Change upon daybreak, p.1
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       Change Upon Daybreak, p.1

           Delany Dianne
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Change Upon Daybreak
Change upon Daybreak

  By Delany Dianne

  Copyright 2012 Delany Dianne

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1 – Morning’s Surprise

  Chapter 2 – The Plot Thickens

  Chapter 3 – Life Goes On

  Chapter 4 – School

  Chapter 5 – Pushing for a Breakthrough

  Chapter 6 – Hannah’s Uncovering

  Chapter 7 – A New Discovery

  Chapter 8 – Running for My Life

  Chapter 9 – Mounting Trouble

  Chapter 10 – A Finishing Decision

  Dedication

  My ears swiveled forward at the sound of the latch sliding back from outside the barn. I blinked several times trying to wake up. Why are they early for feeding? Smelling the air, I knew something was wrong. Groggily getting to my feet I looked over my door. I breathed in again. I hadn’t smelled this person before. The figure was walking quietly down the barn aisle. A few of the other horses nickered their concern about the unknown figure. I stepped back as he came closer. I could smell the terror of other horses on him. Snorting, I retreated further into my stall. “Come here horsey.” He said and unlatched my door. I raised my head and whinnied. He shut the door and quickly grabbed my face forcing me to lower my head, cutting off my cry. Looping the halter around my neck he swiftly pulled the halter onto my face and tightened the strap. With a jerk on the lead, he dragged me out of my stall.

  Chapter 1

  Morning’s Surprise

  Bolting awake from the sound of my alarm clock, I threw my pillow at it. AUGH! forgot to turn that off yesterday. There’s no reason for me to be up this early on a Saturday morning. I could still hear the ringing under the pillow. Pulling the covers over my head, I knew I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep.

  Throwing the covers off, I rolled off my bed and found the assailant to my sleep. Turning the darn thing off, I set it back on my nightstand. Grabbing the pillow, I tossed it back onto the bed. Knowing I had to make my bed, I did the bare minimum, grabbed the purple comforter and pulled it back where it needed to be. Why make the bed when you’re just going to sleep in it again, in a few hours? It just didn’t make sense to me.

  I turned and opened my hamper, pulling out all the articles of clothing. I found some that were decently clean and threw them on, stuffing what was left back into the wicker basket. I pulled my shoulder length brown hair back into a ponytail not bothering to run a brush through it. Opening my bedroom door, I headed downstairs.

  "Wow, you’re up early. Forget to turn your alarm off again?" My Mom, Sarah, teased.

  “Smells good.” I got out as I yawned and rubbed the sleep out of my emerald green eyes. “Is anyone else up?” I asked, snatching a piece of bacon from the plate on the counter.

  “Yes.” Mom said smacking my hand playfully. “Hannah’s helping your Dad with feeding. You’re the last one up.”

  Out of the two of us kids, I looked like Mom. Hannah took after Dad. She had his deep blue eyes and high cheekbones. I had Dad’s ski jump nose, but Mom’s brown hair and green eyes. Hannah also had Dads height and would soon pass me, even though I was three years older than her.

  I was reaching for another piece of bacon when I heard pounding feet behind me. The screen door slammed.

  "Mom, Sandy's gone! She's not in her stall!" Hannah yelled, as she came through the door.

  "Calm down, maybe she's in her paddock." Mom said, turning from the stove.

  "I already looked. She isn't there." Hannah eyes welded up with tears.

  "Please finish cooking M. I'm going to go look for Sandy." Mom said as she grabbed Hanna's hand and walked out the door.

  "Okay." I said jumping off the stool and grabbing the spatula from the counter. M is short for Michelle and sounds better too, not as stuffy as Michelle, I mused as the pancakes on the griddle bubbled. Waiting for the edges to dry, I flipped them. Nice and golden. If there was one thing I knew how to cook, it was pancakes.

   As I poured the last of the batter onto the griddle, I looked out the screen door towards the barn to see if anyone was on their way up. Not seeing anyone, I walked to the door, pushed it open, reached around the door, and grabbed a hold of the string hanging from the dinner bell. Ringing it a few times, I went back to the stove, finished the last pancake, and turned off the stove.

