Chapter 10 – Racing Horses
Then she turned her attention back to Matt. He was still holding the gun in her direction. Leering at her as if waiting for the slug to tear through her. His look slowly turned to one of disappointment as he saw it missed her. She stepped over to the knife and reached down to pick it up.
From Aurora’s point of view, she wasn’t moving very fast, but everyone around her seemed to move exceptionally slow. From the men’s point of view, Aurora’s movements blurred together. They heard the gunshot. They saw her spin away. Then blur down to pick up the knife. And finally, standing right there in front of them. So effortlessly.
Matt tried to swing the gun around. He jabbed the weapon in her direction and pulled the trigger. But the girl was no longer in front of the gun. She had disappeared. The slug shot out of the barrel, causing his arms to jerk up.
The knife sliced cleanly through his wrist. His hand still gripping the gun for a brief second before dropping to the ground. It happened so fast that he didn’t even see it take place. Matt tried to wrap his mind around what he was seeing. One second, he was holding the gun, and the next second he was holding up a handless arm.
The weight of the gun pulled his other arm down. He let go of the gun and it fell to the ground. He didn’t even feel pain at first. As if the fact that his mind couldn’t process what was going on meant that it didn’t even know it was supposed to register pain.
Then, as if on cue, everything clicked. He understood that his hand had been severed from his body. The pain was excruciating. And he finally screamed. More in terror at the sight and rage towards the girl than the actual pain itself. But then the pain took over, and he slid to his knees, sobbing and groveling in the hay.
Nixon hadn’t waited around. As soon as he saw how fast the girl was moving, Nixon leaped on the horse standing to the side. He dug his heels into its ribs. The horse took off in a dead run. It was terrified by the ruckus and commotion. Ready to get away from the gunshots and screams.
Aurora watched Nixon ride toward the gate. The birds all seemed to turn in unison to watch him with her. She wanted to laugh at Nixon. It looked as if he and the horse were running through mud.
She glanced at her grandfather to make sure he was still okay. He was looking at her in awe. His eyes wide. Aurora smiled and patted him on the shoulder as she moved past him. She walked out through the open double doors, observing the dust rise lazily behind the horses’ pounding hooves.
As the girl bent forward into a run, the golden birds began to shoot out of the stable before her. Rocketing past her as she sprinted after the horse. The sunlight reflecting fiery light off their golden feathers. The shimmer made it look as if they were on fire. They were, and then they weren’t. Aurora wasn’t sure if their feathers were really on fire or if it was just the light playing tricks on her eyes.
Aurora didn’t feel like she was running that hard. It felt almost effortless. As if she were flying toward the horse carrying Nixon. Not even flying. It was more like soaring. The horse seemed to move so slowly that she caught up with it before it had gone another block.
She slapped the horse hard across the rump as she pulled up beside it. It was so surprised that the beast came to a hard stop. The horse dug its feet and skidded, throwing Nixon forward on the saddle as he tried to hang on.
But to Aurora, the beast seemed to be moving slowly. She watched Nixon struggle to hang on as his face slammed forward into the back of the horse’s neck. He spluttered and spat the horse’s mane out of his mouth.
The girl slapped the horse again. This time it kicked its legs out, throwing Nixon forward again. While Nixon’s momentum was propelling him forward, the horse was rearing up on its hind legs. Tossing him around like a rag doll.
Aurora slapped the horse again as it reared up. And it bucked and jumped until it had thrown Nixon over its head. Nixon landed on his back, the breath knocked out of him. But before he even hit the ground, he could see the girl already standing there, waiting for him to hit the ground. He watched her as he floated past her.
Then he got the wind knocked out of him, and he couldn’t breathe for several seconds. He tried to get up, but her fist cracked him on the side of his jaw. Three blows before he could even blink. Nixon screamed in pain. Her fists pummeled him up and down his body, his ribs, his sides, and his stomach.
Continue Reading Chapter 11 – Golden Bird