Karen's Stories

"I'm a public school educator in the great state of Texas! I have been a fan of The Young Riders since it first aired - I was so excited to see a Western back on television! I am a Buckette with Ike being a close second. I enjoy writing stories staring "our boys" - especially ones with Buck and Ike. I also enjoy working with other authors - I'm always peasantly surprised where these group efforts end up."

Swing Stations

With only time for a speedy switch of your horse, there’s just time for a short story.
The Courage to Go On Tompkins, Buck, and Jenny each face her decision to leave Sweetwater and go back east.
Promises Buck must help the army find his nephew to prevent a war with the Kiowa.
Written for Sweetwater Station's "Return of. . ." contest.
Family Buck and Ike join the pony express and find a family along with the job.
Written for the first fanfic contest at The Home Station.
Pleasant Surprises (AU story) What could have happened if Buck found out Lou's secret before Kid.
Written for the second fanfic contest at The Home Station.
With Most Endings Come New Beginnings A rewrite of "In the Prescence of Mine Enemies"
Deals with how things could have been different if Buck had been just a little bit faster at reaching the saloon.
Written for The Buck Stop's What If . . . Contest
Finding a Place to Belong Buck and Ike find out that they are really brothers.
Written for the contest at Vaya Con Dios, Ike
Oh Give Thanks to the Lord Emma takes the riders to church and we see Buck's reaction to the preacher's messsge.
First Meetings Tompkins remembers the first time he met one of the Express Riders; years before the beginning of the Express.
Written for the Great Sweetwater Writing Contest - 02/04 2nd Place
It's Time A look at Sam as he awaits Emma at the alter.
Written for the Great Sweetwater Writing Contest - 05/04
The Wall of Fire Teaspoon and Kid help save the Kiowa Village Buck grew up in.
Written for the Great Sweetwater Writing Contest - 06/04
Desperate Decisions Little Bird has a diffcult choice to make. What will it be?
Missing After Ike's death, Buck remembers the last time he'd lost someone close to him and how he had handled it.
There Just Ain't Time Buck is having trouble in town. Why did Ike jump into the fight?
Rest Assured On the way to join the Pony Express, Ike and Buck are visited by a friendly spirit to let them know they are on the right path.
The Warmth of A Smile How did Ike and Buck become such good friends?
Truth Hurts Tompkins is accused of beating up Buck. Will Buck clear him, or will he have to go to jail?
Promises of Friendship
Expanded version of Promises of Friendship in the Challenges section
After a particularly trying posse trip, the town is ready to take out its frustration on Buck. Can Sam and the riders keep this from happening?
Breaking Point What happens when Ike gets pushed beyond his limit, and defies the law to rescue Buck?
To Belong Coauthored with Dani, Maria, and Nina
How Running Buck came to be Buck Cross and what became of him.

Home Stations

Sit back on your bunk and get comfortable, you’ve got time for a long story.
A Father's Tale Buck learns that what he has always believed about his father is not the truth.
This story line is from Nesciri.
Secrets Sometimes keeping secrets can cost you your best friend.
God's Plan The story of how Buck and Ike came to be at the same mission school and how they became friends.
Second Chances A man from Ike's past comes to town bringing painful memories of Ike's not so honest past.
Written for the Ponyexpressen's "Bad Boy" contest
Letting Go While taking Emily to tell Emma about Ike's death, Buck learns how to let go of his grief and move on with his life.
Secrets Revealed When Buck is being investigated on possible murder charges due to an incident that happens while he is helping an old friend, a secret from his childhood is brought into the open and shared with his new friends.
Settling Debts Buck and Ike encounter a woman from Emma's past who needs their help getting out of trouble.
A Daring Escape When a new family comes to town and starts talking about setting up a trading post, they ask Buck to help them learn to communicate with the Indians. It turns into a much more interesting adventure when their true plans are discovered.
Wanted Buck and Ike are wanted for a crime, did they do it?
Retribution and Renewed Hope A man from Buck's past shows up in Sweetwater. He's there on lifelong mission - find the man who killed his father. Unfortunately, that man is Sam Cain. Episode reference: after "The Man Behind the Badge"
After the Express Buck is injured and Ike takes him to the Kiowa for help. During Buck's recovery, both men find a young woman to love.


