Day Four: Wednesday, April 6th
Today Diary, the roommate at least stayed in bed until the alarm went off. Then she got up, and played some music very, very softly. I buried my head in my pillow and waited until she was out of the bathroom before dragging myself out and in there. When I came out, she was waltzing around the room by herself to the song. It is official, diary, my roommate is insane.
We got our breakfast before we got the horses’. Misty still won’t eat any major protein. I better make sure she’s eating more during the rest of the day. We got the horses going and I said something about how we should finish helping Penny and Polly, that and we needed to pin James’ feet to the ground to make sure he went through with getting the two girls new jumps for their course. Misty was fussing over Bright, the pony, and nodding about what I was saying, when Evening suddenly went after her hair. She yelled at him and wagged her finger and did that big horse just hang his head like he completely understood her.
I bit my tongue. Did Misty get weird feelings around horses too? I just, I just couldn’t say anything. In fact, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know. I haven’t been around horses much since Big Applemack died. Even thinking about it gives me the heebie jeebies. Mother always says I need to express things more, if I expressed things maybe I wouldn’t be so, whatever it is she thinks I am. I am a teenager. I do not “express” things to my mother, especially when my mother is a therapist and insists on diagnosing me with all sorts of disorders! All I want her to do is listen! But this isn’t about that, she isn’t going to read this.
Big Applemack was one of the horses at the stable where I learned to ride. He was a big, affable fellow, which meant he was a bit slow and didn’t bite and even if he was big, he never bucked or shied or anything. He was steady, steady as a rock. He kind of was a rock. And Applemack loved his mackintosh apples. There were a bunch of apple trees in his favorite field, of course it was his favorite. And ever since he’d been a little colt, he’d eat all the green apples he could find on the ground until he was off his rocker drunk. This got him the nickname of applesnack, or smack, depending on how old he was. He was funny. He was nice too. He never bit me or kicked at me, but he was getting up in years. I mean, he wasn’t old, old, but he was definitely older that doing a bit of trail riding at an easy pace was all that he was good for and all he liked. He liked it better if you snuck him apples.
It was my day to ride him. He looked fine. He sounded fine. He was actually sober for once. I was about to brush him down and I went and patted his side and I just knew in my gut that Applemack was going to die. He turned his head to me and his big brown eyes were pretty damp. And I swear, I almost heard. ‘You’re right, kid.’ And his big old heart just stopped. His knees buckled and he dropped to the ground with a huge thump.
I screamed. I screamed and I ran. The adults couldn’t catch me. I called a cab and I got out of there so fast. It scared the living hell out of me. I was only twelve years old. I couldn’t deal with something like this! I never did go back. It freaked me out too much.
Never hung around horses again until my parents sent me here. And now, just, Heart’s a lot clearer in communicating with me than Applemack ever was. So is Star for that matter. And Misty’s horses are acting like they understand her too.
There is a ghostly rider out there. And the blacksmith is talking about magic. And I got to bluster through this because, while it might be cool of magic and ghosts were real, inside I’m shaking and my knees are knocking. Because that means that I knew before Applemack knew and anyone else knew, that old stallion was going to die. That whatever happened wasn’t some sort of fluke. I’m not normal and that creeps me the hell out.
Maybe I’m wrong, so I’m going to watch and wait and see if anything else funny happens around Misty. Because I don’t know what she’d think if I told her I knew when horses were going to die. I don’t want to know when horses are going to die. And I bet she’d freak out and be all creeped out and I’m sure she doesn’t want to know when horses are going to die either!
So I paid attention to Heart and told her that we’d be back to get them after we finished helping Penny and Polly. That she wasn’t going to be left alone in her stall all day. She seemed pleased about that. By the time I was done with that, Misty and Evening had made up, Misty hugging the big horse and of course the white pony Bright had stuck his nose into it. It was cute, but still, not so sure about this.
Misty insisted on doing the pole bending race first before we headed towards Fort Pinta and James. Of course, once we got there and Josh said good morning in his soft drawl, she turned red, squeaked like a mouse again and I had to shove her to take the course first. I looked at Josh, very confused. He’d called me Savvy like I’d introduced myself as, but he’d called Misty, Genevieve. “Huh,” I told him. “She told me to call her Misty.” His brow furrowed under his hat and he knocked it forward and scratched the back of his neck. I swear, he blushed. “Misty?” He muttered. “I like Genevieve better.”
I am so confused. Misty finished up and saved me from having to pin Josh’s toes to the ground to figure out what this is all about. I took Star through the course. There had to be some sort of trick to it. I was putting so much concentration into trying to figure it out that I almost forgot about my roomie and Josh’s odd behavior. Until I got back and they were doing, whatever they were doing and I am so confused. I worried for a moment I was going to have to drag Misty away.
We trotted, or the pony’s version of a gallop which is more the speed of a trot, over to Fort Pinta to confront James. And today, I saw a bus just outside of Fort Pinta with a sign, and when I asked James about it, he said it went to the Mall in Jorvik City.
Oh, my life might be saved here. I mean, I usually hate malls with an abiding passion. But this place has a ton of tiny shops and it just takes so much time to find everything and the selection isn’t the greatest, and a mall.
Misty put her foot down and said no.
We are going to the Mall in the future. James seemed philosophical about it. James had us run around doing some of the same things we did yesterday before we could get down to business.
That little punk, oh, it was a good thing he’d had a sore stomach yesterday or I would have given him one today. He shoved Penny and Polly’s stuff over the cliff. That is not an accident! That is a deliberate act of sabotage. Oh, grrr, if he was just a little bit older I’d give him what for and if he were a little bit younger, I’d turn him over my knee. It better have set him back a lot of money to replace those jumps.
That stomach ache served him right. Misty said something tartly about a guilty conscience. I told him that I had my eyes on him. He made noises about starting his own pony race and when both Misty and I glared at him and his stomach started acting up again, he quickly stopped. Before we left, Star deliberately sneezed in his face.
When we got over there, Penny and Polly were pretty happy. Apparently, James had already been out there that morning. He even helped them set up the race. They wanted us to try out the complete race and we were happy enough to oblige. It was pretty fun, if a bit harrowing in spots going between the fences. Star liked it.
We called for a pick up to get back to Moorland and Jenna asked the girls about the race and promised to spread the word among the campers and boarders at the stable. So, it looks like Penny and Polly are off to a good start with their race.
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.