TITLE: Lost in the Bayou
GENRE: Young Adult Thriller
Robin is riding her horse, Star, across the field in the driving rain, trying to get away from her Uncle Conrad before he can kill her.
Even above the thundering rhythm of Star's hooves, the report of the rifle splits the night air. Star stumbles. Falls. Water explodes around me when I hit the wet ground, and I slide some distance before coming to a stop.
My ankle won't support me when I try to stand, instead sending a stabbing pain up my leg. I drop to my knees with a whimper. Star doesn't get up as I crawl toward her. Her nostrils are flared, and she's breathing rapidly when I reach her. My hands explore her neck and side. Wet but normal. Her legs seem fine, too, but hope fades when my fingers cross her hip and I feel the sticky warmth oozing from the ragged hole in her flesh.
Oh, no! Not Star!
A moment later, the wind is knocked out of me when the large boot kicks me in the back. I land on my chest next to Star, and I know who it is before I turn my head and see Conrad standing there.
"Get up!" he growls.
"No!" I scream up at him. "Go ahead and shoot me, too!" I open my soaked robe and point toward my chest. "Just do it, and get it over with."
His cold, metal claw hand snaps around my wrist as I flail my other arm and kick my bare feet. He's lifting me from the muddy ground and dragging me away from Star. I try to fight, but it's no use. I don't have any fight left in me now. He's won.
I hobble along behind as he leads me toward the house for the end of the game. Star's pitiful whinny fills my ears, and my heart breaks as I leave her behind in the rain.