This story is for ages 10 and up.
Title may change.
Bree has lived her whole life in Manhattan.Apartments,taxi cabs,and freezing winters.When she is sent off to spend a summer in the tiny,off the map peice of dirt called Dusty,Texas,she is in for a huge surprise.
Travis was born and raised in Dusty and wouldn't trade it for the world.Horses are his life,a life he would never give up for anyone or anything.When Bree stumbles into town with her fancy clothes and high heel boots,Travis has to show her around town.Fun...
Drumming my fingers on the armrest of the airplane seat,I impatiently looked out the window as if I could see my aunt's house from 3,000 feet.
My phone vibrated and I looked down.Sasha sent me a text.
You there yet?Meet a cute cowboy?
It wasn't half a second till she replied with,Text me when you land.
As soon as I hit send,the flight attendants voice came over the speaker,saying we would land in a few minutes.The trip took FOREVER.Dusty would be a welcome sight as long as I was off this plane.
Dusty,Texas.Nothing but dirt and horse poop.What a wonderful summer.
“Bree!"I heard Aunt Robin calling.I gave her a half-hearted smile.
My aunt was a plump lady with graying hair,a floral dress,and a crisp white apron.She believed in doing things the right way.It wasn't what I would have chosen for my summer,but it wasn't the worst thing in the world,and I liked Aunt Robin.
Rolling my suitcase behind me,I followed her to her car,an old red beat up Chevy truck that belonged to my cousin,Rodrick,before he moved out.
“So,Bree,how was the trip?"Aunt Robin asked.
I gave a faint sigh.“Long."
She clucked her tongue.“Never liked planes much,myself."
As we drove,I looked out the window at the tiny town.Outside of the main streets,it was small farms and sprawling ranches.The horses had more room than people here.
Aunt Robin saw me gazing at each ranch as we drove by.“I love the horses 'round here.You'll like it too,darlin'."
I thought back to what Sasha had said about cute cowboys.I grinned to myself.Maybe this wouldn't be so bad.
As we pulled into the dirt driveway of Aunt Robin's little house,I nearly jumped out of the truck so I could charge my phone.I grabbed my big,pink suitcase and pushed open the door - which wasn't locked - and immediately went to where Aunt Robin told me the guest bedroom was.
The room was tiny.
The walls were painted a welcoming blue,with a matching bedspread on the bed.A wood dresser sat against the opposite wall.There was no room for anything else.
Out the window I had a wonderful view of chickens.
The horse reared,showing off his enormous size.“Steady,Boots,"I said,stepping away from the stallion.
“When are you gonna give up on that horse,Travis?"My brother yelled from the fence.
I grinned.“Never,Dev.I'm too hard-headed to give up on him."
Devin shrugged.“Whatever,Travis."He walked away,muttering about my death wish,while I struggled to calm the stallion.
Boots snorted,kicking up dust.I tightened my grip on his lead.“Easy,boy."The stallion whinnied sharply,pawing at the ground.
His chestnut coat shining under the sunlight,Boots pulled at the lead.
“I ain't letting you get away,that easy,Boots."I said,smiling at the wild horse.Devin said he couldn't be taught.I said he just didn't want to.
The stallion neighed again,his voice becoming louder this time.He tried to pull the rope out of my hands,but there was no where for him to go.“Alright,then,let's proof Devin wrong,"I said softly.
“Dev!"I yelled.“Bring the sadle!"
I saw the look on Dev's face when I led Boots back into the barn,and I knew he thought I was dumber than a box of nails.I wasn't,but I was probably just as stubborn.
“Travis,one of these days this horse is gonna throw you and it will either knock some sense into that stubborn skull of yours or kill you.And I'm sure it's the second one."
He laid the saddle across Boots's back and leaned against the doorpost.“When will you learn Boots ain't gonna listen to you?"
“You're an idiot."
“You talkin' to a mirror?"
I smiled smugly.I had won.
“Travis,get down from there before you kill yourself."Dev muttered.
I rolled my eyes.“Boots is a horse,not a bloodthirsty wolf,Devin."
“Just as crazy,though."
I ignored him.
Boots stepped forward,not liking my weight on his back.“Easy,"I said to him.He tensed.Any second he was going to buck.
“Come on,Boots,it ain't so bad..."
