The Red Filly on Channillo

The Red Filly is a novel about a high school aged girl named, Bethany Resmon. She struggles with fitting in socially and makes many mistakes along the way during the story, even to the point of possibly losing her best friend. The main story arc involves her falling in love with a beautiful half-Arabian filly named, Fyrestorm, that she first lays eyes on as she arrives at Orion Racing Stables to take on her new job as an exercise rider of the racehorses that are raised and trained there. Bethany dreams of riding Fyrestorm one day and even becoming her owner, even though she knows her mom can’t afford the flashy filly.

I’ve posted the first three chapters on this site :The Red Filly-A Novel – Dreaming of Arabians, but will post the entire novel on channillo.com chapter by chapter on a monthly basis. There are five chapters available there at this time and here is the link:

Channillo|The Red Filly by Carla Conorino

The cost for a Channillo membership is 4.99/month and the first month is a free trial period, so if you don’t like it you can cancel. With a membership you have full access to the works of hundreds of writers. All proceeds from my series The Red Filly as well as my series, Timmy Tales, will be donated to Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!

Green Grass of Wyoming

I finished reading the My Friend Flicka trilogy, which includes; My Friend Flicka, Thunderhead and Green Grass of Wyoming. I had read them years ago when I was in high school, but didn’t realize at the time how “Steinbeckian” they were. I guess I skipped over the literary bits and went straight to the horse bits. I also didn’t realize how harsh some of the training methods were with the horses because I didn’t know much about proper horse training at the time. Plus, it was the late seventies/early eighties and back then “cowboy training” was the norm.

I inherited the first two books from my Granny and they were 1940s era editions, so I splurged and bought a first edition copy of Green Grass of Wyoming from Amazon.

These are well written books and I highly recommend them. Like I said, I didn’t remember how literary they were. I plan on writing individual reviews for each one soon, I just have a lot on my plate right now, as many of us do in these uncertain times.

Stay well everyone and get Covid vaccinated if you can!

The Red Filly on Channillo

I recently added the second chapter of The Red Filly, on Channillo.com. Remember all proceeds from subscriptions to the series benefit Becky’s Hope Horse Rescue.

I’m having a lot of fun writing this story, which is inspired by a favorite book from my childhood, The Black Stallion. Although, my goal is not only to write about a girl and her horse, but address social issues as well. I hope to entertain with my writing as well as have a positive impact on society. I am very open to constructive criticism, as I continue to grow and learn as a writer. Thank you guys!

Here’s the link to the series: The Red Filly

Timmy’s Best Friend

TimmyinfrontoftheRedBarn

 

            “Of course, I’ll help your little sister, Lucas,” said Antonia.

            “Thank you, Antonia. I knew I could count on you. Kobi will be so happy! She’s already in love with this horse.  I know you’re not running a boarding facility, but I’ll pay any monthly fees you require.”

            “Lucas, you’ve helped me on so many occasions, I owe you,” said a smiling Antonia face raised, looking into his hazel eyes. “I’ll expect some work out of her though,” Antonia continued, still smiling. 

            “Of course,” said Lucas looking down at her and smiling too. 

            Antonia reached out and took Lucas’s right hand in hers.  There was a strong bond between the athletic, bronze-skinned deputy and the lovely dark-haired lady from Brazil. Antonia broke the moment by stepping back and asked, “So when can I expect my new border?”

            Lucas cleared his throat and said, “I’ll call Strider and let him know you agreed, and they can go pick up the horse. They purchased him at the auction last night to save him from the “killer buyers.”

            “What breed is the horse?” asked Antonia.

            “He’s a thoroughbred. He apparently has a minor injury and was therefore deemed no longer useful by your neighbor, Kirk Robertson,” answered Lucas.

            Antonia frowned and said, “Horses are a lifelong responsibility. Just because they can’t be ridden anymore is no excuse to betray and abandon them.” Antonia’s fists tightened as she said it.

            “I knew you felt that way Antonia. You keep old Ambush around and even Timmy, who’s never been ridden. It’s one of the many things I admire about you,” he said smiling.

           

            It was late evening when the truck and trailer pulled into Kuhaylah Arabians. School was out for the day, so Gina was at the ranch and standing next to Antonia as they watched the truck pull the trailer up the long drive.

            “Let’s meet them at the small barn,” said Antonia as she started walking toward the small red barn on the corner of the property.  There were no horses in it at the moment. They had just been using it to store hay. 

            Antonia and Gina arrived at the front of the barn just as the truck was reaching the bend in the driveway right in front of it.  Antonia signaled to Strider to stop the truck. Strider had been driving the rig at a snail’s pace, but it was very dry and there was a slight breeze on this cool, crisp, autumn evening, so a little cloud of white dust wafted over them. Strider stepped out of the truck and was immediately joined by a slim, brown-skinned girl with black hair in braids as she slid out right behind him on the driver’s side, shutting the door behind her.