Legends and Reality

Legends and Reality
Written for Fractured Fan Fic Xovers: with Sameena
Immortal Riders
After Ike's death, Buck is haunted by what he thinks is his friend's ghost. This leads to an accident that makes Buck's "immortal" powers start to work early.


Acceptance Six years after the end of the pony express, Buck finds love and acceptance at the home of an old friend.
Morning Sun Buck's future with Teresa causes him to face painful events from his past.
Family Traditions It's a special anniversary for Buck and Teresa. How will they celebrate?
Family Honor Events from Teresa and Buck's past that catch up with them and bring changes to their lives and the lives of their family.
Facing Fears Buck overcomes his sense of dread when everything seems too perfect.
Moving Forward Buck has to face down a man from his past who tried to break him of his humanity.

Letting Go

Letting Go After Ike's death, Buck escorts Emily to meet Emma to fulfill a promise to Ike.
Starting Over Buck has settled into a new life when tragedy strikes. Can he overcome it to help an old friend and possibly find happiness again?
Finding Home Written for Reunion 2009
Buck and Camille are returning to Rock Creek. Will they be able to survive the ghosts from Buck's past?


All I Ever Wanted Coauthored with Vicki
Buck is reunited with a lost love, but will the couple be able to overcome the past?

Forever and For Always

The Package of Many Surprises Coauthored with AnnaPX, Dani, Maria, and Nina
When on a run, Buck and Cody encounter many trials over the delivery of a small package that is of interest to many people - including one special lady. Is there the slightest possibility that true love for Buck will come out of this mess?
Hold on My Heart Coauthored with Dani and Maria
As Buck and Nikki get to know each other and explore their feelings, there are times when the world seems to be trying to keep them apart.

Fancy's Tale

Pretending QF #98 Prompt: Word list
Misunderstandings QF #100 Prompt: Phrase
Resolutions Buck must explain his actions after he leaves town with a saloon girl.
Fancy 2009: "Fancy" by Reba McEntire
After finding out that his efforts to reunite a girl with her mother have caused difficulties for someone else, Buck decides to go help set things right.


Penitence What exactly makes a family - is it blood or something else? Buck and the other riders have a chance to find out when the man who fathered Buck comes to town.
Feeling Whole Again Written for the Five Senses Challenge


Haunting Winds With The Round Robin Writers
A mysterious storm threatens the peace in Sweetwater.
The Haircut With Maria
Lou is trying to get ready for the town dance and Buck happens upon her. His innocent comment brings about an unexpected reaction...
Northern Lights With Kemara
Buck offers an explanation for the Northern Lights as he, Kid and Lou watch them one evening.
What One Man Can Do With Dani, Maria, and Nina
Buck helps a family whose daughter was kidnapped by Indians. But all it not as it seems.
The Healing Blood of a Unicorn With AnnaPX, Dani, Maria, MrsCross, and Nina
Buck meets a mystical creature and learns about himself in the process.
Something Evil This Way Comes With Dani and Maria
A fairy tale that deals with Buck learning about himself as he saves a damsel in distress.
We Are Gathered Together With Leah
Everyone is gathering in Rock Creek to witness the marriage of Teaspoon and Rachel. See what has happened to all the riders, and what is in store for them as they gather together.
Forever Yours Faithfully With Dani, Maria, and Shauna
Kid and Lou hire a nanny. Buck and the new nanny spark a connection and what happens after that is a rollercoaser of emotions and feelings. Will it end happily or will Buck be alone again.
Things Change With Shauna
Kid leaves for the war. Lou and another Rider get close and marry. What happens when someone unexpected returns. Let's just say 'Things Change'.

