Chapter 3:

Race Of Providence

Black and White

(Scene one: Told)

“Big brother WAKE UP! School starts in an hour. You are late.” Emily woke up Brian. Weirdly enough; Brian woke up cheerfully. The reason was of course he didn’t need to run to school anymore. “You two up yet? Breakfast is ready downstairs. I’ll be in the station or near the warehouses. Make sure to go to school on time.” Mr. Bolt said and went to work. “Alright, dad. Come on big brother.” Emily went downstairs first and took her breakfast while Brian rushed to Phantom. “GOOD MORNING PHANTOM! Here’s your breakfast. Be right back.” Brian quickly filled the trough with water and added a pitchfork full of hay and rushed back home to get his breakfast. “Come on let’s run. We are late.” Emily shouted and went outside. Brian smirked. “Why run, when we have a ride?” he said. Two minutes later, Brian and Emily went on Phantom to school. “Don’t bend Brian. Keep a straight line as Serena said.” Brian thought to himself while riding Phantom at a considerable speed. Brian and Emily reached school half an hour before, it started. At around the same time, Brian saw James and Loki. “Hey Brian, Morning!” James said while tying Loki to a fence. “Hey James. Morning. Hrmh … HRMH … Uh … I can’t dismount” Brian said. Emily went by herself to her class. “What do you mean?” James asked. “I guess my body got frozen. I CAN’T MOVE” Brian exaggerated. “Oh no. Did you come here by running, by keeping the posture of when you are riding?” James interrogated. “Well, not that much technically…” Brian grinned. For the whole time being in the classroom, Brian stayed in the same posture as he rides a horse, on a chair. As a matter of perspective, the way he was sitting was hilarious and during the whole time Brian was embarrassed and he had to ask his sister to go home on foot because he couldn’t mount back the horse. “Hey Brian look over there closely.” James pointed at a mountain. “Okay.” Brian turned. “Think about the beauty and the kind of wild animals there would be. HAAAAAIYEAHHHH!” James hit Brian’s back with his foot. “OW! WHY DID YOU…” “To fix your body, pal.” James said before Brian finished. “Oh. I thought because you envy me cause of Serena. Why is that for actually?” Brian asked. “Why!? She’s the toughest, cutest and the most beautiful girl horse rider IN THE ENTIRE BROKEN WILLOWS!” James overstated. “And she even helped you get trained. I wish I had time. She never teaches almost anyone. You are having too much luck. Loki jump on him!” James went envious. “Whoa WAIT!” Brian got covered to Phantom. “Just joking buddy.” James said. Brian and James mounted their horses. Suddenly Serena came by with Swifty. “Oh, hey James, Brian!” she greeted. “Hey Serena!” They replied. “So, came to meet me, dearie?” James tried to flirt. “Not necessarily. Brian, Mr. Paul asked me to tell you that he needs you to come with me to the ranch for some work he had planned, so he needs you to report to the ranch immediately. There, I said it.” She said in a rush leaving Brian and James flabbergasted. “That’s a whole lot of ‘you-s’ there. Well,  I got it. Let’s go.” Brian understood what she said. “YOU UNDERSTOOD!? Now even I can’t believe you are not class ace.” James said. “You DO know you are not making any sensible point, right? Let’s go, Brian. Chop-chop” Serena mocked James and rushed. “See you later AJ.” Brian waved and left for the Gold-key ranch with Serena, to meet Mr. Paul for his mysterious work scheduled for him. “Brian, try to bend a bit. Otherwise,  it’ll be hard for you and Phantom to go at a high speed.” Serena told. “You have to say it now eh? I didn’t know and stayed hard in my class. My whole upper body was stunned!” Brian slightly complained. “You gotta point there. I should’ve told you that way earlier. Time you were learning from me.” Serena apologized. “So why exactly Mr. Paul called me?” Brian probed. “You’ll see…future shouldn’t be spoiled before it meets present” Serena said and did her weird wink with the smile.