            “Hey Antonia,” said Strider as the new girl looked on. “This is Kobi Remington, Lucas Remington’s younger sister.”

            “Nice to meet you, Kobi,” said Antonia smiling.

            Timmy, the ever-curious golden pony, came trotting up from the big pasture to check out the new arrival.

            “Nice to meet you too,” answered Kobi. “And thank you so much for doing this. I really love this horse!”

            “I’m always willing to help a fellow horse lover! We are kindred spirits.”

            “Hi Kobi, nice to see you. How’s your friend, Bethany?” asked Gina.

            “She’s fine, I guess, I’m not really speaking to her right now, but I don’t want to talk about it,” said Kobi looking toward Gina, but she then turned toward Timmy, “What a cute pony.”

            “That’s Timmy, he’s the head of the welcoming committee at Kuhaylah Arabians,” laughed Antonia.

            As if on cue, Timmy walked straight up to Kobi and nuzzled her neck as she giggled.

            “He likes you,” said Antonia, “and he seems to like your charge too. Let’s get him out of the trailer.”

            The trailer was a small, white, two-horse affair. The horse was on the left, so Kobi opened the right rear door after lowering the ramp and stepped inside.  “It’s okay Charlie Brown, you’re safe now,” she said to the horse. He softly nickered to her as if he understood.

            Strider opened the left rear door after she reached the head of the horse.

            It was obvious Kobi had a bond with the horse because she just tugged back on the lead rope a little while lightly tapping on his chest and he began to slowly back out as she talked softly to him.

            He was a sight to see as he stepped out of the trailer into the evening sunlight. He was a well built, bay thoroughbred with a blaze running down his entire face. Kobi turned him around to face the group and said, “His name is Charlie Brown.”

            “Charlie Brown? What a weird name for a horse,” said Gina.

            “His sire is Big Brown, the 2008 Kentucky Derby winner,” said Kobi.

            “But unfortunately for him, he didn’t take after his sire. Too slow,” said Strider.

            Timmy walked up to Charlie Brown and they touched noses. They immediately bonded, no squealing or pawing at each other.

            “Looks like Timmy found himself a best friend. Let’s take him into the small barn and check him over,” said Antonia.

            Kobi began to lead Charlie Brown toward the barn and he limped a little on his front right leg.

            “Stop a moment, Kobi, so I can check out his leg,” said Antonia.

            “He has a suspensory ligament injury,” said Strider.

            Antonia walked up to the horse, bent down and placed her hand on his leg. “His leg does feel warm and there is a little swelling. It’s a common injury in horse racing, but it seems minor. Just a little stall rest, anti-inflammatories, and support bandages and he should be fine. Why was he sentenced to certain death?” asked Antonia.

            “Like I said, too slow. Orion Racing Stables has no room for a slow racehorse,” said Strider.

            Antonia’s body tensed with anger as she straightened back up. “Ridiculous! This horse would make an excellent dressage prospect. He’s young and healthy. Besides, animal ownership is a lifelong commitment!”

            “We knew you would feel that way,” said Strider with a smile.

            “What’s dressage?” asked Kobi.

            “It’s an elegant style of riding that this beauty would be well suited for. I used to compete on horses like this when I lived in Paris,” said Antonia.

            “Paris, Texas?” asked Kobi.

            Antonia laughed, “Paris, France.”

            “Paris, France?! Wow! Could you teach me dressage?” asked Kobi.

            “I can,” said Antonia, smiling and continued, “Let’s take Charlie Brown into the barn and get him settled for the evening.”

            Gina opened the white, metal gate to let Charlie and his entourage through to the small paddock area in front of the little, red barn. Timmy tried to bring up the rear, but Gina gently pushed him back and closed the gate. “Sorry buddy. You can see your new friend later,” she said as she rubbed his nose.

            Timmy stood guard at the gate as they all went inside the barn to help their new resident settle into his forever home.

           

Timmy and Charlie Playing Video

Pictures of Timmy and Charlie Brown:

 

 

 

Hard at Work on the Next #TimmyTale

WritingaTimmyTale

On the surface, writing seems like it would be easy. I mean, you just sit there in front of a computer or relax in a chair while you write in a spiral notebook… How hard could that be? It’s not like laying concrete in 90 degree heat after all.  Yet so many of us writers seem to find it so hard to do.

