Chapter 6:

Title To Discover

Black and White

(Scene one: Drama)

On the next day, the sun unusually ascended too early, leading Emily to fall back to sleep for a couple of minutes. As a practice from her brother, she overslept. “Emily!? Don’t you have school today?” Mr. Bolt came upstairs and knocked a couple of times on the door of Emily’s room. “ROOSTERS! I OVERSLEPT! Thanks dad.” Emily suddenly realized and got changed. Then she started to slam open Brian’s door. He got startled and fell off the bed. “Wha you woke me up. It’s too early.” Brian said drowsily while yawning. He was tired from the festival. “Dad went to work. I want you to take me to school, on Phantom. Please, big brother.” Emily begged. “Huh? Fine, Come.” Brian went to Phantom’s pen with Emily. “Good morning Phantom! Here are some oats. We need to go to school.” Brian acted energetically in front of Phantom. Because you don’t want to change your horse’s thoughts by talking tiredly. Because that could demotivate it. Then Brian grabbed the saddle and bridle. “Uh…big brother…Why are you mounting stuff in the wrong places?” Emily probed. “What? Oops my bad. Sorry buddy.” Apparently, Brian was trying to mount the bridle onto the spot where the saddle should be.. He apologized to Phantom and mounted the equipment correctly. Later, they started moving toward the school. A couple of minutes later Brian dismounted Emily. She waved and ran to her class.

“Oh Brian, morning!” Natasha passed by. “Natasha!? Yeah good morning! What are you AAAGH doing in these parts?” Brian greeted back and probed while yawning. “Man, you look…dreadful…” She said “…I just came by to buy some food. I really hope what I have will be enough.” She answered and spoke to herself. “Thanks for saying that straight on to face!” Brian was unamused. Natasha nervously smiled and tried to leave. “Natasha wait!” Brian stopped her. “I’ll give you a ride.” He invited. “Thanks sleepyhead.” Natasha said and tried to mount but Phantom didn’t want that. “It’s alright boy.” Brian tapped on Phantom’s neck and said. Then they went to the market.

The marketplace was crowded and noisier than ever. People squeeze through in the auction place, Horses like Loki (Shire) carrying carts full of different sizes of crates or equipment. Name an item, you got it, in this marketplace. “So, Natasha, where are we heading?” Brian probed after slowly stopping Phantom just before they enter the market crawling with cash-hungry sellers with tough buyers. “Well, we have to go to a shop called, ‘Goody good – seeds and grains. ARHH! Paul’s maps are terrible!” Natasha said while rotating a piece of paper with directions. “Let me see…” Brian took the paper. “Hmm. Let’s turn right after passing…one, four…seven shops.” He said. “Impressive Brian. You are good at reading ancient writings.” Natasha complimented while indirectly complaining to Paul. “Nah, just plain English to me.” Brian mocked. “Pfff.” Natasha pouted in reply. Brian gave a slight nudge to Phantom.

They passed six shops and discovered the seventh shop on the right was the destination. As for an unexpected coincidence, they found Whitney and James were also there; loading some crates onto the two-wheeled cart attached to Loki. “There you are Nata…” “THOSE ARE THE STUFF! Stuff Paul wanted me to buy.” Natasha shouted in the middle. “…sha.” Whitney completed the word and continued. “Paul told us you’ll be late so... us to buy these.” She said. “He even gave us some silver too.” James said with a smirk. “That…THAT…” “Now.. now. Calm down.” Brian held Natasha before she smacks James in the face while yelling Mr. Paul. Natasha halted and sighed. “Well, James’s gonna take these to the ranch. Brian, I need you to help me with something.” Whitney said. Natasha went and helped James to load the cart while Whitney came to Brian for a chat. She went blushed the closer she got. “Can you meet me at the ranch this afternoon…?” Whitney nervously asked. “Alright. Reason?” He probed. “Something about the…JUST come. Can’t tell while my sis is here.” She dodged and insisted. “Serena? Here? Where?” “Behind you.” Serena put her hand on Brian’s right shoulder, from behind. Brian got startled and as reactively he moved away. At that moment he lost his balance and fell to the ground with Whitney. “Oh sorry. Didn’t mean to scare you. Although I wonder what if I did the same thing at midnight.” Serena wondered. “Not a chance Serena.” Brian said unamused. Serena pulled up both Whitney and Brian. “Well, we’re leaving. See y’all back at the ranch.” James said. He, Natasha and Loki headed back to the ranch for the supplies. “I came to buy some snacks for Swifty. What are you two up to?” Serena questioned back. “Oh us? We met coincidentally. Nothing much about it. We are leaving.” Whitney said. “No biggie hmm.” Serena looked at Whitney with narrowed eyes and gave a smirk and a grin in one emotion. “Hey Brian see you later then.” Whitney jumped on Luna and absconded from the market. Brian was left in confusion about the whole situation. Brian also said farewells to Serena and mounted onto Phantom. “Let’s go home.” He said to Phantom and whooshed.

In the afternoon, Brian went back to school to get Emily. The outside was hot. “I’ll get fried as a sausage if I bathed in oil and came here” Brian whispered to himself. Phantom slightly neighed. But the road to school felt cool due to shades of the orange-leaved trees beside the path. “Big brother? I didn’t tell you to come.” Emily said. ‘Of course, she didn’t. why am I even here?’ Brian was astonished by his own decisions. “Anyway thanks. Today really is hot. Ride back home would be nice.” Emily came and held her hands up. Asking to get her onto the saddle as well. Brian lifted her up and got her on the saddle. 

