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Indigo Rider

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  • Indigo Rider
    YA short story
    By Amandah T. Blackwell

    Here's an excerpt from my YA short story "Indigo Rider." It's a heartwarming story about a Carrie Mulligan, a 15 year old girl who makes an unlikely friend in a fiery horse. Through working with Indigo, she learns that she's not the only one who's misunderstood. Carrie also becomes more trusting and realizes her grandparents are pretty hip and wise and love her more than she knows.

    Indigo Rider

    It’s summer and 15-year-old Carrie Mulligan is being shipped to her grandparents in Cave Creek, Arizona. They moved there 10 years ago from Houston, Texas and built a custom home on Sunrise Ranch Road. Carrie visited them a few times but couldn’t stand the desert; she preferred being near the ocean. Her mother was being melodramatic by sending her away. Carrie’s going through the rebellious teenage years, and her mother doesn’t have time to deal with it. What else is new?

    Carrie loves the “City of Angels” aka Los Angeles and is bummed to leave for the summer. She may be rebellious but she’s actually more mature than most adults she knows. Her father’s never around because he’s the manager of the alternative/indie band Written in Stone. She doesn’t know who chose the name, but the music isn’t bad. Carrie met the band and hung out with them in the studio a few times – that was cool. She thought about going into music because she has a decent voice, but she’s passionate about art. Her paintings have won state and national awards. She’s mostly an abstract painter, but paints “real life” now and then.

    The family doesn’t spend much time together because Carrie’s parents have high-powered careers. She plans to move out when she’s 18 years-old but hasn’t told her mom and dad. Going to her grandparents does have a silver lining – Carrie will be able to go horseback riding. She wasn’t about to let her mother know she was looking forward to getting back on a horse. She wouldn’t give her the satisfaction.

    “Carrie, get a move on because we’re headed to the airport in 15 minutes,” said Marie.

    “Mom, why do I have to go to grandma and grandpa’s?” asked Carrie.

    “Because I’m going to be traveling a lot for work this summer and your father’s on the road. Now quit complaining and finish packing, the car will be here any minute,” said Marie.

    “Don’t think about taking off on your grandparents. They’ll keep a close watch on you,” said Marie. Carrie ignored her mother and continued packing. A horn blew from outside. “That’s the car, hurry up,” shouted Marie. She left the room and ran down stairs.

    Carrie’s ride to LAX was on time. She would be in the hot Arizona desert in no time. She didn’t understand why people moved to Arizona and then complained about the heat. Hello! It’s the desert – it’s supposed to be hot. One time while Carrie was visiting her grandparents, their friend Florence was complaining about the heat. Carrie suggested Florence move to Northern Arizona where it was cooler. Her mother almost died of embarrassment and wanted to strangle her. Carrie’s grandfather winked at her, a sign that he agreed with her. He always said Florence was a natural complainer. Truth be told, Carrie was looking forward to seeing her grandparents. She liked her grandfather because he was a straight shooter, a natural cowboy. He told it how it was and Carrie respected that. He never put on airs to please others. Grandma was a strong, gentle woman and a great cook. The horn blew again.

    “Carrie, come on let’s go,” yelled Marie.

    “Coming,” yelled Carrie. It’s off to the Valley of the Sun.