Creative Writing The Horse Farm Final

The Horse Farm

I spent the rest of the night in my Uncles room but, from what he tells me, the small amount of sleep that I actually accomplished was restless. I tried telling him what I had seen the next morning but he insisted that I was probably tired and had mistook a bear or some other large animal. The thing I had seen that night was no animal, it looked so human despite it’s obvious feral attributes. Either way my Uncle and I had decided that if I still hadn’t calmed down by night we would call my mom and have her pick me up.
For some reason I thought that if I stayed hiding in my Uncles bed that day I might be safe from the monster. It was a child’s foolish reasoning but it still made me feel as though it couldn’t hurt me this way and I cherished that feeling with all my heart that afternoon.
“You going to be okay by yourself for a little bit?” I felt the weight of my uncles hand on my shoulder as he sat down behind me on the edge of the single bed. I turned over to face him and poked the top of my head out of the sheets.
“I’m gonna take a short nap on the couch, alright?” He continued. His face was contorted with concern as he brushed a chunk of my sandy bangs out of my forehead. I nodded my head in response and tried to keep the majority of my face hidden in the blankets. I wasn’t sure why I thought the blankets would keep my safe from what I might have seen that night, all I knew was that it provided me a false sense of security and that was good enough for me.
My Uncle got up from the side of the bed and went to turn off the light for his bedroom.
“No, please!” I jolted up and reached out my hand in a feeble plea. He looked almost wounded when he met my face. In my mind I was doing pretty good for a little boy who had just seen something traumatic but to an adult I looked pale and frightened. My eyes hung heavy with fear and my face had taken on a sickly colour, I was not my usual self and my Uncle could see it clear as day.
“I’ll leave the lights on then Davey,” He smiled at me in an attempt to provide some sort of comfort before turning around and heading towards the living room sofa for his much deserved nap. He made sure to keep the door open in case I needed him, he was a heavy sleeper so it was good for me to know he wasn’t far away if I needed to run to him.
I felt guilty putting my Uncle through this. This was our time every year and there I was spending an entire day of it being afraid of something that might not have been there in the first place. The more I thought about it the more I began to think maybe my Uncle was right and I had just imagined it. I knew it was real though but I so desperately wanted to finish my summer holiday with him and I wanted to get back to having fun and not being afraid of this thing. I eventually talked myself into staying a few more days with the compromise that if I saw the thing again I would head home faster than you could say….well…faster than pretty much anything to be honest.
It was about an hour after I had convinced myself to stay that I started to hear scratching coming from the wood porch outside. It was faint and barely audible but in my paranoid state I could hear it as loud as a Subway Train. I sunk further under my blankets and squeezed my eyes shut as tight as I possibly could. If I can’t see it, it can’t see me was my childish logic. I wasn’t even sure what was out there at the time, chances are it was a branch scrapping against the roof of the porch but there was no way in hell I was going to get up to check. I was so sick and tired of being afraid and it was beginning to feel like one thing after the other. After a while the sound gradually went away and I was left in silence once more. Was that it? Was it really over? My Uncle hadn’t made any noise so I was only going to assume that he was still asleep. As I said, my Uncle was a heavy sleeper and it might take the whole London Symphony Orchestra to wake that man up for anything.
I began to settle in again and was prepared to maybe take a nap of my own to make up for my previous lack of sleep. Everything was quiet and peaceful, I could see the sun just starting to set and watched the way it painted the sky like a watercolour masterpiece. My eye lids began to droop and my breathing slowed, sleep began to take me away when I heard a loud whinny coming from the horse barn. I sat up with a start and pulled the covers up to my neck. The sound had been quick and sharp, it lasted for all of ten seconds but it was enough to shake me. My knuckles turned white as I gripped the covers of the bed as though my life depended on it. I had been hearing horses all my life and I knew the sound of a startled horse and that the whinny I heard was most definitely it. Something had frightened the horses.
