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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Western · #775307
All which she wanted was escape, she didn't know that her story would be a legend.
         The girl looked at the twenty men who were blocking her from her
one want, freedom. She held onto the hilt of her sword with both hands as if it was her only life line. Her grip tightened and loosened with every breath she took. She breathed in and it tightened, she breathed out and it loosened. But, it was not only her breathing and her hold on the sword that was moving in unison with, but her memories also. With every breath she took within the crisp, and clean autumn air painful memories invaded her thoughts, an outward breath would clear those memories.

         These men who blocked her path were horse wranglers, selfish and greedy men who killed anything and everything to feed their own wealth. They had killed her parents out of spite and for the countless acres of land her family owned. Now that they had taken control of her family land, the girl found her only escape was to leave the country and her home behind.

         Her mount quivered with anxiousness and this seemed to wake the girl from her dazed thoughts. She wasn't alone, no, she still had the stallion with her. For a few moments, she gazed at the wild landscape which stretched out before her. There was wildflowers in bloom, and tall, wild grass which covered the ground in an endless, emerald blanket. The grass seemed to dance and come to life as a light breeze caressed it.

         She could have smiled at the beauty, if it had not been for the situation she was in. Her eyes traveled back to the mounted men who wanted to capture her. The leader squeezed his steed forward and walked towards her, with a wide smirk upon his bearded face.

"Do you give up, Angela? Or, shall we have to take you by force?"

         Angela scowled at the man and tightened her hold on the sword within her hands. She was not a child, and now that her parents were gone because of these men she would escape their blockade. The teenage girl wouldn't let her parents ultimate sacrifice be in vain, she would fight for her parents, for freedom.

"Take me by force you despicable villains! I am ready!"

         The girl called out as she squeezed the chestnut stallion underneath
her forward towards the leader and his blockade of men. Angela didn't have reins or a saddle on the horse which she was riding, she didn't need to. She trusted the stallion with everything within her, and didn't flinch as the quiet landscape was suddenly filled with the sound of guns firing and swords meeting. The first noise was the clanging of the girl's sword with the leader's sword. Angela held her ground as she put all of her weight into her sword and tried to push the leader off of his horse. One of the men shot the first bullet at Angela's horse and it scalped the stallion's shoulder. The steed screamed out in pain and quickly sidestepped as he reared up on his hind legs and pawed the air with his forelegs. Angela grabbed a few strand hairs from the stallion's mane and used that to steady herself until he had his four feet on the ground again.

         Exactly when the stallion's forefeet touched the ground the girl pushed the stallion into a gallop and shot forward. The cold wind whipped across Angela's face and suffocated her as she ran her horse threw the small hole which the men had created. Their angered screams and loud cursing at her attempt to escape resounded within her ears and she closed her eyes in desperation to reach her freedom. Her eyes shot open though when she felt a rope tighten around her waist and she felt it begin to pull her backwards towards the ground.

         Angela cried out in frustration as she was thrown to the ground hard with a sickening thud and the world became black. For a few seconds she laid there, completely still, until she felt warm, humid breath upon her neck and her eyes shot open again.

"I told you we would take you by force. You try that stupid act again and you will be shot dead by my men, hear me?"

         The man asked as he still held onto the rope which had captured the girl.
She could smell the tobacco and whiskey as he breathed on her face and pinned her shoulders to the ground. Angela struggled underneath his iron grip, but it was to no avail. The man was much older than she was, and was much stronger than her also. Her expression mixed with a defiant pout and narrowed eyes as she finally stopped thrashing underneath his hold. Angela's eyes passed the man which was holding her as she watched the stallion which she had been riding turn it's head towards where she was laying. The horse let out an enraged scream as he galloped towards her and grabbed the unsuspecting man by the back of his shirt and threw him to the side as if he was a ragged doll.

         Angela took advantage of the opportunity and vaulted onto the horse's back.
The stallion seemed like he wasn't through with the men yet as he attacked the other horses which were being ridden. Blood splattered across the ground as the stallion's bullet wound became worse and it shed more blood upon the ground below.

"Flame! Come on boy, let's go!"

         The girl urgently said to the stallion beneath her as she tried to wake the stallion from his enraged state. Angela's voice seemed to work like magic as the stallion broke away from the men and their horses. Flame sped forward and his elegant legs seemed to be barely touch the ground as his speed and beauty made him look like a mystical Pegasus. It seemed as if nothing would be able to come near the fast stallion, but Angela knew better than to relax just now. She could hear the thundering hoof beats of the men chasing her, and though they weren't near the stallion she knew that they would do everything to capture her.

