The West Jorvik Highway was the road leading north out of the village, Marley’s farm to the left and Landon’s sheep field on the right. I was looking at the sheep when we turned the corner and a bulldozer about ran us over! Screaming like a pair of magpies, we both took off, Evening having the common sense to jump over the fence and into Landon’s fields without any input from me. I could barely catch my breath as we stood there, shocked beyond words. Honestly, this was worse than pedestrians and bike riders!
Savvy suggested we take the fields alongside the road the rest of the way, and I agreed. Evening shook his head and snorted, suggesting that he was quite happy to not step on the road right now either after that scare. Big scary machinery around horses, honestly…
Mr. Bucket was up on a hill overlooking the work site that seemed to be giving him such a fret. He gestured for us to be silent and to get off our horses. Evening snorted again, but didn’t follow me up the hill at least. I let Savvy do the talking, whispering to him about Marley’s paddock. But the politician didn’t look interested. The construction site was a bigger priority, since they were possibly using a toxic adhesive to hurry up their construction. He just had no proof of it. If we could get him proof, though, he’d be free to get us the papers Marley needed.
Why was it always a case of, “You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours?” It seems to me like governmental processes were supposed to be a lot simpler. But there was no help for it. We left the horses at the base of Mr. Bucket’s hill and entered the construction site. There were containers, machinery, and all sorts of building supplies everywhere. It wasn’t the most organized mess either. I was a bundle of nerves, and found myself biting the seams of my gloves more than once (at least they protected my nails!) when I thought we were going to get caught. At last, a container had the packaging for the GED-O-Gel that Mr. Bucket was so concerned about, and we took off for Mr. Bucket with it before we got caught.
I thought he was going to grind his teeth to dust, he was so angry. He started scribbling away on papers, talking about delaying the construction for at least a few days. I think that at least made him feel better than standing around, doing nothing. He did hand over the papers for Marley, having done them while he waited for us. I was glad he was at least a man of his word…
We went back to the horses to take pictures of the observatory, with me letting Savvy handle the camera more. I was a bit of a butterfingers when it came to technology, honestly. It was worth it when Olaf kept humming over how nice the pictures were. I hope she took the compliment well.
It took him a bit of considered, but he finally decided on a gondola lift. (Which was apparently the logical answer since the mountain was too steep for a road, tunneling wasn’t an option.) There had even been a gondola lift there before at one time, judging by the old foundations still there and hopefully could be reused. I refrained, barely, from rolling my eyes. Savvy was being a bad influence on me. But it seemed pretty obvious! He gave us some GPS markers to put near the old foundation markers. As we rode away, Savvy started acting strange again, looking all around like she heard something I didn’t. I bit my lower lip, starting to wonder. Was I the one not hearing something important? Mummy always said wearing my headphones while I played video games on my computer would ruin my hearing…
Savvy shook it off though and we went hunting for those foundation blocks. Pretty hard to miss once I realized what they were. The last one was up on the steep hillside. I thought Evening was going to slip and fall a couple times going back down! He was not a happy camper. Once we got back to Olaf, he looked over the GPS information and said while the spots were good, the actual foundations were too old. I was thinking, okay, well, time to go home and leave him to it.
No. He hands us dynamite to go blow them up.
Dynamite. I’m fifteen! Savvy might be considered an adult in some countries, but I am still a few months short, thank you all the same!
Oh, but he gave us a brochure on how to use it, like that would make everything so much better. And apparently once we read it, we knew as much as he did about using it. We were just expected to set it, light it, and run. It was too easy. I whimpered, unable to believe we were doing this. Savvy suggested that if we made it to the next block before the first one went, we should be fine. I don’t like should be’s!
“This is insanity, we shouldn’t be doing this, oh God,” I muttered, but there was no help for it. She set the first charge, and Evening twisted around and ran for the next foundation block before she had even lit it. I sat there, trembling, and forgot to count. Savvy and Heart had barely joined us when the ground shook and my ears rang with the noise. I squealed and covered my ears…not that it did me much good now.
If Daddy ever finds out about this, he will throw a colossal hissy fit.
Savvy handed me the next one with shaking hands, and I gulped. My turn. I set it, and this time when we got behind the next foundation, I remembered to cover my ears. I still jumped, and although he was trying to appear strong and brave, I could feel Evening trembling underneath me. This was just cruel. But we finished and raced back to Olaf as soon as the last charge was set, not even waiting to make sure it went off alright.
