Brittany Thomison looked out the window of her dad's beat up Chevy. The passing Arizona countryside flashed by like lightning as the sun slowly rose above the mountains.
"How far away is it?" Brittany asked. She brushed blonde hair out of her face and looked at her dad.
"Eh, about twenty more minutes. This one's bad, but I know you'll make it work." Brittany listened to her dad for a moment then turned back to her window.
Brittany and her dad didn't run an official rescue, but whenever there was word about an abused animal, they usually went to pick it up. A few people refused, but none wanted the police on their trail. So Brittany's dad said if they gave the animal to them, they wouldn't call the cops. Then after they got the animal, they called the cops anyway.
Today was because a clerk at the convienent store had been driving home from work when he was some guy riding a horse that looked like it was skin and bones. It had a nasty scar on it's hindquarters, too and seemed afraid.
"We're here." Dad said. Brittany looked out the front windshield and snorted.
"No wonder this horses is abused. It looks like he can't even afford paint." Brittany scoffed. She looked out onto the property. The 'pasture' was a cactus-infested small fenced in area with no grass or hay whatsoever. A run-in barn was falling apart and only had two standing walls. A few feet away, a small mobile home sat on bricks, it's ugly yellow paint chipping and the windows cracked open.
Dad parked aout twenty feet from the house, hiding the truck in a grove of cactus.
They jumped out stimenaously and looked around.
"I don't see a horse." Brittany said.
"Duh, Mrs. Obvious." Dad teased with a playful glint in his sky blue eyes.
Brittany rolled her own sky blue eyes and and looked farther out in the distance.
"Maybe it died."
"It didn't die."
Dad looked out into the pasture again, his cowoy hat casting a long shadow over his face.
"There it is! It's hiding behind those three cacti." He pointed toward a clump of cacti. At first Brittany couldn't see anything, just desert bushes and more cacti. But as she looked harder, she saw it. It was really skinny. Like extremely skinny. Brittany could see every rib and it's hip bones. It held it's head high, as if it could sense them. It neighed loudly and Brittany nodded.
"That's our horse." She said.
"Open the trailer. Go get the halter, lead rope and the note." Brittany ran back to the truck and grabbed the halter and lead rope. The note that stated they had taken the horse and to not call the police unless they wanted to be reported for animal abuse.
Brittany opened the trailer door and then walked back to her dad.
"Here." He took it and started walking towards the pasture, lead rope and halter in hand. Brittany ran over to the house and taped the note to the door. She quickly jogged back to the truck and watched.
Her dad had jumped the short barbed-wire fence and was walking slowly and cautiously towards the horse. The horse didn't look nervous at all. It almost looked excited and started walking towards Dad. It let him slip the halter on and lead it away through a hole in the fence.
"It knows we won't hurt it." Brittany said. Sh helped her dad lead the horse into the trailer and shut the door.
"Maybe. Let's get out of here before the owner comes back." Brittany nodded and ran into the truck. As soon as she shut her door, her dad stepped on the accelerator and they pulled out of the property, leaving a trail of dust behind.
As soon as they left and were about half a mile down the road, Brittany turned and saw a rusty SUV pull into the property.
"Close on." She said.
"It was worth it." Dad said, a smile on his face.
They drove two hours through the desert until the climate started to cool and they climbed the mountains. A few minutes later, they were about ten minutes from Flagstaff, Arizona. Brittany's dad pulled into their property with the wooden sign above the entrance labeling it Stone Haven Farm.
The property was covered in scarce grass, a few trees and short bushes. There were thirty small pastures, each for an induvidual horse. There was no main barn, but instead a small stall-like barn with four walls and a door that could be left open for the horse to escape the heat on it's own.
There was a one-hundred foot by two-hundred foot arena a few feet from the pastures and about one-hundred feet from that a small ranch-style home.
As soon as they parked, people burst out from the house. Esteban was in front, his black shoulder-length hair flying behind him as he ran. Mom's next with Alexis and Brandon not far behind.
Brittany opened the truck door and Esteban was on her like a fly on a horse.
"Did you get it, Brittany?" He asked. His Spanish rolled the r in her name making it sound like Brrritany.
"Yeah." Brittany breathed. "We did." She pointed towards the trailer, where her Mom and Dad were already unloading the horse.
"Oh Dios mío!" Esteban exclaimed. "It is beautiful." He took off towards the trailer to admire the rescue.
Brittany walked with him. Dad smiled at her.
"It's a gelding. Now that I'm looking at it better it looks like some sort of Quarter Horse mix. Probably an Akhal Teke or Thoroughbred. Maybe even all three." Wow. It looked like an amazing mix of horse, not too tall but not too short, slim features even if it wasn't starved and a delicate body.
"Esteban, find an open pasture to put him in." Dad said. Esteban nodded and happily took the gelding's lead rope. He jogged away, the horse trotting after him.
(Don't take this idea. Work in progress.)