  Impatient as always, I headed down to the barn to find out what was going on. It was a 16-stall barn with 12 by 12 stalls. The outside had just gotten some new red paint last summer. The two large doors were already open, so I walked right in. The first 12 were stalls; all but 5 were in use. The last 4 stalls were converted into a tack room, a feed room, a lounge/office, and a utility room. On the far right side, was a ladder heading up to the loft.

  I found my family in the office. Dad, Mike, was on the phone and Mom was pacing restlessly. Hannah was sitting on the couch and still looked ready to cry.

  "Breakfast is ready when you are." I said and sat down on the couch.

  "Thank you." Mom replied.

  “What’s going on?”

  “It looks like Sandy broke down her door and ran off.” Mom replied.

  “Why, would she do that?” Hannah whimpered.

  Mom stopped her pacing and sat down between Hanna and I.

  “I don’t know.” She sighed and put an arm around each of us. “But, we’ll find her.”

  “Aren’t you scared for your horse?” Hannah said sitting forwards to look at me.

  “Of course.” I mumbled. Standing up, I headed out of the office and back towards Sandy’s stall. I could hear my Dad hanging up the phone and relaying what he had been told to my Mom. It sounded like he had called animal control to see if anyone had called her in. From the sound of things, she hadn’t been caught or seen yet.

  I ran my hand along the stall walls. My boots making a clicking sound on the swept concrete. I picked my hand off the wall two stalls from Sandy’s. I noticed that Bell’s nameplate was still on the door. My emotions were starting to tumble, I gritted my teeth and walked quickly away from that stall. Once at Sandy’s stall, I saw how she had gotten loose. The door, which should be little more than an inch off the ground, was resting on its corner. I grabbed it and drug it open.  The top hinge was stretched and loosely hanging on the door only. Keeping the door from falling to the ground was the bottom hinge and it looked worse for wear also. Tons of circular marks punctured the inside of the door. Splinters of wood covered the ground inside the stall. I looked on the other wall; the bolt had been torn off and was lying on the ground.

  Stepping out of the stall, I just wanted to get away. Everyone had walked out into the aisle. "I’m going to Kayla's." I stated more than asked and was out the barn before I could get a reply.

  Chapter 2

  The Plot Thickens

  I stepped onto the front porch of our neighbor’s house. Knocking on the door, I called out. "Hello? Kayla? It’s M! You there?"

  Waiting a few moments, I turned and headed back home. Wonder where they’re at? I kicked at a clump of dandelions growing along the well-beaten path leading from one house to the other. The sun was now fully in the sky, making it a gorgeous summer day. I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath of air. I could smell the freshness of the grass, and some of the wild flowers that were blooming this time of year. Trying to think of anything but what was going on at the barn.

  As I was trying to keep my mind occupied, I noticed something that had escaped me the first time. I had come to the spot where we would slip through the fence that separated our pasture and their yard. The vinyl material that it was made of made it safe for horses to lean on, and strong enough not to break. Each strand was six inches wide and bright white making it easy for a horse to spot. W
hat I hadn’t noticed was that it was sagging. I looked down the fence then the other direction. It was sagging more towards my right. My curiosity now triggered, I stepped off the path and followed the fence into the woods.

  The further into the woods I went the worse the sagging became. We haven’t had any good winds to fall any trees. I thought of any possible reason for the fence to be down. I hadn’t gone far when I found why it was sagging. Clean-cut edges were clearly visible as I walked up to the opening. How long has this been cut?

  I looked around, further into the woods flattened grass indicated signs of tire tracks. They headed towards the road not far though the trees. The turf close to the fence was ripped and trampled. I bent to get a better look. A definite horseshoe print was stomped into the torn dirt. Who’d be loading a horse right here? I stood up. The sunlight streaming though the trees reflected on a piece of metal stuck in the dirt. 

