Azriel's Promise - Part 1

by Kelsei

"Sweetheart, wake up! The plane has landed!" Says the flight attendant with bright red lipstick.

"Oh.. Where am i?" I push my black hair out of my eyes.

"Sweetie you're in Colorado!" The flight attendant pats my arm.

"Oh." Everything floods back. The car wreck. My mom. My dad. Gone. My parents had died in a car wreck a few months back.Now i have to live with my Uncle Caleb. I know your probably wondering why I'm moving in with him now. Well apparently I'm a "trouble maker". Whatever. I can't help it that Aunt Liegh raised spoiled children. It wasn't MY fault.

I grabbed my suit case and my purse. "Have a nice day!" The flight attendant yells. I walk off the plane and look around. I have no clue where to go, so I just follow the people who were on my plane.

"Howdy! I'm guessin' that your my niece! Is your name Katie Harrison?" A man wearing a cowboy hat, boots, and a mustache smiles at me.

"Uh, hi. Uncle Caleb?" I ask.

"My lord, child! You look just like your mama! 'Sept you got your dad's green eyes!" Uncle Caleb grabs my bag. "Well,follow me! I got some work to do at the ranch! An' tomorrow you and I are going to the Wild Horse Auction!"

I run to catch up with him. "Wild Horse Auction?"

"Yes ma'am! I'm gettin' you full blooded Mustang!" He smiles.

"What??" I scream.

"You heard me! Now get in the truck, little missy!" He throws my suit case in the bed of a black truck. I hop into the front seat of the truck,and get ambushed by a German Shepherd.I pet her as she sniffs my other hand, and face.

"Blue get down!" Uncle Caleb yells. "Now there are a few other people on the ranch besides me and you. My ranch hands and their family live with us. You'll meet them all soon." I turn on my ipod and listen to music.

About two hours later we pull onto a long dirt road with a sign beside that says "Sunstream Ranch" in red.

"How much land do you own?" I ask looking out the window at the horses and all the fields.

"About 7 or 800 acres." He shrugs.

"Wow." I gasp. "What type of horses do you have?"

"Quarter horse." He nods. "We're here." A large two story house looms in front of us. About six people walk out of the house. Uncle Caleb stops the truck.

Suddenly I feel a little nervous, but I scold myself quickly. Stop it,Katie! I jerk my chin up and step out of the truck.

"This is your Aunt Malory and the ranch hands Mark and his wife Taylor, Liam and his wife Honey, their son Aiden, and Colton's in the barn doing chores." Uncle Caleb points to everyone.
I nod.

Aunt Malory squishes me in a hug and Honey throws a arm around my shoulder, while Taylor holds my hand. "Hi." I smile.

"Aiden why don't you take Katie to meet Colton?" Uncle Caleb asks.

"Sure." Aiden grabs my arm. "This way." I snatch my arm away.

"I can follow you just fine. I don't have to be led around like a dog." Anger rises in me. Aiden holds his hands up.

"Fine. Sorry. Follow me." I narrow my eyes, but follow him.

Once we are safely away from the adults Aiden asks, "How old are you?"

"Fifteen, you?" I flip my hair behind me.

"Sixteen." He opens the barn door. "Colton?"

"What??" A voice sneers from inside a stall.

"Come and meet Katie. Mr.Caleb's niece!" Aiden yells. A boy with black hair that stops just short of his eyebrows walks out. He watches me with Blue eyes.

"Ahh. So you're Katie." He flashes a smile. "I'm Colton." He holds his hand out. I shake his hand quickly.

"Katie! Answer your phone! Guess who it is? The one! The only! Amy! Your best friend!" My phone sings. I open my purse quickly and grab my phone.

"Amy!" I answer.
"Chick! I miss you! Seriously!" Amy whines. Colton chuckles quietly. I shoot him a glare.

"I know! Even though it's only been, like, four hours!" I agree.

"So! How's the big ole ranch?" Amy asks.

"Well..I don't really know yet." I say honestly.

"Well! You tell all them hot farmer dudes that if they touch you I will personally fly over there and go all kung-fu on them!" She sneers.