When I was in my twenties, I couldn’t understand where writers got their ideas. But now in “middle age” (I’m 54), I have more ideas than I can possibly put into book form in one lifetime, so that shuts me down.

too-many-choices-paralyzes-progress

Too many choices paralyses progress.  Here’s a good article on the subject:

Too Many Choices: Problems With Searching for an Extraordinary Life

And for me, it’s not just writing, but being interested in so many things (like I think a lot or writers are), such as; astronomy, artificial intelligence, physics, it goes on and on…

Unlike the guy in the article, I didn’t have a childhood with choices or support, in fact, I mostly just had to survive my childhood.  But now, I do have choices, which has become a problem.  So because I can’t choose, for now, I’m going to keep writing Timmy Tales or other horse related short stories and horse related articles, because one constant in my life has always been horses.  Not that I had them growing up, but I read everything I could get my hands on about them, fiction or non-fiction and I watched every movie and tv show that had horses whether or not I liked the show itself.

So for now, I choose horses (and all my other 4-legged loves).

Joey and Chandler approve of this post:

JoeyandChandlerwriterhelpers

The Red Filly-Chapter 1

Honey2018

Bethany Resmon watched the flashy red filly galloping with tail held high, flipping her head as she floated across the green pasture, and Bethany felt as if her heart would burst from her chest. She thought to herself, this must be what love at first sight feels like.  Bethany memorized every inch of her as her mom drove their 1978 Ford F150 up the long, winding gravel road that led to the house and the main barn.  All the thoroughbreds were beautiful at Orion Racing Stables, but this filly had a smaller head than the rest, with a slightly dished face and delicate, curved ears.

“Mom, stop the truck!” Bethany shouted.

Helene stopped the truck after pulling off into the grass to the side of the gravel driveway because another truck was approaching theirs as it was leaving the ranch.

“Mom!  Look!” Bethany was still shouting.

Helene stuck her hand in Bethany’s face flat and palm side down.  The signal that Bethany was being too loud.  Bethany’s eyebrows scrunched down for a second because she really hated when her mother did that.  But instead of getting in an argument, Bethany placed her left hand on her mother’s chin and turned her head toward the filly.

Helene immediately dropped her hand because she was mesmerized by the beauty of this filly too. Bethany knew that when her mom was young, she had spent time with horses.  Her mom often talked about one she loved with all her heart, a little bay with a star she had named, Starbuck after the character in Battlestar Galactica.

“You see her, Mom?” asked Bethany.

“Yes…she’s beautiful…I’ve never seen anything like her,” Helene’s voice was breaking.

Bethany saw tears in her mother’s eyes.  Her mother never cried.

“Are you okay, Mom?” Bethany asked.

“I’m fine,” Helene laughed. “I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed having horses in my life.”

The other pickup pulled up alongside them.  The young man driving it lowered the passenger side window as his tires grinded to a stop in the gravel and a little dust floated out behind his truck; a sleek, black, Ram, at least a 2019 model.  He had to lower it for them to even see him through the tinted windows.  Their windows were already down because…no A/C and late Spring in Texas.

“Hi!” said the young man.  He looked to be about nineteen years old.  A couple of years older than Bethany, Helene guessed.

“Hi,” responded Bethany and Helene in unison.

“I’m Tyler.  I’m an assistant trainer here. Are you the new exercise rider?” he asked while looking at Bethany.

“Yes,” said Bethany.

“Are you excited?” he asked, smiling through perfect teeth.

“Yes,” Bethany said again.

“She’s just nervous,” said Helene, “I’m Helene and this is my daughter, Bethany.”

“Well, it’s nice to meet you both,” Tyler said looking toward Helene.  But his attention reverted to Bethany, which wasn’t surprising because men often took notice of her curves, and thick, wavy, long copper hair.  Bethany was often oblivious though since she spent most of her time up in her own head.

“I’m looking forward to riding with you Bethany,” Tyler continued, gaze still fixed on Bethany.

Helene poked Bethany and she responded, “Me too.” And smiled.

“It was nice to meet you both,” said Tyler.

“It was nice to meet you too,” Bethany and Helene said in unison again.

Tyler raised the passenger window and pulled away.  Helene pulled their old truck back onto the gravel drive, so the air was full of the sound of the tires from two trucks grinding over gravel as dust misted about them both.

“Mom, you don’t need to make excuses for me. I didn’t say anything wrong,” said Bethany.

“It’s just that you don’t seem friendly when you just give one-word answers,” said Helene.

“Mom, you worry too much about me.  My answers were just fine,”

“But Bethany…”

“Mom, please just drop it. Please.  You always do this.  This is a good day. You just saw a beautiful red filly. Just enjoy it. Please,” said Bethany.

“Okay, you’re right.  I just can’t help but worry.  You’re my only child and I love you,” said Helene.

“Mom, I love you too. Just relax,” Bethany said with a smile.

When they pulled up to the house, a tall, tanned, man about Bethany’s mom’s age was standing in the driveway talking to a young, Hispanic man, but when the older man saw their truck pull up, he turned from the younger one and waved at them.  Bethany waved back.

“Mom, that’s Kirk Robertson! He’s the one who owns this place!” said Bethany.

