Sunday, May 13, 2007

Outtake

This is the final scene of my WIP and became the lead-in to my Diana's Diary fiction blog. Since I'm heading out of town, it seemed an appropriate entry. I'll be back in two weeks, and in the meantime, check out my daily travels and pictures on my Vacation Blog. See you soon!

Diana saddled her horse in the pre-dawn darkness. She strapped on her gear—rucksack, canteens, food, tarp and blankets. She checked that everything was properly balanced and tied on tight. When she picked up the bridle and went to slip the bit into Flecha’s mouth, the horse shook her head.

“You know what this is about, don’t you?” Diana rubbed Flecha’s nose and tried again. This time the mare took the bit.

She led her into the yard, looking around, as if someone might come after her and ask her to reconsider. But it was still too early, and this close to Christmas, Amalia probably thought she had changed her mind. It would be a cold journey, but there wasn’t much snow. The drought was good for something, at least.

Diana headed north on a little-used trail through the woods. This path would take her away from the better-maintained trails on the south side of the mountain. It wasn’t likely anyone would follow, since the school had no one with both the ability and the inclination to track her.

The trail wound up through the trees, and with only her flashlight to pick out the hazards, it was slow going until the sun came up and the morning light filtered through the pines and bare branches of the aspens. Mid-morning found her near the peak, a fork in the road before her and the empty northern valley spread out below. And now, what to do? Diana reined in and nibbled a few piñones from a pouch at her waist.

She had lied to Amalia. She had no plan. Or rather, she had several, and all of them frightened her. Whatever road she chose, whether back to the school, south to Cobre, west to Castaño, or north to nowhere, the things she would give up would be tremendous. As soon as she urged her mare forward, no matter what her direction or intent, the decision would be made, perhaps irrevocably.

She considered the matter so long that she grew stiff and cold. Finally she shook herself. She couldn’t sit here forever at the summit. She had to choose. And was there really any such thing as forever? As long as she remained alive, she could remake her life over and over, until she got it right. If you couldn’t change and re-do, re-imagine your whole existence, what was the point in carrying on? Life would just be one great tunnel to nowhere. And surely it wasn’t that.

Diana jerked on the reins. “Come on, Flecha. It’s a big world.”

2 comments:

Thomma Lyn said...

I like that a lot -- I like Diana's resolute and practical nature.

Have a great vacation!

Alice Audrey said...

No way. You never, ever pack the horse before you put the bridle on. Even if the horse is really well trained, if you intend to use a bridle, it comes first.