He had the audacity to laugh. My mouth tightened and I could feel my face turning red as I got angry, but tried to bite my tongue. Mario needed this, which meant I needed to hold on to my temper. But oh, even now I’m shaking, I am so upset over this! You can scare me and laugh about it, fine. But you do not get to scare my horse!
While I was trying not to give him a tongue lashing, Savvy picked up the reins of conversation again. He had apparently found a lift from the Alps that was for sale, he just needed us to run the letter to buy it to the post office. I let Savvy take the letter, and we rode back to the village at a walk. I let her deal with Derek, and actually kept Evening up by Steve’s 2nd Hand store. I didn’t want to force him down stairs right now. He tried to shake his head and go on, but I slid off his back and wrapped my arms around his neck. His coat hid it well, but he had been sweating all through that, ugh, my poor baby…
She got an extra flirting session with Derek, and then we went to Marley’s to give him his paperwork. But that wasn’t enough. Now he needed the track inspected, and apparently Carney was the nearest licensed inspector. Familial favors at their finest. But we both were relieved to be heading back towards our beds at the winery.
Carney, of course, got very huffy over needing to help his brother. It made me wrinkle my nose. They were brothers, shouldn’t he be happy to help? But he said he would do it on his own time, and who knew when that would be. I had a feeling we were going to have to stay on him. We put the horses back in their stalls for their evening feed, and I went ahead and gave Evening an extra brushing and fussing. That seemed to help him calm down further. I carried Snow back into our room and while Savvy collapsed in bed, I took a shower first to get the dust and sweat off. My clothes were too dirty to put back on, so I grabbed the clothes I had worn on the first day here. I didn’t bother with make-up again, or doing more than brushing my hair. I would look like death warmed over, but I was calm, that’s all I cared about.
By the time I was done, it was almost time for supper. Snow hopped in my lap for snuggles while I waited for the rest of the time to pass. Once we both stopped shaking, we put the rabbits away with some fresh lettuce and carrot shavings for them to snack on and went to grab our own supper.
While we were walking, I hugged myself and bit my lip. I hadn’t been too open about what was going on with me and Josh to Savvy. I think she got more frustrated with him than I did, whereas I just got hurt. But this was important. “I yelled at Josh today,” I managed to blurt out, making her turn to stare at me. “I gave him an ultimatum, told him to decide what I was and stick with it instead of this ping pong game, and I don’t know what he’s going to decide, and I’m afraid he’s going to do something stupid because he’s just as much of a boy as Derek sometimes…” I clapped my hands over my mouth to make me stop babbling.
Savvy was just gobsmacked, I think, and then finally shook her head. “Outside,” she said. “We’re eating outside tonight, and talking in the closest thing we have to privacy around here.” I nodded, and followed along after her. There were disposable trays in the dining room, so we just grabbed our supper on them and took it out to the vineyard. There was an unclaimed picnic table out there, probably rather popular for lunch but not for the evening meal.
Neither of us seemed to know what to say at first. And then Savvy said she couldn’t believe that I had given Josh an ultimatum. I flushed and slumped over the tumble. “Well!” I managed to sputter out. She snickered and I muttered about how it wasn’t fair for him to be such a pain…
“Well, if he’s going to keep being dumb, we can sick Derek on him again,” Savvy tried to reassure me with a smirk. I managed a slight giggle, but considering that the boys had recently devolved to gut-punching and hair-dying, it was definitely a last resort in my book.
Savvy agreed, and then fell into a silence that was full of meanings. She sighed and said, “I don’t know, Misty…” And started listing all the reasons why we really couldn’t afford to stop going to the race. Mostly for Star and Bright’s sake. It wasn’t really fair for the ponies to lose some of their fun because of my feelings.
But there was more to what she was feeling than that. I didn’t have to press too much, and she gave in. Apparently she is just as unsure about Derek as I am about Josh. Yes, they flirted and worried about each other, but she didn’t even know if he liked her or if he just wanted to be friends. Both of us were in such awful knots.
By then, we were both depressed enough that I thought we needed a subject change, or we would never fall asleep. So I mentioned all of the beautiful horse breeds we’d seen and wondered how on Earth we’d ever choose which ones to buy, provided we did so. Savvy instantly agreed, and we spent the rest of the evening chattering about them excitedly, cheering both of us up considerably. Now if only everything else was as easily solved…
Oh well. I’ll my answer in the morning, one way or the other.
Money: 3208 SC, 1664 JS
Have a question for Misty about her experiences at Moorland or before? Ask her over at Ask Mountain Song over on tumblr.