The stallion lifted his head.For a moment I thought he might rear,but then he kicked out his hind legs.“Steady,Boots,"I said,hanging on for dear life.“Steady!"
After a few moments the stallion must've decided I wasn't letting go.He stopped and lifted his head.He reared onto his hind legs,Trying to force me to let go.My hold tightened.
As Boots came back down,he snorted angrily.He took off at a run around the fenced pasture,kicking like a bull.
“TRAVIS!"Devin yelled over the horse's neighing,“YOU'RE GONNA DIE!"
“THANKS FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT!"I shouted back.
“You'll like the market,Bree,"Aunt Robin was telling me,“They have just everything.I'll be getting some fresh fruit,so feel free to look around on your own,darlin'."
“Okay,"I said.Shopping.People in Dusty might be a bit normal after all.
As we neared the market,I was reminded of flea markets on tv.But with horses.Horses tied to a hitching post as if I had stepped into a time machine.
I was so glad I brought my boots and plaid shirt.
Aunt Robin headed off to the stalls selling produce,while I went towards the clothes.Everything was plain,mostly in plaids or floral prints.I did find a nice pair of jeans,though,and a hat.I would blend in perfectly.
As I wandered back towards the produce maybe half an hour later,I saw a pretty horse.It was huge,and had red hair with a black mane and tail.As I stood,looking at the horse,I didn't see where I was going and ran into a boy,who dropped what he had been carrying.
“I am so sorry!"I said quickly,bending down to help him pick it up.It was mostly horse stuff - a brush,a bridle,some rope.
“Don't worry about it,"he said as I handed him his stuff.He nodded towards the horse.“Misty's a real beauty,ain't she?"
“Yeah,"I said,looking at the red horse.
He turned back to me.“I don't recognize you..."
“Oh,yeah,"I stammered,“I'm just here for the summer..."
He nodded.“You must be Robin's neice?"
The horse-boy set his stuff down next to Misty.“I'm Travis."He pulled his hat from where it was hung on the end of the hitching post,grabbed his stuff,And began untying Misty.“I'll see ya around,Bree."
“Bye,"I said as I walked away.
Aunt Robin put the basket of fruit into the truck and smiled.“Did you have a good time?"
“Yeah,"I said,looking at all the horses.Travis had been...nice?I don't know.I only talked to him for about five minutes,so why was I even thinking about him.
Meet any cute cowboys yet?
I grinned to myself.Yes I have,Sasha...I told myself to text her when we got back to the house.She would wanna hear about five minutes in which I rambled to a cute guy just because,in her mind,that meant we were a thing.
How cute was he?
Tall,brown haired,brown eyes.Cowboy hat.I typed back.
I could imagine Sasha giggling.Did you like him?
I only talked to him for five minutes.
What's his name?
A cute cowboy name.
Breeeeeee when will you see him again?
Because I literally only ran into him.I have no reason to see him.
You have lame excuses.
You have lame advice.
I turned off my phone,ignoring the inevitable million messages Sasha was sending me.I had other stuff to do.I looked out the window at the chickens in their coop.
I looked across the yard at the stream.
I looked across the stream at the endless dirt of Dusty,Texas.Yeah,I had plenty to do.Like sit and cough myself to death.
Why did Mom send me here?
The biggest question of all is How did I end up being forced to hang out with a girl who knows nothing about horses?
Dusty is horse country.Some people don't even own cars!
But Little-Miss-New-York here barely knows what the saddle is.
And,somehow,I ended up on babysitting duty.
I guess it sort of started when I ran into Bree at the market.And then we went to Robin's for dinner.
And I had to open my big mouth and mention that we met earlier.
And that is how Robin got the wonderful idea of me showing Bree around town.
“Now,"I explained slowly,“This is Dragon."I patted the horse on the neck.“He's real easy to ride."
Bree looked at the horse,tentively grabbed the reins,and froze.
“You put your foot into the stirrup,"I started for the third time,wanting so much to let Dev take over.
“I've got it,"Bree said,awkwardly climbing into the saddle.I would've pointed out that she nearly fell,but New York seemed so proud of herself that I said nothing.
Rolling my eyes,I mounted Misty,the blood bay horse Bree had been admiring the day before.Honestly,I wondered how she even noticed the horses.Not like she would care.
With a sigh,I started the mare at a walk down the trail,giving New York instructions as we went.“Hurry up already,it isn't rocket science."
