January Story Contest

SnowFire part 4 part 3 part 2 part 1
By: Warhorse
Age: 11

Chapter Nine

As we slept in the barn next to SnowFire’s stall. I had Clue’s cute puppy dog face cuddled under my arm. He was making small yelps and I would ‘shh’ him every once in a while. At last Clue barks were quieted by an annoyed snort from SnowFire’s stall.
“Dad, don’t go!” I heard Claire’s soft mummers.  Her dad was killed it a car crash and now she lived with her kind, funny mom. “Please!” This time she yelled herself awake.
“Its ok Claire! Your in the barn with me, Clue and SnowFire!” She first looked around then seeing Autumn she laid back down and began to think.  
“Lilly?” She looked over at the camera her dad gave her.
“Yes?” I said wanting to talk instead off just sitting around.
“Do you think, everybody dies, hurts or feels pain for a reason?” She didn’t asked it to me really more to her dad.
“Sure, I guess.” I looked down at my own words and began to change them. “I mean maybe my Mom got hurt because we needed to find out if SnowFire was a good racer?”
 I said with still little believe in my own words.  She then started to make soft, almost, purring noises so I knew she was asleep. I slept so little I didn’t have a dream. I was grateful.  When I woke up the first thing I saw was SnowFire breathing down on me!
“Ah! Oh It’s just you SnowFire! I thought you were a wild thing!” He snorted in reply and began looking around for his oats and hay.
“Ok! Ok, I’ll get your feed.” I placed him back into his stall and fetched, with some help of Clue, his oats and hay and other treats. Clue hauled SnowFire’s feed bag and jumped up to hang it on its hook. I helped him pour the feed and then I cleaned Autumn & SnowFire’s stall and coats. Claire came in with a book and her camera.
“Hey Claire!” I called seeing that she seemed happier.
“Howdy, Lil!”  She petted Autumn and tacked her up while I tacked SnowFire.  “Let’s go on pine trail!”
She seemed better than she had last night and I letted out a breath.
“That would be simply awesome!” I lead SnowFire with Autumn then mounted while Claire fixed her helmet and mounted as well.
I moved SnowFire along and we headed for the pine trail. This trail was Claire’s favorite. It had a floor of pine needles so it was soft to trot. The sky was mad out of pine trees leaning over to you as though trying to hear you better. Claire always told me that her and her Mom had ridden these trails with her Dad and he’d shown her different animals and plants.
 “He used to talk about the wild herds around here forever!” She would go on about her own tails of how her Dad was convinced that a black stallion galloped clean right off the ground into the sky. I huffed but a cold sweat ran along my back.
“Are there any black stallions round here? I mean have you every seen one?” I raised my eyebrows like this was just something that popped into my mind while it really had been sitting like a lazy man on a couch watching TV all night.
She eyed me then went on, “there might be a few herds down along the mountains,” She stopped. She knew that I hadn’t been on that trail since my mom almost died on it, SnowFire was the one to save her. “I mean down along there people had reported sights of ghost horses and real ones. Never black stallions.”
I was surprised by how I was very disappointed about hearing this. Maybe I just wanted to hear that someone saw a rearing, flying black stallion galloping along their house or maybe I didn’t?