"Oh how I miss you!" I laugh. "Besides it's mostly just horses over here. You will NOT have to worry about the guys though. I know how to use a gun!"

"Get it!" She laughs. "Dang! I have to go, dad needs the phone. Love you, chick!"

"Love you too!"I smile. "Tell Kyle I said hey!" I end the call and look up to see Colton and Aiden staring at me.

"Uh..Well..Um, I'll just be going." I nod and walk out of the barn. Well that was weird. I walk up to the house.

"Aunt Malory?" I ask.

"Yes?" She turns to me.

"Where is my room?" I ask.

"Second story! The very last room! Colton and Aiden sleep across from you." She smiles.

"Okay." I walk up the stairs and find my room.
I lay on the bed and fall asleep...

"Hi sweetie!" My Mom smiles. "Let's go get some ice cream? Huh?"

"Okay!" I say. My dad walks up and puts his arm around me. I hug him and we get into the car. Mom drives down the street and all of a sudden a deer runs in front of us. Mom swerves the car. Everything gets blurry. Someone screams and the sound of metal clashing together can be heard.
Then nothing.

I wake up and look around me. Mom lays face down on the ground. I don't see dad. I stand up, but one of my legs won't work. Help. I need to get help. I crawl down the street to our neighbors house and scream. My neighbor opens the door a screams when she sees me.

"Help! Mom. Dad! Crash!" Then I black out again.
I jerk awake. My eyes fill with tears as I remember the crash. The one thing I tried to forget. I haven't cried at all. Not at the funeral. Not when they told me.

So why now?

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Azriel's Promise - Part 2

by Kelsei

I lay in bed till Uncle Caleb comes to wake me up. "Hey Missy you better pull on some jeans and a shirt!" He smiles. "'Cause we are goin' to get you a mustang!"

"I don't want a horse." I grumble.

"Too bad! Now get changed! We have to be there by ten." He closes the door.

"Ugh!" I throw my pillow at the door. I walk to my suit case and pull out a pair of old jeans that are ripped at the knees. I grab a cookie monster t-shirt and change.

"Katie! We have to go!" Uncle Caleb yells.

"Coming!" I pull on my black converse and run downstairs.

"Aiden and Colton are coming too." He nods to them. Aiden was wearing a gray t-shirt, jeans, and boots. Colton wore a black t-shirt, jeans, and black boots. I feel them watching me as I put my phone in my pocket.

"Well don't just stand there! Come on!" Uncle Caleb walks to his truck and gets in. I follow him and get in the front.

"What do you think you're doing?" Colton sneers.

"What does it look like?" I hiss. I shut the door and put on my seat belt. Colton grumbles and gets in the back. Aiden snickers quietly.

About an hour later we arrive and the Wild Horse Auction. All different color horses rush around in small pins. Suddenly, I feel a sadness for them. These beautiful animals are trapped! They're supposed to be free! What's wrong with these people!!! Anger rises in me and I slowly start to shake.

"Down girl!" Uncle Caleb grabs my arm. "All of these horses are going to good homes. Okay?" I nod and the anger slowly subsides.

"Well! What are you waiting for? Go look!" Uncle Caleb points at the horses. I jog off and look at the mustangs. In one pin a bay, chestnut, and buckskin rush in circles. I stop and watch the tall buckskin as it kicks and lashes out at the fence. My heart breaks as I watch the young horse try to free itself.

A man walks up beside me. "It's a shame that buckskin is so crazy. It could be a great horse one day! Just look at it! Long legs, nice neck, great conformation! And look at his muscle!" I run to find Uncle Caleb.

"Uncle Caleb!" I grab his arm and pull him to the buckskins pin. "I want that one!" I point at the buckskin.

"That horse is crazy! Look at it kick the fence!" Uncle Caleb bellows.

"It just want to be free again!" I argue. "I want that one."

"Are you sure? Aiden and Colton found a nice mare!" He rubs the back of his neck. "That horse is a stallion! Probably about 4 or 5!"

"So! Look at him!" I beg. "Please!" He sighs.

"Fine. But he is YOUR responsibility. What's his name?" I thought for a moment. "Azriel's Promise."
My mom used to have a horse named Azriel when she was little. Every time she would talk about him, she would smile and tear up.

