A Midnight Adventure is a story a few of us built together on my author Facebook page. I supplied the picture and the first paragraph, then others joined in. II hope you enjoy it!
The contributors were: Larry Kurtz, Sabina Orzari, Shilo Niziolek, and Stacey Sannar. Thank you all!
I tossed a pebble at the second-story window, then slipped back into the shadow beneath the Live oak and dangling Spanish moss. Tonight was going to be the night, if I had anything to say about it.
The creak of the window opening on the 1830s built home sounded as loud as a jet in the night’s quiet. I waited and watched, but no one appeared at the window, only a shadow floated across the room in the soft glow of what I supposed was a bedside light. As I threw another pebble, Jenny finally hung her head out of the window. Her long red hair sat on top of her head in a messy bun. I waved, beckoning my best friend to come down.
Jenny dropped a small green duffel bag out the window. It landed with a muffled thump in the damp green grass. She stuck a long tan leg out of the window and swung herself onto the trellis, where she climbed down as quiet as a mouse. It wasn’t the first time we’d snuck out of our respective houses, and it wouldn’t be the last. Once firmly on the ground, Jenny slung the strap of her duffle bag over her shoulder.
“It’s in there? You remembered to bring it?” I asked.
“Yep.” She patted the bag. “Let’s go.”
Together, we raced into the deep shadows of the woods surrounding our neighborhood and headed to the train station on the other side of town. Once we were out of sight of Jenny’s house, we slowed our pace from a sprint to a steady jog. It was already after midnight and if we were going to do this, we had to hurry.
Gravel crunched under our feet and I was breathing hard when the light over the door of the train depot came into sight. I slid onto the wooden bench beside the front door and dug in my bag for a bottle of water. Jenny did the same and after we both had taken long swallows of water and caught our breath, I eyed her.
“Are you ready?” A grin split my face. I couldn’t wait.
Jenny nodded, and we jumped to our feet. We headed around the corner of the depot, then climbed through the barbed wire fence one at a time. A barb caught my T-shirt and held me in place. We giggled while Jenny pulled my shirt loose. I’d have to explain that hole to Mom later, but the trouble I’d get into was going to be worth it.
Once we were both in the field, Jenny swung her duffle bag off of her shoulder and unzipped it. She brought out a baggie of carrots and clicked her tongue. A soft nicker sounded from the dark. Out of the shadows, a blaze of white appeared first, followed by the dark shadow of a horse. The mare nudged Jenny with her nose, then lipped a carrot out of my friend’s hand.
The mare’s beautiful sorrel coat mesmerized me, but also made my stomach flutter. I was a bit scared, if I was being honest. I reached out and ran my hands down her soft coat as Jenny pulled a bridle out of her bag and slipped it over the horse’s head.
Jenny bent down, making a stirrup out of her hands, and raised her eyebrows at me. “Come on. Mount up.”
I tentatively slipped my foot into Jenny’s hands and bounced while she lifted me up. I slung a leg over the mare, barely keeping myself from sliding off the other side.
“Grab ahold of her mane and steady yourself,” Jenny instructed me, before crooning to the horse. “Good girl, Star. Steady.”
Jenny led Star to the metal gate, then climbed the gate and slid onto the horse in front of me. She held the reins in one hand and looked at me over her shoulder. “Are you ready?”
I nodded, my breath caught in my throat and my imagination running wild. As a city girl who’d recently moved to small town Georgia, I’d never been on a horse in all of my fifteen years. When my new best friend, Jenny, told me she’d been riding since before she could remember, we’d made a plan for our next midnight adventure.
As Jenny nudged Star into a trot and the wind blew my hair back from my hot face, I imagined myself galloping across the Scottish moors, trying to make it to my true love before he died of the sword slash he’d gotten fighting for my love. The next minute, I was flying across the desert as part of the Pony Express, delivering news of a stagecoach robbery in Tenmile Gulch. The lyrics to “Wildfire” played over and over in my mind.
“She ran calling Wildfire…” I belted out. Jenny laughed and joined in.
Star broke into a gallop, and I closed my eyes. I had no idea where we were going, but it didn’t matter. My best friend and I were together atop this magnificent beast. When I opened my eyes, I wouldn’t have been one bit surprised to find we’d entered Narnia.