About twenty seconds later another whinny from the barn, this one was longer and louder. It sounded like someone was trying to harm them. Another whinny sounded from the barn, then another one, and another one. The whinnies started sounding more and more like painful tortured screams as they continued. I wanted to help them but I found myself glued to my bed and unable to to move a muscle. It was the monster, I couldn’t see the barn from my Uncles bedroom window but I knew that’s what it was. Fear began to grow and fester inside me and I was willing to let it take me over and hold me to my place on the bed when I remembered Justice. He was out in the horse barn with the monster. My eyes began to tear up as I realised what I needed to do.
I pulled myself up onto my shaking legs and staggered towards the front door, everything around me felt so unreal as I pushed myself through a haze of self doubt. I was no match for this monster but my friend needed me to save him and I wasn’t going to let him down. I could hear his screams coming from outside and my heart strained and tugged against my chest each and every time. I reached for the door knob and let out a small sob, I had to be brave.
I was just about to turn the handle to the outside when large arms wrapped around my shoulders and pulled me back. I screamed for my Uncle and tried to swing in my arms in defence but I the grip was to strong for me to fight.
“Davey! Calm down boy,” My Uncles voice came from the mouth of my supposed abductor. It was at this point I took a second to look down at the arms and spotted my Uncles signature brown leather watch. I let out a sigh and allowed him to pull me to the side and onto the floor of the front entrance. “You weren’t thinkin’ of goin’ out there now, were you?” his voice was stern and in his left hand he held a shot gun. I had seen my Uncle with this gun only once before when a fox found it’s way onto his property. He never used it hunt, just scare away wild animals.
“What are you going to do with that?” I asked looking directly at the long barrel of the gun.
“Get whatever is out there away from my horses. You stay here Davey,” He tipped his worn out trucker hat and stood up so he could take a quick look out towards the barn.
“Be careful. It’s the monster from the window,” I warned him in a hushed whisper. I was already worried that my earlier screaming may have already got it’s attention.
He ignored my warning and went for the door handle before pausing for a few seconds then tilting his head ever so slightly in my direction he asked “How big would you say it was?”.
“Your height, maybe a bit shorter…why?”
“The bigger it is the harder it’ll be to scare off. Should be fine though, stay by the phone and call the cops if I tell you to. If this things as big as you say maybe the other locals should know about it,” He nodded to me before heading out the double doors towards the barn. I grabbed the cordless phone from the coffee table and ran over to a window that was close to the door and faced the barn straight on. I could see almost everything from where I sat, except inside the actual barn. One of the barn doors obstructed my view but from what I could see I knew I didn’t want to see more. I could see some sort of puddle of shiny liquid on the floor of the barn and mixed in with the mess of hay from the day previous. I couldn’t quite tell if it was the lighting of the setting sun or not but the liquid appeared to be red. I was a dumb kid, I knew it might be blood but I couldn’t help but hope that the horses had just knocked over a bucket of water or something equally as improbable.
I watched my Uncle, with his shotgun and his dark tattered jeans, inch cautiously towards the barn front doors. His gun was at the ready and he was tensed up from head to toe. I held my breath in the most laboured anticipation I had even experienced in my young life. He rounded the corner out of my sight and I readied my fingers over the numbers on the cordless phone, prepared to dial 911 at the drop of a hat. What seemed like a lifetime passed me by in only a matter of seconds and all was deceptively calm. Two loud gun shots and the cry of a horse rang out through the open northern plains and I heard my Uncle yelling at something. A few more seconds of yelling then two more shots followed after and I screamed out for my Uncle Greg to come back. The windows were closed so I doubt he could have heard me but I still yelled and cried for him. Without really focusing on it my fingers dialed 911, I feel sorry for the operator that had to deal with my crying and hysterically screaming. I must have made no sense as a mumbled incoherently about some sort of hairless creature and the crying horses. The woman on the other end calmed me down and told me she would send help, I must have given her the address somewhere in there but I don’t really remember when. I know she tried asking me my name and I wasn’t able to answer, I just kept telling her that my Uncle wasn’t coming out of the barn and I didn’t know what to do.
“Sweetie, calm down. Help is on the way. What’s your name honey? Honey? You still there?” Her voice was young and calming but it did little to help me. All I could think of was never seeing my Uncle again. I sobbed into the receiver as she tried her best to use all the protocol phrases to soothe me but none of it worked, I wanted my Uncle.
