Flyaway Chapter Sixty Seven

Flyaway Chapter Sixty Seven

A Chapter by Haylee Graham

Jacey is stuck in a terrifying thunder storm during the race and makes a gruesome discovery. Exhausted and tarnished, they must get to safety. But can Jacey outrun Death 3 times in one day?


sixty seven

Though thunder crackled and the raindrops were like bullets hitting the ground, everything was silent.  The storm sounded like it was miles away instead of right above my head.  And though both the crowd and Basille were screaming at me, their voices seemed to be muffled.

All I could hear was my own heartbeat.  And I wished so much that by laying my hand atop Brekwin’s shoulder, I’d be able to feel his.  But there was nothing�"no heartbeat, no sign of life, anything. 

As I sat there in the rain, Mojave brought his golden head down to me.  He hovered his coal black muzzle over Brekwin’s chestnut face.  I watched him move his muzzle from the top of Brekwin’s red brown ear, down his dished face, and up to his lifeless eye. 

It was a scary sight.

Blood was spilling from the small, fixed point on Brekwin’s forehead�"just above where his white blaze started.  His eyelids were halfway closed and his dark brown eyes rolled backwards.  Mojave smelt the blood and snorted, his ears pricked and his dark eyes glossy.  I could have sworn that he displayed as much sadness as a horse could show.   

Suddenly the muffled screams were louder as if they were right in my ears.  Thunder above rang my skull and the pelting rain was loud and defeating.  Everything came back.  Nothing was silent anymore. 

  I think that was my cue to move on.  It was a sign that the world doesn’t stop.  No, it unfortunately keeps going, even after a tragic death.   

I just wanted to sit there by Brekwin’s body and never leave him, but the lightning was still preying on anything below it. 

The world does indeed move on despite every problem in life.  And what else is there to do but to move on with it?

I looked ahead at the crowd calling my name and beckoning for me.  Nausea filled my throat and clamped my chest, making me feel sick.  But it wasn’t because of the horse carcass that lay before me.  From a hundred or so feet away, I locked eyes with a devastated looking Jordy Henkin. 

She, too, had her knees sunken in the mud.  Her hands rested limply atop her jeans while the wind pulled dirty blonde strands from her ponytail.  I think she saw me before defeatedly ducking her head into her sternum.  I watched as she crumbled into a ball and tipped over into the rain soaked dirt.  Some people from the crowd jumped up behind her and tried to help her up but she shoved them up.  There, the great Jordy Henkin lay in the mud, crumbled into vulnerability.

I didn’t have time to watch anymore.  Basille’s sudden screams tore my eyes to him. 

“Jacey! Let’s go!” he screamed, pulling his horse up beside me. 

The black horse was heaving with breaths, white foamy sweat coating all the sides of his body.  He spooked and skidded sideways, prancing lightly on his feet.  Basille stayed on, his furious caramel colored eyes never leaving mine.

I stared back at him blankly.

The French rider’s voice roared like the thunder above.  “Let’s go!”

I ignored him because something louder was screaming into my mind.  I looked around Brekwin’s body.  There, covered in mud and only a few feet from Brekwin’s hooves, was a pristine English riding helmet.


I stumbled up from my knees, barely having time to favor my right leg.  The rain blurred my vision but I could still see the figure not but twenty feet away, slumped into a mud covered ball.  Rain made the expensive hunt coat change from a dark blue to a stormy grey that matched the growling sky.  Ida was in a fetal position and was half sunk in the mud. 

And she wasn’t moving.

I turned around to Mojave.  His coat was drenched and his eyes wide and alert.  Swirls of misty clouds poured out from his nostrils with each breath.  I hadn’t noticed how cold it had gotten.

“Don’t leave me okay?” I said to him slowly, looking deep into those dark eyes of his.  He nudged his head against my hand, snorting and blowing a handful of mist around me.  I took that as a sign of loyalty and turned away.

My whole foot dragged in the mud, making my leg feel heavy as I struggled to walk over to the British rider. 

“Ida!” I called.  She didn’t move. 

The rain seemed to answer for her, pouring even harder than it did earlier, beating the ground and drenching her riding coat even more. 

