Chapter 5:

Inspired Performance

Black and White

(Scene one: Start)

Two days later, when Brian came to the ranch, the rancher firstly treated Phantom and said, “I guess the time is okay to give your horse a swift ride. Phantom took his breakfast a few minutes ago. So, you good to go.”. Brian was happy, the moment he heard it. On the other hand, rage against Pete came to his mind as well. “That’s amazing news to hear. Thanks mate.” Brian tried to smile for his happiness. Of the fright Phantom couldn’t run, his legs and arms started shivering. “Hey Brian! Good morning.” Whitney came outside from the stable with Luna. “Whitney? Good morning. you came to practice?” He asked. “Yup, where do we start?” Whitney replied. “Hey guys! I bought what you told me.” James said. He was riding Loki and carrying a small crate. “Odoo. What do we have here?” Whitney asked in excitement. “Thanks, AJ. Why don’t you open it by yourself?” Brian gave the crate to Whitney. “By the way Brian, what is Luna’s actual colour. I know it’s white but, what white?” Whitney asked while trying to pull the nails. “Uh…I guess it’s called ghost white. Phantom’s colour is called…what was it James?” Brian looked at James. “Eerie Black.” James replied. “Well, now that’s a complex way to name colours.” Whitney said and seconds later, the empty crate box fell over her lap and she was jaw-dropped, literally. James and Brian smiled at each other. It was the exact duplicate of Brian’s saddle and bridle but with colours switched. The noseband had the word ‘Luna’ in black and beside the name, were two black flowers. As a few extra features, the edges of the saddle, the reins, headband and cheek straps of the bridle were also having a cute design. Perfectly matching saddle and bridle for a lady with a mare. “Thanks, you guys. How much did it cost to make this?” Whitney asked in the favour of repaying. “If you really want to pay me back, it’ll be thirty silver or three gold.” Brian said because he thought Whitney won’t be able to pay that much. “WHAT! I really can’t afford that much. Sorry, I can’t use this.” Whitney tried to give up the saddle and bridle. “Whoa wait. I was joking. You can keep it. Luna was formally mine. This was for Emily.” Brian said to avoid getting repaid. “I will instruct you how to ride Luna…” “And I will supervise.” James and Brian said. “Alright. Let’s do this.” Whitney cheered and went out to the open practice area. “You go and begin with her James. I’ll be with Phantom quickly.” Brian said. James nodded and went ahead. Brian walked into Phantom’s pen. “Shall we start from the beginning buddy?” He whispered into Phantom’s ears. Phantom neighed in agreement. “Let’s go for the swift ride.” Brian said and mounted the saddle. Then he realised the saddle was new but, exactly like his previous one. He thanked Mr. Paul in his thoughts and mounted Phantom. 

Brian came to the same place on the ranch, to see how the practices going on. And it was terrible. Luna was having too much fun, it won’t let Whitney mount the saddle. Whitney running here and there with the saddle to be mounted. Luckily, she had already added the bridle. Brian’s eyes went big in confusion. Here, there was James, extremely bad at instructing the situation. Brian nudged Phantom to signal to move forward. “James sorry, but you are terrible at this.” Whitney complained. “I have to agree. Whitney STOP!” Brian halted Whitney from forcing Luna to saddle up. Brian signalled her to come near the border fences. Soon Whitney stopped running, Luna stopped playing. “See how calm she is…” Brian dismounted from Phantom and said. Whitney and James looked. Luna’s whole body except the mouth was still as a rock. It was eating grass. “Whitney, approach her slowly and ask her for permitting you to put the saddle and mount.” Brian instructed. Whitney did as Brian said, and her training was afoot. James sighed in gladness after Whitney successfully mounted on the saddle. Then after Brian stayed on the fence, supervising James’s instructions and James instructed till she became as good as Brian. In most of the training moments, Whitney’s actions reflected the same scenarios that happened to Brian. Especially and hilariously the part when he went through a thorn bush.