Minutes later in the afternoon, Serena and Brian made it to the ranch. It was all decorated with light bulbs, colourful triangle-shaped flags and for a change, long tables in the open air, large hay stacks near the fences with unlimited water supply. “Mr. Paul…What’s going on?” Brian asked. “I’ll explain.” Serena took the chance. “You see, one of the seniors randomly calls out for a race of horses. If the majority of both ranches horse racers accept, the challenging ranchers prepare and organise the main event; the race and the ranch got challenged will get to organise a party to acknowledge their opponents’ challenge and efforts. Last year it was MY ranch; Steel-locks did the party and Gold-key did the organising. This time the tables are turned and now, it’s Gold-key’s time to arrange the party. This also represents the friendly bond between the two rival ranches.” Serena explained. Brian’s face went adorable “THERE’S A HORSE RACE!?” Brian asked Serena. “Uh…Yeah. That’s what I just said.” She replied. “Can I participate?” He asked enthusiastically. “Yeah. You might be the youngest rider we’d ever have in the race, per se, which makes you and Phantom highlighted in it.” Serena mentioned. “Yeah, yeah, enough with the chit chat. Help me with this stuff you two.” Mr. Paul asked. “So, Serena, what does the winner get? I mean the race…” Brian’s face showed a huge interest in the horse race. “Well…, the winner gets his or her fame as a winner AND his or her horse or mare gets free hay until the commencement of the next race.” Serena said, while they were moving crates with fruit juice bottles near the long table. “Hh…Ha…how…” Brian went nervous to ask. He put the crate down where it should be and slapped his face with his own two hands at once. Serena was surprised. “HOW CAN I ENTER THE RACE?” Brian shouted. Serena was shocked to see his face. “Simple, just attend the race. Then you’ll earn your place as a horse racer. I’ll tell all ranchers.” She said. “Can you do that for me? I’m not good at party.” Brian desperately looked down. Serena understood he doesn’t want. “Well…Okay. Let’s get these things done.” She replied. “Also, by the way, why are you helping our ranch? Don’t you have organising stuff?” Brian probed. “Well,  the boys and junior or inexperienced ones are doing those. Probably already done.” Serena said. “Remember, you have about two weeks to practise. Come to the Broke tracks race course sharp an hour before midday. Meanwhile, train with Phantom and Good luck in beating me.” She informed and did the weird wink and smile.

(Scene two: Revelry)

Hours passed and it was twilight. Suddenly, while Brian was passing the long table, on his way to the stable, he saw the bottles in the crates start shaking. Not only them, but waters in troughs also started to generate ripples. But the ground wasn’t that shaking. Soon enough, he saw lots and lots of horse riders, from various arenas like show jumping, rodeo, polo and so on, coming inside the ranch. Brian quickly hid in the stables. The party has begun. Loud sweet accordion, ukulele and violin music, cheered up the noises of the ranchers, and horse riders of two ranches. Sounds of beer bottles cheering. Positive wishes may probably be heard as challenges. All of the both ranches’ horses were in the open, eating hay and drinking water. Brian brought out Phantom and the white Lipizzan to the open so it can be more friendly with other horses. Unexpectedly, Phantom and the white Lipizzan stood out with the other horses and mares. The whole place went silent. Even the beautiful music. “Paul, you never told us you had a black Mustang and a white Lipizzan...” A stranger but a close friend of Mr. Paul probed. “Oh yeah, that Brian is the owner of the horse and the mare. The black one’s called Phantom and the white one is called…what was it…” Mr. Paul hinted at Brian to quickly name the white mare. Otherwise, a horse or a mare without a name cannot be owned. “Her name is…” Brian teetered. “We CAN’T hear you, kiddo!” the stranger shouted. “HER NAME IS LUNA!” Brian put it together and shouted. “Well, that’s a cool name. I propose a toast to LUNA and PHANTOM. The newest members of the horse pack of two ranches. YEE-HAW!” The stranger shouted and the whole crowd cheered. Brian slowly took them nearer to the hay stacks and released them. Phantom and Luna started to dig into the haystack with other horses without hesitation.