Lightning flashed dangerously overhead and a loud thunderclap made me duck.  I tried to run as quickly as I could to Ida but I pushed myself too hard.  I risked a step on my right leg, sending my knee crumbling beneath me with a simultaneous rush of fiery pain.  I tumbled to the mud, skidding on my belly in front of Ida’s crumpled body.

I lay there a few seconds, staring down at my mud soaked arms.  Staggered breaths tumbled from my lips, sending warm air spinning visibly into the cold.  Slowly, I pushed myself up on my elbows and then forced myself onto my knees.  My hands reached for the body in front of me and I tugged on a muddy shoulder.  Ida limply rolled over onto her back and sludge fanned out underneath her weight.

Her eyes were closed, her angled face was pale, and her plump lips were partly opened.  The tight bun she had pulled her hair into was dipped into mud like ice-cream dipped into chocolate.  There were scrapes along her left jaw line that were dripping tiny rivers of blood.    

“Ida!” I screeched, clutching the sides of her shoulders and shaking her desperately.  “Ida, wake up!”

She didn’t wake up though.


I glanced to my right. Through the rain I could see the faint silhouette of Basille’s horse as he skidded sideways, practically unseating the French rider.

“Jacey! Let’s go!”

“We can’t leave her!” I screamed into the rain. 

Thunder roared above, sending the black horse skidding beneath the rider like a scared rabbit.  The horse threw his head back, scrunching up his body as his back legs danced beneath him.  Basille held a tight rein and fought the horse until his knuckles turned white. 

Through what I could see past the rain, Basille looked angry, his face flushed pale and his dark eyes spewing bullets into my skull.  He was silently demanding an explanation from me.

“I didn’t leave you!” I wasn’t sure if he had heard me or not.  All around us, it sounded like rocks were being poured from the steel grey clouds. 

Basille’s frozen face didn’t budge. “This is stupid, Jacey! We have to go!”

I kneeled besides Ida and buried my hands under her neck, lifting her from the mud.  I turned back to where I could see Basille’s horse fighting with him in the downpour.

 “Then I guess saving you was stupid too!” I screamed, my voice choking up. “So you either help me or not!”

He stared back at me, fighting to maintain control of the prancing horse beneath him.  Thunder crackled and lightning flashed and his horse jumped sidewise.

I brought Ida so she was sitting up but her head rolled back against my arm.  Despite the cold rain pelting her face, her eyelids didn’t open to reveal those emerald green eyes like I hoped they had.  They didn’t even flinch.  I put my palm against her cheek. 

“Ida,” I whispered, hoping that she’d wake up at any moment. 

She didn’t.

A whinny caused me to bring my head up.  Basille was almost getting unseated off his horse who was now rearing into the air.

“Just leave!” I screamed blindly into the rain.

Basille dropped his gaze to the ground and then turned his horse away from me.  I averted my own eyes back to Ida.  I didn’t want to admit myself that Basille was actually going to leave me there.

“I won’t let go, I promise,” I said aloud, standing up but never releasing my hold.  My knee wobbled beneath me and I limped around Ida’s body so that I was behind her.  If she could feel me there with her, then I never wanted to let go of her�"never wanted her to think I was going to leave.

“I won’t let go,” I repeated, grabbing underneath her arms. 

I leaned down, kneeling and balancing on my left foot and then counted down a one, two, three.  My grasp lifted Ida from the mud only for a second.  My back strained under her weight and whatever muscle I had in my arms protruded from my biceps.  I tried to lift her higher but my grasp slipped and she fell back into the mud and toppled over sideways.

It was an unconscious move.  My body was feeding off adrenaline.  I wasn’t thinking straight.  But as Ida fell, I stepped back with my right foot to brace against her.  My knee wiggled like jello beneath me almost like I didn’t have a knee at all.  Striking pain shot up the interior of my kneecap, invisible fire burning it so immensely I could barely breathe. 

I screamed out as I fell to the mud feet from Ida.  My hand let go of hers and as soon as I hit the mud, I reached out for her.  Instantly I lifted myself from the soaked ground and tried crawling on all fours to Ida’s body.  Yet, the moment I set weight on my knees, the fiery pain returned.   