         The second gunshot was shot at her and she could hear and feel the bullet speeding past her ear and barely missing her. Angela's body shook in momentary fear and she called to the stallion to speed forward even faster. Flame responded to his rider's request and jumped forward with a new burst of speed and lengthened his stride. Angela felt herself relaxing somewhat as the horses' hooves became more distant and the sound of gunshots didn't come close to their intended target and missed her completely. The girl's eyes widened in disbelief as she heard the sound of a rope flying threw the air and watched as it flew onto Flame's neck. The stallion stopped before the noose of the rope could tighten and throw him backwards and he spun around on his hindquarters to meet the new foe.

         It was the leader who had trapped the stallion with the rope and he once again sported a wide smirk across his face. This time though, he held a pistol within the other hand which was pointed at Angela. The girl didn't cower in fear as she meet the man's amused eyes with her own cold stare. Several moments later there was the sound of other horses hoof beats as the men caught up with their leader, and intolerable silence was heard throughout the land. Not one bird chirped or flew, there wasn't any noise whatsoever, even the wind seemed to be afraid to be the first to break the silence.

"I rather be dead, than be captured by you despicable men."

         Angela said with disgust as she broke the silence and asked her horse to gallop forward. Flame spun on his hindquarters away from the men and ripped the rope from the leader's hands, the two seemed to be one as the stallion ran faster than ever. It seemed like nothing would catch them, but, she wouldn't be able escape to freedom so easily.

"I warned you, brat!"

         She could hear the leader's voice scream out and then the sound of a
pistol firing echoed within the wide open landscape. Angela's eyes closed and then widened in shock as the bullet pierced threw her chest. She soon felt the slow sensation of falling to the ground and then the concussion with the ground as it took away her breath. Her eyes immediately closed and she wanted to open them, but decided against it as the footsteps of the man who had shot her crunching beneath the soft grass. Angela listened as she heard the man kneel beside her wounded body and felt his warm breath upon her neck.

"Your wish is granted."

         His voice said chillingly and she listened as the man slowly arose from the ground. Angela could hear Flame fighting the men and neighing to her. The girl
didn't move an inch of her body though, for fear that the man would finish the job and kill her if he knew she was still alive. Angela willed the stallion to calm down, to escape while he still could, but he was too wild and angry over the thought of her death, and she knew he would never leave her wounded body. Several more gunshots were heard and she could hear the stallion's body falling to the earth with a loud scream. Angela could hear the sound of several guns clicking as she could imagine them pointing at the heart of her beloved stallion but there was no sound of another gun firing, only silence.

"We have no need for a wounded horse, leave the beast here."

         The leader called out to his men and she could hear the men's disappointed
murmurs at their boss' command. But, not one of them disobeyed the cruel man's orders and the sound of galloping hooves soon dissipated into silence. The lone girl and her steed laid there for hours, forgotten by everything but nature. The sounds of nature seemed to treat them as if they were an audience as the night came alive of the different sounds of night.

         Angela felt the comforting feeling of death wound around her body but she didn't accept the comfort or the possibility of dying. Her eyes finally opened at the dead of night and she laid there for several moments waiting for her eyes to adjust to the darkness. The first thing the girl saw was the labored breathing of Flame as the stallion struggled to breath. The stallion turned his head towards his rider and he let out a small nicker and tried to stand up to meet the girl.

"Don't worry boy, don't waste your energy. I'll come for you."

         Angela weakly whispered as she crawled towards the stallion's body.
Her eyes traveled across Flame's wounded body and she saw several new shot wounds, one on the horse's hindquarters, another which grazed his flank, and the last which had scalped his belly. Though, the stallion had been badly injured he still carried his head proudly and looked at Angela with loving, brown eyes. They had been threw a lot together, both horse and rider, and as the girl laid her head upon the stallion's neck and she rubbed Flame's crest her eyes slowly closed and silent tears streamed down her face.

         "If we make it threw the night Flame, we will leave this beautiful land behind.
You and me boy, we will find a land where people won't take away the ones we love, where we can live in peace and solitude. If death takes us tonight, we will die free."

         The girl spoke is a hushed voice, as the night of darkness closed in around her. Their eyes closed together and they allowed the comfort of sleep to overtake their weak bodies.
         Angela never knew how they made it through that night, but death never came to take them away. The girl slowly arose on unsteady legs and looked at the sunrise which was just peering from the white clouds. Gold, red, orange, and violet painted across the sky like a picturesque painting and she took in the cool air within her lungs. The cool air and beautiful landscape seemed to give her the strength which she needed, and the strength which Flame also needed. The stallion soon stood with his rider and watched the rising sun with her, and they knew this was a new beginning in their lives.

         That day, the two left their beloved landscape behind. Strangely, the blood
which they shed never disappeared from the stained grass. Legends arose as the wild landscape of the West was tamed and many explanations arose from the stained ground. But, if Angela and her steed were still alive, they would tell you the reason why their blood was never washed away. They would tell you that they left their hearts in that landscape, and that their memories and friendship which endured threw everything would never be washed away. The blood upon the ground was a testimony of their friendship, and the legend of the forgotten girl.

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