Helene slowed the truck to a stop and they both got out.  Bethany ran straight to Kirk and gave him a hug.  Helene was startled since Bethany rarely hugged anyone.  Helene was not prepared for how handsome Kirk Robertson was.  He had medium length blonde hair and exuded masculinity with tanned muscles and black eyebrows and sideburns.  Helene had a hard time looking at him and knew it would be even harder for her to talk to him because he reminded her of a childhood crush, Bo Duke from the seventy’s television show, The Dukes of Hazard.

She shook it off and walked toward him, feeling very conspicuous in her baggy, full length skirt and equally baggy top. Her stuck in the seventies look was complete with big gaudy earrings and necklace and un-pedicured toes in sandals.  Helene had never been secure with her looks, or lack thereof, especially since Bethany’s father just up and abandoned them.

“Hello, Bethany’s Mom,” said a cheerful and freakishly handsome, Kirk Robertson.

“Helene, and hello, nice to meet you,” Helene answered, meeting his eyes as she reached out her hand.

“Helene, what a lovely name,” said incredibly handsome man.

Kirk turned toward Bethany and the guy he had been talking to when they pulled up.

“Bethany this is Strider, our ranch manager, Pablo Castillo’s son.  He’ll show you around the place.  He’s about the same age as you, Bethany. He’s taking classes at community college right now,” said Kirk with a smile.  “I’m going to take the lovely, Helene inside to sign some paperwork, Bethany, you two enjoy yourselves.”

The two of them watched as the adults walked toward the house.  Bethany turned toward Strider and said, “Your name is Strider, like in The Lord of the Rings?”

“Yes, my dad loves those books,” said Strider.

“So, he went with Strider instead of Aragorn?”

“He thought Aragorn would be too weird,” said Strider.

Bethany laughed, “Well because Strider is so normal, right?”

“Yeah, he didn’t think it through,” Strider laughed too.

Bethany opened her mouth to respond, but Strider interrupted and said, “Hey, I know you. I thought you looked familiar.  You go to Dale City High School, right?”

“Yes, but I don’t remember you…wait, you’re the gay guy the jocks used to beat up,” said Bethany.

Strider laughed, “ Wow, you really are blunt, aren’t you?”

“What do you mean? It’s true isn’t it.  I haven’t seen you in a while though.”

“That’s because I graduated last year,” Strider laughed again.

“Oh,” said Bethany.

Strider put his arm on Bethany’s shoulder. “Come on, let’s take the truck to the training track.  My dad is working one of Robertson’s colts.  They say he’s a Derby contender.”

“Derby, like Kentucky Derby?!” asked Bethany.  She had been watching the Triple Crown every year as far back as she could remember.  The series of races that the top three-year-old horses in the country started training for at the age of two.  The Kentucky Derby was the first of the three.

“Of course,” said Strider. When they got to the truck, Strider removed his arm from Bethany’s shoulder and beckoned toward the passenger door. “Get in.”

Bethany obeyed and could hardly sit still in the passenger side she was so excited.  Strider didn’t notice that she flapped her hands a couple of times outside the truck before getting in. When Bethany was excited or angry, she flapped her hands to help shake off the extreme emotions.  She managed to force herself to stay calm once in the truck.  She was very aware that most people did not do such things.

Strider backed the truck out of the garage and then turned in the opposite direction from the way Helene and Bethany had driven toward the house.  There was another gravel road heading in the opposite direction from the house and they took that one.  They rode in silence and arrived at the training track in ten minutes, but it had seemed like much longer to Bethany.

Strider pulled up near the track and stopped the truck.  They both stepped out and Bethany was frozen in place watching the magnificent, bay stallion gallop past them on the track.  Strider had moved alongside her and they both watched the colt cross the finish line and then relax into an easy slow gallop with ears pricked as his rider stood up in the stirrups.  It was a small track, only a half mile round. The bay slowed to a canter as the rider brought him back around.  This time as rider and horse neared them, the colt was now just walking.  The exercise rider saw them and waved.  He walked the colt for a bit longer and then headed to where Strider and Bethany were standing.

“Hola hijo mío,” said the rider, “¿Quién es la chica?”

“Dad, English, please. This is Bethany Resmon, the new exercise rider,” said Strider, and then to Bethany, “This is my dad, Pablo Castillo.”

“Hello Mr. Castillo.  I don’t mind if you speak Spanish.  Well as long as you don’t start laughing and pointing at me,” said Bethany.

Mr. Castillo laughed, “Me gusta ella,” he said to Strider.

“Great,” said Strider rolling his eyes.

Bethany was awestruck by the beauty of the colt.  He’s a perfect bay, a blood bay even, Bethany thought to herself.  She was mesmerized by his glistening auburn coat and four perfect black legs which ended in four black hooves. His thick black mane and tail rounded out his perfection.

