Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Stranger Part 4 . . . by Rebekah Eddy

Part 4


            The morning passed quickly, and Andi didn’t see much more of Riley. Melinda kept her busy with sewing which she was sorely behind in. Lunch came and went, and Andi’s mother allowed her to stop her sewing for the day.
It was then when Cory’s cousin, Marcus Knight, decided to show up in a flashy buggy and asked Melinda if she wanted to have a ride with him. Eyes shining, Melinda said she would love to. They dashed off in a cloud of dust, and Andi looked over at her mother. Mrs. Carter looked over at her youngest daughter with a gentle smile.
“Your time will come, Andrea. Be patient.” 
Andi shook her head. “Not for a while Mother, I want to wait until everyone else has married.” 
Mrs. Carter stood and walked over to her youngest child.“You’ll get married as soon as God wants you to.” She put a hand on Andi’s shoulder. “And we don’t know when that time will be.” Andi shrugged, wishing to avoid the topic for the moment.
Mrs. Carter knew when a conversation was best to be over, and quietly went back over to her
chair and took up her sewing again.
            Andi continued staring out the window at the now empty road her sister and admirer had just gone down. Her gaze shifted slightly and she watched Chad and Riley working on a wild horse in the corral. Without realizing it, her eyes followed the wild horse, a beautiful black horse with a light brown mane and tail. The colors contrasted beautifully, and its muscles rippled, making it look so alive, as if running wasn’t an effort at all. She let out a small sigh and went back to her sewing absentmindedly.

* * * * *

The door banged shut, and Andi’s head jerked up from where she had been sewing. Chad came into the sitting room, followed by Riley. Both were grinning widely, and both were still dusty from working. Chad sank down into the nearest chair and Riley flopped down next to him.
“Well, Mother, we did it.” Mrs. Carter looked at her son.
“Oh?” she asked politely. 
Chad nodded. “It took a lot of work, but with Riley’s help I was able to finally tame Spy.”
Riley grinned sheepishly. “I didn’t help that much, just gave a hand now and then.” He paused. “I must say, that horse was beautiful. I was almost sorry to have to tame the wildness from it.”
Chad shook his head. “We tamed the wildness from Spy, but not his spirit. He’ll still be a wonderful horse; he just needed to know not to hurt any of us if we try to ride him.” Riley sighed.
“What a horse!” he exclaimed in admiration. Andi smiled.
“I was watching from the window.” She said quietly. “He is a pretty horse.” 
Chad nodded. “Would you like to see him closer?” 
Andi shot out of her chair as if she had just sat on a pin.“Would I?” she exclaimed. 
Chad chuckled.“I’ll take that as a yes. Come on!” 
Andi followed her brother and Riley out of the house and to the corral.
Spy was pacing up and down the fence. At the arrival of the humans he suddenly stood still, his muscles quivering. Andi put a hand over her mouth, he was absolutely magnificent! Suddenly, the horse took a tentative step toward the humans. They all froze. He took another step, and another. Andi thought her heart would stop beating. Spy took a whiff of all three humans and took another step. Gently, he leaned his neck over the fence and nuzzled Riley’s face! Riley let out a squeak of surprise, and Spy snorted, backing up. 
Chad looked at Andi out of the corner of his eye and grinned. Andi grinned back.
“D-did you see that!?” Riley spluttered. 
Chad nodded.“Yes, I saw that. Want him?” 
Riley’s mouth dropped open. Andi looked at her brother in shock. Chad, give away a beautiful horse like this?
“W-what?” Riley looked as if he had just been punched in his stomach. 
Chad laughed.“Spy likes you! And you need a good horse. Please, he’s a gift, take him.” 
Riley gasped.“Y-you m-mean…” 
Chad nodded.“He’s for you, since you lost Midnight.” 
Andi fought back tears. She desperately wanted to hug her brother, but knew he would be embarrassed if she did, so suppressed the urge. Riley had a few tears trickle down his face as he stood, facing Chad in shock.
“I-I don’t know what to say…except…thank you!” 
Chad shrugged.“You’re very welcome. Have fun with him.” 
Riley blinked and leaned on the fence weakly. Chad, the conversation becoming to awkward, turned abruptly and walked away into the barn. Riley looked over at Andi, who continued to stand still, disbelief written over his face.
“Your brother just gave me a horse!” he said at last.
“Is it so strange? He gave a horse to me.” 
Riley frowned thoughtfully.“I suppose that’s true. It’s still hard to believe that Spy is mine!” 
Andi nodded understandingly. Spy walked gingerly over to Riley again, and allowed him to pat his nose gently. The dinner bell rang suddenly and so Andi left Riley walked back to the house alone.