Then, out of the barn, I saw my Uncle Greg running back towards the house yelling for me to call the cops. I was so happy to see him I dropped the phone and went to meet him. He burst through the door and locked and bolted it behind him before grabbing me. He rushed me furiously into the back room and shut the door behind him, using a chair from his desk to prop against the handle. I watched him, wild and erratic, close all the curtains and turn off all the lights. His hat was missing and so was his shot gun, a large cut ran down his face from his eyebrow to the corner of his lip. He was bleeding profusely but didn’t seem to notice and I was far too gone to even think about asking him what happened. He had seen the monster, I knew that much already and that was already too much. It was confirmation to me that an adult had seen it now and it wasn’t just some little boy who was scared of the dark and didn’t know the difference between a bear and his own imagination.
My Uncle Greg grabbed onto me and pulled me to sit under the window with him. He held me close and whispered repeated apologies to me about not believing me and how he should’ve listened. I didn’t care about being right though, I had my Uncle back and that’s all I cared about. Until the banging started. We could hear it throwing it’s broken body against the front door, trying to break it’s way in. We curled ourselves into a ball against the wall and prayed that it wouldn’t break through. Our prayers were not answered. A final loud shattering sound signified the monsters accomplished efforts in breaking through the very window I had been watching from only a moment earlier. My breath caught in my throat and breathing became so incredibly hard for me from that point on. I remember the past times I had visited my Uncle and we would watch scary movies together, I would always insult the people who would breath loud enough for the killer to find them. “Who even breathes that way?” I would ask my Uncle in snarky sort of know-it-all manner. Once you’re actually in a predicament where you’re scared for your life you begin to understand exactly “who breathes like that”. You do. You breathe like that and despite knowing how loud you’re breathing you can’t help it. It feels as though your lungs can never get more air and you’re suffocating on your own saliva. You want to steady your heartbeat but that just makes it worse and more laboured.
Things only became harder when we started to hear the nails from it’s hands and feet tap across the hard wood floors as it made it’s way around the house. We knew it was only a matter of time before it found the room we were in, and when it did that was it for us.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Getting closer across the God damn wood floors. Every so often we would hear it grunt after checking a new room and discovering it was empty. With every passing room its grunts grew audibly more frustrated until it finally tapped it’s way to our door. We watched anxiously as the door handle jiggled a bit, it was testing the handle to see if it was locked. Or maybe it was teasing us, either way it just made me hate the thing even more. A broken and gurgled cackle came from the other side of the door that made my blood turn cold and my hair stand on end. That was it, the monster knew we were in there.
A little tap, tap, tapping came from the door, almost as if it was knocking for us to let it in. My Uncle left my side and walked silently over to the door and placed his blood stained palms against wood, he tensed his muscles and readied himself to push back if he needed to. I just sat there with my hands over my ears trying to block out the persistent tapping. It was going in a pattern; Tap. Tap. Taptaptap. Tap. Tap. Taptaptap. Then it just sort of stopped all together and we were left once again in silence. This monster was one with a flair for the dramatic. My Uncle began to relax slightly and he leaned in closer to the door to listen. Nothing.
Normally silence would be a comfort but seeing as this creatures nails tapped on the floor when it walked that just meant it was still at the door. Why was it just sitting there? Didn’t it want us? Finally then it started again, but this time it was the hard wood tapping. It was walking away, maybe even giving up on us.
“You okay?” my Uncle mouthed the words over to me, I nodded in response not wanting to risk talking. I took a deep breath and began to relax a bit, I even went to stand up when my Uncle put a hand out to stop me. I gave him a questioning look before he turned to me and said “It stopped”.
He was right. No sooner had he said that, that rapid tapping came rushing towards the door and rammed into it with a force that shook the whole frame. My Uncle cursed and pushed his tired body against it’s force in protest. I could see the broken jointed arms of the monster force it’s was through a crack it had made for itself. It scratched and clawed it’s way at the opening in desperation and it snarled at my Uncle. It looked over at me with those dead eyes and jagged toothed jaw and screeched at me, blood and spit flying from it’s mouth. It twisted it’s pale body and began to claw at the floor in an effort to drag itself through the frame. It’s body was thin and wiry and it’s sagged breasts looked wrinkled and worn like the rest of it’s disgusting body.