 Two horse riders from Steel-lock ranch came to talk with Brian. “Hey newbie. My name is Pete and this is Marshall. I heard you are participating in the race. Is that right?” Pete asked. Pete looked to be a pro at horse riding and so was Marshall. “Yeah. With Phantom. Fact, Serena even wished me luck to beat her” Brian happily said. “Serena? THE SERENA wished you good luck. Why can’t she wish me?” Marshall grabbed Brian from his shirt and he slid down to the ground like a slime, in desperation, while Pete was laughing so hard. “Listen kid, nobody. NOBODY in this town is able to compete and win against her and her Swifty. That’s why the people call them the lightning Swifty and Serena the…well she has no title.” Pete mocked Brian. But he didn’t fall. “If nobody has done it, I’ll be the first to do it.” Brian said while smirking. “Such confidence eh? Listen, I’ll help you win on one condition. Give me your Phantom for the race and I’ll give you my horse. He’s a Clydesdale breed. He’s able to get close to the second position.” Pete said. “Hey hey Pete, come on man not that far…” Marshall tried to stop the deal. “OH REALLY!? But I don’t want him” Brian said it all in a happy way; misleading Pete. “Yeah, I knew you like… WAIT WHAT!?” Pete lost his pace. “Man, that’s a great deal you lost. Well…, your choice kiddo. Let’s go Marshy” Pete said and tried to leave with Marshall. Brian came from the middle of their backs and pulled them slightly from their shoulders. “Hey uncles, listen, your offer might be good. But not for me. I want to see you ride your Clydesdale and win the race. I’ll give you ten gold if you win.” Brian whispered and challenged. Ten gold means a big price. Perhaps, too big. “Fine. Challenge accepted kid; you better keep that money ready.” Pete said confidently, to scare Brian. “I don’t know. You said Serena was never beaten before.” Brian shrugged. “Yeah I know. Only IF she competes. Ha ha ha!” Pete laughed. It sounded evil. “Don’t you dare…” Brian raised his voice to warn. “Oh we are not that type. Good luck.” Pete said in the same way. The evilest way. “Pete, man, you taking this too far. What you think you doing?” Marshall tried to stop the conflict. Brian felt a chill and he was worried. He ran into the ranch house to find Serena. But she had already left. ‘Tsk. Damn it’ Brian thought. He put Luna in her pen and jumped onto Phantom. And that was without the saddle. “Come on boy. Let’s go to the Steel-lock ranch. Hurry.”. Phantom neighed and rushed to the ranch. Minutes later, around a couple of hours before midnight, Brian reached the ranch and saw Serena. “SERENA!” he shouted. “What are you doing this late in here Brian?” Serena came towards him and asked. “Pete, Marshall, stay away from them. They plan to make you stay out of the race. And…and” Brian looked shocked and afraid and also nervous. “Brian…BRIAN! CALM DOWN.” Serena shook Brian from his shoulders and calmed him down. “I promise you I’ll compete. Go home. We have a few days left. So, you better practice.” Serena said and sent Brian back home. But her smiley face went serious.

(Scene three: Strive)

Days later, the race was about to start and Brian made it on time with Phantom. Brian’s sister, Mr. Bolt, James and Mr. Paul came to see him. He saw Serena waving to him while she was on Swifty. “I’m glad you were okay.” Brian said while smiling and changed to a furious look when he saw Marshall and Pete. “Stay focused and give it all you got, until to the very end.” Serena advised. Each horse rider is given a specific unique badge according to his or her horse type and colour.

“Racers may I get your attention, This is our twelfth race and this race is also special because for the first time a young rider is participating.” The announcer spoke. And the crowd cheered. “When the sheriff fired out his pistol to the air, racers must go around this track and head to the mountains forest. Signs are there to guide your way. Then after passing through the woods, come right back here, go around once and finish the race from where you started it.” Announcer briefed. “Now I want a nice clean race.” Sheriff warned. “RACERS READY…” A policeman fired his pistol into the sky. The race consisted of fifteen riders. At the start, Brian went so back down to being the third from behind. Meanwhile, Marshall and Pete were the first ones to complete the lap and exit the tracks. But Pete was not riding a Clydesdale as he said, but a breed called ‘Morgan’. Serena and Swifty were in the fourth. They planned for a slow start and rapid finish. All of a sudden, at the moment Brian exited the racecourse fence gates, Phantom’s saddle got loose and the right-side stirrup pad broke apart. Brian fell to his left while he was stuck again in the left stirrup pad. At the speed of Phantom’s running, he was swept on the mud grass soil. The people who were watching gasped. Phantom halted. “That jerk” He whispered to himself. “Come on Phantom! Race ain’t gonna end until the first horse cut through the ribbon.” Brian removed the bridle and kept it with the saddle on the fences, away from the gates and mounted back on to Phantom. Phantom accelerated like it was never been tired. The whole crowd saw what happened and what Brian and Phantom did. The crowd cheered and rooted for their victory. Seconds later, Brian caught up with other racers when they were just about to enter the mountain forest. “Wow, Pete, look. That kid is so determined.” Marshall acknowledged. “Why the hell are you admiring him? Go to the second plan. This kid doesn’t know how to get depressed.” Pete scolded Marshall. ‘He caught up this quick!? Impressive Brian, Phantom. Reach me.’ Serena saw and thought. Brian kept passing one by one and reached up to the eighth from the front. Serena was down to fifth. But that was normal. Because she catches up to the front and is the first at the end. At that moment the riders were starting to reach the top. “ROLLING LOGS! WATCH OUT!” Pete and Marshall yelled. The riders were inside a forest, and there was no easy place to get covered. The riders had to move. The skilled riders and luckily Brian (thanks to Phantom’s quick reactions), went over the logs and took some lead from the riders that stopped for a moment. Brian finally reached up to Serena. They smiled at each other but, out of the blue, another log came. Phantom jumped but Swifty couldn’t. Swifty and Serena moved to their left. They avoided colliding with the log but Swifty went unbalanced and hit on a tree. Serena’s left hand and legs went in between the tree and Swifty and got metaphorically crushed. In literal, they got sprained but were lucky enough to not get them fractured. Serena now couldn’t signal her horse to move left. Actually, can but, not easy enough for her to win the race. “Go…GO! Don’t let those guys catch up. Win!” So classically, Serena shouted at Brian to leave her and continue the race when he tried to stop by. Brian understood and went ahead. “Now I really like him” Marshall said. “Marshall will you be…” “I AM DONE WITH YOU. You are breaking the bond of the ranches and still that kid keeping it. You are no winner or loser. Just a selfish moron. You shouldn’t have a place in Steel-lock” Marshall’s word crushed his stoned cunning heart of Pete. But it also broke their friendship. Marshall rode past Pete. Pete slowed down because he realised, he went too far and even lost his friend. While Brian passing Pete, he hit Pete’s shoulder, almost dislocating it. “THAT’S FOR WHAT YOU’VE DONE TODAY.” Brian yelled back, despite the fact he was young.

