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The Ark


Lana Star

Chapter 4

By Land

I trotted around a training ring with Brian on my back. I paused to look out into the pasture and watch Cobalt race his shadow around a tree.

Brian tapped his heels against my sides as he urged me to go on. I turned reluctantly and continued around the ring, moving through different paces.

I was impatient. Old man Walker was taking his sweet time in deciding if we were to race or not.

I looked back out at Cobalt and envied him. He was a retired race horse who got to run around all day and do what he wanted instead of what others wanted him to do.

I looked up at the sound of a voice. It was Mr. Hunt. He limped his way across the yard and leaned against the fence. The smile on his face was a mile wide.

"I’ve got good news for you son. Steve’s going to let you and Jewel take on Night Hawk in the Dust Bowl next week," he said as Brian let out a whoop and let me prance around the ring.

One short week later Brian and I were saddled up and ready to run.

I was nervous, not for myself, but for Brian. He had never been in a race this big and I swore to myself right then and there that I wouldn’t let anything happen to him.

"Well, well, well, look who showed up for the pony races," came a cold voice from the stale next to me.

A steel gray gelding with cold, dark brown eyes hung his head over the wall separating us.

"Well if it isn’t a stray hurdle," I said as I kept my eyes forward and looking for Brian.

Night Hawk snorted loudly as he thumped his hooves against the walls. He scared me and I drew back with my ears against my head.

"Your jockey had better watch his back or I’ll trample him into the dirt," he said as he was lead away by a handler.

Brian came then for me as well.

We were both nervous and anxious to get on the track.

Old man Walker lead me to the gates with Brian on my back. Strong words flew at Brian about his size and age. I stamped my hoof as I tried to reassure Brain that it would be fine.

We stood in silence and anticipation for the bell to ring and the gates to spring open.

When it came it all seemed to happen in slow motion. I lunged forward as Brian dug his heels into my sides. The other horses did the same and then things caught up to itself.

We sped down the track at blinding speed. Brian nudged me on when he could. We hugged ourselves tightly against the rail, which was on my right, as Night Hawk came up on the left.

Night Hawk and I locked eyes as did Brian and the other jockey. Again things jumped into slow motion.

The jockey tugged his reins to the left and Night Hawk followed suit. He came at me. I thought about stopping, but Brian kicked me and I had been trained to never disobey an order.

I put it into hyper drive as we narrowly missed Night Hawk’s assault. We ran ahead of the others freely for most of the race. We were a bit to preoccupied to notice Night Hawk coming back for more.

I couldn’t out run him anymore because I was running my fastest, but I still tried. My heart pounded painfully in my chest, but I wanted desperately to save Brian from Night Hawk’s wrath.

"…to keep…your jockey….off the…track….," Night Hawk panted as he fought to keep pace.

"Now…you’ll…pay…," he said as fate caught up to us.

He rammed into me and pushed us toward the fence. I tried to stop, then jump, but I had lost momentum in trying to stop.

We hit the rail and went down. Darkness over took me as I cursed myself for my foolishness.


By Air

The rumbling in the forest had grown into a roar. It shook our tree and the trees around us.

It was pitch black and I awoke terrified. Dagger tried to calm me, but he knew as well as I did, we would die if we stayed.

Abandoning our nest we flew away from the lights, machines and terror as fast as we could.

Dagger and I somehow were separated, but I knew we would meet again deeper in the woods.

As I flew I noticed something below me, water. I hadn’t realized that I had flown toward the river.

As I flew along it I saw lights up ahead. Boats, I thought.

But then I remembered what Dagger had told me, the river wasn’t deep enough or wide enough for boats.

If it wasn’t a boat then this wasn’t the river.

Then what was it? I asked myself as I landed on it for a closer look. It was sold and dark, road.

Which meant that my boat was indeed a car. I tried to fly away, but I had remained to long as I was hit by the on coming car.

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