  Walking over I grabbed it. It had beveled edges and what once was a nice blue color on one side. Raised letters NJQ and maybe a G or a 6, possibly an O in a dull yellow. Rust spots covered the piece and the jagged edge was a dead give away that it had been torn. A license plate? Actually, half of a license plate. Something about this just doesn’t sit right. I tucked the piece into my hoodie’s over size picket and walked through the fence towards home.

  He pulled me out of my stall and tied me to the wall. I noticed a sledge hammer beside my door. He grabbed it and walked into my stall, closed the door, and reached over bolting it shut. The pounding was muffled with a rag he had wrapped the end with. Once he had pounded my door open, he pushed it so he had room to walk though. By now all of us were wide awake, we were nickering back and forth our alarm about the crazy man in our home. He grinned at his work and wiped the sweat off his forehead. Untying me, he dragged me out of the barn not bothering to shut the main door; we headed towards the pasture. Going through the gate, he closed it behind us and continued to rush me along. His nervousness was rubbing off on me making me snort and dance around him. We headed for the far end of the pasture where the woods gave us shade from the sun this time of year.  I snorted to my dismay the fence was laying on the ground. In the woods, were two large smelly objects. The first was hallow and the crazy man pulling me tried to drag me into it. Well, I had been a good horse up to this point, but there is only so much a horse can take. And getting into that crazy contraption was not something I was going to do. I firmly planted my feet and put my head in the air. Trying to give him a gentle answer that I wasn’t going. He didn’t get the hint. He started yelling at me and pulling harder. I pulled and moved away from the entrance and got around the side. He came out of the thing and smacked me on the rump. I kicked out and caught something on my hind shoe. Pulling back quickly I heard something tear and felt a release on my foot. The man who had a hold of me gave up and tied me as close as he could to the door. He walked to the front and opened another door. He was still angry when he tried to load me up this time, but seeing a way out I figured I would just hop right out of the crazy contraption. This time he slipped the rope through the side and stood on the outside of the trailer. Pulling on the rope he tapped my butt with his hand. I cautiously stepped onto the floor, with another smack to the butt I jumped in. I heard creaking metal behind me and looked to see what had happened. The opening I had just walked through was closed off. I swung my head back and started for the other opening. It was slammed in my face. I was trapped! Whinnying out, I tried to find an escape. I called out again but received no answer back. A loud sound started up in the second object. It was loud and smelled bad. The thing started to move, and the familiar smells of home slowly disappeared along with my courage. What is going to happen to me? I wondered.

  Chapter 3

  Life Goes On

  I ran up the back steps and bursted into the house. Everyone was in the kitchen. Mom was grabbing orange juice out of the fridge. Dad and Hannah were sitting at the table.

  “Your back just in time.” Dad said getting up to grab me a plate.

  “No time right now, I n--” I blurted but was cut off.

  “It can wait till after breakfast.” Mom said, setting the juice on the table and sat down. Dad had come back with the plate and fork and setting them at my place on the table.

  “I think Sandy was stolen!” I blurted out, grabbing the back of my chair.

  “Now, why would you say that?” Asked Mom.

  “The fence is cut.”

  “What!” Mom and Dad said together.

  “And there are tire tracks and horseshoe prints everywhere.”

  “Why would anyone want to steal Sandy?” Hannah whimpered. Her bottom lip trembled.

  “Okay, I’ll go look at it after breakfast. Don’t turn any of the horse’s out today.” Dad said. Hannah and I nodded our heads.

  “Alright, lets eat.” He said.

  I sighed, pulling out the chair in hand. I slid in and pulled the chair up to the table. The smells made my stomach rumble. Reaching over the table, I grabbed two pancakes and dropped them onto my plate. I had already had my fair share of bacon, but I reached for another piece anyway. Hannah was pouring the syrup. I waited for her to finish and send it my way. I don’t get how she likes peanut butter on her pancakes. I made a face as she handed me the syrup. She rolled her eyes and took the peanut butter from Dad. Breakfast was consumed mostly in silence.

  Sitting back with a sigh, my stomach had finally stopped talking. Standing up, I grabbed my plate and fork and put them in the sink. I felt something jab my side.