Chapter Ten

 After are trail ride Claire and I headed to town to get some things my mom had called me to get.  We hit the town’s edge and dismounted because of a law that you couldn’t come into town on horseback.
Claire talked about what feed a horse needs and what to about an over feeder but I only listened to half. I was too distracted by why I wanted, or didn’t want, to hear about a sighting of a black stallion.
My dream.
It hit me so hard I almost fell over and grasped for air.
“Lilly!? You okay?” Claire stared at what must have been my sickly pale face even for a ginger colored girl, “you need anything?”
I shook my head. That was all I could do from breaking down.  “I’m fine. Really. I just remembered that I need to get some saddle soap for SnowFire’s tack. That’s all.”
Yeah right. Like SnowFire’s already shining saddle needed some more cleaning!
I had cleaned it enough with all my worries.  Mrs. Woodburn caught me once chewing my thumb nail off clean and told me to clean of cook.
“Okay,” she looked worried, “I just thought you were hurt.”
“Thanks,” my voice soft. “I’m fine.”
We walked the horses cool then tied them to a post and walked into the tack shop for my ‘saddle soap’ that I most desired.
“Can you help us?” Claire tapped a man and he nodded, “we need some gentle saddle soap, two halters, a bucket and some bits.”
The man nodded again then led us to the saddle soap, “this is our gentle section …”
I spaced out as the man showed us soap, halters, buckets and other things.
After we got what we needed we walked over to the cafe’ and order some Brownies and milkshakes. “Vanilla my fave!” I sipped my milkshake and inhaled my brownie.
“We should get some…”
Someone with cold hands tapped my shoulder and I jumped. ‘Whoa!”
I looked into a freckled, red face of a boy my age.
“Sorry,” he started, “I just wanted to know if you, if that’s your horse outside?”
“Yeah. The pinto? That’s mine!” I said proudly. “Why?”
 “Um, well, that horse is loose and it’s bucking around town.” He said this as if he where embossed by it but I was the one too be!
“What!!!” Before he answered me I was half way out the door then I saw SnowFire bucking and rearing, “SnowFire!!”
SnowFire barely glanced at me, “What are you doing!”
A girl was crying into he mother’s coat and a man was trying to calm SnowFire.
“Whoa, boy! Calm down!” The man threw his hand up and that just made SnowFire rear and buck some more, “WHOA!”
SnowFire came down almost on the man’s shoe and I walked right up to SnowFire and put my hand in the air. “Snow. Stop. Now.”
SnowFire halted and touched his muzzle to my palm then I lead him over to the post and…The cop.
“What is wrong with that animal?”
“NOTHING IS WRONG WITH HIM!” I blurted it out. I was standing up for my SnowFire. “I mean nothing. He just got a little lonely I guess.”
The cop wasn’t believing any of this, “really?”
I nodded. “I’ll take him home.”
I lead SnowFire away and vowed that I would never be seen in town again. Claire jogged over to me with Autumn.
“Come on. That was nothing. Those guys just don’t know how hard it is.”
“Yeah. That was it.” I rolled my eyes, “Snow can’t keep bucking and rearing at people.”
Claire’s face wrinkled and I knew she was thinking hard. “I Got it! Just show them how much SnowFire means to you! How much he is worth! It’s perfect!”
We passed a fancy pony club building and Claire paused and stared at something, “what is it?”
I turned back to her and looked at a poster. “No, no…No!”

Chapter Eleven

“Please, please, please!”
This wasn’t happening.
Claire my best horse trainer friend was begging. Begging! For me and SnowFire to enter a fancy horse show.
“I said no!” I almost wanted to rip her head off, “no way! Me and SnowFire can crash a fancy cross-country show! No. Way! Snow is a pinto! No nobody thinks pintos can jump! He won’t be judged fairly!”
Claire wasn’t hearing any of this! “Why?! If he can jump just as good, or better, than those fancy thoroughbreds then he will be judged fairly!!!! I’m sure!”
Why, oh why.
“Please?” She looked to SnowFire for help and he head butted me.
“Hey! Oh, all right! Only one show! ONE!”
“YES!!!! Yes!” She jumped up and down, “yes! Only one! Okay!”
I shook my head then made her do a dressage event.
“Come on! No fair! Your good at cross-country! I don’t about any of this ‘Dressage’ you speak of!”
I laughed then mounted SnowFire and cantered away.
“Hey! Wait for me!!!!”