****

Melinda arrived soon and Andi noticed she seemed very happy. She spoke to her mother in undertones and then to Justin. Andi strained her ears, but couldn’t make out what they said. They all seemed very excited about something though, and Justin disappeared outside and had a long conversation with the cousin.
Andi exchanged a glance with Mitch and Chad, who were both across the table from her. Chad was having a difficult time keeping his face expressionless, and Mitch was openly curious. Melinda didn’t seem to mind his questions, and told them all almost immediately that Marcus was courting her officially. Andi gasped and Chad gave up on keeping a straight face, smiling as if he had known all along. Mitch bounced a little in his chair excitedly.
Justin returned to the table with a huge grin on his face. He went over and hugged Melinda.
“Congratulations Melinda.” He said softly. For a few moments all was chaos, but Andi sat still in her chair. She couldn’t help smiling to herself. Wait until Cory heard this! As soon as possible, Andi slipped over to her mother.
“May I ride into town early tomorrow?” she asked. 
Mrs. Carter frowned thoughtfully. “Not alone.” 
Andi’s shoulders sagged. She looked hopefully around the table.“Does anyone want to come with me to town tomorrow?” 
Justin looked up from his dinner.“I would Andi, but I promised Chad I would help him with his ranch paperwork tomorrow.” 
Mitch nodded.“Me too. I would, but I’m going to be pretty busy with horses.” 
Melinda suddenly spoke.“I’ll go with you Andi.” 
Andi’s mouth dropped open.“You will?” 
Melinda nodded.“Of course, I haven’t ridden Panda for so long.” 
Andi grinned.“Thank you!”
“You’re very welcome.” 
Silence fell and Justin reached for his Bible.“Let’s read a passage before bed.” He said. The family grew quiet, and Andi listened to her brother’s soft, strong voice as he read from the family Bible. Her eyes closed, her head nodded, and before she knew it, she was sound asleep.
* * * * *
“Andi…Andi wake up. If you want to go to town you’d better start getting ready.” Andi felt herself being shaken gently by the shoulder. She frowned.
“Go ‘way.” She mumbled sleepily. Melinda sighed and then smiled. With a strong yank, the blanket flew across the room. Andi’s eyes opened suddenly and she sat up.
“Alright, alright, I’m up.” She squinted in the bright sunshine. “What did you say?” Melinda repeated her sentence. Andi woke up as if she had just been splashed with freezing cold water. She jumped out of bed and started slipping out of her night gown in a frenzy of worry.
“Oh, how could I sleep in?” she exclaimed. 
Melinda laughed.“Never mind that, just get dressed. Mitch got our horses saddled, so all you need to do is have breakfast after you’re dressed and then we’ll be on our way!” 
Andi replied to this with a quick nod and Melinda went from her room. Andi’s hands practically flew as she made her braids and pulled on her boots. Clambering down the stairs, she nearly ran Riley over as he was coming towards her. He toppled backwards, but steadied himself just in time.
“You’re in a hurry this morning!” he exclaimed with a good-natured grin. Andi stood panting in front of him.
“Yes, I am. I’m going to town with Melinda this morning! I’m sorry I nearly ran you over.” 
Riley laughed.“That’s alright. I just came in to see what Chad wanted me to do, so I won’t be in your way anymore.”
“You weren’t in my way.” She replied graciously. Riley raised an eyebrow doubtfully at her last remark.
“Well, I still won’t be any longer. Chad promised to help me train Spy some more this morning, so I’d better head out. See you later!” 
Andi grinned.“See you later. And next time, I’ll try not to run into you!” 
Riley parted her with a wave, and Andi continued into the dining room more slowly. She finished her breakfast and met Melinda outside with their horses. Melinda gave her Taffy’s reins.
“Ready?” she asked.
“You bet I am!” They swung themselves onto their horses and took off toward town.


 

21 comments:

  1. I think it would stink if Andi got married to Cory, they should always be best friends in my mind.

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    1. No worries, Frankie. I know some would like to see them together in the end, but I have other plans for Andi. All if you will just have to wait and see! :-)

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    2. Let me guess... Riley?

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    3. Hmm... I'm kinda guessing it'll be someone REALLY unexpected that Andi will marry. Like maybe, Johnny, or Jack, or one of Jenny's brothers, or even the stable boy in San Francisco secret. (I'm kinda hoping on Johnny or Jack, though). :-)

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    4. Eww! Not Johnny! Gross! :P
      But I do like Jack. ;)

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    5. Not Johnny no! Jack not so sure about but I would like someone out of the ordinary for Andi ;)

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    6. It will not be Johnny. In fact, I am thinking of an entirely new character to bring on the scene in a couple of the books of the new series.

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    7. As far as Riley is concerned, probably not. He's a character from the little kids series which most of the older readers don't know about.

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    8. Aw I like the idea of Jack marring Andi!!!!!!!!!! But not Johnny! He's such a creep... I think it would be weird if Cory would marry Andi.
      Just my i opinion:-)

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    9. :-) Well, I meant Johnny would go through a sudden "great awakening"
      and become more like his brother (Except not the killing part:-)). Otherwise NO WAY!!! :-)

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    10. I'm glad it won't be Andi and Cory, but please, don't make Cory purpose to her! It would be waaay too much like Little Women and Anne of Green Gables...If Andi breaks Cory's heart...Well, she'd probably break mine too! :( ;)

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    11. No way will I copycat Anne of Green Gables! Here's the thing. I think they both know that Andi will always want to be on the (or a) ranch.Cory is a livery stable's son and that's what he loves to do. It's like they know that no matter how good of friends they can stay, it would be like on Fiddler on the Roof: "a bird might love a fish, but where would they make their home?" They can stay friends and still find a great life mate. Ya know?

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  2. Sweet Melinda is riding!!!
    Anna

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  3. Great great great job Rebekah!
    ~ JT

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  4. Thank you to you all! It's so fun to see all your comments on my story! :D

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  5. This story is really fun! Spy is one awesome horse.

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  6. Mrs.M? Are you going to be at the Who Convention?

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    1. Yes, ma'am! Will you be there? I will be in booths # 100-101. You can't miss me. The booths right by the entrance. If you have books you want me to sign, bring 'em on in! We can have our picture taken too, like Rhishona last year and Janelle just last week.

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    2. Yes I am! My mom will be running the Picture This booth. I have a baby brother who I am going to take care of so I will probably walk by your booth 1000 times.

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Let Andi know what you think!