Creative Writing: The Horse

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As forecasted, the skies were overcast the next morning. The air was humid and dense as dark storm clouds gathered in the distance, promising rain. Every once in a while, great bursts of wind blew dust and sand into the atmosphere, coating our windshield with a fine layer of grime.

At 6:30 am on the dot, Jake and I drove up through a pair of wrought iron gates, intricately welded in the shape of two bucking horses. The Rancho Esperanza was a stud farm that specialized in Arabian stallions. Aware of the impending storm, two men had been waiting by the stables with the stallions, ready to be loaded.

"Wait in the car," said Jake, leaving the engine running. He spoke a few words to the men on the ground then the three of them loaded the horses
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I narrowed my eyes at him. "Where have you been?"

He took the reins from me. "Can you ride bareback Layla?"

"What, the horse?"

He stared down at me and lifted an eyebrow. "Seriously?"

I wanted to crawl into a hole and die.

He tossed his head back and laughed. "The horse Layla. Can you ride without a saddle?"

Forward, backward, sideways, and blindfolded, but I didn't tell him that. Because I didn't like where this conversation was heading.

"Randy says there's a family farm 10 miles out. We should make it before it storms if we leave now and ride hard."

My stomach turned. "Any other options?"

"We can stay here and pray."

I swallowed hard. "Okay. But not him. I want the one in the trailer."

Once I was standing beside the second stallion, his bulk looming over me, I started second guessing my choice. He was a regal, arrogant beast, supremely confident despite the foreign surroundings, giving me a ultimate side eye as if daring me to best him.

Jake gave me a boost up. The horse bucked lightly and stomped his feet, a not so gentle reminder that he was no docile gelding. I'd ridden stallions before but that was with daddy by my side and I had been
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Jake shrugged and jabbed his thumb over his shoulder. "That one's called Wild Card."

Wild Card was in full out hissy fit mode, ears pinned back, feet stomping and making that hideous squealing noises that never failed to put my teeth at edge.

Thunder rolled in the distance, low and loud. I felt the vibrations on the ground travel through Heart's Fury's body and into mine. I took a deep breath. The stallion's muscles twitched against my thighs. Ready or not, he was going to bolt.

Jake stepped sideways and pointed west. "Fast as you can."

Leaning down, I whispered into Heart's Fury's mane. "I don't like this any more than you do, and I swear to you, I will never dare to ride you again so let's just get through this one time okay?"

Heart's Fury scoffed. I closed my eyes and squeezed my thighs together.

Heart's Fury shot forward, furiously, going zero to sixty in less than a blink.

**********

We almost made it.

I rode without pleasure, governed by fear. My blood was alive, coursing wildly through my veins, a toxic soup of adrenaline, terror and dread. Heart's Fury was in control, his rider distracted by the increasing frequency of thunder and the fat raindrops pelting at her

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