Tara pressed her ragged sweatshirt to her nose. She turned, searching for the cause of the horrible stink that hovered around her. It was everywhere! Like a subway toilet that hadn’t been flushed in weeks. She held her breath and peered up at the giant white barns.
So, this is my punishment … horse therapy? To what? Clean up after them?
She rolled her eyes.
Her jaw twitched, anger swelling inside.
I didn’t even steal Alissa’s purse! But just because she’s Alissa Jordan, everyone believes her!
She shouldn’t have been surprised though. It was just like Alissa.
Tara gripped her sweatshirt in a tight fist.
She should’ve tried harder; convinced Principal Jackman she hadn’t done it. Made him listen.
Her shoulders slumped.
Why bother? He doesn’t care.
She lowered her head. Mr. Jackman never believed her. He’d threatened to kick her out of Roseden Middle School before.
Tara snorted. Like Roseden Middle School is so elite; can’t have any riffraff.
She stared up at the barn.
So how is a horse supposed to change anything anyway?
A deep sigh swelled within her. Maybe alternative school was for the best. At least it wasn’t juvie hall … and she was away from Alissa.
A horse trumpeted, piercing the quiet morning. A flock of sparrows took flight from their roost nearby, noisily chattering their irritation. Tara’s pulse quickened. She stared at the barn’s open doorway; a dark, gaping mouth, waiting to expel the devil animal that shrieked inside.