TITLE: Yakimali's Gift
GENRE: YA Historical Fiction
Fernanda pressed her heels into the horse’s sides. “Faster, pretty one, faster. We want to feel the wind in our hair, no?”
The horse flicked its ears then galloped across the plain, kicking up stones from the hard ground. Fernanda leaned closer to the horse’s neck, her long braid slipping over her shoulder. The animal’s smell of grassy manure and sweat filled her with the thrill of riding. It had been too long.
Her body rocked with the rhythm of the pounding hooves. Water streaked from her eyes as she raced across the desert, dodging barrel cactuses and mesquite bushes. Her rebozo slipped to her shoulders; then the shawl untied completely and was gone. Fernanda glanced over her shoulder and saw it flutter to the ground. A laugh burst from her chest, and watching a hawk fly high into the sky, she thought, I feel as free as that bird!
The power of the horse flowed through her, charging her with the desire for adventure, her heart soaring beyond Tubac to worlds far away, worlds full of golden riches, handsome men, and green hills that rolled on forever. Worlds where she would ride, explore, and each day discover something new.
Before realizing how far she’d gone, she saw her family’s adobe hut. She tightened the reins, stopped the horse, and squinted toward the house. Her soaring heart dropped like the hawk diving to the ground. There, in front of the hut with her hands on her hips, stood her mother.