  “Oh, I almost forgot.” I said reaching into my pocket. “I found this.” Bringing out the license plate, I held it out and handed it to Dad

  “Where’d you find this?” He asked, taking it and examining it.

  “It was near the fence.” I replied.

  “I’m going to go take a look.” Dad grabbed the handle of the kitchen screen door. As he walked out, the spring slammed the door shut behind him.

  I walked out of the kitchen and ran upstairs. Shutting my bedroom door behind me, I flopped down on my bed. I had closed my eyes when the sounds of ringing from my phone blasted my ears. I rolled over and grabbed it from next to my bed.

  “Hello?”

  “Hey, it’s Kayla.”

  “Oh Hi! I was just over at your house. Where were you?”

  “We had ran into town for breakfast.”

  “Cool.” I said, rolling back over onto my bed.

  “Yeah! So, what had you come over for?”

  “I wanted to know if you’d seen Sandy.”

  “No. Why did she get loose?” Kayla sounded worried.

  “I’m not sure. She’s gone and we don’t know what happened.”

  “What do you mean by that?”

  “Her stall looks like she broke the door down.”

  “Well, I’ll keep an eye out for her.”

  “Thanks, Hey, did you know that the fence to the back pasture was cut?”

  “What?” Kayla’s voice rose. “It was cut? Do you think it might have to do with Sandy?”

  “Not sure, it’s possible. I saw a ton of horse tracks down there and trailer and truck tracks too.”

  “So you think someone stole her?”

  “Of course, someone stole her.” The high pitch voice of my twerp of a little sister cut in.

  “Get OFF THE PHONE!” I snapped. I heard the other line click off quickly.

  “I’m going to get her.” I growled. Kayla laughed on the other side. “Anyways, what were you calling about?”

  “Nothing important, especially when your horse is missing.”

  “Don’t worry, she’ll show up. What were you calling about?” I prodded.

  “I just wanted to know if you wanted to come swimming with me on Friday.”

  “Yeah, totally! I just have to ask my Mom to find to find out if I can. Hang on a sec.” I said, jumping off the bed. Swinging my door open, I pounded down the stairs and searched the house for Mom. I finally found her in her of
fice on her computer. 

  “Hey Mom, is it okay if I go swimming with Kayla on Friday?” I gave her my best plea face.

  “Sure, its fine by me.” She said not looking up from her computer.

  “Thanks Mom.” I said bolting back up the stairs and flying onto my bed.

  “You still there?”

  “Yep, what did she say? Kayla replied.

  “She said it was fine.”

  “Awesome! Sooo, you excited about the end of school?”

  “Of course, who wouldn’t be?”

  “A crazy person.” Kayla said with a laugh. “Are you worried about Sandy’s training?”

  “No, I was planning on selling her anyway, so it’s not such a big deal. I’m not into horses like I was when I first got her.”

  “I know. Now it’s all about your new friends, makeup and boy’s.” She finished with disgust.

  “What’s wrong with that?” I said getting defensive.

  “Nothing. It’s just that we never go riding anymore, and I miss that. Sandy was your early birthday gift, and we were going to train her from the ground up. She was going to be your new show horse. We had so many plans now that we’re old enough to enter into more shows. We talked about every little thing from groundwork to showing. It’s like all that doesn’t matter to you anymore. I feel like I’ve lost my best friend!”

  “I’m sorry you miss that, but I’m growing up, and that was something for me when I was a kid. I’m just not into that kind of thing anymore.”

  “That’s becoming your excuse. I’ll see you later.” Kayla said.

  “Bye, then.” I replied and hung up the phone. She hasn’t grown up yet, she doesn’t understand. I thought as I put down the phone on the receiver.

  I rolled off my bed and headed towards the door. I wanted to check my Facebook. Opening my bedroom, I could hear mom talking in the living room. I trotted down the stairs. Then another voice started speaking, someone I didn’t know. I peaked over into the living room.

  Mom was sitting on the couch with Dad. An officer was perched on a seat across from them scribbling notes down. He looked up and noticed me peering down from the stairs. Dad followed his gaze.

  “Ah M, could you come and answer some questions for the police?” He asked, making room on the couch for me.

 
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