“The lamp Davey. Grab the God damn lamp!” My Uncle yelled to me. He was pushing with all his strength against the door and even still it wasn’t enough. Little by little the monster was making it’s way through. I looked around the room till I spotted the old Tiffany lamp on my Uncles desk. I had to help him but that involved having to move from my safe spot below the window. I wept and shook my head;
“I can’t do!” I yelled out to him. I grabbed my knees and brought them to chest and continued to let the tears pour down. I was convinced I would die that night and I just felt so defeated that I wanted it to happen fast and painless. I had never even said bye to my mom, first my dad and then me. All I could think of was how alone she would be after this thing tore to me pieces. I then thought of my Uncle and everything he had been through. He didn’t deserve whatever fate this humanoid freak would deliver him. He was my hero and he was above the gory death of a swine.
I snapped back to reality at the sound of the monsters ribs cracking against between the door and frame. It howled in pain and sneered back at my Uncle, it’s long body contorting and struggling to turn on him. My Uncle pushed hard once more and again something cracked within the ribcage area of the beast. It lashed around wildly as it tried to retreat, my Uncle refused to let it go though. He yelled at the monster and continued to crush it again and again between the door and the frame. It scratched at my Uncle but he refused to let it free. It yelped as a rib broke through it’s skin and it spit up blood from it’s last meal on to the floor. I vomited from the smell, the bile raping it’s way from my throat and nose. I coughed violently and my Uncle turned to check on me, that was all the creature needed. Due to my distraction the creature found an opening of weakness in my Uncle. In the split second it took for him to drop his guard and check on me the creature dug it’s claws into his arm and dragged it to it’s mouth. It’s sharp, uneven teeth ripped into the flesh on his arm and he screamed in pain, dropping to the floor in order to free himself.
The creature let go and stumbled into the room, blood trailing in behind it. It looked over at the Uncle and snarled at him before looking in my direction. It stared at me briefly before yelling at me and then throwing itself through the glass window over my head and limping it’s broken and dying body into the forest.
We just sat there on the blood drenched floor staring at one another in a mixture of shock and relief. We didn’t really know what so say to each other and not like there was anything to say. It had attacked us and we won, well my Uncle won while I just sat by like a useless piece of shit and watched.
“Are you okay?” I managed to ask him once we heard the sound of the approaching police cars. Uncle Greg just stared at me and then started to just laugh. Hearing him laugh brought me instant relief and I smiled over at him, still to scared to actually move.
“You think it’s dead?” He asked me from behind his now marred smiled. I just grinned at him, not really having time to respond before the cops rushed onto the scene.
To this day Uncle Greg and I still aren’t sure what it was that visited us over those two days. No body was ever found although a trail of blood was found leading to the lake in the forest near my Uncles farm. We’ve always just told ourselves it died that night to reassure ourselves that we’re safe.
As for the farm and Justice. My Uncle lost two horses to the monster that night, Justice was not one of them although he did suffer a few minor injuries that made him no good for riding. The farm was sold and Justice went to a sanctuary for retired race horses. My Uncle has taken to city living and to this day you can’t get either of us to go anywhere near the countryside.
I also can’t say I’ve even mentally recovered from that experience. From that day on I sleep with my curtains drawn and crowbar under my bed. Why would I be this paranoid if my Uncle and I think the creature is dead? Thinking back to that day I remember something very important yet seemingly trivial. Women have breasts. No wait, bear with me.
The Monster that attacked my Uncle and I was female, that much was obvious. The only thing that really scares me and that I have never told my Uncle is that the monster I saw on the first night might have been her mate.
The Horse Farm: END
Next week begins a whole new story. Maybe another monster short or something completely different.
Thank you all for reading, this has been The Horse Farm
Till tomorrow, stay Tobly awesome.

Creative Writing: The Horse Farm Part 2

The Horse Farm

I yawned loudly as my tired body flopped onto my Uncles cracked and aged leather sofa. It had been a long day of mucking stalls, feeding the horses and cleaning out the tack shed. I could hear the loud thud of my Uncles boots hit the wood floors of his modest home as he came in for the night.
