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The Beast

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The farm stretched over hills, forests, and creeks. Horses crowded the pastures, lazily grazing and rhythmically swishing their tails. For three weeks we lived a foreign life of flies, hay, dirt roads, and meat muffins. An unexpected peacefulness hung in the air like bad news.

One morning Jen and I went riding. A cloud of dust stirred by pounding hooves hovered over us as we walked, trotted, cantered, and jumped. It wasn’t long before I turned the corner and saw a flustered Jen hunched over her horse. “No Stafford No!” she scolded as she yanked one rein and attempted to spin the animal in circles. Suddenly the beast took off galloping full speed infuriated with anger. It wanted to shake off the tiny human controlling it. I was forced to watch through the massive dust cloud as Jen desperately tried to pull the horse into the rail. It was a battle between man and beast. “Jump off! Jump off!” I screamed, but Jen didn’t hear me. I dismounted my horse and stupidly ran in front of Stafford’s path. “Whoa!” I choked, but the horse simply snorted and barreled past me. I was too small. Jen couldn’t hold on any longer. I watched with horror as she plunged head first into the ground, and Stafford, clearly satisfied, bolted back to the barn. Jen was hopelessly twisted in the railing. Her mangled arms dangled limply, her blood stained face cringed with agony. I cried for help and instinctively reached for her hand. “Don’t touch me!” she moaned, her mutilated arm twitching from the blow. I kept screaming for help, but nobody heard me. Nobody came. I watched, completely immobilized with panic, as blood trickled down her freckled skin onto the dust below. A look of defeat fell over Jen’s face. She was trembling uncontrollably. I heard my horse let out a disgruntled nicker. He had been restlessly pacing around the ring the entire time. I could feel the animal contently watching, like nothing had happened, as this girl I barely knew slipped in and out of consciousness.



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