TITLE: Gate Series: Stone of Orenda
GENRE: YA Fantasy
With a violent head toss, the single-minded equine locomotive beneath me yanked the reins through my hands and we surged forward. Windblown tears crept out of my eyes as we careened through the old apple orchard. I ducked another branch and tried again to slow the charging mare. My frantic tugging on the reins didn’t elicit the tiniest response. I gulped as my left foot bounced and lost its tenuous grip on the stirrup.
“Vienna, whoa! Whoa!” I screamed. It came out as a whisper, lost in the airstream.
I pulled desperately on one rein and succeeded in turning Vienna’s head enough to see the gleam of insanity in her left eye. Visions of flying through the air prevented stronger action.
We thundered toward an unused dirt road. Maybe she’ll slow down now. My throat closed involuntarily. What if she doesn’t?
She hesitated, just enough for me to get a good look at the irrigation ditch concealed in the weeds as we soared over it. “Whoa!” I screeched mid-leap.
I slammed onto the saddle, and Vienna dropped into a bone-jarring trot. My other foot reached for a stirrup and found only air, but I took advantage of her uncertainty to bring her nose around to her right side. If she didn’t stop, I was going to end up in a tree -- but then so would she. Sides heaving, she jolted into a walk and stopped, eying the tunnel of leafless trees as if she wanted to do it all over again.