Topic 1: Suspicions
Topic 2: Hidden Talents
Topic 3: Emptiness
Topic 3: Memories
Topic 5: Heat
Topic 5: Baking
Topic 8: The Wheel
Topic 9: First Meetings
Topic 11: Signs of Change
Topic 12: Curses, Foiled Again
Topic 14: Table of Plenty
Topic 15: The Perfect Gift
Topic 16: The Thaw
Topic 17: As Luck Would Have It
Topic 24: Her Return
Topic 27: Confession
Topic 28: Momma, There's a Man at the Door
Topic 29: Walk Away
Topic 32: Hesitation
Topic 38: Two of Hearts
Topic 49: Putting Out the Torch
Topic 91: Dark
Topic 92: The Long Road Home
Topic 93: Consequences
Topic 94: The Perfect Plan
Topic 95: The Comforts of Home
Topic 96: Reminiscing
Topic 98: Pretending
Topic 99: Learning to Adjust
Topic 100: Misunderstandings
Picture: Memories and regrets and longing as Lou waits for Kid to return from the war.
Word: Regrets of a dying man.
Winter Dreams
Quote: A young couple discusses their future.
Picture: After the Express, Teaspoon starts a new job.
Hold Tight
Word: Buck and Ike face their first night away from the mission school where they became friends.
Making Sweet Music
Quote: Things are a bit tense when the band for the mayor’s wedding dance turns out to be lacking in talent.
Just Turn Around
Word: When a wagon load of children arrive in town, Ike is caught watching and must explain why.
Surviving the Storm
Song: Buck and Ike survive a storm of fists and feet to become friends.
Picture: The despair of facing life alone catches up with someone on a beautiful spring day.
A Tasty Surprise
Word: Ike is working hard on arranging a surprise for the others; especially Buck. Can he get Emma to help him?
Quote: Buck and Ike explain why they aren't as bothered by the effects of Teaspoon's first day of training for the Pony Express.
Unsolicited Advice
Song: After his unfortunate experience with Kathleen Devlin, Buck has a chat with Emma.
Afternoon Surprise
Picture: Kid witnesses a moment of closeness between Buck and Lou. Does this mean that she is going to leave him?
A Simple Plan
Word: Lou contemplates making a big change in her life.
Quote: A chance encounter on a fine March day brings about changes in the lives of two young people.
Talk to Me
Song: A misunderstanding causes Kid to almost throw away the life he's built with Lou. Can they work things out or is it really over this time?
Pic, Word, Quote, Song: Buck leaves the village in search of Little Bird, years later after finding a new family he finally locates her.
Pic: Sometimes trickery can lead to interesting things happening.
Life's Surprising Path
Word: Louise McCloud is thinking about making a change in her life when she meets a man who offers her some advice to help her on her way.
Quote: Explores Sam's reaction to learning Lou's secret.
The Right Thing
Song: Ike thinks back to his father's teachings before deciding to help Buck.
Pic: A child dreams of his horse ranch as he watches some wild horses run by.
First Impressions
Word: The impression that one of the riders made on his new companions.
What Makes a Mother
Quote: Emma muses over the changes in her life as she starts working with the Pony Express as a station mistress.
Bleed Red
Song: Rachel expresses her desires for people to get along after an incident involving the riders ends up in injury
Pic: Someone is looking forward to a new life as the new day begins
Word: When he gets stranded by a sudden downpour, Buck gets a pleasant surprise as he finds shelter.
Words of Wisdom
Quote: The day before the fateful trip into town that made Buck and Ike fast friends, Ike gets some words of wisdom from one of the sisters at the mission.
Summer Longings
Song: One summer day, Sam dreams about starting a relationship with Emma
Unexpected News
Pic: As Buck lay recovering from an injury, he witnesses the news about the beginning of the war between the states.
Word: My attempt at poetry.
What if...
Quote: Ike thinks back over advice he was once given that he decides to no longer follow.
Song: As Kid's daughter goes off on a date, he reminisces about her childhood.


Acceptance 2001 Acceptance Series: Part I
Morning Sun 2002 Acceptance Series: Part II
Memories 2003 A letter brings Teaspoon's past into the present. Cody and Lou must help him as he assists an old friend.
Finding Home 2009 Starting Over Series



Plans Ike and Buck discuss the feelings of love, and plans for the future.


Resolutions Fancy's Tale Series


Title Challenge

It's All A Matter of Perspective


Stay with Me The simple phrase "stay with me" has had very special meanings at different times in Buck's life.

Five Senses

Darkness and Light While on a tracking mission, Ike is trapped in darkness. Can his friends find him before the bad guys do?
The Overpowering Sound of Silence After an explosion, Buck loses his hearing. Will it come back?
The Smell of Destruction While helping a young man caught in a fire, Buck must face some painful memories.
A Taste of Heaven While dressed as Louise, Lou experiences the taste of champagne. The results of this event have a great impact on her life.
Feeling Whole Again While trying to deal with Ike's death, Buck strikes up a friendship with Rebecca Granger. When a man from his past returns, their relationship is tested.