* * * * * * * * * * * *
I talked to my Mom and she said yes. I was actually happy about this. Maybe, maybe, this was just what we needed!
“Thanks!” I lead Clue outside to Claire waiting with a fake cross-country course ready.
“You guys can walk the trail and me and Autumn with stay here then you can ride it and we’ll wait at the end!” She mounted Autumn and I started out on the course with Clue leading.
“Good boy.”
After walking and trotting the course I walked SnowFire to the started and we were off!
“Good boy!”
We hopped over a log, in-and-out, water, trotted through a creak then we headed for the final jump when I thought of my dream.
The cheery trees turned into freaky, dead ones. The beautiful stream that followed us all the way turned into a cold, frozen death trap.
A man galloped passed me and I ducked SnowFire out of the way.
“Huh? Never ridden?” He laughed then fainted into the setting sun.
“SnowFire!” He turned us to the lake and drove us through. “No! Don’t!”
Too late. We where slipping, falling…

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

“Lilly! Are you okay?!” Claire. My wonderful-always-there Claire!
“Claire!!!! Help!!!”
She kneeled over me and felt my head then helped me sit up-right.
“What’s wrong?” Her face showed worry, “are you okay?”
I nodded. “SnowFire… Lake …Man…Drowning!”
I breathed heavily then I got up and walked to SnowFire.
“What, happened?”
“You fell. You looked fine at first then your eyes closed and you slipped off the saddle. I thought you had a heart attack!!” She walked me and SnowFire to the stable and made me sit down while she turned the horses out and cleaned the tack.
“I don’t feel that bad! I can do that really!”
She only shook her head. “No way. You fell and didn’t even know it!”
Uh huh. I didn’t know it.
I hadn’t told Claire about the lake and man. I didn’t know had to it.
Oh can you get that, yeah and I had a dream about drowning and a black stallion and I fell because of that, thanks.
That would go smoothly!
“Okay! Done!” She said in a fake-sing-song voice. “Ready?”
“For what?” She pulled me inside the house and Clue nipped at my heels.
“This!” She opened her hands wide and my Mom came walking, very carefully, down the stairs with Mrs. Woodburn on one side.
“MOM!” She opened her arms as she stepped on the floor and I hugged her. “This is so cool!”

Chapter Twelve

Okay. Two months, no dreams, good horse. What could go wrong?
We where at the show. All trained. Over all the falling drama and ready to go!

I think?
No. We where!
“Lilly! Get your show stuff!” Mom called from her new handy capped jeep. “It’s in the trunk!”
“Okay! Thanks!” I grabbed my stuff and lead SnowFire towards the stalls. “Good boy. Right in there I think!”
After grooming, tacking and dressing me and Snow I was ready to kill! Soooooo many other riders were riding around a ring and they looked much better. Other girls with purebred thoroughbreds laughed at SnowFire and told me he would never win.
“Your wrong! I’ll show you!” They only laughed.
“Whatever.” They rode off and left me to ride alone.
“You’re the only thing that matters Snow. Right?” He tossed his head and I mounted then trotted him out.


After warm-up some trainers told us the drill and the course and I tried to listen as hard as I could but those girls kept talking about SnowFire.
“Okay. Go through the stream and over the drop off. Got it?” I nodded then walked SnowFire to the watching area to the watch the first riders take off.
Okay. Through stream, over drop off, open gate, close gate…
I ran the course through my head then a bell rang and a skinny girl on a palomino headed off.
I clapped with everyone else as each rider began and finished.
“Great Ride by miss Sonny Appleton and her beautiful Arab Sunshine!” I swear I heard the person shuffle through papers over the loud speaker. “Next up…. Lilly Gold and her Pinto SnowFire!”
Uh oh. What did we do at the drop off again?
I walked SnowFire round the small starting ring and some guys cheered while some girls, the girls who made fun of SnowFire, huffed and whispered to each other.
“Ready? Set….. GO!!!!” A loud bell rung and SnowFire darted away with me trying to remember the course.
Through the drop-off? Over the gate?
When I saw through SnowFire’s ears a stream I remembered everything.
“Through, Snow!” SnowFire cantered through the water and I was barely splashed as we came out and cantered around a bend to the drop off.
“Okay. Over.” I pushed SnowFire on and he leaped over the off edge of the drop off into some worn down grass then I let him slow canter through some trees and My dream came back.
Can’t. Let. This. Happen! Think about what matters. Mom, Dad, Claire, Clue, SnowFire!
At SnowFire my brain woke up and I trotted SnowFire to the gate and opened the gate and he side-stepped through as I closed it then let him out at a hand-gallop.
“Not to fast.” SnowFire kept up clearing jumps and running through trees and I didn’t ever think about my dream again.
“Go for it!” SnowFire hopped over the jump before the final wide set water jump. I leaned over to him to whisper, “don’t forget.”
SnowFire’s muscles tensed then he galloped as hard as he could and jumped the water with a surge of energy.
Almost over…

