The road down the highway was always long and boring. As we passed light post after light post watching the city buildings fade behind us. Steve and I had been together for five years now; he was a charming young man, really had a good grip on life and was a quick learner. We're heading out to a little horse stud, two days drive out of the city where we spent most of our holidays with my uncle Arthur and aunt a lovely couple who lived on the property and managed it for the owner Mr Cruz.
It was a lovely property situated at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. Featuring a little home stead with a beautiful flower bed that’s always abundant with roses and other various flowers surrounding the front veranda. To the side is a twelve hundred meter thoroughbred racing track, with two separated paddocks in the middle. On the other side there are large airy stables next to six open stalls. The whole set up was surrounded by large paddocks with the four main smaller paddocks in the front of the house. These were mainly used for injured horses, or to hold our prized stallions.
I was thirteen when I started working out there just as a hired farm hand, which soon moved on to track rider and then junior trainer, that was ten years ago and I've claimed the place as home ever since. Renee the other hired farm hand turned trainer, tall, pale skinned, long dark hair a complete stunner to the men, she was rough when she had to be but always showed a gentler side when working with the horses. Her horse Choco was a dream big, pure black gelding. Was given to her by Mr Cruz for he had no use for a black horse with a tendon injury. In time he healed and you should see them now tearing around the track like there's no tomorrow.
My partner, Steve and I had a long way to go and we had travelled most of the day in his big red truck, swear to god he drove it everywhere we went. Even that trip round Australia we took last year it came with us it was well known by the folks around here. We have so many fond memories with big old Red, the old Toyota surf three cars built into one. But we made the big red truck our home away from home. This road trip was long and tiering as I counted the light posts once more I could feel my eyes getting heavier and heavier...
Upon arrival everything was in an uproar my uncle was yelling instructions over the phone
"JUST GET THAT BLOODY HORSE TRUCK DOWN HERE!”
Immediately I responded to what was going on. "Steve go help my aunty get the dogs, cat and as much of their stuff as you can into the car."
"Renee grab Choco and saddle him up. Arthur what did Cruz say?"
"Said their blocking traffic but he'll get here as soon as he can"
"Ok Renee we're going to round up the horses in the bottom paddock and bring them to the track. Arthur get those colts out of the paddock and into a float. GO!"
I could feel the panic rising in my throat, panic I didn't have time for because we had to move, and we had to move fast. Running to Izademon’s stall I grabbed his bridle on the way, no time for a saddle I had to bring up those horse's. Izademon was my averaged sized red horse, with a spirit like fire and a coat to match we shared an untied bond from the day he was born which was ten years ago. I remember going into the mares paddock and there he was only a few hours old ever part of him as red as the flames of a wild bush fire. He stood perfectly calm in his stall as I led him out if the stables smoke filling the air in big thick, black sheets.
Renee and I had to guide the horses from the larger paddocks to the smaller ones so we could get them on the truck when it got here. There were 32 horses in all including foals, and only 2 riders.The smoke was thicker in the bottom paddock and it was getting hard to see but we had to keep moving. Once we had the horses filed through the gate and heading up the drive way I looked back and could see the flames racing down the hill.
Bloody hell where's Cruz when you need him. Just at that though I the horn of the horse truck behind me startling Izademon from under me I could feel the panic as my horse trembled. Fortunately Renee heard the horse truck as well and was already turning the horses around. Cruz hopped out of the truck. Opening the tailgate fear in his voice.
"Quick get them on. We have another truck coming for the mares and foals".
Fast as we could we pushed, and herded all thirteen horses on to the truck. Banging the side, as an indication the horses were loaded Cruz drove off and left us with the remaining nineteen horses. Watching the flames getting closer, counting the time we didn't have much longer...
Pushing our horses back up the drive way. I could tell Renee was just as afraid as I was. Making it back to the house I saw Steve was standing at the gate.
"Arthur just left taking your aunt and all their gear and the animals with them."
"Ok great go get the other three horses in the stables and float them; we'll tend to the mares. Hurry! Cause we haven’t got much time".
Renee rode up alongside me "Once we get these mares and foals in I’ll take the three and Choco in the float " I nodded quietly, somewhat relieved she was going to get out and that I was the one that was going to wait for the last horse truck to arrive.
The mares were panicking and hard to keep controlled, a foal running everywhere it was a difficult challenge but we somehow managed to get them all up and into a small a paddock. I watched Renee drive away with four horses in the float slowly as her outline faded; at least they were all safe.
I turned to Steve
"Go. I'll wait"
Grabbing my shoulders he spun me around. “I’m not leaving you behind"
"You've done what you can, and there’s nothing left, I’ll get in the truck..."
He looks at me giving me a tight squeeze and a kiss on the forehead.
"Get on that truck no matter what ok I don't want to lose you"
I nod in a silent agreement, knowing that I wasn't leaving until every creature on the property was safe.
I turned to Izademon and gave his head a rub. Steve and his large red truck went rolling down the driveway, he looked back into the rear view mirror as she stood there at the gate holding the reins of her little red horse, he knew she wasn't leaving that horse behind.
I was getting frantic the flames were at the foot of the range now and rolling in closer. Where was that **** horse truck?
Noticing the prick of Izademon’s ears I knew the last horse truck had arrived. I could just make out the shadow in the smoke as it rumbled up the drive. I flagged him down and got him to park at the gate of the smaller paddock where we had put the mares. The truckie got out and strode up to where I was mounted on Izademon.
"Sorry love I've only got room for fourteen horses."
Glazing out into the paddock a part of me shattered we had seven mares with foals at foot. But including Izademon we had fifteen horses left. I had no choice, “Load the mares.”
The truckie looked at me as I repeated “Load the God **** mares!”
"Ill round them up, You get the tailgate open". He nodded in agreement.
Once the last of the horses were floated I watched the truckie drive away. Would that be the last time I watch dust rise off that driveway?...
Dismounting and running to switch on the bore system I bolted off to the stables, Izademon following my every step. Reaching for several cotton rugs I dumped them into a water trough, the flames had already taken over the front paddocks and was racing towards the house. I had to hurry I had to somehow protect myself and my little red horse. I heaved the wet rugs onto Izademons back hoping this would keep him safe from the heat of the flames. Grabbing his reins I led him to the centre of one of the paddocks inside the track, knowing that the track would provide some protection from the fire. He lay in the wet grass and I curled up next to his flank with his head rested on my lap and a wet rug on top covering our heads. The smoke was getting thicker, and I could feel the heat my eyes grew droopy, I squeezed my little red horse one last time....
The rattle of Steve's red truck over the cattle grid woke me up with a bump. He glanced over at me and smiled placing his hand in my lap; he nodded in the direction out of the window. I smiled as my little red horse raced along with his big red truck, knowing that the red of the flames in my dream can’t hurt our big red truck or my little red horse.
Thanks for reading I got a little bored as my exams just finished and yeah please excuse bad grammar just though you guys might like to read it. :)