Suddenly James showed up and he looked distressed. Loki stopped and stood on two legs and neighed. Emily got scared and tightly grabbed Brian’s shirt. “Sorry, sorry!” James said and calmed Loki down. “Brian, it’s Whitney. She went different. Like a friend without an ‘r’. She almost killed me telling you, you are late. Here are your choices, you can either come TO THE RANCH OR TO MY FUNERAL.” James shouted and headed back to the ranch. “If she’s gonna kill you, then why head back?” Brian probed. “She told me she’ll still kill me if I didn’t return. I’M literally acting as a hostage-ed postman.” James said in the annoyance of an uncalled drama. Brian sighed. “Couldn’t she wait a few minutes longer?” he questioned himself. He made up his mind firstly, to take Emily home.

(Scene two: Dream) 

“I arrived…” Brian jumped over the ranch fence near the stable. “You dare to get late! I gonna…” “It’s still ain’t EVENING, so technically this is still afternoon.” Brian saved himself. James swept sweat from his forehead while sighing. Whitney stopped right where she had stood and stared at Brian. Brian started cold sweating. And clumsily Natasha ran behind James and Whitney; to catch chickens. The incident was hysterical. “Prffrfr.” Brian tightly closed his eyes and tried to avoid his laugh. “Fine, Come’ere.” Whitney grabbed and took Brian and hid behind Luna. “I am sensing something…” James smirked. “THIS AIN’T ONE!” Whitney and Brian both yelled at the same time. “Brian…Will you…Will you help me practise horseback performing?” Whitney asked frantically. Brian was surprised for a moment. Then he giggled. “What’s so funny?” Whitney questioned. “Nothing really. Just for the way you said it to me. You could’ve told me normally.” He answered. “I know but, I’ll explain. Can you stay here till night?” Whitney asked. Brian nodded and agreed. “Can y’all gimme a hand over here to catch this damn CHICKENS!?” A new younger rancher helping Natasha screamed in annoyance. “Of course. But first, you my friend, are chasing after a rooster. Not a ‘hen’ as Natasha meant by ‘chicken’.” Brian pointed out. The newbie went stunned; “so that’s why this one is bigger and different” the rancher slightly said to himself. “Count to three, two, one…” Soon as James ended the counter, the rooster turned the tables and ran after the rancher. Natasha facepalmed. Then she looked at Brian, Whitney and James in a scary way; they abnormally chilled out like blocks of ice, under the hot sun.

As the night fell, the ranch started to light up. Brian was near the sheep’s hutch; was set to night duty because, the ranch’s Collie, named ‘Rooky’ was in the infirmary. Rooky was injured by saving a small sheep. Phantom stood aside Brian. The hutch was lit with small dim lights, so the emitting light won’t disturb the sheep’s sleep. Brian stretched his arms and stood on the fence. He walked around the hutch and went to the darkest corner. Phantom also followed him. He went there so he can see what can approach from the sheep’s blind spot. Minutes later, Luna and Whitney came. “Hey Bria…AAAAA GHOST!” Whitney screamed after seeing dark brown eyes in the darkness. Brian was shocked by the pitch of the scream. The whole ranch house lit up. “It’s just a ghost. Go to sleep.” One of the ranchers said and the ranch house’s lights switched off. Whitney covered her face and hid behind Luna. “Whitney, hey, It’s just Phantom.” Brian said. “Oh.” She came out fearlessly. Brian sighed with a look of disapproval. “So, what do you want to talk about? I’m on night duty so make it quick.” he asked. “Help me get better in horseback performing.” She said; again. “I already agreed to that. But not now…” “I know; I want to do this in secret.” Brian turned back to Whitney curiously when she said it. Whitney sat next to him. “See, for me, growing up with a champion sister felt left out…” “How come?” Brian interrupted. “WILL YOU WAIT TILL I FINISH THE WHOLE STORY? In a middle of a beautiful humble narration.” Whitney snapped. “Okay, got it.” Brian was quite downed. She cleared her throat and continued. “…As I was saying. I felt alone. Mum and dad always tried to keep the attention balanced between sis and me, but still. At home, I don’t feel it. When I’m out; it all flows into my head. Even almost all the moments I met sis with her horse made me uncomfortable…” “Whoa! Hold it there. If this is a family business, don’t pull me in.” Whitney looked at Brian in a scary way with narrowed eyes because he interrupted. And again, she continued. “…In days of school, after my sis claimed to be the champion; I was mocked around saying I was good for nothing. Then, Roxanne showed up. Doing the performance with her; lead me to pursue her carrier. Become the first equestrian vaulter in the town and continued to be the best from state or even…Mmmm” Brian covered Whitney’s mouth with his hand, to mute her. “Shhhh. I saw something over…” before Brian could finish his words… “YOU DARE TO INTERRUPT ME!” Whitney punched off Brian to fall into the hutch. “Phantom can you go and look…” Brian said while standing hardly holding the fence of the hutch. Phantom slowly approached and for some reason, lowered its head. And Phantom looked happy. Brian noticed something near its mouth and saw some small pieces of crushed oats like stuff. Brian had to ignore it or else he’ll get smacked by Whitney for not listening. “So, Brian, will you help me to achieve this dream of mine?” Whitney’s voice changed into an innocent adorable tone. Like his sister use to sound. Brian sighed. “As a friend, I’ll always help you whenever possible way.” Brian said. Whitney gladly thanked Brian and tried to run home. “Oh, and Brian, how about we have a trip to the mountains tomorrow? To green peaks?” Whitney asked. “Sounds good to me. Let’s go after school starts.” Brian agreed and suggested. “Okay. Good night.” Whitney nodded, greeted and whooshed back home.