I collapsed on my stomach, the mud splashing up against my chin.  I looked back at my knee and held it with my palm.  It looked fine on the outside but agonizing pain was stabbing from beneath the skin.  Something was definitely wrong.

Slosh.  Slosh.  

Somebody stepped besides me.  I slowly turned my head, my chin making a small track in the mud.  My eyes grew wide and my voice caught in my throat as I came face to face to a pair of dark mud coated boots. 

There was a moment where I thought I was back in our house in Snowflake, laying on the carpeted floor in the hallway, staring at the boots of Uncle Terry.

The desert disappeared around me and my mind blocked the deafening claps of thunder until I couldn’t hear them anymore.  It was just me and Uncle Terry’s boots while the world spun quickly around us.  Ida, Mojave, the lightning, the storm, the danger we were in�"it was all replaced as surging emotions took over once I settled my eyes upon those boots. 

I felt rage for what Uncle Terry had done to us, hate for turning himself in, and sadness that Angela and I had no other family.  

And as if the rest of the world didn’t matter, I let myself look at those dark boots through tunnel vision.  I let my hand reach out and claw at their exterior. I let my body wriggle furiously and lash out angrily. I let myself scream a rush of angry words and curses.

I forgot that Ida’s life depended on me.  No, in my mind, I was back on that carpeted floor, blood spilling down my face and my eyes looking through tears at the boots of the man who had hit me.

But suddenly, a strong hand slipped under my arm and tried to lift me from the ground.  Another hand grasped my other arm and pulled with a strong grip until I was wavering on my feet.  Somebody held me by the shoulders to keep me steady. 

Uncle Terry. Uncle Terry.

Mud blurred my vision�"all I could see was a tall figure holding me still.  I lashed out and pushed the figure and clawed their clothes until I was sure I heard the linen rip.  I screamed and cursed and flailed my body at them. 

“Jacey! Jacey! Non!”

I stopped and stood still.  My right foot was cocked so that the toe of my shoe was pointed down towards the ground.  That voice wasn’t Uncle Terry’s.

The desert around me returned.  The carpeted floor beneath my feet was replaced with puddles of mud.  Raindrops stung my cheeks and the deafening thunder rang through my ears again.  I brought my hand to my face and rubbed the backs of my fingertips under my nose.  Retreating my hand, I stared at it.  The blood I had thought was there was just mud.   

Two hands gripped my shoulders and held me at arm’s length.  My eyes trailed from the white knuckles, down the long arms, up a soaked grey polo, past a stubbled chin, and over thin lips.  I finally settled on a pair of furious caramel eyes.  Behind him, a black horse snorted, testing the chilly air.

“Basille,” I breathed. “You came back.”

The lightning flashing across the sky shone across his face, outlining the white scab on the top of his head.  Basille’s face didn’t soften.

“Check for a pulse,” he muttered through gritted teeth.  I tried to determine whether his sharp tone of voice was because he was really cold or just flat out angry with me.

He tugged at his horse’s reins and moved past me.  The black Thoroughbred pranced sideways like a racehorse. 

I followed�"or hobbled after him and dragged my right leg beneath me.  Basille’s words had hit me with a bee like sting.

 “What do you mean?” I called after him.  “She’s going to be okay, right?”

Basille stopped in front of Ida’s body.  She lay in the mud on her side, her arm draped over her head and her lips colored with mud as if it were lipstick. 

“We must check,” he said over his shoulder.  Once I had hobbled close behind him, he added in a lower voice, “We don’t have time to drag a dead body.”

“Don’t say tha�"”

But before I could finish, thunder roared above our heads and lightning suddenly flashed behind us, striking the ground only twenty feet away.

I immediately ducked low to the ground and covered my head with my arms.  Ahead of me a horse screamed.  Basille’s horse had jumped back and reared high into the air, fiercely yanking the reins from the French rider’s grasp.  Instantly the horse tore off, galloping blindly into the rain.

