Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Ghosting it Forward- Part 1

I have been ghosted by one of my favorite blogger buddies Pony Girl (Rides Again)!
In the good nature of all things Halloween I am suppose to tell you a ghostly story and accompany it with a ghostly picture!! I hate to admit it but I am not one for ghost stories or scary movies! Actually, I am a total and utter chicken $hit about all things paranormal. So much so...that I had to cover my eyes in many of the Harry Potter movies. No joke. Don't look at me like that! What!!?? Those movies were scary!! They were! Goblins and evil sorcer! Giants and monsters!! Scary stuff! Whatever! *sigh*
I will warn you...this is a long one and only Part 1 !!! I decided to try use this as an opportunity to write a short story it in a preteen/teen style prose...but I don't know if I managed that or not but I tried.

So grab a cup of java or a big ol' mug of hot chocolate and settle in.

Sitting in the middle seat of her fathers pick-up, Sarah Harris looked out the window forlornly as the trees rushed by, the brilliance of the fall yellow, rust and red leaves, lost to the mulling of her mind and the churning of her stomach. She glanced over at Jessica Wright, her polar opposite and best friend, noting how relaxed she seemed, sitting in the seat next to her. Sarah ran a hand through her thin, flyaway, blond hair and tried not to fidget. Knowing how easily she blushed and unable to hold emotion far from her face, she had been trying to avoid the knowing gaze of her father since he had picked them up from school that afternoon to drive them out the barn.

Jess elbowed Sarah in the ribs and winked knowingly in her direction. Jess was oozing excitement and had been talking about today’s ride for the entire week heading up to Halloween. Sarah had tried to back out countless times but Jess would just goad her into agreeing to go once again. Though Jess, with her cherub like features, looked innocent enough, she could be ruthless and even a bully at times.

When the tall cedars of the McKay Forest ended, the Alder lined driveway of the old homestead farms began. As they turned between the two brick collumns that marked its entrance, Sarah felt a lump rise in her throat but just then she caught sight of Jackson’s bright bay coat shining in the long yellow autumn sun. Jess's mare, Lilly, stood grazing quietly beside him, the light glinting off of her dapple-gray hide. The sight of the two of them lifted her spirits enough that when her Dad dropped them off and said, "Pick you up at seven.” she was able to muster up a genuine smile, though it didn’t quite meet her eyes.

The wind was high and felt harshly cold after the warmth of the cab so that the girls both zipped up their jackets to their chins and jogged out to the barn for their halters. Jess chatted excitedly, high on the prospect of their adventure. The two walked side by side, Sarah 's yellow hair glowing and Jess’s rich auburn curls, bouncing along with stride. Lilly and Jackson fiercely munched the grass as they approached, hoping to steal just a few more bites before being dragged in.

"Hey there old man" Sarah said, as she threw the lead over Jacksons neck. Just as he was lifting his head from the grass, something in the distance caught his eye. He leapt sideways, spun his hindquarter around and flung his head upward. The old quarter horse stood stalk still but for the heave of his belly when he let out a sharp and rattling grunt. Jackson looked down his nose, and started intently at the forest beyond. Lilly, a young and flighty thoroughbred didn’t stick around to ponder the threat, she had galloped madly back towards the barn before Jess could blink and eye. Jackson hesitated for a moment before high tailing it behind her, cocking his head from left to right, glancing behind him, as he went.

"That was weird," Jess said huffily. "Jackson never spooks!"

"I think he saw something in the trees on the other side of the drive...in the forest there." Sarah replied.

"Must have been a squirrel or something" Jess muttered before continuing her story about how she had caught their grade ten heartthrob, Lane Hicks staring at her in P.E.. As they walked back towards the barn, turning their backs on the forest, Sarah couldn't help but feel like they were being watched. She glanced behind her but could see nothing in the dark recesses of the cedar trees. The cheery yellow of the Alder leaves seemed in stark contrast to the sinister depths of the forest beyond. Pulling her scarf a little higher across her neck, Sarah hunched her shoulders and tried to concentrate on Jess's story, rather than the chills that had just run up her spine.

Back in the barn, the horses stood quietly, nose to tail. Catching them both, the girls led their horses to the hitching rail and went about brushing and tacking them up. Jackson was not rooting her pockets or trying on his usual pocket pony tactics for finding the treats. Instead he stood high headed with his eyes fixed in the direction of the forest. Sarah reached up and stroked his neck. Strangely, trying to calm him down helped ease her own nerves As she attempted to heave the weight of the Wade style western saddle over the pony height of Jackson's back, her thin arms and bony elbows trembled. Not a pony, Sarah reminded herself, just a point above 14.2 hands, Jackson was indeed a horse, and her first one at that.

After many years of leasing, Sarah had been given the seventeen-year-old cow horse on her thirteenth birthday. He came with the tack of the old cowboy that had owned him. "He was a good hand in his day", the eighty year old cow boss had said, his hands and legs, bowed and crippled with years of hard use. "But he is sound, dead broke and solid minded." When Sarah and her father had gone to pick Jackson up, the old man had pulled her aside and whispered in her ear, "Young lady, if ever you find yourself in a pickle, you just give Jackson the reins, and he'll take ya home." She'd never had a chance to put that claim to the test but Jackson had a wise and kind eye that seemed to look straight through her at times. "Easy there" Sarah whispered, as Jackson danced around when she went to cinched him.