Whitney’s training ended for the day at sundown. “Hey kids y’all know about day after tomorrow plans right?” Mr. Paul said. Three of them looked at each other. “I’ll explain. HEY you three, get over here.” Natasha yelled. “Yeah, yeah we’ll come after we keep our horses in their pens” James ignored direct orders from Natasha. “Come on James, I am your senior.” Natasha said in the disappointment of ignorance. Minutes later after putting their horses in pens, James, Whitney and Brian came to meet Natasha. The ranch was decorated just like for the party before the race. “Is there another race? No that can’t be it is Steel-lock’s turn to do the party…” He said to himself. “Not a party for the race. This is the party for the end of SUMMER!” Natasha loudly cheered. “Maybe in a lower volume…It’s night.” Whitney said. “Ah that’s fine. This ranch never gets to feel the silence. Besides don’t you remember y’all having this celebration in your childhood?” Natasha probed. “Oh, we did enjoy those. Didn’t know it was organised by the ranchers.” James said. “Ranchers? Pfff. That’s nonsense. In this celebration, all elders come together. As for the bonus…this year, Paul asked for a horseback performer too.” Natasha blabbered. “Horseback…performer?” Whitney was intrigued. “You DON’T know!? Well, if you were, there won’t be any surprise. So, I can’t spoil the amazement.” Natasha said and went inside the stable to serve dinner for the horses. “Oh, and please put the chickens back to their coop.” She asked for a favour. Three of them unpleasantly looked at each other. Riling up the chicken is a task that no one on the ranch likes to do. Put one back to the coop and take away your eyes for a second; the next thing you know the coop is empty. Not a feather inside.

After tiring hours of putting chickens in their coop, three of them went inside the ranch house. They went to the kitchen to grab some juice bottles to help them get rehydrated and came to the great room. “Arhh then chickens made me hate chickens.” Whitney sighed and sat on the ground near the fireplace. “Autumn…” Brian sat on a squeaky rocking chair and wondered. “I don’t recall a moment I spent to feel the fall…” James laid on the dinner table and said. “GET OFF THE TABLE. That’s not a place to nap” Mr. Paul came. James panicked and fell off. Brian was startled and lost his balance. Quickly grabbed the chair’s arms. Whitney spilled the juice in her mouth to the fireplace and almost put out the fire in it. “Mr. Paul!?” Three of them said at the same time. “Yeah, me so…” Mr. Paul came and placed a long, heavy, opened crate full of corns. “What’s all this?” James pulled the crate to his side of the table. Brian and Whitney also came to see. “These are from Mr. Bolt’s warehouses. This is just one. Five more are outside, in the attic of the stable. You three going to use this and another one in the attic which has the SAME SYMBOL as this one; to decorate the two ranches. You have only one day.” Mr. Paul told and warned. “One day, two ranches, three persons… That’s IMPOSSIBLE!” Whitney tried to dodge work. “Nope. Y’all get assistance from Steel-locks when y’all get there. Well, good luck and have fun.” Mr. Paul walked away with a laugh. Brian and James sighed together. Brian sat where he stood. “I never thought I would be assigned to go to Steel-lock…” Brian talked to himself when he remembered the race. “Everything has its own reasons. Put it away mate. It’s all in the past. Besides, Phantom can …” “You CAN’T say that for sure, James. Though he could run you don’t know what that bastard will do again…” Brian stopped James and yelled. “I…Sorry. Didn’t mean to yell you.” Brian apologized. “I know how you feel.” James said. Whitney on the other hand was still confused with words. “Well, let’s sleep in here for today. So, we can get up and start doing the decorations.” James suggested. Brian and Whitney agreed. “When should we wake up? And what’s our plan for tomorrow…” Whitney asked. “I guess if we start working here at six in the morning, we can do the décor up to midday. Then still six in the evening we’ll decorate the Steel-lock. But sooner we finished here, we can go to the other and finish it. If we had time, we’ll recheck and improve them.” Brian planned out the next day in a snap. James and Whitney nodded in agreement and the three of them went to sleep an hour and a half before midnight.

