A Day and A Night
This is based on a true story
Jenna looked around, eyeing her brothers, Chase, fifteen, Ryan, sixteen, and Ty, eighteen, all head in different directions after tying up their horses. They lived in rural Montana, and Jenna lived with her mom, dad, and three older brothers. She was fourteen. Tonight was the dance, in town. She hoped no awkward boy would ask her. She decided she'd just play her guitar with the band.
She blew a strand of hair out of her face and stood up from picking out her brown-and-white Paint, Duffy's, hooves. Her brother Chase walked over to her, looking a little disappointed.
"What's up, Chase?" She asked.
"Well, Lilly turned me down again, so..." He looked at her a little sheepishly.
"Yes, Chase, I'll dance with you tonight if you promise not to make me dizzy again." She laughed and playfully punched her brother.
Secretly, he was her favorite. Jenna saw Ty and Ryan already talking to their dates and smiled. Today was going to be perfect!
Jenna set her guitar by Sam Wilson's, the lead guitarist. He had played in the band for around 20 years, because Jenna had never seen him dance in her fourteen years.
The first song started and Jen and Chase started dancing. Jenna felt bad for Chase because he really liked a girl Jen knew from school, but she didn't like him at all. Whenever a girl turned Chase down, he wouldn't ask another one, just dance with his sister instead.
After about five songs, Jenna had to take a break, she was so thirsty. She grabbed some punch and Chase got some, too. All the dancers had a ten-minute break, so they escaped outside to the cool night air.
"I think there's only a few more songs." Chase said. Jenna nodded.
"I'm going to the motel after that. I don't wanna be here til midnight in this crazy town."
Their family was in another town about fifty miles from home and they were there for the big rodeo. They of course brought their horses, since all the kids did roping. They were in a big town in Texas.
Suddenly a masked man in black stepped out, holding a knife. "Come with me," he said in a husky voice, motioning to Jenna.
Chase stopped him. "No, don't you dare touch her!" He made a grab for the man but the guy was quick. He easily jumped back, then ran at Chase, pointing the knife.
Jenna screamed. "No, Chase!" but it was too late. The man ran off into the night, dropping Chase like a hot potato on the ground. Jenna grabbed Chase to her and screamed.
"Help! Help! Someone call 911!!! Please!" Her brother Ryan came running out, looking alarmed.
"Jenna? Chase?" He had looked at Chase in horror, then the blood seeping through Jen's collared shirt and jeans. He grabbed for his phone in his pocket, fumbling with the numbers and rushed back in.
"Oh, Chase, Stay with me. Don't die! You're my favorite brother!"
Chase's eyes cracked open. "Your favorite brother, huh? Now those are...nice words...to hear," he said, struggling for breath.
Jenna shook her head. "No, Chase, save your breath. Help will be hear soon." Jenna sniffed.
"Jen...you are ....my favorite sister. I want you.. to have...Red." Jenna knew he meant his horse.
"No, Chase, she's yours. You have to stay alive for her. For me," She added that last part brokenly, her voice cracking.
"Stand...strong..." His voice trailed off, and Jenna knew he was gone. She screamed as she heard the sirens near. "No! No! Chase! Come back to me! Chase!"
Ryan ran back outside, their parents and Ty in tow. They yelled a little, then started crying. Jenna was whole-heartedly screaming now, her sobs ringing out in the dark night. The EMTs tried prying her arms off Chase, but she held him closer. Ty gently took her arms off Chase and held her up. She cried into his flannel shirt, her words inaudible.
They covered Chase's body was a black tarp, which made her cry even harder. Ty was at a loss for words, nothing seemed to help. He just picked her up and she laid her head on his shoulder, whimpering now. He set her on Duffy, mounted his own horse, and got Red. Then he started off in the night, leaving their parents to made the report.
Jenna pulled her headphones out at hearing her dad call.
"What, Dad?" she looked him, deadpan expression.