Uncle Caleb writes down $400.00 next to Azriel's number. "Now what?"I ask.

"Now we wait till 1:00" He explains. "That's when the auction ends." Aiden and Colton walk up.

"Did you find you a horse?" Aiden asks.

"Yeah." I point to the buckskin. I walk up to the gate and stand on it. Azriel turns and looks at me. His ears point forward and his mane blows a little in the wind.

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Azriel's Promise - Part 3

by Kelsei

Azriel gazes at me threw his long dark mane. His ears prick towards me. I walk to the gate and stand on it. He sniffs the air, trying to catch my scent.

"Hey beautiful boy." I nod to him. He takes a step closer to me. The clouds move out from in front of the sun. The sun beats down on Azriel's coat. His beautiful coat turns a butterscotch color in the sunlight.

"Well! It's one! I wonder where them people are!" Uncle Caleb snatches off his cowboy hat. A man walks up and grabs the clip board.

"Is there a Mr.Caleb Stryder here?" Uncle Caleb walks forward and hands the man the money.

"I need you to sign both of these." The man hands Uncle Caleb two pieces of paper.

"Katie! Get over here, Missy!" Uncle Caleb yells at me. I turn away from Azriel and walk to Uncle Caleb.

"Sign this." He points to the paper.

"But she isn't the one buying him!" The man says.
Uncle Caleb snatches the money away from him and hands it to me.

"Well! Give him the money! It's your horse!" Uncle Caleb shouts. I hand the money to the man and sign the paper.

"Here you go." The man hands me one of the papers.
I fold it and put it in my back pocket.

"Colton! Back the trailer up to the shoot!" Uncle Caleb orders. Colton nods and runs off to the truck. The man walks over to another man on horseback and nods at Azriel. The cowboy rides into the pin and chases Azriel into the shoot.
Dust flies everywhere.

Colton backs the trailer up to the shoot. Uncle Caleb opens the trailer door and Azriel walks into the trailer. He sniffs the water bucket and turns to look back.

I take an apple out of the back of the truck. I walk up to the trailer and push the apple through the bars of the trailer. Azriel flicks an ear towards me then looks at the apple and slowly eats it.

"Alright! Lets go." Uncle Caleb yells. Aiden hops in the front, so I sit in the back with Colton.
I turn around and look into the trailer at Azriel.
Azriel picks his head up and lets out a loud neigh. Somewhere another horse answers his call.
Azriel drops his head.

A little piece of my heart breaks as I realize that he's as alone as I am now. Both of our parents are gone. A tear slips down my face, but I wipe it away quickly. I hate crying. It shows you're weak. I have no weaknesses.

Katie, pull yourself together! Get a grip! You will NOT cry. You are NOT weak. Suck it up. I turn around in my seat and stare out the window.

"So. Why did you pick him?" Colton asks.

"I don't really know. I just felt something." I sigh. "It's complicated."

"That's how it was when I first saw Luna." He nods, deep in thought." He could barely walk. I went to the Aspca center one day, and there he was. A little scraggly looking black quarter horse foal. His ribs were showing. He didn't have any meat on him. So I bought him and put him in the front seat of the truck and took him to Mr.Caleb's house. Now he's as big and strong as the other horses."

I nod. Slowly I feel sleepier and sleepier. I close my eyes. Suddenly I'm dreaming. Azriel gallops into a cave. "Azriel!" I scream.

Suddenly a loud, high pitched squeal comes from the cave. I run into the cave to see Azriel laying on the ground with a Mountain lion biting his neck. I run and tackle the mountain lion.
The Mountain Lion turns and sinks his teeth into my leg. I let out a scream.

"Katie!!" Colton screams, shaking me awake. "Are you okay?" Concern flashes in his eyes. I whimper. I look at me leg and don't see any blood.

"You're shaking." Colton puts his arm around me and scoots closer. It was a dream.It's okay.It was a dream. A shutter runs through me. I scoot closer to Colton and lean into him. The dream seemed so real! Then my phone vibrates. I pull it out. I had a txt message from Amy.

Are you okay??I just got the weirdest feeling! Txt me back quick!xoxo I smile. She always knows when something is wrong. I txt her back.

