Fall in the woods

There was nothing like the smell of fresh hay and the knicker of horses in the distance frolicking in their pens. Bobbi slipped her foot into the stirrup and lifted herself effortlessly onto her mount. Sinbad. Her mind was overflowing with Penal law facts and her body was sore from being mock arrested along with her fellow police academy enrollee’s. The minute class ended for the week, she hit the rode bound for home. Rising in the morning with the first rays of light, a ride along the trails was what she needed.

Sunlight shined through the dwindling canopy above her head. Sinbad’s ears were back and his mane ruffled with the desire to run. Excitement from the wind filled his flanks. Bobbi worked to hold him back. Cleared at last from the  uneven ground, she let him go across the meadow. Here she was free. No past to relive, no future preplanned. The sound of her horse’s hooves against the earth and the breeze through her hair. Crack. The sound of a rifle echoed in the distance. The wind made it hard for her to pinpoint the sound. Crack. A second shot was loud enough to startle Sinbad and give Bobbi a clue to the direction. She tapped his sides and they hit a gallop.

Bobbi pulled the reins as they cleared the field and entered another wooded path. Voices drew her closer. Quickly, she dismounted and tied Sinbad to a tree, trying to understand the scene playing out in front of her. Her neighbors elderly mother was standing in front of their barn, pointing an old Remington hunting rife at her two great-grandson’s. “You boys, you don’t belong here. You need to get going. There’s nothing here for you to steal.” 93 year old Ida Baxter yelled. As Bobbi approached, she leveled the gun on her.

Bobbi lifted her hand behind her back and waived the two boys away. Her mom shared with her a month earlier that Ida’s Alzheimer’s disease had worsened. “Hi, Mrs. Baxter. How are you today?” Bobbi tried to engage the woman in conversation. “It’s a beautiful day today.”

“Did you see those boys. Coming here to make mischief.” Ida still kept the weapon pointed at Bobbi.

“They’re gone now. How about we go inside and have some tea?” Bobbi suggested.

“Do, I know you?” Ida creased her brows. She stepped closer to look at Bobbi. “Evelyn is that you?”

Bobbi realized, Ida thought she was her mother. “Yes ma’am. How about we have that drink?” The older woman lowered the weapon. Bobbi reached for the barrel and pulled it toward her.

“How about we have a real drink? Is it to early for Brandy?” Ida asked.

“Anything you want.” Bobbi wrapped an arm around the woman. A half hour later they were joined by Ida’s youngest son. He found Bobbi sitting with his mom, sharing a Brandy and eating cookies at 830 in the morning.

“I owe you thanks.” Owen Baxter said to Bobbi.

She smiled. “When do i get to drink Brandy and eat cookies?” Ida appeared tired. Her son escorted her to her room for a nap. The aide they hired had a family emergency and was late. The great grandson’s volunteered to help but unfortunately, she didn’t recognize her.”

Bobbi returned to Sinbad. She took the ride home at a comfortable walk. Her thoughts drifted to family. Or as she reminded herself, her small family. The only child, would she ever have a family of her own? Would she have to settle for the man her family expected her to marry. A man she didn’t love. Or would she meet her knight in shining armor. Sinbad neighed. A small tornado of leaves snaked up into the sky. Bobbi let her thoughts go again as she took off flying toward the morning sun.







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