“He is beautiful, isn’t he?” said Mr. Castillo in a thick accent.

“Yes! Will I get to ride him?” asked Bethany.

Mr. Castillo laughed again, “Maybe one day,” he said. “You want to pet him?”

“Yes!”

Mr. Castillo dismounted in one quick leap and then led the colt over to the rail.  The colt was bright eyed and curious and reached over and nuzzled Bethany.

A small gasp of glee escaped her mouth and she reached up to rub his soft nose.

“His name is Giovanni. His sire is Bernardini, one of the greats,” said Mr. Castillo.

“I remember him! I watched him race on tv when I was little.  I cried when he lost to Invasor in the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic,” said Bethany.

“His jockey moved too soon.  The stretch run is longer at Churchill Downs than at other racetracks. But Invasor was a great horse too,” said Mr. Castillo.

“So, if I can’t ride Giovanni, can I ride the red filly out front?” asked Bethany as she continued to pet the colt.

“What filly out front?” asked Strider.

“The one with the beautiful, dished face,” said Bethany.

Giovanni grew impatient and stomped his foot because he knew it was time for his evening feed.  The colt still let Bethany rub his nose though. Animals were always drawn to her.

“Oh, she is talking about Fyrestorm,” said Mr. Castillo laughing.

“Why are you laughing?” asked Bethany.

“Nobody has ridden her yet.  We can’t race her, so we haven’t started training her,” said Strider.

“What do you mean you can’t race her? I saw her running in the front pasture. She barely touches the ground, as if she has wings. Is Firestorm, one word or two?” asked Bethany.

“She’s half Arabian, Bethany. That’s why her head is more distinct than the other horses. The Jockey Club only allows full-blooded Thoroughbreds to race in the U.S. and Fyrestorm is one word and it’s spelled with a y,” said Strider.

“But I thought Orion Racing Stables only bred Thoroughbreds?” asked Bethany as she summoned all her strength to remain calm.  When she had seen that red filly, it had immediately become her dream to ride her. She felt determined to do so.

Mr. Castillo laughed again, “The filly’s momma decided she wanted to jump the fence and make love to the black, Arabian stallion next door,”

“But I’ve studied the history of the Thoroughbred breed and all three foundation stallions were Arabians. The Darley Arabian, The Byerley Turk and the Godolphin Arabian. So, they have Arabian blood…” said Bethany.

“That was a long time ago, Bethany.  Most horse breeds have Arabian blood if you go far enough back because Arabians are considered the oldest breed of horse. They’re in the Bible even,” said Strider.

Bethany dropped her hand from Giovanni’s nose and her eyes filled with tears.  Giovanni snorted and stretched his muzzle out toward the crying girl.  She reached up and petted him again and smiled through her tears.

“Don’t cry chica.  See, Giovanni doesn’t even want you to cry. Maybe we can train the filly to be a stable pony. You will have to gain her trust first though.  She doesn’t come near anyone,” said Mr. Castillo.

“I can do it! I can gain her trust! Thank you, Mr. Castillo!”

Chelsea Resmon-Character Profile #TheRedFilly

Honeyglamorshot

Write Your First Novel, Week 2, Assignment One: Character Profile

Logline: An ostracized teenage girl captures the love and trust of wild red filly who she hungers to ride to victory before the naysayers can vanquish her dreams.

Character Profile:

 

Name: Chelsea Resmon (Protagonist)

Sex/Age: Female/17yo

Description: thick, wavy, copper hair and curvy figure, green eyes

Personal History: Chelsea is being raised by a single mom.  Her dad left when she was a baby, so she doesn’t remember him.  She is very close with her mom.  She has always been drawn to animals, especially horses.

Distinctive Personality Traits: Chelsea is a loner at her high school because the other students consider her “weird” and she knows it. She sometimes has strong emotional outbursts and flaps her hands when excited or angry.  Over the years she has learned to control some of those tendencies with her mother’s help and by mostly avoiding other people.  She lacks confidence and has low self-esteem, except when she’s around horses.

 

Timmy and the Red Stallion

Timmyinthepasture (2)

 

            Gina and Flame galloped around the inside edge of the arena as if they were one.  It had taken several months for Gina to gain the confidence to even ride the magnificent red stallion, but Antonia had insisted.  At first Gina would only ride Flame if Antonia were present.  Antonia would stay on the ground in the arena and instruct Gina.  Eventually Gina gained the confidence to take Flame out on the trails and Antonia would ride her trusty gelding Blaze, so Flame would stay calm.  Flame and Blaze had a close bond because they were born within a month of each other at their original home in Dubai.  The half-brothers were a gift given to Antonia by a sheikh she had met during her time in Paris working for Louis Vuitton.

