Julia and Shadow
Julia Nickerson awoke with a start in the cool early January morning. The sun still had not come up and crickets chirped.
Wondering what had woke her, she pulled off her covers and went over to the balcony that overlooked the ranch from her room. She opened the glass doors and stepped out shivering. A low yellow light shone from the tack room window showing two dark shadows.
With a start, she pulled on some jeans, a tee shirt and a warm burgundy sweatshirt. She quietly went downstairs and onto the back porch. She pulled on her well-worn western boots and hurried up to the main barn where all the working horses and Julia's horse Shadow were stabled.
She silently ducked into Shadow's stall beside the open tack room door to catch parts of the almost silent conversation. Unable to hear, Julia patted Shadow's warm neck.
"You don't seem anxious for any reason." She whispered.
She stood silently in the dark shadows of the stall as the whispers died away and she heard footsteps. A dark shadow of a man loomed in the barn aisle and began to unlatch Shadow's stall. Julia saw who it was a little to late.