“Looks like we might be gettin’ a storm, eh Davey?” His warm chuckle finding my ears.
“If it rains can we still go riding tomorrow?” I shot up and stared at him like a dog that had just been denied a bone.
“Depends how bad it is. We’ll see though, okay?” His silver and gold beard curled up at the corners as he smiled at me.
“Thank God!” I did a little fist pump in the air for victory.
“Don’t be thankin’ him too quick, save that for your bed time prayers,” To my twelve year old brain it seemed to me that my Uncle Greg was being unfair and he had no right to tell me to go to bed. Looking back now, he had always treated me like a son and setting rules for me within his home was a way to keep me safe from something he might have known was out there.
I grumbled to myself as my Uncle pushed me down the hallway towards my inevitable doom disguised as a child’s bedtime. I flailed and tried my best to fight against his formidable strength in an attempt to maybe start a play fight hoping that might stall him. My Uncle grabbed me and slung me over his shoulder as I laughed and kicked at him. Throwing me onto my bed he flopped down beside me and the two of us laid there staring at the glow in the dark star stickers on my ceiling. It was quite for a little bit and I felt myself drifting off as we just laid there in silence.
A large growl broke me from sleeps hold and caused me to sit up right and stare at the open window that looked out towards the wood barn. My Uncle wasted no time jumping off the bed and closing the window tight. I watched him as he snapped the lock over and triple checked that it was secure.
“Damn coyotes,” He sighed under his breath. He ran his hand through his thick wavy blonde hair as he checked outside the window for any sighs of the growling creature. Up till this point in my life I had heard several wild animals noises; bears, wolves, and even coyotes. I am not sure what animal it was that made that sound that night but it sure has hell wasn’t a coyote, my Uncle knew that just as well as I did. It was like mother natures equivalent to nails on a chalk board, loud and shrill with a hint of lingering pain. It sent violent chills up my spine and left me feeling shaken.
“Don’t worry David. I’m sure it was just an injured coyote or a wolf, nothin’ to get all worked up over,” Uncle Greg assured me. I just nodded wordlessly in response.
“Get some sleep. We have another early morning tomorrow,” He gave me a hug before leaving me for the night. I still felt somewhat uneasy about that growl and I just knew that my Uncle would be outside checking the area for whatever it was that made the sound.
I tried my best to push it from my mind as I climbed into bed and cuddled into the warm fluffy alien printed bedsheets. It took me a good half an hour to calm down enough to get sleepy again but my curiosity still kept me awake. I cautiously slipped out of bed and tip toed towards the window on the opposite side of the room. I was about halfway when I heard the growl again, this time it was much closer. Have you ever heard a person growl before? Whether it was from them imitating a dog, or if it was a hint of a growl in an angry man’s tone? Either way, it doesn’t really matter because once you’ve heard it you know the kind of growl I’m talking about. The one I heard that night reminded me of a human growl, just less human. If that makes any sense at all. It was like a deranged mans imitation of what an animal might sound like mixed a shrill unearthly undertone.
I stopped dead in my tracks and just watched the window in complete horror. I was expecting some serial killer to pop up at the window and scare the shit of me. I wanted to run back to my bed and hide under the covers till morning, maybe even scream for my Uncle to come and save me. Come and save me from what though? Whatever it was hadn’t hurt me so what was I so afraid of? I swallowed hard and moved closer to the window, the house was all one level so unlike when I was at home I didn’t have height to keep me safe from the things that scared  me. My hands began to tremble as I heard something shuffling around near my window. My imagination soared to all these terrifying possibilities. So many monsters, so many things that could hurt or even kill me. My breathing started getting faster and faster as I got closer to the window glass and I could feel my eyes begin to water. I reached out to touch the glass, the rustling was getting closer but I was too scared to even run back to my bed. It had been growling and now I could hear it getting closer to my window.