I turned around, my own horse popping into my mind.  My eyes grew wide and my jaw dropped.  Mojave was galloping across from me, his ears perked forward and whinnies trying to overpower the roars of thunder.  The stirrups were hitting his sides and the reins were flapping loosely on his neck.  He was chasing after the other horse.

“Mojave!” I screamed as he passed by me. “Mojave, no!”

He had left me.  And though I shouldn’t have expected a horse to listen to the words, “Don’t leave me,” it still was like a stab to the heart. 

I followed Mojave’s golden body with my eyes, tears and raindrops blurring them until I couldn’t see.  How could he have left me like that? Did I slip his mind? Had I expected too much from an animal?

After years of being a compatible horse and rider team, Mojave had never left me once.  He didn’t fail me in the dust devils.  He didn’t even leave me to die under the claws of the mountain lion.  But right now, we were in a far more dangerous situation against the elements.  I’m sure Mojave didn’t want to risk being zapped in the head like Brekwin just for me.

A voice as sharp as thunder interrupted my thoughts. “He’s gone, Jacey! C’mon and help me!”

I turned.  Basille was trying to lift Ida’s limp body from the mud.  I hobbled to them, creating a track of mud behind me as I dragged my foot. 

He had Ida’s arm right arm draped over his neck. 

“She’s alive,” he said to me.  “But her pulse is low.”

The words made a new rush of adrenaline float through my blood and I ducked underneath Ida’s other arm.

I looked past her hanging head to Basille.  “The horses…”

His eyes cut to me and he gritted his teeth.  “We’re on our own now.”

Lightning flashed above again and illuminated our faces.  Thunder boomed loudly and echoed throughout the desert.  How were we supposed to make it to the campsite without getting struck?

“We have to run.”

The words made my eyes widen.  “No way.” The thought of running on my knee made my teeth chatter. “My knee.  Something’s wrong.”

Basille readjusted Ida’s arm over his neck and looked at me seriously.  He repeated the words slower as if I didn’t catch it the first time. 

“We have to run, Jacey.”

I nodded.  He was right.  We wouldn’t survive being exposed underneath a lightning storm like this for very long.  So we would have to run if we wanted any chance of not getting fried.

 “Ready?” he asked, his caramel eyes glued to the campsite a good hundred feet away. 

People covered in large parkas and rain jackets were crowded at the end and watched us anxiously.  Some of them called out to us but their voices were drained out by the pattering of rain and threatening thunder. 

“No,” I replied, positioning Ida’s arm further around my neck. 

How would I manage to run with her weight against me? Especially when my knee crumbled beneath me every time I set weight on it?

Basille’s voice shook.  “Un…”



I cut him a glance. “Now’s not the time for French!”


And then Basille took off and I couldn’t do anything but follow his lead.  We matched strides.  Blood boiled hotly in my ears and my heart beat quickly beneath my chest.  Something zapped not far behind us causing the ground shake beneath our feet. 

“Run, Jacey!” Basille yelled. 

And I did.  My legs reached out and I put my weight on that right knee.   Ida’s own weight strained my shoulders but the adrenaline kept me shooting forward like a rocket. 

For a moment I thought that we could do this.  I thought that we would be able to run to the campsite, our strides matching each other’s and with Ida’s arms draped over our necks.  That just maybe my luck would turn around and I could ignore the pain in my knee long enough to get us back safely.

That just maybe this night would turn out okay after all.

But then, something popped in my right knee.  I felt my leg crumble under my stride and suddenly I hit the ground, dragging Ida and Basille along with me.

The crowd ahead of us gasped and shouted.  Lightning flashed next to us and thunder growled so loudly it rattled my ribcage.

I screamed as everything turned white again. 

And this time, I wasn’t too sure if it were possible to escape death three times in one day.



© 2013 Haylee Graham

Author's Note

Haylee Graham
This was my first book I wrote before my graduation of high school

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Haylee Graham
Haylee Graham

Los Angeles, CA

My name is Haylee Graham. I am 20 years old and I live in Los Angeles, CA. I am the author of the three novels, "Flyaway," "Centaurus" and "Closer Than We Know." I write novels to raise money for se.. more..