We got back on the horses and ran about taking pictures of the observatory for Olaf. We handed him the camera and he looked over it, humming about how nice the pictures were.
I looked at Misty and shrugged.
He hemmed and hawed and then pronounced that we would build a Gondola Lift! Tunneling was out and the mountain was too steep for a road. He was an engineer. He was right! Or, so he said. We just went along with him. Apparently there had been a gondola lift there at one time, there were foundations going up the mountain. He thought if we were lucky we’d be able to use them. He gave us some GPS devices to put next to them. As we rode away from Olaf and towards the foundations I heard it again, the mechanical clanking, just like a chair lift going up a mountain.
I stopped and looked around and even looked up. This was insane. I shook my head, but the noise wouldn’t go away. Misty was looking really worried.
Maybe I just had an overactive imagination. We placed out the GPS, the last one was really hard to get to and neither Heart nor Evening liked going that high on the mountain side. We were careful going back down. Olaf looked over the GPS and declared that while the foundations were in good spots, they were too old to use. They had to go. He gave us dynamite.
We’re teenagers. I’m sixteen. Why am I being given dynamite?
He had a brochure with how to use it. Apparently, once we read it, we knew as much about it as he did. The idea was set it, light it, run. Those were some pretty concise instructions. Misty looked white as a sheet.
I looked at the foundations marching up the hill. “If we get to the next one before the first one blows, we should be safe behind it.” I swallowed hard to try and hide how nervous I was.
Misty couldn’t believe we were actually doing this. But what choice did we have? I set the dynamite near the first foundation and Heart must have sensed my urgency and fear because she broke off into a gallop towards the next foundation. I counted “One potato,” and when I hit “ten potato” and we were safely behind the next foundation, the first one exploded. The ground shook and little pebbles fell out of the sky and it was terrifying.
One day, maybe, I’ll be able to look back at this and realize how awesome it was. Today is not that day, diary, I swear, my hands are still shaking with nerves.
Misty set the next one and away we raced up towards the next foundation. We did this all the way to the last one and then we raced at break neck speed back down and didn’t stop until we got back to Olaf.
The guy laughed. It wasn’t funny. It was scary!
While we’d been risking our lives, he’d found a lift from the Alps. All we had to do was get out the letter to buy it. I took it with shaking fingers. At last, something that wasn’t going to get us killed.
We rode sedately back to the village, I admit, I was shaking still as I passed Derek the letter. At first he was all business, going on how lucky we were to make it just before international post, which was by helicopter of all things, then he saw my pale face.
“Dynamite.” I said.
“You were the one doing the explosions!” His eyes widened. “Are you okay? Did you two get hurt?” He grabbed my hands and started to rub them. “Was it fun?”
He grinned at me. “You should get an answer tomorrow about the lift.”
I nodded at him, tugged my hands from his and got back on Heart. We had papers to deliver to Marley.
Marley was happy to see our papers, he thought we’d been fast. I don’t know about that. But then he broke more bad news. He needed permissions to run a race and so the track had to be inspected. Carney was apparently a licensed inspector. Marley needed us to ride and ask him to inspect the paddock. That didn’t sound legal to me, having family inspect your track. But I was more than happy to head back to the winery, then I could collapse on my bed and finish shaking.
We rode back to the winery and well, Carney got huffy when we requested he go to Marley’s. I don’t think I worded it correctly. He huffed he’d do it when he had the time. I was too exhausted to care by that point. We went and got the horses fed again and then when we got to our room, I collapsed on the bed, tucked Roarzor under my arm and Cinnamon settled onto my chest so I could pet him.
Never again. Not if I could help it. No more dynamite. That had been scary.
Misty took a shower. Water seemed to calm her down. She always seemed to seek it out when things were highly emotional. She got out and came into the room to snuggle with Snowbelle. Only when we were both done shaking, did Misty and I go get dinner.
We were walking to dinner when Misty started hugging herself. “I yelled at Josh today,” She blurted out.
I think my jaw dropped to the ground. I turned to stare at her as she continued on about giving him an ultimatum. Misty? Misty? Who was so quiet and could be so shy had grown a little backbone and yelled at Josh? She clapped her hands over her mouth and I realized she’d been babbling. I’d missed most of it in my shock.
I glanced about. This wasn’t something we should talk about around the other girls. I shook my head. “Outside. We’re eating outside tonight, and talking in the closest thing we have to privacy around here.” We grabbed our meals on some of the disposable trays the Baroness kept in her dining room and headed out past the wine cellar and across a bridge to one of the vineyards. It was quiet, out of the way and had picnic tables.
At first I didn’t know what to say and I just stared at her. “I can’t believe you did that. I mean, you gave Josh an ultimatum!” I breathed.
Josh was being a pain according to her. I told her we could sick Derek on him if he kept being dumb. That made us both giggle. We lapsed into silence for a bit. I wasn’t really sure what to tell her. I mean, I knew less than she did. We were both teenage girls and it wasn’t like there was anyone we could trust who was an adult to talk about relationships around here. I just didn’t know and that’s what I said. We had to keep going to the race. I mean. It wouldn’t be fair to Star and Bright not to go to the one of the few races they were suited towards and really enjoyed.
I guess my face gave my uncertainty about Derek away. Because, Misty pressed and I had to fess up. I had no idea what was going on between Derek and I. I didn’t know if he was a natural tease or if he liked me. I mean, we should be beyond this pulling pig tails kindergarten bullshit. I mean, that isn’t really teasing, that is torture and abusive. He worried about me. I worried about him. Did he just want to be friends? Or was this going somewhere else? He was also so much older than I was.
We were both in tangles.
Misty changed the subject. She brought up all the different horses we’d seen riding around Jorvik and how would we ever choose which ones to buy, provided we did buy any more of them. I agreed. There were so many beautiful ones and though I hadn’t seen one of my favorite breeds yet, the Arabian, there were also a lot of black horses. We chattered about them. It cheered us up.
It didn’t solve our problem of boys. Of all the things going on in Jorvik, we’re the most tangled up over boys.
Tomorrow was another day.
2471 SC, 17,794 – 14270 Heart’s Gear = 3524 JS
Have a question you want to ask Savvy about her experiences in Moorland or before? Ask at Ask Mountain Song on tumblr.