(Scene two: Prepare)

Five O’clock in the morning Whitney and James woke up and were ready to start their work on time while Brian was still asleep. “Brian WAKE UP!” James shouted at a low volume. Trying to wake up only Brian. “Huh? It’s still five, wake me up in thirty.” Brian barely woke up and went back to sleep. “Let’s give him thirty and thirty minutes ONLY. Let’s bring down the other crate in the attic.” Whitney said. James climbed up to the attic as a professional and search for the crate they are looking for while holding a torch. “Is it there…?” Whitney asked while filling Luna, Phantom and Loki’s troughs. “Just a minute…Found it!” James shouted. “That’s great. Bring it down.” Whitney said while polishing her saddle. “A…Little…Help…Over here” James said. The crate was heavy; James couldn’t lift it one inch. “Don’t ask a lady to do the heavy stuff. Don’t you ever heard of that…” Whitney dodged. “I am SERIOUS.” James said.

A couple of minutes later Whitney and James brought down the crate, near the door of the ranch house. “Wait, the sun is almost up. He overslept. AGAIN.” James said and rolled up his sleeve. “I have a better idea.” Whitney stopped him and said. Two of them went into the kitchen with a bucket full of water. Then they added some ice. “Brian this is your last warning. WAKE UP.” Whitney shouted. “Okay.” Brian slowly said. “SHE TOLD YOU TWO To WAKE UP!” “James wait!” Whitney was not quick enough to stop James. He washed Brian with freezing water. “DUDE! W…wha…What do you th…th…think…YOU d…d…doing!?” Brian yelled while shivering in the bitter cold and all wet. “Oops. My bad. I didn’t hope you woke up after a warning. Towel?” James offered a towel. Brian pouted and took it. “Look on the bright side, you don’t need to take a morning shower…” James said while smiling nervously. “Like the hell I wanted that with an ice bucket.” Brian said while shaking and sighed. “I’ll get changed. Now I need to walk for hours to get home and come. Arhh.” He went home. 

After about thirty minutes, Brian came home all soaking wet and even left a trail of water dripping from his clothes. Emily was just about to get to school. She was trying to lock the door and then she saw Brian. “Big brother, did you jump into the river? Wait that can’t be, it’s on the other side. What happened?” she asked. “You really don’t wanna know.” Brian said and went back in and changed back to good dry clothes. “Huh…why did you wait… you're late for school” Brian probed. “You didn’t ask for the keys.” Emily replied. “I probably won’t be at home for today…” “AGAIN?” Emily asked. “Yeah, we have some…A lot of work back on the ranch. Learn well. See you in a day sis.” Brian wished and started running back to the ranch. 

“James…? Whitney…? HELLO….” Brian came back to the ranch and searched. “We over here mate.” James waved while trying to hold some decorations on the ranch house. “How can I…?” “Brian can you get on the roof of the stable and decorate it? And also draw this line to hold up the bulbs. Make sure you switch off the main.” Whitney assigned Brian before he even asked for a task. Brian didn’t say a word and got back to his new work. He grabbed a packet of nails with a hammer and put on a roll of line with flags and a roll of a current wire to both of his shoulders. He climbed up to the roof of the stable and start hitting nails around it to hang the line of flags. Three hours later, James and Whitney finished decorating the whole ranch house. “Let’s go and hang the lanterns in the stable.” Whitney suggested. “Sure. I’m just glad Natasha and the others got to decorate the farms.” James said and laughed. “HEY BRIAN…are you done with the current line?” Whitney asked while on the roof of the ranch house with James. “NO. I JUST finished hanging the flags in and out.” Brian replied. “Okay. We’ll bring the lanterns inside the stable.” Whitney said. “Whitney…I kinda feel I saw today in my dream” James added up. “Wait, like a Déjà vu?” she asked. “Yeah…Let’s see…Brian will fall.” James assumed. “You dare to think your friend gets hurt!?” Whitney yelled. “I don’t. But that’s a better way to…” before James finished, Brian fell off the roof into the attic and from there to a large pile of haystacks. “If he heard you…I am not saving you.” Whitney said. Both of them quickly climbed down and ran into the stable. Gladly the crate and stored stuff, in the attic were unharmed nor fallen to the ground. “Man…Are you okay?” James worried. “Arhh my back hurts. A bit but, no big deal. Let’s go back to work.” Brian said. “I’ll repair the roof and the attic. You two do the lighting.” James suggested and first went to the roof. Saying it’ll be much safer for him to land on hay than breaking through a repaired attic.