My hand touched the glass and I prepared for the worst and for sometime I thought the worst would never come. The rustling stopped and all was quite except for the occasional ticking of my bedside clock. I leaned forward and looked out into the inky black night to see absolutely nothing there. I reluctantly removed my hand from the window and allowed a tiny wave of relaxation take hold of me. Maybe the wave was a bit too relaxing because it was at that point that I realised I really needed to pee. I laughed at how ridiculous I was being and dragged myself into the bathroom.
Having satisfied my curiosity and moderately handled my paranoia I was now feeling ready to settle in for the night. The cold of the house was starting to effect my exposed skin and I finished up in the bathroom quickly before heading back to my room. Upon closing my room door though my heart jumped into my chest and a scream forced it’s way violently up my throat.
Staring in through the window was something like I had never seen before. Its skin was hairless, pale and wrinkled and it’s blackened eyes stared in at me from outside. It looked like a naked mole rat only…human. It smiled at me baring it’s sharp uneven teeth, like shards of broken glass that had been stabbed into it’s bloody swollen gums. It’s nose looked to be broken and squished dramatically against it’s dirt stained face. The way it smiled looked broken and unhinged, almost as if someone had used fishing wire to pull up the corners to an impossible angle. It growled the same unholy growl as earlier and slammed it’s long disjointed hand against the glass causing a small crack to appear. I began to cry and I sank down against the wall of my room, no longer able to move my legs.
“Davey!? Davey, stop leaning on the door! Let me in! Say something for God’s sake!” My Uncle screamed desperately as he banged on the door. It took me a moment to realise that I was preventing my Uncle from entering the room by resting the weight of my body against the only entrance and I had to move if I wanted him there to protect me. I couldn’t bring myself to move even the slightest inch, I just sat there and cried hopelessly as the monster before me looked down at the crack it had created. It seemed to recognise that this fragile material was the only thing that kept it from getting to me, but tonight was not the night for that. It returned it’s focus towards my pathetic form on the floor and waved before dashing off at an incredible speed into the shadows of the night. From what I could tell the monster ran on all fours like some sort of feral humanoid, it didn’t look like a natural form at all. The entire encounter had lasted no more then ten seconds but it had felt like a life time.
Finally my uncle was able to push me far enough with the door that he could squeeze in. He grabbed me and held me in his arms as I sobbed like the scared little child that I was. He tried asking me what was wrong and if I was hurt, but I couldn’t answer him. I just cried and gripped at the material of his t-shirt and he rocked me back and forth in an attempt to calm my nerves. At least that’s what he’s told me of that night. All I can remember was focusing on the crack it left behind on my window and whose blood might’ve stained the handprint that accompanied it.
The Horse Farm: Part 2

Creative Writing Day 1: The Horse Farm Part 1

The Horse Farm

I remember when I was just a kid I would spend my summers up at my Uncles horse farm in the far reaches of northern Ontario. It was a huge plot of land with a small path near by for hiking and at the end of the path there was a large lake where my uncle would take me fishing. It was a little boys dream home. My summers there were always filled with the fond memories of the adventures I would go on when left to amuse myself. I remember once I was bored while waiting for my uncle to finish cleaning up after a horse back riding lesson so I ditched and decided to try my hand at climbing a near by oak tree. Do you know the saying “It looks like you fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down”? Well, that’s exactly what happened to me! As I neared one of the top branches the loose laces of my sneaker got caught and I slipped, hitting almost every single branch as I plummeted towards the ground. I was so lucky back then. I walked away with a scolding and a few stitches to display as battle scars once I got back home. Here I am just dwelling on happy memories though. Truth being, I focus on the good times to block out my last visit to the farm. The last time I saw the place I called a second home. The horror I faced that summer is something that will haunt me for the rest of my life. I sometimes try to tell myself it was all just a nightmare and it would make more sense if I had just dreamt it all up. Lies are more comforting than the truth at times.
It was the summer of 1988, so I think I would’ve been about twelve, and as usual my mom drove me up to my Uncles farm the day after school let out for our break. I remember being really excited to go up that time because I had gone through a growth spurt that year and I couldn’t wait to show my uncle how tall I had become. I fidgeted excitedly in my seat as I watched the familiar sites race past me on the old country roads leading up to the horse farm.
“He is going to freak out when he sees you,” My mom giggled from her place behind the steering wheel of our tiny grey car.