            Gina slowed Flame to a canter and reached down to pet his neck.  The summer sun reached through the open sides of the arena and caressed the crimson stallion’s coat, making his neck almost sparkle in its brilliance.  Gina had been so enchanted by Flame that she hadn’t noticed Antonia escort a man and teenaged boy into the barn.  She looked over to see the gate open on the barn side of the arena as she slowed Flame to a trot on the opposite side.  She tensed up when she saw the teenager was her classmate, Chet.  He followed along behind Antonia as she led Patriot, the gray son of Spirit, their resident black stallion, into the arena, while the man leaned on the outside of the red pipe fencing and watched.  Chet saw her at the same time and smiled.  Not a friendly smile, but more like a sneer.  He held is phone up and the sun reflected off it.  Flame was already tense because he reacted to the tense signals coming from Gina’ body.  Gina wasn’t prepared when Flame bolted, so when Flame ended up on the other end of the arena, she was left in the dust in their last location together.

            Chet started laughing.  Laughing at her, the way they always did at Dale City High… 

           

            A week had gone by and during that time the video had gone viral, well, viral among Dale City High students anyway.  Gina found herself where she often did after being subjected to the almost daily humiliation that was Dale City High.  She was crying into Timmy, the golden pony’s, neck while he silently consoled her.  She felt something press into her back and turned to find Flame offering his muzzle for a kiss.  His best friend, Blaze, watched the trio from a short distance away.

            Timmy was in the paddock with the two chestnut Arabians recuperating from an eye infection.  The brothers loved the pony because he had been their caretaker when they first arrived at the ranch to help them get adjusted.  Timmy had a knack for calming other horses and was often utilized for his “nursemaid” capabilities.

            “Gina!”

            Gina looked toward the paddock gate to see her friend, Strider Castillo. She wiped her tears with the back of her hand and waved as she headed for the gate.

            Strider hugged her when she turned toward him after closing the gate.  Then he stepped back and looked at her face.

            “You’ve been crying.  Are you okay?” he asked.

            “I’m fine,” Gina lied.

            Strider wasn’t fooled.   He had known Gina all through high school.

            “It’s those bullies isn’t it?  That video going around Facebook?” he asked.

            Gina started crying again.  He held her again and said, “You have to stop this Gina.  When you let them get to you, they win.”

            Gina took a deep breath, stepped back and looked Strider in the eye and said, “That’s easy for you to say.  You’re starting college this year, so you don’t have to deal with them anymore.”

            “Exactly my point.  They’re nobody to us.  You just have one more year to deal with those losers,” said Strider.

            “I thought at least I’d get a break from them in the summer, but it seems like they’ll always be in my life.”

            “They won’t,” said Strider. “Trust me.”

            Strider and Gina walked into the barn to find Jalissa and Antonia feeding the horses. 

            Gina’s entire demeanor changed, and she called out, “Jalissa!” as she ran to her and swept her up in a big hug.

            The expression of pure joy on Gina’s face at seeing Jalissa was not lost on Strider.

            “Gina, why don’t you and Jalissa take the wheelbarrow and get some hay.  I’ll finish graining the horses,” said Antonia.

            Gina practically skipped off with Jalissa.

           

            The next morning Gina and Strider took Flame and Blaze out on the trails at the ranch.  They had been enjoying the clear, crisp morning trotting and loping the two brothers along the flat parts of the trails.  Now they rode side by side, talking as they headed back to the barn.

            “Gina, I’ve noticed the way you look at Jalissa,” said Strider.

            “What do you mean?” asked Gina.

            “I mean, it’s obvious you’re attracted to her.”

            “She’s beautiful.  Anyone would be attracted to her,” said Gina.

            “You know what I mean,” said Strider.

            “Look Strider, I’m happy for you. You know…that you’re out of the closet and all, but believe it or not some, no, most of the world is straight,” said Gina.

            Flame took a couple of high steps because he sensed Gina’s tenseness.  She relaxed a little, “Sorry boy,” she said to Flame as she reached down and rubbed the stallion’s neck.

            “Yeah, most of the world is straight, I guess.  But not you,”

            “Strider, just because I notice someone is pretty…well, it doesn’t mean anything.  And besides, I don’t want to go to Hell.”

            “So you think I’m going to Hell?” Strider laughed.

            “No, of course not.  You’re too nice, but I would…”

            “Now you listen Gina. I know you’ve been raised in this holy roller religious bullshit, but this is what I think.  God made me this way, and God doesn’t make mistakes.”

            Gina sighed and said quietly, “That’s beautiful.”

They rode the rest of the way to the barn in silence.  When they reached the outer, arena gate, they stopped and watched as Chet cantered Patriot around the arena.  Patriot rounded the far end and was then heading toward them.  When the graceful, gray gelding drew near their position and saw them, he slammed on the brakes.  Chet wasn’t ready for that, so he was launched in the air over the front of Patriot’s lowered head and landed on the floor of the arena hard.  He started crying.  Then he shouted, “Shut off that camera, faggot!”