 After a couple of tiring hours and minutes for repairs and lighting, they finished their work. And they are half an hour behind the scheduled of their plan. “Hey kids y’all are late to lunch. Come and join us.” A rancher the same age as Mr. Paul talked to the three of them over to have lunch together at the great room. “OKAY. Let’s go guys.” Brian said. “Man, I’m starving.” Whitney said. “Lady, I’m hungry.” James rephrased what Whitney said. She looked back with narrowed eyes. “What? You said man…so I altered it to my way.” James explained. “Here y’all go. Lunch is served.” Mr. Paul’s wife came with Natasha and two other seniors; filled the table with vegetable salads, grilled fish, and scrambled eggs. Lunch couldn’t be more mouth watery. “Fish? From the river!?” James asked while gulping. “Yup.” Mr. Paul said. “Don’t mind if I…” James tried to take the first strike at the fish, with his fork. But Whitney stopped him with her spoon. “Wait for it…” she said. “Bon apatite!” everyone sat to eat and thanked God for their meal. “Now you can eat…” Whitney removed her spoon. James’s fork whooshed toward the grilled fish dish but, Natasha took the last fish. “…Or not.” Whitney finished her line. “Here mate. Take a half. HALF I SAID, NOT THE WHOLE.” Brian offered half of his fish. “Here comes the second course…Crab soup.” A friend of Natasha said while coming from the kitchen. “There are no crabs in this town’s river…” “Shouldn’t this be the appetizer as for a perfect full-course meal?” James and Brian questioned one after the other. “James…I bought it from the fish stall two days ago. And Brian, you can pass if you don’t want.” She said. “I don’t want. I NEEEED IT.” Brian poured a small bowl full of soup with a crab claw.

After eating lunch for a WHOLE hour, three riders came to the Steel-lock ranch, carrying the remaining crate full of decoration stuff. They came on horses. “Whitney, Brian, can you take the crate?” James asked. Otherwise,  he couldn’t dismount from Loki. While Whitney and Brian barely took the crate, to keep it on the ground, Serena showed up. “Sis!” Whitney dropped the crate in mid-air. Brian fall off to his back and the crate landed on him. “I see you know how to ride a horse. For some reason, she really matches you.” Serena said while hugging Whitney. “These are all sweet. Anybody out there to help a dying soul.” Brian said in a breathless way. Serena giggled. “Little help would be nice…” James said while trying to lift the crate. Then Whitney ran and supported. “Sorry Brian.” Whitney apologized. James ad Whitney put aside the crate and Brian stood up, brushing off dust in his back. “Serena can you…” Brian’s face suddenly changed when he saw Pete riding away from the ranch with his horse. He ignored them and continued. “Can you help us with the decorations for the autumn festival…?” Brian asked her. “You mean the Fall Fest? Why not. I’ll gather two juniors to help. Don’t forget to tie your horses to the fence.” Serena said and left inside to their ranch house. The Steel-lock ranch house was not much big as Gold-key’s but, it was wider. “Here, this is Jane and Jessica Kruze. In short, call them Jenny and Jessie.” Serena introduced…twin sisters. “Jane, Jessie…Long time no see.” Whitney said. “Same here. Whitey.” Jessica said. Whitney ran and hugged them. “So, let’s go to work eh? And guys…yeah you two. Try to keep up with our pace in decoration.” Jane challenged James and Brian. Five of them got excited and went behind the ranch house to begin their work, firstly, after a plan. Brian and James climbed to the roof. For the ranch house decorations. Jane, Jessica and Whitney went first to the coops and pens to decorate them. “Serena…Not helping?” James asked. “I am helping. I didn’t say I’d be helping you guys. So good luck. Try not to make a hole in our RH Brian. See y’all later.” Serena said and rode away with Swifty to somewhere with two saddlebags full of…some…things. “We have around five hours to catch up with the schedule. Otherwise, we’ll be sleeping in the middle of whole celebrations in the morning.” James worried and rushed.

