* really related!)
(Deleted comment)
halfdutch
Apr. 30th, 2008 04:38 am (UTC)
Awww, thanks so much for this lovely fb! I'm glad you found it incisive despite being a crack fic! :)

And I figured I had to exaggerate the death toll, just a tad so I added Sarah and Helen. I've got nothing against Helen but I really hated how badly Sarah treated Jack. So I went a little over the top with her death. (Really, I should have thrown in a flaming arrow to the stomach for one of the women, but I had enough Indian-related deaths as it was!) Anyway, that was also for a lot of my Jack-loving friends who consider her the devil!

Thanks again! I'm honored you liked it this much!

alemyrddin
Apr. 29th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
It seemed the whole town was full of people who had loved and lost and would rather get drunk and fight than try their luck at love again.
this is so true!

This was fun - and sad, when you think about it. :)

Also, Jack and Sawyer as (half-)brothers is a strangely intriguing idea. ;)
halfdutch
Apr. 30th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)
Aww, thank you! I guess even in a crack fic you can't escape how sad the death toll is!

And hee, I'm not a fan of incest usually but I figured we know they're NOT related, so I could have some fun with it. Although everyone does end up related in some way on Lost!
fosfomifira
Apr. 29th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
I read this yesterday at work and I laughed out loud. It's so much fun I couldn't resist. Crack with a gruesome, morbid sense of humor and slash undertones? Perfection! (and oddly accurate given that Lost does have a pretty dark sense of humor from time to time) The detail of Jack having to identify Sarah by her scalp was a particularly nice touch.

I'm pretty sure that Bonanza is on reruns on cable. It's either Bonanza or that other Western show (El Gran Chaparrón). Something tells me it's nowhere near as much fun as this fic, with those fantastic brothers, such handsome fellows.
halfdutch
Apr. 30th, 2008 04:42 am (UTC)
Yaa! Glad that you liked this so well. I couldn't resist throwing some slash undertones in there -- it only makes sense if you've got no one else, right? Unless you want to turn to the livestock!

I accidentally was quite true to the source as it turns out that the boys on Bonanza did all have different mothers. And then they adopted another boy so even Sayid's inclusion is rather feasible, LOL! The show is rather fun and slightly campy, of course, as most shows from the 60s are now.

janie_tangerine
May. 2nd, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
I sadly have never seen Bonanza and so I probably lost half of the fun here but this was hysterical. And wonderful. And so crack that it was a delight to read.

. It's true that when Boone died, cruelly crushed by a wagon wheel, some said that they'd always known he was too pretty to be a man.

*dies* I totally was doubling up to that point. And Joanna dying in the pool! And the whole Nadia/Shan/Sayid business was awesome. I loved it!
halfdutch
May. 3rd, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Yay! Glad you liked it, despite never having seen Bonanza. Basically, anytime the brothers got a girlfriend, she died almost immediately. Hence the obvious Lost comparison! Happy I could provide a laugh! :)
slybrunette
May. 3rd, 2008 06:58 pm (UTC)
I totally hate myself for missing this because wow I love this! I love the feel of it, how it feels like a period piece. Sometimes I'm not so sure with crack!fic but this is excellent!
halfdutch
May. 3rd, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Aww, thanks so much! :) I had fun with this and once I had the idea, it practically wrote itself! Although now I guess I could have thrown Claire into the mix as well!
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )

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