Chapter Thirteen…
“Don’t forget!” I had no idea what this meant to me but it felt good to say it and SnowFire felt it too as we landed and he galloped hard to the finish line. “YES!”
I slowed SnowFire to a halt as grooms helped my down and I lead SnowFire away to walk him.
“Good boy. Time for a vet check.” I lead him to the vet’s tent and she checked him then nodded and I lead the now cooled off SnowFire to his stall and unsaddled him and then groomed him and lead him outside for the awards.
“I’m sure we did great…” My voice trailed as another came up.
“…I know. It was just plain sad that this girl was aloud just because her Mom needed the money! Yeah…..Lilly Gold….That’s her name.” One of those fancy girls was talking on the phone but I couldn’t see her through the tears.
“My mom doesn’t need any money! Me and SnowFire entered because we wanted to!” I shouted to the girl then lead Snow away and sat on a bench as I let the tears come out.
Don’t think about that girl. Think about Mom, Dad, Claire, Clue and your fave SnowFire.
“Okay SnowFire. Ready?” I wiped the tears off then walked it off and moved SnowFire in line with the other horses.
“Ladies and Gentleman! The riders!” A loud happy voice boomed over the speaker and the first girl trotted her horse out followed by other then me. “The judges will award sixth through first!”
A bald happy man walked out with a red faced women who looked allot like the boy at the Cafe’ and then a petite lady with a plate of ribbons.
“Sixth place to Gilda Fray and her Pony Rosie,” the bald man took a small brown ribbon and a big clip on brown and gold ribbon over to a girl with braids and her red roan, “good work.”
“Fifth to Katie Grace and her horse Mary Day,” The red faced women took two green ribbons the same as the other ones and handed then to a bight faced girl and her petty white mare.
“Forth to Miss Sonny Appleton and her Gelding Sunshine,” the skinny girl with the palomino got a white ribbon for her and her pony then the judge looked over to a boy with dimples and a raggy gelding. “Third to Leo and Monkey!”
The boy patted Monkey then took the ribbons and pinned on to Monkey’s bridle.
“Second…” He looked over a list, “To the great long term rider, Heather Joss.”
The girl who had talked on the phone mouth’s dropped and didn’t say a word as she was given a red ribbon and a be-grateful look from a, what looked like, mother.
“Thanks. But-“The judge moved back to the ribbons and checked the list again before raising his eye brows then glancing over us all.
“hum…. You sure?” The women nodded and he threw on a smile. “Great! First to…”
He checked the list again.
What matters, Mom, Dad, Claire, Clue and SnowFire…
“A first timer. Lilly Gold and her beautiful, pinto stallion SnowFire!”
No Way!!!!!!
“It’s great to see such talent in a young horse & rider team. Good work. See you in the ring?” The judge whispered to me and handed me the biggest set of ribbons.
“YES!” I stared at the beautiful Blue and Gold ribbons I held in my hands. I clipped the biggest one to SnowFire then I clipped the smaller one on my jacket.

What matters: This. Family, friends, horses. No Black Stallions!
“And SnowFire. My SnowFire.”