The decorations were finished in six and a half hours. Sun was completely down. Beautiful night sky full of darkness lit up by stars. Everyone was totally worn out. Mr. Paul’s friend, Brian met at the last party, had come. He was apparently the owner of the ranch, like Mr. Paul. “Why don’t y’all check how the lighting works? The night is the perfect time for those.” He said and went inside the ranch house. “Good idea. I and Jessie will check ours. You guys check yours.” Jane suggested. “Before you go, why don’t you have dinner with us….?” Serena invited. “Okay.” James and Whitney said together. “I’ll pass. You guys enjoy.” Brian mounted onto Phantom after he untied it from the fence. “Uh….. will you check Goldkey’s lighting…?” Whitney asked. “Sure.” Brian said and ride back to his ranch with Phantom. “He still can’t forget the incidents that happened in the race, right?” Serena asked James and he nodded in agreement. “What incidents?” Whitney asked. “I’ll tell you after dinner.” Serena said. “Dinner’s ready people!” Mr. Paul’s friend shouted in excitement. Meanwhile, Brian went to the ranch to check the lighting and decorations once again. He left a note which said, ‘I am coming tomorrow for the fest with my sister. I want to give her a horse ride as a present from the festival. B.T.B.’ and went back home. He arrived and took Phantom to its pen in the backyard. As usual, he filled the trough with water and added a haystack to its pen. “Rest well friend…” Brian rubbed Phantom’s head and came to the front side yard. He slowly opened the door to make just enough space to squeeze through. And closed the door slowly. Suddenly lights inside the house turned on and Brian was startled. “Big brother?” Emily was at the staircase rubbing her eyes. “I thought you were asleep so I tried not to wake you.” Brian explained. “You could’ve done better if you try not to squeak the floor.” Emily pointed out what went wrong, and went back to sleep. “Where’s dad?” Brian probed while removing his boots. “Asleep. Good night.” Emily said and went to her bedroom. “Good night.” Brian said and also went to his room.

(Scene three: Holiday | Season: Autumn)

The Autumn season had begun and the first light was about to fall and the outside is a bit flickering with cold winds. Brian kept banging on Emily’s door. “SIS COME OUT! Autumn is here.”. “So what? It’s just another season. And it’s too early.” Emily moaned and was bored to wake up. “Then I guess I’ll be going to the party alone…” Brian said in a smirking and disappointing way to Emily. “WAIT. Let me just get changed.” Emily agreed to go. “When you are ready, come to the backyard.” Brian said and went down the stairs. “I won’t be around in the morning. Probably also in the afternoon. Take care of your sister. I’ll definitely be in the closing ceremony at the night. Have some work to be done with the bank. Have fun!” “Take care dad.” Brian said and Mr. Bolt went outside. Brian went to see Phantom. “Hey good morning Phantom! How are you feeling?” Brian greeted and probed. Brian brushed its back and combed its mane. He offered some oats to Phantom and it didn’t hesitate to eat them. “Let’s get you some haee…” Brian tried to add some hay but the stack had only one portion. Brian grabbed the pitchfork and added them to Phantom. ‘With dad’s not around, I’ve no money to buy a stack.’ He thought. “Brother…?” “Emily, over here.” Brian waved when Emily came to the backyard. “I’m…I mean we’re going to give you a free tour around the town, whole day. Or you can tell me where to go.” Brian said and mounted the saddle and bridle to Phantom. “TwoB…You are late, man.” James shouted from the front yard. “We are here AJ! Morning.” Brian replied while mounting Emily on the saddle. “Now you hold on to Phantom’s mane but don’t play with it. And Phantom take care for a moment.” Phantom neighed and agreed. Brian went to James. “Oh, Whitney with you too? Good morning Whitney!” Brian greeted. “Good morning.” Whitney said. “Anyway, does any of you have an extra stack of hay? I’m out.” Brian probed. “Nope.” “Mine just finished today.” Whitney and James said at once. “Don’t tell anyone but, I stole one from the ranch.” Whitney said it with a cold sweat. “Don’t worry. I BURROWED some at least once a month. Burrowed without permission, to be honest.” James backed up Whitney. “Wait, some games of the festival offer free stuff. Maybe hay will be also there…” Whitney suggested. “That’s a great idea Whitney. Let’s do some games and WIN HAY!” Brian cheered up.