            Gina looked over at Strider and saw his hand raised with phone in hand, obviously videoing the incident with a broad smile spread across the width of his chiseled brown face.

            For a moment Gina smiled too.  But then she reached over and pulled Strider’s arm down.

            “I don’t want to be like them, Strider,” said Gina.

            “But…,”

            Strider saw the sincerity in Gina’s eyes.  He put the phone in his pocket.

            “I love you, Gina,” said Strider.

            “I love you too,” said Gina.

           

           

         

BlazeandFlamePaddock
Blaze and Flame
Patriot Headshot
Patriot

 

 

Timmy and the Filly-A Timmy Tale

Timmy7.7.19

When Antonia and her friend, Jalissa, had first spotted the black Arabian stallion, Spirit in his ten-acre paddock, his head was down as he sipped water from the scenic pond near its center.  He was standing beneath a willow tree with his faithful gelding, Ambush, by his side.  It was like a scene from a movie…so beautiful, so serene. Jalissa felt the moisture in her eyes and cleared her throat, just as Antonia whistled to the stallion.

Spirit’s head shot up at the sound of Antonia’s whistle.  He was every bit as stunning as the black stallion from the movie the young women both loved so much.  Spirit turned on his heel and galloped toward the two women standing at the fence.  Ambush ran behind him.  Spirit slowed to a trot and the bay gelding managed to catch up staying at the gallop, and then he too slowed to a trot.

As they both watched Spirit trot toward them with tail held high, Jalissa cleared her throat again and said, “He’s magnificent, Antonia.”

“Thank you, Jalissa,” said Antonia.

“I won’t lie, Antonia.  I’m a little jealous,” laughed Jalissa.

“Jalissa, I love you and I would never want you to feel jealous.  I want you to share in my joy. I was so happy when my best friend called from New York and told me she was coming to Dallas to start her own law firm,” said Antonia.

“Best friend? Oh, you mean me,” laughed Jalissa.

The two women hugged, both laughing.  Spirit snorted, reached over the fence and pressed his lips to Antonia’s head and then Jalissa’s.  They broke apart laughing once more and Spirit drew back his head, snorting again.

“See Jalissa, Spirit approves,” said Antonia.

Now Ambush wanted to be part of the celebration too, so he softly nickered and shoved his head toward the women.  Spirit stepped aside, ever respectful of the older gelding.  Antonia placed both hands on Ambush’s cheeks and kissed him on the nose, “Oh sweet, Ambush, we would never forget you,” she said.

“C’mon Jalissa, let’s go to the house, I want you to meet my protégé, Gina Targoff. And then I have a surprise for you,” said Antonia.   She then whistled three short bursts in the direction of the stallion barn and two Anatolian Shepherds appeared from deep inside it.  They must have been napping because they stretched their legs for a couple of steps and then came running with tails wagging.

“Meet Ralph and Lauren,” said Antonia.

“Jalissa laughed, “Of course that’s what you named them.  Still missing your days in Paris, at Louis Vuitton?” asked Jalissa.

“Those were good days, Jalissa, but this place is my destiny,” answered Jalissa in a serious tone, but still smiling.

The two women looked at each other for a moment and then Antonia, turned and headed toward the house with Ralph, Lauren and Jalissa falling into step beside her.

“Gina,” Antonia called out as she opened the back door leading to the kitchen and she with her entourage in tow stepped in.

“I’m here,” said Gina, stepping around the corner hopping as she pulled on her other boot.

Gina stopped in mid boot pull when Jalissa stepped from behind Antonia.  Gina had always thought Antonia was beautiful, but Jalissa was breathtaking and at least ten years younger than Antonia.  Her black hair tumbled down past her shoulders in loose waves.  Her skin was the color of mahogany and her eyes were emeralds. Her tiny t-shirt which bore the name of Antonia’s fashion label, bigshotcowgirl, exposed the slightest midriff. She wore jeans that accented her hips and a very fit, gluteus maximus.  A pair of red leather boots engulfed the lower part of her jeans to finish out the ensemble.

“Hello, Gina.  I’m Jalissa Green,” said Jalissa.

Gina managed to regain control of her jaw and said, “Hello, nice to meet you.”

Suddenly, they heard a shrill whinny.  Ralph and Lauren ran to the back door, whining and scratching at it.  Antonia opened it and the dogs blasted out the door toward the sound.  The whinnying continued…more frantic.  It was coming from the paddock nearest the front pasture, northwest of the house.

“That’s one of the broodmares!” said Antonia as she bolted toward the gunrack in the hall and grabbed her shotgun.  “Let’s go Gina!” she said as she headed out the side door to the garage.

“I’m coming too!” said Jalissa, running out the door behind them and jumping into the back of Antonia’s jeep.

