The Long Road Ahead
Author's note: Me being in AP US History and having to writing a narrative in Creative Writing is what led me to... Show full author's note »
Breaking PointJames and I agreed to sell the older stallion to the man when he arrived a few days later. He explained to Scott why we did it, and he simply agreed. I didn't blame him – I wouldn't want to handle financial matters when my loved one was stricken to bed rest.
As the months went on, the mare gave birth to a colt. We praised God for blessing us with a male. All we needed then was to have one of the mares have a filly and we would have another generation of horses to breed and we could sell one of the mares.
We had heard of storms out in the West were brutal, but we didn't expect them to be so harsh that they would rip trees from the grounds, roots and all, and animals would fly off the ground in the fierce winds. We receive a couple of thunderstorms and slight flooding, but not enough that we were trying to move the horses to safer grounds.
In Angelica's eighth month of pregnancy, on a windy evening, clouds began to form over the mountains. James and I did our usual evening routines of getting the horses rounded up and into the barn. One the mares seemed to reflect the symptoms of being pregnant, so James and I made sure she was nice and comfortable.
“I hope she has a filly. I really do,” James commented as we locked up the barn.
“Me too. And I hope those clouds disappear.” I was staring out at the mountains. They were thick, black clouds that seemed to be coming closer. I crossed my fingers in hope they wouldn't bring anything terrible.
“LEVI! JAMES!” Scott screamed as he ran out of the house. “HELP!”
“What is it?” James yelled, having quickly been put into a state of panic like me. He broke into a sprint up the hill. I followed close behind him.
“ANGELICA IS IN LABOR!” He continued to scream. His eyes were wild and he wouldn't stop jumping up and down. “SHE ISN'T DUE YET!”
“Calm down Scott!” I rubbed his shoulder when I caught up to him. “James, calm him down as I get to Angelica.” As I run up the hill, I look out at the mountains. The clouds were even closer than a couple of seconds ago.
I got inside the house and heard a scream. I ran to Angelica's bedroom, finding her lying on the bed, her legs spread out, and her hands on her abdomen. She was biting her lower lip to keep from screaming again.
“How close are the pains? I've seen my mother give birth to babies before so I know something about it.”
“Close. Levi... help me–” Her back arches as she screamed again.
I saw a flash of light outside the window and loud rolls of thunder vibrated in my ears. “Oh no. Please, not tonight!”
“Levi, it's starting to rain!” James came running in. “I think – oh my god, blood.” He covered his eyes and leaned against the wall.
“Deal with the horses then! I will deal with her.” I pulled up my sleeves and ran to grab sheets.
James ran out of the room and out the front door. Scott paced the living room as I went to prepare Angelica. I really didn't see myself ever giving birth to a child, but I had no choice.
The storm seemed to last forever. There was a flash of light in the window almost every second and the thunder was as loud as Angelica's screams. I didn't really have to tell her to do anything, she was pushing and screaming and breathing like any other woman in labor. I was there to catch the little one.
Scott came bursting into the room in the middle of one of Angelica's pushes. “It is flooding. The water is rising up the hill fast and I don't know what happened to James!”
Thoughts flooded my mind. I pictured James drowning in the flood waters and the horses going down with him. I could also see James getting the horses to high grounds and bursting himself through the front door heroically.
Another one of Angelica's screams and a flash of lightning knocked me back to reality. “I see the head!” I yelled. I couldn't really see it, but I felt a big bump and something slimy.
“The head?” Scott said softly.
“Hold your wife's hand. One more push Angelica!”
Scott went to Angelica and sat next to her, holding her hand. She let out one last scream as a lightning bold hit the ground outside the window. Scott and I screamed too.
It became silent and dark as I pulled the baby free. I heard tiny little cries, which became the proof we all needed that the child was alive. A flash of lightning hit and I was able to see its body.
“It's a girl! And she is very small but alive.” I began to clean her up. I didn't hear anymore thunder, but the lightning kept going. I heard the wind howling and the rain as it hit the water just down the hill. I prayed to God then, asking for James to be alive and for Angelica to live.
One of my pleas were answered.
James came stumbling in with a lantern in hand. I turned to face him.
“Our stallion drowned. The mares and the colt are alive though.” He said. He walked over and held the lantern over the baby girl that was now wrapped up in a warm sheet. “What is it?”
“A baby girl.” I smiled up at him.
“How is the mom?” James held the lantern up, illuminating Scott whose face was buried in his wife's chest. His soft cries were heard. Angelica's eyes were closed and her hand was rested on Scott's head.
She wasn't moving.
“Oh no...” James gasped, covering his mouth with his hand. “Is she...?”
“She kissed me good bye.” Scott lifted his head up and stared at us. “She said she was leaving and she would see us again.” He sniffled and choked a sob.
“Hold your child Scott.” I stood up and carried the baby girl to Scott.
Scott held out his arms and took his daughter into his arms. James held up the lantern to show her face. Her eyes were closed and she was breathing evenly, her tiny finger tips poking out from under the sheet.
“So tiny,” Scott cooed, placing his finger on her baby hands. “She looks like her mommy.”
“God works in mysterious ways,” James said.
I nodded my head in agreement.
“Can I be alone with her and my wife guys?” Scott looked up at us and pleaded with his eyes.
“Sure.” I said. James set the lantern on the table by the bed and we left the room.