 And… “Why are you looking at me like that?” He probed. James and Whitney were jaw dropped and speechless. They pointed Brian’s behind. Brian sighed and looked back. “WHAT!? I TOLD YOU TO STAY PUT!” Apparently, Emily couldn’t control Phantom and Phantom was running here and there. “I can’t hold on…” Emily shouted. Brian quickly ran. James and Whitney jumped over the fence and ran after Brian. “Emily pull the reins! It’s a leather stripe.” Brian shouted back. Phantom and Brian’s friendship was so strong; Brian can tell what Phantom is up to just by its actions. Emily was unable to hold the reins and rocketed to mid-air. Luckily Brian caught her. He saw her eyes were round with fear. “Promise me you never be afraid of horses” “Wha…what!?” “PROMISE ME!” Brian yelled. “Okay, I promise.” Emily said apologetically. Brian kept Emily aside with Whitney and headed straight to Phantom; who was out of control. Brian waited till Phantom pass aside. At that moment he instantly grabbed and mounted onto the saddle and pulled the reins. Phantom had to stop at that moment. “Sorry boy. Calm down. It's alright.” Brian calmed Phantom by rubbing its mane. Then again it tried to struggle and Brian again calmed it down. Then he saw something had stuck to its neck and was covered by its mane. It was a stone shard, cut and stuck in Phantom’s neck. Then Brian had a flashback to the race, where Phantom twisted its leg. Brian pulled the shard. “James, do you have the first aid paste you use on Loki?” he asked. “You mean the one I used for cuts and bruises?” “Yeah.”. James ran toward Loki and opened his saddle bag and bought a jar with faded yellow colour paste. Brian rubbed the paste over the wound. Brian dismounted from Phantom and lead it to have some water. “I know the one who’s responsible and it’s not you, sis. It’s Pete.” Brian said. He brought back Phantom on foot in front of Emily. “Sit on the saddle sis.” He said. Emily struggled not to. “I know how you feel because I’ve been there. And you promised me something a little while ago. Now come.” Brian said. Emily came toward Brian slowly and extremely nervously. Emily climbed up. Then Brian mounted the Saddle and sat behind Emily. “James, Whitney, Let’s go to the Fall fest!” Brian cheered up. Phantom stood on two legs and neighed in excitement. “Don’t get that excited on the beginning buddy. Lot of stuff left to come.” Brian said to Phantom and the four of them left to the fest with the three horses. “By the way, we accidentally skipped the opening ceremony. Now we gonna have to listen to Mr. Paul’s lecture.” James said. “Arhh” Brian and Whitney sighed awfully.

Brian, Emily and Whitney went here and there participating in different festival games like; corn eating, finding the needle in a haystack, pumpkin sculpting and many more. There were also events for animals like; the fastest chicken, the rooster which has the loudest cluck (wonder how that is measured), the horse that can stay still for the longest time (pretty sure that's the hardest), and the longest horse jump. So basically, there were more games for animals than for people themselves. “Hey big brother… can we go for the grape shooting?” Emily asked a bit nervously. “Okay. Where is it  Whitney?” Brian asked for directions. “As I remember…guess it’s near the petting zoo.” Whitney answered. “Zoo? There’s a zoo!?” Emily probed in excitement. “Well, not that big as the zoos of the town. A small one that you can pet them. We’ll meet...dogs, cats, birds, horses we have in our ranches.” “Also, we can meet instructors who have more knowledge than any of us about animals.” Whitney added up to Brian’s statement.