“Well I am sorry that I have no clue what I am doing,Travis,but I live in an apartment,we don't have horses."She tried to get Dragon to move by pulling slightly on the reins.He gave a snort of what I assume was amusement.
I rolled my eyes and told her,“Look,I get you aren't from 'round here,but if you want to not look like an idiot,you better learn to ride.Dragon is the calmest horse in the world.If you can't ride him,you don't belong here,New York."
She flicked the reins,setting the horse off at a walk.Triumphantly,she glared at me.“I can ride.I just need some time,Travis.And I have a name,and it isn't New York."
She nudged Dragon slightly - I assume by accident - and immediately pulled back as he sped slightly.I groaned.
“Travis,what horse is in that last stall?"New York asked me.
I grinned.“That's Boots.He's kinda wild.Let me show you."
She went to stand by the fence,waiting for me to lead the huge horse out.
“Woah,"she breathed,“He's huge."
“Yeah,'bout sixteen,seventeen hands."
Devin came over and stood beside New York,leaning on the fence.“Idiot,you should know by now that horse ain't worth it."
“Shut up,Dev,"I said as I mounted Boots.
Devin snorted and said to New York,“Watch Travis nearly break his neck."
New York giggled.She almost looked like she belonged,with her strawberry blonde hair blowing out from under her hat,but she was different.Her shirt had her name embroidered across the back and her boots had high heels.She was wearing a necklace with crystals and beads.
I felt Boots tense.Immediately I got a better hold on the rope that I knew I would need when he started kicking.
But the stallion decided to do something different today.He reared and let out a loud shriek.I gripped tighter.
As he came down,his head low,he kicked immediately,sending me flying over his head.
I groaned as I hit the ground.
“Travis?"Dev said,hopping the fence,“You okay?"
I nodded as I stumbled to my feet.“Come on.I'll need some help catching Boots." Devin looked at me skeptically.“You sure it's a good idea to ride him again after he threw ya,Travis?"
“Doesn't seem safe,"New York said.
I rolled my eyes.“Boots is a horse and I'm his rider.I am going to ride that horse,if it's the last thing I do."
“If he keeps throwing you like that,"Dev muttered,“It might."
“Well,you know what they say?"I said stubbornly,“You aren't a real cowboy till you've been thrown ninety nine times."
Let me just say,Travis is the stupidest person I have ever met.He kept climbing onto that big brown horse with the white feet and kept getting thrown.It's a miracle that boy is even alive.
“New York,"He said,climbing off of the saddle,“This is how people are here.If you don't like it,you better get your fancy little high heels back to the Big Apple."
I glared at him.“I am not here because I want to be,Travis.And my name is not New York!"
Devin laughed from the barn.As annoying as he was,he was nothing compared to Travis.
“Sorry Bree,"he said,emphasizing my name,“But I didn't want to show you around,either.So you better learn to ride a horse and end my suffering."
I was about to tell him to get down off his high horse,but thought against it.“I didn't come for horses and cowboys,I came because my mom made me.I'm outta here."
I turned and walked off,down the dirt road.I heard Travis yell after me,“Good!"
I crossed my arms as I went back to Aunt Robin's house.
“Sasha,he's a jerk,"I insisted.
I heard a sigh at the other end of the phone.“Bree,he can't be that bad."
“He lets his horse throw him over and over and says he will ride that horse,and he acts like I'm an idiot,and he calls me 'New York'."
“I'm sure it isn't so bad."
“It is.And he thinks it is funny when I can't ride the horse."
“You'll get over it."
“The thing is,I won't,Sasha."I protested.
She paused.“Bree,give Texas a chance.I wish I were you."
“Whatever you say.I gotta go."Then she hung up.
I looked out the window at the chicken coop,thinking about Travis.Cowboy.More annoying than I thought.
A summer of horse poop and an idiot cowboy.What kind of place is this?
Justin and Jill leaned against the fence,watching the cows graze when I showed up at their farm.
“Hey Travis,"Jill said with a smile.
“Hey Travis,"Justin said.
Jill came over and rubbed Misty's ears.“I thought you was showin' Robin's neice around?"
I sighed.“Was supposed too,"I muttered.
“That greenhorn give ya a tough time?"Justin asked.
I nodded.“The worst."