“You think? I can’t wait to see Justice! Do you think he’ll remember me?” Justice was the beautiful chestnut thorough bred my uncle had bought me the year before. We saw him at a horse auction and it was love at first sight. It had been a whole school year since I last saw him and I was itching to ride.
“Sweetie he’s just a horse. Don’t be insulted if he doesn’t,” My mom cautioned me ever so slightly. She didn’t want me to get my hopes up seeing as I was always the kind of kid that would take rejection hard.
We arrived at the old farm and I smiled when I saw that it hadn’t changed a bit since the last time I saw it. There was still a large break on one of the old front paddocks, the front door to the farm house was still painted a fading and flaking shade of periwinkle, and my uncle still had his tall lumberjack like charm and greying blonde beard.
“Davey! How ya doin’ kiddo!” His loud Maritime accent range out through the rural landscape as he walked towards me, arms out stretched.
“Uncle Greg!” I dropped my knapsack full of books and summer homework and bolted towards him. I leapt into his arms and he made a loud over dramatic grunt as my body smacked into him with the full force of an over excited adolescent.
“Holy shit boy! Look at cha, you’re almost as tall as me,” He grabbed me by the shoulders and pushed me back to get a better look at me. “Gives us a bit of a spin,” he motioned a turn with his index finger and I complied by extending out my arms and spinning in a circle so he could take a look at me.
“Well good lord Ashley. He’s not going to be a kid much longer, now is he?” My uncle chuckled as he turned to my mom.
“Yeah and he’s getting to be a handful too. Reminds me of you when we were kids,” My mom smirked and rubbed her palm on the top of my head.
“Can I go see Justice?” I asked my uncle. I could sense that my mom and uncle were about to start chatting about ‘the good old days’ so it was about time I made myself scarce till she left.
“He’s in the back barn waitin for ya,” Uncle Greg threw me a wink and lightly pushed me in the direction of the barn. I grinned and kicked off towards the raggedy looking wood structure. In the distance I could hear a small whiney, like a whisper in the wind. I couldn’t help but let a small laugh escape my lips as I ran in through the tall barn doors and caught my first glimpse of my boy.
There he stood, Justice, the most beautiful horse i had ever laid my eyes on and I was so relieved to see him happy and healthy. His coat shimmered in the golden glow of the sun and his black glossy hair cascaded from his neck like an inky waterfall. I knew my uncle would take good care of him but that still didn’t stop me from missing him like crazy. Anyone who has ever owned a pet knows exactly how I was feeling in that moment. I called out his name and he turned his head towards me, my mothers words echoed in my ears but as soon as his eyes met mine I knew he had recognised me. I had never been so happy. It was conformation to me that, despite all the time that had passed, this was my horse and he always would be. My young mind swirled and explored my vast imagination and created scenarios of us competing in one of those fancy gambling races and winning by a land slide. You know, kiddy dreams that were inspired by under-dog sports films.
I spent a good hour talking to him about school and brushing his long dark mane as he just stood there content to listen like any loyal friend would. Occasionally he would make a move to nip at my hair if I forgot to keep brushing him, which just caused me to laugh at him and give his nose a quick pat. It felt like talking to an old friend again.
“Davey! Your moms leavin'” My uncle called to me from the front house.
I turned to Justice and stroked his neck “I’ll be back buddy”.
I walked out of the cool dark barn and into the warm and humid summer air. It was at this point I got the first sense of something being wrong. Terribly, horridly wrong. I felt like someones eyes were following me as I treaded down the dry dirt path up to the house. It made me feel uneasy and nervous, like whatever it was didn’t like my presence.
A shiver went up my spine and I quickened my pace to avoid any prolonged exposure to the feeling. I told myself it was probably just a wild animal that had been watching me seeing as my uncle didn’t have any neighbours for miles in either direction.
‘Probably just a coyote, or a bear or maybe even a harmless deer’
Despite trying to tell myself this I couldn’t help but feel the overwhelming sense that I was incredibly wrong. How was I supposed to know then how terrible that summer would turn out to be and that someone would pay for my naivety. I was so incredibly wrong.
End part one: The Horse Farm