“Gina, you drive!” commanded Antonia as she jumped into the passenger side, shotgun in hand.

The key was already in the ignition, so Gina started the jeep and shot out the back of the open garage.

The tires squealed a little as she put the jeep in drive and peeled out of the driveway.  They sped over the cattle guard and then Gina wheeled the jeep a sharp right toward the commotion in the front pasture.

They all gasped.  “My god!” said Jalissa.

At the top of the hill, they saw a baby black horse surrounded by three coyotes and her frantic mother, a chestnut, Arabian mare, running along the other side of the paddock fence, screaming. The baby was crying too, but could barely be heard over the mother’s frantic cries.  As they sped toward the calamity, they saw Timmy, the golden pony, gallop up and start kicking one of the coyotes and then as if on cue, Ralph and Lauren burst onto the scene.  Those coyotes didn’t have a chance.  They were outgunned and they knew it.  So as if they were connected telepathically, all three of them sped off at once.  Ralph and Lauren took off after them, but Timmy was standing with the baby as they arrived at the scene.  Antonia jumped from the jeep, shotgun at the ready before Gina brought it to a complete stop.  She strode toward Timmy who stood protecting the trembling filly.  Mom was still running the fence line whinnying frantically.

Gina and Jalissa were now by Antonia’s side. Gina put her arms around Timmy’s neck, and he nuzzled her while Antonia ran her fingers over the baby, checking for injuries.  Finding no injuries, Antonia stroked the baby’s neck and said, “You’re okay, little Sapphire.  That was a close call.” Then Antonia called out to the mare, “Rose, your little girl is okay.”

The chestnut mare, continued to trot along the fence, upset that her filly was not by her side.

Gina and Jalissa were now consoling the filly too, as Timmy sauntered off into the pasture, grazing again as if this had all been a normal day in the life of a plucky, little pony.

Antonia stood up and said, “Okay guys, help me herd this little girl back into the paddock and reunite her with mom. There’s a small gate just a little down the fence row, we’ll get her back in through there.  Antonia began to coax the filly toward the gate, while Gina and Jalissa brought up the rear, tapping the filly’s rump from time to time.  The process wasn’t too difficult because the filly was drawn to her mother’s cries.

As they watched the filly trot toward her mother’s side after encouraging her through the gate, Jalissa said, “She’s beautiful, Antonia.”

“I’m happy you think so, Jalissa. She’s yours.  She’s the surprise I was talking about,” said Antonia.

The filly trotted back toward the fence as if to thank them. Jalissa bent down to touch her face and as she was tracing the star on Sapphire’s forehead with her finger she said, “Antonia, this is too much.  I can’t accept this gift.”

“She’s not a gift,” laughed Antonia.  “You have to work for her.   You have to help Gina and me at the ranch, when you’re not too busy with your law firm, of course,” Antonia winked as she said it.

Jalissa stood up, tears in her eyes, and faced Antonia.  The two women embraced as Gina looked on. “I love you, Antonia,” said Jalissa.

“I know,” said Antonia.

“Gina, come join this love fest,” said Jalissa, reaching out to her with one arm.

Gina joined their embrace.  She shed tears too because she had never felt such love before in her life.

“We three are a team,” said Antonia.  “Team Olympic Spirit, in honor of the legacy of our beloved black stallion!”

AV Olympic Spirit
AV Olympic Spirit-The Black Stallion

Ambush
Ambush

Rose
Rose

Ralph and Lauren
Ralph and Lauren

“Good Writing is Hard Work”

good-writing-3Snoopy Comic

I think I have like twelve loyal followers and I love you all, so I wanted to let you know that I haven’t stopped writing, just been redirecting a bit. I am currently working on the third Timmy Tale, which will be titled “Timmy and the Filly” and I’ve officially started writing my novel which was originally going to be called, Fyrestorm, but I’ve now decided on, The Red Filly, to pay homage to the original Arabian horse everyone fell in love with, The Black Stallion. Here is a picture of my copy from the 1968 printing, complete with Half Price Books sticker (that I can’t get off without ripping the cover):

IMG_5026

So before I get back to work, here’s the revised synopsis for The Red Filly:

The first time Chelsea Resmon sees the red filly, Fyrestorm, galloping in the green pastures of Wisdom Ranch and Racing Stables, it’s love at first sight.  But Fyrestorm is an outcast at the ranch because of her bad bloodlines.  Half-Arabians aren’t suitable for horse racing Chelsea is informed.  Chelsea is an outcast at her high school, because she too is different. She can’t help but be drawn to Fyrestorm. Chelsea forms a bond with the filly  and begins to ride the magnificent filly in secret.  For the first time in her life, Chelsea feels empowered and like her life has meaning, but then an accident threatens to separate Chelsea and Fyrestorm forever.