Two minutes later the race started, and the riders or racers were heading back to the race course tracks. But again unluckily, Phantom tipped over a small stone. Brian was thrown and Phantom fell where it stood. But actually, there wasn’t just a stone, a whole small part of the course coward with such stones. In simpler terms, the third plan of Pete. The fifth; which was Marshall, to fifteenth, racers were way behind. But third and second were in close range that Phantom could surpass. Brian crawled on the soil and stood up near Phantom. “Come on buddy. YOU…CAN…GET…UP.” Brian helped Phantom to stand on its feet. But the day couldn’t be any worse. Phantom’s front and right leg were hurt and he couldn’t set its hoof. Brian didn’t give up. “We are winning. Hold to me boy. Don’t mind me. YOU GONNA CROSS THE RIBBON!” Brian aided Phantom to reach the tracks. Marshall saw what Brian was doing and as an honour, he slowed down. The first, second and third winners were selected at the moment Brian and Phantom came through the gates. When the crowd and the winners saw what he was doing they stood up and saluted and cheered for him. “Give it up for Brian and his vigorous Phantom.” The announcer said and the audience applauded. The moment Phantom crossed the finish line, a few Gold-key ranchers came with a cart with a hay bed. Brian set Phantom to lie down on the cart. It was James and Loki who were carrying the cart. “Don’t worry buddy, I’ll watch after Phantom until you come to the ranch.” James said and mounted Loki. “I will be right next to you as soon as I’m done here.” Brian whispered to Phantom. James left the race course and took Phantom with his saddle and bridle, to Gold-key ranch.

 Meanwhile, Brian waited till Serena shows up. And a minute later, Serena showed up with Swifty and crossed the finish line. “So, where’s the victory horse?” Serena asked happily while she was on Swifty. Brian didn’t say a word.

Moments later Pete slowly came and finished his lap around the track. Brian’s face was gloomy. Brian waited till Pete dismounted and leave his horse to the ranchers. When that time occurred. “YOU COWARDLY BASTARD. You gonna pay for what you done” Brian yelled in an undertone Serena heard. She held and stopped Brian by pulling him from the shoulder but, Brian brushed off her hand. He rolled up his sleeves and tightly squeezed his fist. Mr. Paul saw his face and jumped off the benches to the tracks and walked towards Brian. Since he couldn’t run with his fat body. “Serena hold Timber.” Mr. Paul shouted. “Timber, who’s…” for the moment she asked, Brian grabbed and held Pete (who was literally a few years older than him but almost the same in height) and punched him in the face. Brian then, jumped onto Pete while he was on the ground and grabbed his shirt and shook him. “IF Phantom was unable to run again, I’m gonna kill you. You beastly cold-hearted coward.” Brian felt the same pain as he lost his mother. He kept slamming Pete to the ground until Serena rushed and pulled him away. Pete’s eyes were covered in fear of Brian. He was taken away by a few ranchers of Steel-lock. The audience, announcer and ranchers were confused by all the skirmish. “Timber, you shouldn’t say…” before Mr. Paul finished, Brian gave up his membership and racer’s badges to him. “Phantom won’t race again Mr. Paul. And DON’T EVER, GIVE ME UNNECESSARY NICKNAMES.” Brian shouted and ran away to the Gold-key ranch. Serena felt sorry. Brian’s dad and sister felt sorry and confused at the same time. They left home; thinking that Brian might be there.