"What's gotten into Jackson today?" Jess asked, peering over Lilly’s tall and narrow back. "He's making Lilly hyper."

"Yah, right!" Sarah retorted her voice dripping with sarcasm, "Lilly!...hyper! Like as if!"
Jess smiled at her blandly, giving Lilly a pat and smirking to herself as she clipped up the buckles of her black Stubben jumping saddle. Lilly was known for being a bit of a hot head, kind of like Jess herself, but what she lacked in brains she made up for in athleticism. Jess had high hopes in winning some of the classes on this year’s winter circuit. She couldn’t help but feel bad for Sarah, stuck with that old nag and unable to do anything more than trail ride. Jess pushed the thought aside. At least Sarah's Mom and Dad where home every day and took the time to watch her ride. Maybe if she did well, her Mom would take time off work to come watch, Jess though to herself.

Sarah looked over at her friend and wondered where her enthusiasm had gone, Jess’s brows where nit together and her mouth was set in grimace. "You okay?" Sarah asked tentatively. "Sure" Jess snapped, "Just waiting on your pansy ass!"

Sarah blushed. She hated that Jess had seen that she was about to bail again. And so she swallowed the comment she was about to make, the one that suggested that they head on their normal route along the lake and through the cornfield. They mounted and headed down the drive. Jess looked at Sarah and smirked at her face, pinched with worry.

“What! I’m coming aren’t I!” Sarah said.

“You are now! But wait till you hear what I found out!” Jess replied. “I was talking to Melissa Wong yesterday and she told me that the legend of Jack McKey and his wife Elizabeth is actually true!

“Whatever” Sarah said, “everyone knows that! So some farmer went mad and killed his wife a hundred years ago. That doesnt mean anything. The ghost of Lady McKey is just something that all the stoners think they see when they go in the woods to have raves and smoke up. That’s what my Dad told me.”

“Then why have all those people gone missing?” Jess shot back.

“Because people are all high as a kite and wandering around a massive forest! Dah!”

“Well were going to find out!” Jess and Sarah turned down the well worn path leading into the woods, leaving the light behind them.

To be continued!


I am going to "Ghost it forward" to:

-My friend Stephanie over at The School Of Life With Horses. Always informative, well written and touched with humor! Stephanie has had a stroke of bad luck lately and so has not been writing as much as usual. I hope she is back to bloggin' steadily soon! Lets all send her good luck and best wishes for a speedy recovery! Steph- no worries if you are not up to writing a little ghostly story just yet! I just hope things are looking up for you!

-New blogger Natarojo over at Just Horsin' Around. I really enjoy her comments and hope that she will keep going with her new blog. Check it out! She has some great writing!

-The gorgeous photography and writing of Kate over at Chronicles of A Country Girl. Kate has just moved to a absolutely beautiful old colonial from the time of the Civil war. I would love to hear if she has heard any ghost stories associated with her new home!! Kate also has a lot going on in her life at the moment so she might not be feeling up to it at this time. I'd also like to send my best wishes her way and hope that things are looking up for this talented lady.

Here are the rules:

1) Have a Ghostly Image to pass along

2) Tag three people on your blog, with links to their blogs. Tell about what great folks they are, or offer to send them a Ghostly Treat.

3) Include a link to Ghosting It Forward in your blog.


  1. Good story so far...

    I like your new banner too!

  2. Okay, so you've got me hooked - I'll be back!! I already like the "old man" - he's a good horse isn't he??

  3. I have?

    I have! I have been "ghosted"! Thanks! Hmmm it will take some thought for a ghost it forward post. I am very fortunate to have not had any major experiences with the paranormal. And I don't have many ghostly pictures if any? Well have to look through them.

    I will be watching for part 2 as well...

    And yes all the new banners are looking very nice!

  4. I enjoyed this and too am looking forward to the next installment....
    Take care....Big Guys Mom....

  5. I am passing on a book tag to you. For the rules check out my blog and the post "Tag I'm It"

  6. Great story. I love it. I will definitely keep reading. Very cool pumpkin!!

    I passed on the book tag to you too, but I see Leah did first! Now you definitely have to do it!

  7. Love the new banner!

    I've been Ghosted! It might take me a couple days to forward it on, time to dearch for some ghotsly images, and a story as well! Thank you for the tag I look forward to it!

  8. Great story-can't wait for the next installment.

    LOVE your carved pumpkin!!

  9. Hello crazy horse lady... isn't that what a horse crazed mind means? LOL I found you through Kate's blog and boy do I have some ghost stories to tell!

    Here's a link to the label on my blog titled "spirits" detailing when I found out my house was haunted and had it investigated. YES! Serious! http://thecolorofhome.blogspot.com/search/label/Spirits

    Start at the bottom though, and work your way up to read in chronological order or you'll be all confused.

    I like your humor and those horse pics with the misplaced fence posts - OMG, almost snorted sweet tea from my nose. Hate it when that happens!!

    Nice to meet ya.