2016 05 06 19.42.46


United States

Howdy! I am a klutzy sophomore who laughs at herself! ;) I am a country girl at heart, and love writing, reading, drawing, being outside, being with little kids, and animals. My goal is to one day publish a book, and do something great!

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Made some small changes

Rodeo Star

May 8, 2016


The rodeo was packed with fans, and their cheering drowned out the noise of my irregular heartbeat. I was expectin' my heart to leap from my chest any moment now, after all I had expectations to live up to. Ma and Pa had finally made the long drive from Minnesota to Texas, and now was my chance to prove that I had done somethin' with my life.  
The booming voice of the announcer boomed above me, bringin' me back to the rodeo world. I jumped up and down and shook my head. Let it go. You'll do fine, I told myself. At the sound of my name over the loudspeaker, I climbed over the high fence, and got comfortable in the saddle of my chestnut quarter horse. The crowd counted down as I stared at the barrels before me.
“Don’t let me down, Ajax. I got a lot ridin’ on this.” I took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled in an attempt to calm my nerves.
All at once a bell rang and the gates opened. Ajax rushed out, leaving a cloud of dust behind him, and I struggled for a moment to gain control of him. Once we were around the first barrel I had gained control of the reins and we were quickly around the second barrel. We continued weaving around the barrels with an easy flow for the next few seconds, and soon we were weaving back towards the start.. We were almost to the end of the routine, when the world around me flipped on its side and I fell to the ground, a sharp pain shooting up my shoulder on impact. When I finally realized what was going on I felt Ajax crushing my left leg and trying to get up. Pain shot up my leg and in my shoulder, and all I could hear were distant voices and a high pitched ringing in my ear. My vision blurred as I was swarmed with doctors and Ajax with vets. I felt extremely drowsy, and it was hard to keep my eyes from falling shut. Strong arms lifted me onto a stretcher and I was carried away to the infirmary. The last thing I saw before lettin’ my eyes fall shut, was Ajax being helped into a trailer to be taken to the vet’s office. Knowin’ he was in good hands, I finally acquiesced to the overwhelming need to sleep.
    “Oh. I knew this wasn’t good for him. Now look, he’s gone and broken himself.”
    “Andrea, dear calm yourself. Your worryin’ ain’t helpin’ nobody. Just drink your tea. I’m sure he’ll be up soon.”
    “I hope so. I ought to give him a piece of my mind.”
    “I’m sure you will, dear.”
    A bright light suddenly clouded my vision as I tried to open my eyes for the first time in...hours? Days? Weeks? How long had I been in here? Why was I here? Images flooded my head in a chaotic mess. A letter. The rodeo. A phone call. The rodeo. Ajax. Injured. I shot up in bed, but was immediately eased back down by the nurse who’d been preparing my medication nearby.
    “Ajax. I gotta help Ajax. Where is he?” 
    “David, calm down. Ajax is fine, a small break in his leg is all. He did better than you that’s for sure.”
    “Andrea,” my father’s voice warned. I watched my mother push back her hair and sip her tea. “Ya see son, you broke your collarbone and your leg.”
    “How?” I managed. My throat felt tight as my wild blue eyes darted around the small white room.
    “Well, how much to you remember?”
    “Not much,” I whispered. It was all jumbled in my mind, and nothing made sense.
    “Then it’s best to start at the beginning. You see, your mother and I wrote to you to alert you of our visit. We happened to be comin’ while you were going to be ridin’, so we were there at the rodeo-”
    “To see you at work,” my mother cut in. “You were magnificent. That is until Ajax lost his footing. But you were just-”
    “Ajax lost his footing?” The words hit me hard. Ajax never lost his footing. He was the sturdiest horse in all of Texas.
    “Yes dear, but you were magnificent! I mean you just-”
    “Where is he?”
    “At his stall. The vet goes to check up on him every 3 hours or so.”
    My mouth was dry, and it was hard to breathe. I eased back into the pillow behind me, everything feeling numb. I have to get out of here, I thought. Poor Ajax. It must have been my fault. I was so worried about getting everything right, and lookin’ good, I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that I was overdoing the commands. This was all my fault.
    “When can I get out of here?” I asked turning to the nurse. She smiled at me and shook her head.
    “You’re going to be in here at least another day. You were broken up pretty good. I’ll send the doc in here to go over details with you.”
    “Thank you,” I mumbled as she left the room. My face fell into my hands, overcome with shame. “How did I let this happen?”
    “It’s not your fault, dear.” I felt a small hand close around my shoulder and smelt peppermint as my mother sat at the edge of the bed.
    “It is my fault. I was so worried about impressin’ you, so that you could stop worryin’ about me, that I overdid the commands and he slipped. Ajax has never slipped up, so it must’ve been somethin’ I did.”
    “Son, there’s a first time for everythin’. Besides, Ajax isn’t as young as when you bought him. Age tends to take a toll eventually.”
    “Are you sayin’ I shouldn’t ride Ajax in the rodeo?”
    “I’m just suggestin’ that Ajax maybe isn’t all that he was.”
    “If I can’t ride Ajax, I’m not doin’ the rodeo no more!”
    “Oh thank heavens,” my mother exclaimed.
    “Sorry, dear. It’s just that I’m always so worried about you ridin’ around like that. This incident has only confirmed my worries. You know, maybe you ought to come back with us to Minnesota.”
    “Andrea, you know he ain’t gonna do that. You worry too much woman. He’s a man. He’s tough, and can take care of himself. Sit down will ya and drink your tea.” My father look exasperated. “I don’t want to hear from you until you’ve got a sensible thought to express.” When my mother had sat, he took a deep breath and began again. “Now listen, I don’t think you should stop doin’ the rodeo, just because Ajax might not be able to ride like that again. There’s a lot of other good horses, and you could still ride Ajax, just not for barrel racin’. In fact, I’ve recently been lookin’ at rodeo horses, because your birthday is comin’ up-”
    “I don’t want another horse. Ajax has been through so much with me.”
    “I know, son. But eventually, you’re gonna need another horse, if you want to keep barrel racin’.”
    I sighed. Ajax had been my best friend from early on in my childhood. I was there when he was born. I was ten years old, and my father’s mare was foaling. I rushed out to the barn before Dr. Harp arrived. Sunny was on the ground and breathin’ hard. I sat with her even after the vet arrived, and all the way up until Ajax took his first steps. It was a glorious thing to see. I took it upon myself to care for that little colt, and I did. For fifteen years.
    “Howdy. How are y’all doin’ today?” The sound of the doc’s voice brought me back to the present, and I sat up in bed.
    “When can I get out of here?” I asked, completely disregarding his question. I didn’t care about formalities. Ajax needed me.
    “Well, you see you broke yourself pretty bad. You broke your collar bone and your leg, which means you’ll need to be in a wheelchair for quite some time. Your leg should heal faster than your collarbone, but we don’t know anything for certain...” I tuned out not really caring. Unless I was going to hear when I could get out, I didn’t want to hear it. “...so we’ll probably release you tomorrow.”
    “Yes,” the doc said smiling.
    “How long have I been here already?”
    “Two days. You were knocked out for some time.”
    “That’s too long. I have to get out of here today.”
    “I’ll do what I can, but no guarantees.”
    “Please doc. My horse needs me.”
    “I’ll see what I can do. Right now I need you to take this medication, and I’ll have some food brought up for ya.” He left after handing me two pills and a glass of water.


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