All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
The Abandoned One
I wake to the steady drip, drip, drip of water hitting the ground beside my head, and the smell of the old coffee that Brandon is brewing. I sit up and look at our dismal surroundings: Plain, grey, stone walls and floor, a hole where the door should be, and a couple of drop-clothes covering a pile of broken liquor bottles.
I step outside. “Hey, Brooke, how’d ya sleep?” Brandon says, as he hands me a chipped cup, brimming with coffee that we found in an abandoned Wal-Mart (what is it anyway?) I sip a little and flinch at the bitter taste. I glance over at the rabbits suspended across two trees.
“Reasonable. When did you go hunting, Bro?” I ask, as I start cleaning and gutting the first one. We’d have roasted rabbit soup with onion and wild garlic added. Like he was reading my mind, Boston says, “I collected some onion and garlic, too.”
Suddenly, I heard birds and other wildlife flee in the woods. I stop what I am doing and look at Brandon. “Cops, 3 min. tops,” I say. Unfortunately, we are used to this drill. I run inside the shelter and grab the sleeping bags, food storage, and medicine bag. Brandon grabs the cooking supplies, hunting things, and snuffs out the fire.
Dodging trees and rocks, through creeks, and around dens and boroughs, we run at full speed. It takes a while for the Cop trucks to maneuver through the trees, and we are losing them rather quickly. We kept going until we hadn’t heard them in a while and make a hard left. The landscape had changed rather drastically. Instead of thick woods, what lay ahead of us is canyons and cliffs of sandstone.
“Kay, sis, do we go down?” Brandon asks. I nod, and we head down the path. The loose rocks on the trail are just threatening to throw you down the sheer path. I dodge one now and loose my footing. I slip down the grainy sand toward a cliff and fall hard on my back. As I start to slide toward the lip of the cliff, I glance down. What I see makes my stomach lurch. 125 meters below me lays points of rock, sharpened by the savage wind.
A cry escapes my lips as a strong hand grabs my hood and pulls my up, onto safer path. “Thanks!” I sob into Brandon’s arms. This incident only reminds me of all the things we have been through, and why we are here. We wanted to escape the pressure of the Central City, and instead entered a whole new category of pressure. One where you have to look out for the Cops at all time, Survive mountain lion attacks, snake bites, and now, cliffs. But I would trade this life for my old one in a heartbeat.
We keep on the torturous path, until we reach the heart of the canyon. An old building stands in front of us. “McGill’s Horse rides. Go into the heart of the Canyon…” Then Brandon brakes off. That is where the sign ends in a jagged edge, broken off years ago.
CREAK! I push the rusty door open and step inside the old barn. The stalls are falling down and loose piles of sand settled in every corner and crevice. Brandon pushes in the door to the office and rummages through the stuff. I follow him in and sort through some drawers. Paper, paper, knife, paper, paper. Hold on, Knife? I pick up the heavy, rusty knife. I grip it by the blade and fling it at the wall. It sticks in the panel of wood and I reach over and pull it out.
“Nice throw, Sis.” Brandon says, “Hey, come see my loot. I found some maps, and an old saddle. If only we had a horse to ride,” He jokes. As if answering him, a loud neigh is heard.
Brandon and I exchange glances as we slowly creep to the door. I pull it open and stand there, mouth wide open. “What is it?” Brandon asks. ‘IT’ is a beautiful black and white specked horse.
To Brandon I whisper, “Can we keep it?”