Welcome to GoMC's Story Fest! For the next couple of weeks (possibly) I'll be posting my writings, only breaking for weekends and Fridays (tomorrow), when I do Randomness Friday.
If you missed the first three parts, go to the following links, or just scroll down to part one.
Sure enough, Dawn came with him for the rest of spring break. They eventually were able to get the big stallion, who Josh named Bugs after Bugs Bunny, to eat out of their palms. Several of the mares and geldings took sugar cubes, but Bugs was always sure to get the carrots.
“Just look at they way he moves!” Josh said dreamily. “Bugs would be an amazing jumper.”
Dawn squinted at the horse and shrugged. Dawn rode Western, so she wasn’t too familiar with the way horses were chosen for English jumping. She looked him over. Nice slope of the withers and muscle build, though he had plenty of room for improvement. He did look better due to the love and attention he had gotten since they had first visited him.
She glanced at her watch. It was almost three o’clock.
“I’d better go check on the horses.” She pictured the quiet area with plenty of trees. They had to keep their horses plenty distance away, so that they wouldn’t cause the other animals to get anxious and start making noises. Dawn and Josh took turns checking on them every thirty minutes, just in case.
As she walked through the trees, Dawn couldn’t help but feel happy. Warm sunshine created streams of light that acted like spotlights on a leafy stage. The animals were the actors here- most of the forest wasn’t often trod by humans.
Suddenly, something wrapped around her neck and squeezed. Dawn tried to scream, but she could only let out a weak gasp.
“Ain’t nobody who’s gonna hear you now, kid.”
Dawn looked up into a woman with cruel eyes and tried not to grimace at her grammar. She wore a red long sleeved shirt and ripped jeans. Dawn wouldn’t have been afraid of her, but the woman towered over Dawn’s five foot frame and had a shiny black gun. She would have been beautiful if she hadn’t had evil eyes.
With a snarl, she let go of Dawn’s neck and flung her against a tree. Dawn couldn’t do anything but stare up, helpless, at her hawkish gaze.
“I know you were on my property with that boy.”
Dawn pressed herself against the tree as she stood up. “What are you talking about?”
A flare of defiance flickered in her eyes. “Don’t be smart with me. I saw you. The two of you are continually trespassing on private property. Don’t let it happen again, or I’ll have to call the police.” She chuckled shook her head. “And we don’t want that, do we?”
Dawn clenched her fists and drew up to her full height. “I wouldn’t mind, but you would. You abuse animals on your sorry excuse of a farm! You shot at two kids! If you keep doing that, you’ll be in prison for torturing those poor, defenseless animals and misusing a firearm!” She had no idea what she was talking about, but it seemed to make the woman look wary.
“As if anyone cares,” she snorted and crossed her arms. “It’s not like they can tell anyone.”
Dawn could feel her face heat up like a stove. “But I will speak for them.”
“Do that and you kiss your pretty mare goodbye. I’m a good shot. One bullet is all I need.” She grabbed Dawn’s wrist and her long fingernails dug into her skin.
Dawn gasped and felt herself shrinking.
She let go of her arm. “Now, did you see any type of cruelty?”
Dawn quickly shook her head, causing her hair to sting her face.
“Good.” The woman briefly touched the holster at her side and disappeared into the shadows of the forest.
Breathing like an angry bull, Dawn stood up and ran all the way to the horses. Something had to be done.
As soon as she reached Halo, Dawn wrapped her arms around her mare’s cream-colored neck and did her best not to cry.
“Oh, you’re safe!” She scratched Josh’s Thoroughbred’s chin. “You too!”
Halo threw her head up, as if wondering if her zany human had finally lost it. Dawn pulled away from her hug and groaned.
“I’m scared, Halo.” She looked up at the blue patches between the branches of pine trees. The canopy above seemed to be closing in on her. “So scared.”