Hey! Yeah I'm fine. Just a bad dream!-.- I got a horse!:-) I turn around to Check on Azriel.
He has his head up and is sniffing the air.
My phone buzzes.

What?!?!?! Send me a pic!N ow! I quickly take a picture of Azriel and send it to her.

Awesome! Who's the guy?;) I look at the picture and notice that Colton was in it too.

Oh,that's just Colton. He works on the ranch!Gotta go!At the ranch now!:/ I smile. Uncle Caleb pulls into the drive way. I hop out of the vehicle.

"Open the gate to the corral." Uncle Caleb points to the corral. I run and open it. Uncle Caleb backs the trailer up to the corral gate. Aiden opens the trailer door and Azriel shoots out.
I quickly close the gate.

Azriel runs in circles in the small pin. His ears twitch everywhere and his nostrils flare. I never knew this horse would teach me so much in life. But he does. This is the beginning of my life with Azriel's Promise.

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Azriel's Promise - Part 4

by Kelsei

"Katie!! Wake up!" Colton shakes me gently.

"Go 'way!" I mumble. I turn over in the bed away from him.

"Katie! We have to go buy stuff for Azriel!" He grabs my arm.

"We can do it later! I'm sleepy!" I hiss.

"Okay fine. I'll be back in ten minutes." He lets go of my arm. Something kisses my forehead. Wait. That wasn't something, that was Colton!! My eyes fly open and I jump out of bed. Why would he do that?? Why?

I run to the bathroom and quickly take a shower. I pull on some jeans and a ac/dc shirt. I brush my hair and my teeth quickly. I blow dry my hair and straighten it.

Colton walks in the room. "You better be up!" I sneak behind him and jump on his back.


"You don't have nothing!" He grabs my waist and pulls me in front of him.

"Not fair! Put me down." I jump out of his grasp. My phone buzzes on the table. I run to get it but Colton snatches it up.

"Who is Tyler?" He stares at me, a little mad.

"A psycho ex who doesn't understand the meaning of a breakup." I snatch the phone away, and check the message.

hey babe! Guess what! I'm moving! I'm going to be living beside you with my cousin Ian Blake! Isn't this great!:D

"Oh god." I run downstairs and go to the hayloft above the barn. The horses nicker to me as I rush past them and climb up the ladder. Why? Why is he doing this!? Why does he have to move near me! I can't stand him!!

The door to the barn opens and I push back against the hay. A tear leaks out of my eye as Colton climbs up the ladder, breathing heavily.

"Hey. Are you okay?" He scoots over next to me and wipes the tear away. I lay my head on my knees and another tear slips out. Colton puts his arm around my shoulders and pulls me close to him.

"Hey, let's go for a ride! I can introduce you to Luna!" He pulls me up. I nod and he wipes my face again. I climb down the ladder and Colton follows me.

"Can you tack up a horse?"Colton asks.

"Yes, I used to take riding lessons." I walk up to a gray horse with the nameplate jazzy. "I'll ride her." I walk to the tack room and saddle Jazzy up.

Colton walks up leading a dark as night black horse. The black horse sniffs my hand and I stroke his neck. He pushes his head into my chest and rubs it up and down. I smile and step back.

"He likes you, that's good." He smiles. I lead the gray out of the barn and jump on her back.

"Let's go!" I turn Jazzy and Uncle Caleb walks out the house.

"Where y'all goin?" He shouts.

"I'm goin' to show her the meadow and the river!" Colton yells.

"Alright, but hurry back! We need to leave before twelve!" He turns and walks back inside. Colton rides towards the woods and I follow.

We reach a small meadow with yellow and purple flowers. A deer freezes and stares at us before running. A bird sings a lovely song.

"I love this! Its amazing!" I whisper. Suddenly two boys around my age ride out from the other side of the meadow. One rides a palomino and the other rides a gray.

"Colton! How have you been! This is my cousin Tyler!" They ride closer. I freeze when he says Tyler. I look closely at the one on the gray,and sure enough, it's Tyler.

His brown hair is still short and spiked up with gel, and his hazel eyes stare at me. I back Jazzy up a little bit.