A few minutes later they came to the grape shooting place. Brian got fired up when he saw the jackpot price was a year worth of hay. The point of the game was to throw one grape into a circular board with labelled thorns. The board was ten feet away from the throwing point. Each player got three attempts. The goal was to stick a grape in one of the price thorns to get the relevant labelled price. And the jackpot thorn was as usual, in the middle of the board. Emily and Whitney went to the petting zoo until Brian finished his round at the game. Meanwhile, James was trying hard to find equipment to groom Loki, and other horses because he broke the last of them on the ranch. Brian lost all of his chances to get the jackpot but, he won one horseshoe. Emily came with Whitney. “Oh, you three came here?” Jessica and Jane came with their dog. It’s a collie. “Oh, it’s adorable…” Whitney petted it. “We brought him for a check-up. Ranch guardians should be fit and healthy all the time. We do every year.” Jessica said and Jane spoke, “See y’all busy with a game. Well, Good luck to whoever one of you play. Later.” And Jessica and Jane left for the petting zoo. Emily got her three attempts. She held the grape in her left hand and did an evil smirk at the board. “She looks like a different person!” Whitney whispered to Brian’s ear while hiding behind him. Emily’s targeting was highly accurate, she hit the jackpot three times in a row. The game managers were left speechless. “What’s your name lassie?” one of the managers came toward Emily and asked. “Emily Bolt.” She replied. “Well miss, you just won three years' worth of hay. CONGRATULATIONS!” the manager shouted. “YEAH! THAT’S MY SISTER FOR Y’ALL!” Brian shouted in happiness he forgot where he stood. “You can calm down now…” Whitney tapped Brian’s shoulder. “Uh…Can I get two years-worth hay and a horse grooming kit instead?” Emily asked. Brian and Whitney were surprised for a moment. “Is there anyone here for that price…?” Another manager asked. No one replied. “Well, you can have it lassie. Two years-worth hay and a horse grooming kit.” The manager said and gave the kit. Emily looked at them in confusion. “You have to write down our home address. They are sending the hay when we need.” Brian whispered to Emily. She filled out the form and the three of them headed back to find James.

On their way, they got different types of snacks from food stalls. While Brian and Whitney kept talking about what she and Emily did in the petting zoo, Emily saw Loki and James coming toward them. They looked terrible and exhausted. “Big brother, James! Over there.” She pointed. “Hey JAMES!” Whitney called out. James heard and came with Loki. “James look at me.” Brian said and he looked. Brian didn’t hesitate to slap James. Emily covered her mouth in puzzlement. “Ouch DUDE! What was that for!?” “You look stupid.” Brian replied. “He has a point.” Whitney said. “Not you too…” James said while easing the pain. “You were always cheerful. What’s wrong?” Brian probed. “I searched all the town to find a grooming kit. Paul would rather kill me than find himself a grooming kit.” “Why’s that” Whitney asked. “I may have ACCIDENTALLY broken some of the grooming kit’s stuff.” James tried to excuse his own actions. “IT WAS YOU!? I should’ve known.” Whitney shouted. “Then, have mine.” Emily said and offered. “But this is a master groomers kit…I can’t take this.” James tried to refuse. “Well, I think my sis’s offer is the only thing you got because our ranch also HAD a master groomers’ kit.” Brian said. James accepted the offer. “Emily, you are a life saver. Tha…THANK YOU.” He thanked them sincerely. “Oh, and I just remembered, the show is about to start! Come on let’s go.” James said and turned back and led them. Whitney and Brian had no idea where he was taking them but still, they followed.

 After a few short minutes, they came to a place with a large crowd clapping and gasping. Actually, it was an open area next to the town’s square. And closer they approached they kept hearing live pleasant music. “Accordion and a violin as I hear.” Emily guessed the instruments. “Wow! You are right!? For me, I thought it was a mouth organ.” James said. “Guys there’s a lady with a horse and they … DANCE!?” Whitney said in amazement.
“The performer…is the show?” “Yup” James rapidly replied to Brian. “I wanna see. I wanna see.” Emily shouted in impatience. Brian carefully stood ON THE SADDLE. “Man, you are nuts.” James remarked. “If you sensed you are about to fall, quickly give Emily to me.” Whitney said. “You two really have less faith on me…” Brian said and put Emily on his shoulders. “WOW!” Emily admired. “Em…ily…please don’t struggle.” Brian said when he almost lost his balance. James and Whitney grabbed and held his right and left legs.