"Honey, you want to go riding? You haven't been for awhile." He handed her a sandwich. "Not to mention you haven't eaten much."
"Dad, I'm not hungry. And no, I'm not going riding!" She turned back to her room and put her headphones in. She didn't see the hurt face of her father or hear her 19-year-old brother Ty knock.
Her 15th birthday had been horrible, awkward, and just plain nasty. It rained all day and Red, her deceased brother's horse, had run away.
Luckily, a neighbor had him tied in her corral. She had gotten a few books and horsey stuff, but Ty had gotten the best. He got her a horseshoe frame, made out of Red's shoe, with a really nice old picture of Jenna and Chase, her brother who died 4 months ago.
Him and Jenna had been really close, but he got killed when someone tried kidnapping Jenna at a rodeo out of town. He had saved Jenna's life while sacrificing his.
Jenna picked up the picture of her and Chase as Ty walked in, interrupting the moment. Jenna hadn't heard him knock with her music. She pulled them out once again and looked up.
"What, Tyler?" She looked at him with the same expression as her dad.
"Um, hey Jen. I thought maybe you would wanna go riding with me? Some of the cows in the far pasture need to be lassoed up for market next week. Could... could ya help us? Please?" He raised his eyebrows with the puppy dog face.
Jenna couldn't resist. She sighed loudly and clenched her jaw as she pulled her boots on. "Ok, but that's IT. You can not rope me into a trail or nothin', all right?"
Ty grinned. "No pun intended, right? Roped?"
Jenna rolled her eyes as she tried not to smile.
Jenna re-adjusted herself in her brown leather Western saddle as she watched Ty and Ryan, her other brother, try to rope a calf in the pen. Ty almost had it, but she thought Ryan sure could work on his roping skills. But everyone knew that Ryan would be a bull rider one day. His room was filled with trophies from mutton riding when he was little, bull wrestling when he was a little older, and baby bull riding, and now he was doing the older bulls in their 4-H club.
Ryan never was that good at roping or with horses. He had just turned 17 last month, and his girlfriend, who was going pretty steady, had taken him to the dance and dinner on Friday, the day after his birthday.
Jenna thought about school, which had started 2 weeks ago, and dreaded it. Kyra Glick, a rich rancher's daughter, had always been her archenemy at roping competitions and was a little nicer when Chase died, but she could tell the meanness was coming back, little by little.
Ever since Jen had beat her at a lasso tying contest, and Kyra had gotten a participation ribbon, she had hated her. Jenna's brothers just said she was jealous. Jenna thought, why would she still be jealous after 3 years?
"Hey, Jen! We got it!" Jenna jerked her head up at their voices, tearing away from her thoughts.
"Sweet! Ya'll ready to go back up?"
The brothers looked at each other. "Um, Jenna, we...well, I," said Tyler. "I thought maybe Red could use some exercise for the up-coming trail class... since we're gonna be in it, too, could you ride Red?"
Jenna opened her mouth in protest, but not before Ryan held up a hand.
"Listen, Jen. We know you don't really feel up to riding since...well, you know. We miss him too, got it? But we aren't stopping our lives to pity you. So either you're gonna ride for Chase, or not ride for yourself. But whatever you do, get your head in the game. Don't go around moping and pitying yourself, because I'm sick of it! So, are you riding, or not?"
Jenna frowned as tears filled her eyes. "I'll ride, ok?"
She turned the grey dapple she was riding to the barn to switch horses. She blinked away her tears and gave herself a pep talk as she took the saddle off Cloud.
"Ok, Jen, you have been sick lately. You...I haven't been there for Ryan and Chase as I should have, or even Mom and Dad at that. I need to stop worrying about myself and just let it go. Chase will always have a special place in my heart, no matter what. OK?"
"That's great, Jen."
Jenna turned to see Ty and Ryan leaning against the wall. Ryan smiled.
"That's my sister."
Jenna went on to receive first place in the county roping, championship, state, and state again. Every contest was dedicated to Chase and she won every one after that. The End