The Special Place

by Zephyr Jaquish

Anna had never heard of a horse. Her mother fell off a horse and was trampled when Anna was only two. Anna’s mother was pregnant right then. Doctors were able to save the baby, but not the mother. When Anna was five, she took place as mother for the young boy. She fed him, played with him, and cradled him to sleep. Anna had never known of a horse, and never would. Until she was 12.
Anna went to the zoo every year, and every year her dad always passed one exhibit. Anna one year looked at the sign for the exhibit. Anna read the word “Horse.”
Anna finally got the courage to ask her dad what a horse was two days later. He just looked grim and walked out of the house to an old shack on the edge of their property. Anna had always thought that the shack was her father’s special room. Her special room was a place in the attic, but her dad had filled it with fiberglass. She wasn’t allowed to go in her spot or in the old shack.
“There’s the Sasquatch! Kill it!” Out of nowhere, Anna’s little brother, Mike, charged at her with a wooden sword.
“Go away!” That just made Mike even more happy.
“I’ll get ye!” Anna, who knew Judo, planted her feet, and grabbed Mike’s wrist and twisted it around in a painful hold. “Okay! Okay! I’ll go!” She released him. He ran right for his room. Anna brushed her teeth, buttoned her pajamas, and went to bed.
Anna had a dream that she was floating across the mist-covered ground to her dad’s special room. The door creaked open. Standing inside was a huge creature. It resembled a zebra, except it was all brown. It looked at her and made a strange sound. it sounded like a friendly rippling noise.
Anna sat up in bed. She looked at her clock. It was 5:00A.M. in the morning. Anna didn’t feel sleepy at all. She had the urge to go out to her dad’s special place. Even though her thoughts made protests, Anna’s feet were dragging her outside.
Before she knew it, she was opening the creaking door. Standing in there was the same beast that was in her dream. It looked at her and made the same sound that was in her dream. Anna slowly walked towards it. It nudged her in a way so she would get on it. Anna found herself climbing on it. It walked out the open door.
It started to trot, then it cantered, and then it galloped. She flew across the field. Its hair was in her face, and she grabbed it so she wouldn’t fall off. She found out that she could steer the creature with its hair. Anna was feeling great until she heard a voice. “Anna?”
Anna came to a halt. The voice was from her dad. Anna jumped off and tried to trick him to believe a lie so he would keep the animal, but her dad held up his hand to quiet her.
“You knew not to go in there.” Anna hung her head and nodded.
“You didn’t know how to ride it.” Anna nodded. Her dad gave her a cold stare.
“You’ll have to use a saddle and reins next time for safety.” Anna looked up at him. “Next time?”
Her dad looked at her with a surprised expression. “Of course! You’re as good as your mom when riding a horse!” For the first time ever, she saw him smile.

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