yawns and wonders why she's up at midnight writing this. Oh, it's for you guys. I can't help it. I've seen one too many corny GTS stories (whether it be here or elsewhere) and I have to throw in my own. Although this one will be better than the last one I wrote (and probably won't finish) and it most assuredly won't be corny. If there is corniness, it will have been intended. So, without further ado, A Charmed Life.
A Charmed Life
Right Wing Attack Dog
Eric was crouched and ready for battle. His sword was drawn, antique though it was, and the heavier pieces of his clothing, such as his cloak and saddle bags, had been discarded on the ground. He just hoped he could talk his pursuers out of battle.
"Now, gentlemen, I'm sure there is some way we can avoid unnecessary blood-shed." He smiled tremulously and shifted his feet to get better footing on the rocky slope. He would need every advantage if he planned to win.
"Not likely," growled a burly man. An echo of agreements copied his words, some verbatim and others with their own style. One brave person stepped forward, wishing to be the one who took the credit for this victory. He drew his rapier and advanced on the boy.
With a quick, downward stroke, the middle-aged man did his best destabilize the younger's footing. However, what resulted was his stumbling and the younger man relieving him of his sword with a quick parry.
Eric smiled in victory when he felt his blade sink into his opponent's flesh and saw the glint of light on metal that indicated the sword's flight. His smile became slightly evil when he heard the sharp clank that announced the thin sword landing on the rocky ground, a good distance from them.
"Anyone else wish to try me?" he asked over the man's howling cries, assured of his victory over the hired men. "And am I correct to assume that my father sent you to bring me back home?" Growls and scowls were his answer. "Well then, you can leave now mostly intact and tell him I will not, under any circumstances other than those I have already set forth, return home. Now shoo." He waved his sword and empty hand at them as a woman would when shooing an animal from her path.
Just as the young man, who was still very much a boy in some ways, was about to hassle his father's thugs, a loud, piercing cry resounded through the air and the earth began to shake as if the whole planet had been grabbed between two giant hands and shaken like a snow globe.
Looking up, the group saw a massive black shadow swiftly approaching. They quickly discovered that it was not a shadow but, instead, a giant horse and rider. The rider was a young woman, hardly more than a girl. She wore short denim shorts, a tight blue t-shirt with no sleeves and cowboy boots.
The horse was a massive black stallion and did not appear to be pleased with its rider. The animal had its head down and back feet in the air, alternately bucking and running. There were times when it screamed with frustration, angry that the person on its back would not come off like all the others had.
The now extremely dwarfed group was frozen in fear of the horse and rider. None could move, except for Eric. The young man took this opportunity to flee into the scrub, throwing his cloak on and grabbing his saddle bags as he went. He cursed the loss of his horse. It would have been so much easier to escape if his charger had not broken its leg during the initial flight. Now, he was stuck fleeing on foot.
Eric watched through the trees, unable to help his curiosity--morbid though it was--as the horse and rider advanced on the still shocked group. He wanted to turn away, to not look at the demise of the men, but was unable.
Tor Keller rode the wild, unbroken stallion with all the strength and tenacity she normally did. However, her strength was pushed to a whole new level on this particular ride. Her idiot brothers were to blame. But that was for another time.
Gritting her teeth and clamping her jaw, Tor clenched her firm thighs around the saddle and double checked the position of her heels, making sure they were down and her toes pointed out. She readjusted her grip on the reigns, quickly throwing her hand back into the air to keep her balance on the mustang.
"Alright, boy," she growled, "this is uncharted territory for the both of us. But that sure as hell don't mean that I'm about to let you throw me off. I've never been thrown and I'm not about to start such a bad habit. It'd likely kill me." She looked up to gauge just where this rogue horse was taking them only to see a group of small men huddled in fear. Well, they ought to be scared! I just wish they'd be scared somewhere else! "Move it!" she yelled at them; no one moved except for one lone figure that stole into the bushes.
"Smooth, real smooth. Now I have to watch out for those idiots and one more that I can't even see!" Reaching down, she grabbed the reigns with both hands and tried to pull the horse's head up, hoping to stop the bucking. However, she wasn't strong enough to accomplish her goal, so she settled for something else.
Letting the reigns slacken slightly, she gave the stallion a false sense of victory before sharply yanking the reigns to the right. This drew the animal's head in that direction as well. In turn, the stallion was thrown off balance because of the timing of the yank, in the middle of a buck. He scrambled for footing, desperately trying to remain upright, but to no avail. Shortly after Tor's risky move, the stallion lost his footing and fell.
"Oh hell no!" his rider yelled. She swiftly drew her leg from the left stirrup, drawing it up and over the saddle horn to protect it from getting scraped. However, she wasn't quite fast enough and ended up having the outside of her thigh and knee severely scraped. She hissed through clenched teeth, avoiding outright yelling. Biting her lip in an attempt to distract herself from the pain, she took account of herself and the horse. Already the animal was trying to gain its feet.
Pulling herself out of the saddle, she stood to her feet to further inspect her wound. Gingerly, she brushed as much dirt and debris from it as she could. The young woman silently thanked her idiot brothers for putting her good, fully stocked trail saddle on the stallion. Brushing her auburn bangs from her face, she pulled her hat down a little tighter over her head. She didn't stop to wonder how on earth the hat had stayed on during the ride, simply accepting the fact as she did so much else.
The bronc buster looked around, searching for the group of tiny men. She couldn't find them right off hand, so, with a shrug, she grabbed the reigns of the struggling animal.
"Alright you asshole of a horse, you're going to listen to me." As she spoke, she dug through the exposed saddle bag, searching for her lead line. Finding it quickly, she pulled it from the bag and snapped it to the horse's bridle, unclipping the split-reigns. She took the reigns and hooked them together, creating a makeshift whip that was more noise than anything else.
Tor dropped the "whip" behind her and hauled the horse's head up, helping the animal on its next attempt to rise. At first, the stallion tried to bolt, but the young woman was too close to his head for him to go anywhere. Slowly easing him back towards her, she spoke softly, keeping her hand extended.
"Easy, boy, easy. I'm not gonna hurt you." The stallion perked his ears forward and took a step towards her. Chomping at the bit in his mouth, his ears flickered back and forth, showing his uncertainty about this girl. His sides heaved, his nostrils flared and his body was coated in a light sheen of sweat. He took another step, followed by a third until his muzzle touched the tip of Tor's outstretched hand. "That's a good boy," she cooed. Slowly, she stretched her hand a bit farther in an attempt to stroke his nose.
The mustang shied, throwing his head up in the air and snorting. Tor pulled his head back down slowly, reaching out to stroke him again. This time she succeeded and gently ran her hand up and down his muzzle. "See there?" the blue-eyed young woman smiled. "No one's going to hurt you, Idiot." A silly grin settled on her face. "There's a fine name for a fine horse. Idiots are who put me on you, an idiot is what you're acting like so 'Idiot' you shall be named."
She ran her hand down his neck and slowly stepped to the saddle bag that had been crushed beneath the stallion. From it, she drew the bandage supplies for her leg. She led the now semi-complacent horse to a tall tree and tied him to a thick branch before picking up the reins and throwing them over her shoulder. Afterward, she inspected the saddle, elated to find no broken or damaged pieces and the only damage to the goods in her saddle bags was that her trail mix was now just a bag of crumbs.Stepping back, the young woman wondered what to do with the stallion.
Updated on May 7, 2009. Checked for word flow, spelling, grammar and factuality.