Fancy 2009: "Fancy" by Reba McEntire
Fancy's Tale Series
The Return 2010: "Picture" by Kid Rock
Kid's return from the war is delayed. Will he and Lou still be able to make a go of things?

Story Cards

Story Card Challenges on my YR Writing Challenge site
The Hero While on a run, Cody makes an impression on a crowd of on-lookers with his heroic actions.

Throw Down

Vest of Honor
From Nina
How did Buck come to get the vest he wears?
Promises of Friendship
From Lisa L
After a particularly deadly encounter with outlaws, Buck faces the prospect of facing an angry crowd alone.


Pick Six
Teaspoon and a young companion discuss making a change in their lives.
War Is Hell... Loneliness Is Deadly
War Is Hell...
Kid must deal with the consequences his decision to leave Rock Creek to go fight in the war have brought about.
Unlikely Companions
Different Worlds
Emma decides to ask Buck and Ike why they are such good friends.
Painful Changes
Sticks and Stones
Ike has to face many changes in his life. Some of them are painful in more ways than one.
Snowbound Surprises
While on a run, Buck and Lou get trapped in the snow and learn some interesting things about each other.
Ike McSwain to the Rescue
Brides & Grooms
Ike is outraged when he sees a young lady mistreated by her fiance. He seeks Rachel's help in rescuing her.
Unwanted Attention
PX Celebrity
What was life like for the riders after Ike testified in the Nickerson trial?
Finding Little Bird
Little Riders
What events lead to the finding of Little Bird?
The Lovely Lori Mae
Lou the Matchmaker
Lou notices that the new girl in town has an eye on Ike, and that Ike seems to like her. How can she get them together when the young lady's family is a bunch of snobs?
The Hermit
Tarot Card - The Hermit
As Buck begins to heal from the pain of Ike’s passing, will he be able to help another deal with the pain that still haunts them?
7 Virtues: Abstinence
After Lou manages to get Ike and Lori Mae Tolliver together, Buck has to work atpromis controlling his actions when he and Ike begin spending time around Lori Mae's prejudicial aunt
7 Virtues: Abstinence
Why Buck always worked at keeping his emotions under control.
Face to Face
What's in a Name: title from Lori
What happened after that fateful day when Ike jumped in to help Buck?
11 Part Harmony: Set I
Board challenge by Cathy
11 stories, one for each character listed in the challenge from 33 song titles by The Statler Brothers.



Abigail Jenkins: Defender of the Undesirables
4th: True Women
Tompkins gets a taste of his own medicine in the form of a petite, 80 year old woman named Abigail.
Freedom Comes with a Price
7th: Luck of the Draw
Things aren't going well at the homestead, so given an unexpected opportunity to get away, Kid takes it.


The Mysterious Thief
Legal Eagles
Each of the riders, Teaspoon, and Rachael have some type of personal item stolen from them. Why would someone want these items, and on Christmas Eve?
Some Secrets Are Better Kept Secret
Fractured Fan Fic Xovers
While on the way home from an extra run, Lou and Buck meet a family that never ages and learn some interesting things about each other.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt
Legends and Reality
Fractured Fan Fic Xovers: with Sameena
Teaspoon and fellow immortal, Duncan MacLeod, come face to face with a different type of immortal.
Highlander and Angel Xover
I'll Meet You Halfway
Lyrical Inspirations...song: "I'll Meet You Halfway" by The Partridge Family
Can Buck bring the Tompkins family back together?
The Night Before Christmas
Wilds of Winter
Buck shares a cave on a cold Christmas Eve with a very special family.
It Only Takes One
10 Cent Hero
As a Texas Ranger, Teaspoon Hunter, single handedly brings in a notorious outlaw. Now, 20 years later he must face the man again to end what was begun.
No More Regrets
Photographs and Memories
Buck shares the story of how Little Bird came to be a part of his life, and how he lost her.
Twenty-Five Dollars a Week
Respect I: Cody/Noah (First Contest at the Ranch!)
When some renegade army men start trouble, Noah must sort things out before Buck is blamed.

Some Secrets Are Better Kept Secret

The Mysterious Thief