The show ended after a couple of hours of a few short and small circus-like performances. The performing lady saw Brian, Whitney and James. “People WAIT!” she spoke out to the audience and stopped them from leaving. “You miss…the one on the white horse. Yeah you. Come here.” She stood on her horse’s saddle and pointed Whitney out and told her to come toward her. The people walked aside to give her a wide path. Whitney was stunned. She nudged Luna, to move forward. Luna advanced gently. The performer was with a white Knabstrupper with black spots. It looked like a horse version of a Dalmatian. Luna stopped. The performer parted her legs and landed on the saddle. “Why don’t you assist me with my performance? Please…” she whispered to Whitney. Whitney nodded anxiously. “Don’t worry. I’ll tell you what to do.” She punched Whitney on the shoulder. Not to damage. “I…am all ears.” Whitney had no choice but to agree. And that’s when the performer announced Whitney, in excitement. “Stand on the saddle.” “WHAT!?” “I’ll grab you. Do like this.” The performer showed by standing on her horse’s saddle like previously did. “Luna…Please work with me girl.” Whitney asked for Luna’s cooperation, released the reins and put both her hands on the pommel of the saddle. Then she slowly took her legs off the stirrup pads one by one and, now on knees ON the saddle. Whitney slowly spread her arms and carefully and successfully stood up on Luna’s saddle. “YOU SEE THAT! She’s so natural for that. Man, so cool!” James stood in Loki’s saddle and exaggerated in amazement. Brian kept watching without giving a single comment. Emily was mind blown. But that was the first step.

“Why are you standing on the saddle?” Serena came with Swifty to see the final performance. “Oh, Serena! Emily can’t see the whole performance so I had to stand like this.” Brian said while hiding tiredness from Emily. His shoulders were numb and his legs were shaking in tiredness. “Let me hold her…WAIT! Is that…” “Yup it’s Whitney.” James answered Serena. Brian gave Emily to Serena and fell on her knees on the saddle. “Big brother…?” Emily probed to see if there was anything wrong. “It’s nothing sis. My right leg got itchy. No biggie.” Brian replied. Serena sighed in admiration of Brian’s actions and looked at how Whitney performed. The performer and Whitney started jumping in mid-air exchanging horses WHILE the horses moving in a zig-zag form. It was mindboggling to watch.

 Then in the sun setting mystical evening, the performance ended with a terrifyingly dramatic incident. In the last part of the performance, Whitney had to jump to Luna while on the run in a circular path. Whitney jumped but slipped. Thanks to the performer’s quick reflexes; she pulled Luna’s rein to signal to halt and she grabbed-turned-grabbed Whitney and finished in an amazing posture. The crowd gasped and over cheered for the grand performance. Whitney was stunned by her own feelings after seeing the crowd’s cheers and applauding. Serena’s heartbeat suddenly dropped and returned to normal after the incident.

“I got to say, for starters, you did TOO well. You’d be a better performer.” The performer said. “I think I can give it a try.” Whitney’s anxiety was all gone and spoke gladly about her experience. “And you will. Good luck with it.” The performer wished while feeding an apple to her horse. “Thanks. By the way, I’m Whitney Ryte and this is Luna.” She introduced. “Damn I forgot to tell. I’m Roxanne Ryiii uh … BISHOP. Roxanne Bishop, this is my Knabstrupper; name’s Coughi. We’re from three states to west…” Roxanne hinted. “You’re from the Red Canyons! The famous old-west town!? No wonder you have such a skill.” Whitney praised. Roxanne smiled. “I hope you continue performing on horses. There’s no other feeling like drawing the spotlight toward you.” Roxanne looked at the sunset. “I’m leaving. Thank Mr. Paul for inviting me. See you again.” Roxanne walked with Coughi toward the town’s station. And at the moment twilight ended, Mayor addressed the people to conclude the Fall fest. Then as soon as the mayor’s speech finished, Mr. Bolt, fired the fireworks with the help of his workers. The sky was lit up in various colours with different styles. The view was a breath-taking spectacle. People started to greet each other ‘good night’ and went back to their homes with smiling faces. Emily fell asleep while on Serena’s shoulders. “Brian…” Serena gave Emily back. “Your shoulders are pretty strong. Thank you.” Brian thanked. “No probe. Good night.” She said and went toward Whitney and took her home. Since Luna was tried Whitney rode on Swifty with Serena. Then Brian and James separated ways to their homes. They said goodbyes and nights. Although James had to make a detour to the ranch to give the grooming set.