"Hey." Colton nods."Sup man? This is Katie! She is staying with Mr.Caleb. He's her Uncle."

"My sister misses you man! She can't wait till Saturday." Ian smiles. Colton tenses.

Tyler smiles at me and rides closer. "Hey babe! Why didn't you text me back?"

"Oh, uh.. Hi." I back Jazzy up more. "I have to go." I turn Jazzy around quickly and kick her into a gallop. Jazzy charges forward and I slow her as we near the barn.

I jump off her and untacked her quickly. I pick her hooves and brush her quickly. I pull a carrot out of the trunk in front of her stall and give it to her. I run inside the house.

"Uncle Caleb! Let's go!"

"You're back early. Where's Colton?" He asks.

"He's busy talking to Ian." I jump into the front of the truck as Colton rides up with Ian and Tyler.Uncle Caleb starts the truck and Colton rides up to the window.

"Yeah?" Uncle Caleb says, rolling down the window.

"Wait a few minutes and I'll be back. Is it okay if they come?" He points to Tyler and Ian.

Say no, say no, say no, say no!!!I scream in my head.

"Sure. They can put their horses in the spare stalls."

Ten minutes later we leave to go buy some stuff for Azriel. Colton, Ian, and Tyler sit in the back together, while I sit up front with Uncle Caleb. We arrive at a tack shop and I walk inside.

"Go find a halter, lead rope, saddle pad and leg wraps. Okay?" Uncle Caleb says to me. I nod and jog off in the direction of them.

I grab a purple halter, lead rope, saddle pad, and leg wraps. Colton walks up beside me. "Need any help?" I ignore him and walk to uncle Caleb. "Is this all I need?"

"Well, it depends. Are you going to ride him English or western?" Uncle Caleb asks.

"English. He would be a great jumper." I say.

"Okay well put your stuff in the buggy." He nods.
I put everything in the buggy and walk back to him.

"Go get a saddle and a bridle." He grabs some brushes and horse shampoo. I jog toward the saddle and study them all. I grab a black one and an English bridle.

I put it in the buggy and Tyler, Ian, and Colton walk up. I turn my back on all of them as anger boils in me.

"Alright! Are y'all ready?" Uncle Caleb walks up with a Parrelli DVD set. I nod. We check out with the cashier and put everything in the back of the truck.

Ian jumps in the front seat and I glare at him so coldly that the looks away and flinches. I get into the back and sit next to the window. Tyler quickly sits next to me and Uncle Caleb goes to use the bathroom before we leave.

"Hey Babe!" Tyler grabs my hand. I pull it away quickly.

"Don't. Touch. Me." I hiss darkly.

"Come on! Don't be that way! I missed you." He tries to grab my hand again, but I push him away.

"When will you get it in that thick head of yours that we are over! We do not go out at all!" I scream. Tyler's face contorts in anger and he glares at me.

"You are mine! Remember that."

I open the truck door and slam it behind me as I walk away. I pick up my phone and call Amy.

"Hello?" She whispers.

"Amy! You won't believe this! Tyler moved here! He lives next to me!" I start running.

"What?? He did!! OMG! I'm so sorry!" She screams. Uncle Caleb pulls the truck up beside me,and I stop running. "Get in the truck."

"No. Not when they are in there. I'll walk back." I say stubbornly.

"You will walk 15 miles to the house?" He says. "Get in the car, now."

"No. I'll walk." I say with a deadly calm voice.
He sighs. "You're as stubborn as your mother! Fine! Walk home!But if you aren't there by ten I'm coming to get you!"

"Fine." I start walking. He drives forward and leaves me in the dust.

"Hey I'll call you later."I say to Amy. I shove my phone in my pocket and start running. I was in track and I could run ten miles without getting tired. Within an hour I had run about eight or nine miles and I trudged on at a slow jog. A few cows watch me curiously.

A sign about an endurance race stops me,you have to run ten miles then ride your horse ten miles across a finish line. The winner gets ten thousand dollars. The race is in two months.
Suddenly I have an idea. Azriel and I could enter the race!

I walk back to the ranch. Azriel let's out a neigh as I pass him. Well,if I'm going to do this race, I better start now.

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