This is a short excerpt from a book I was working on a LONG time ago. I gave up on it after a while, but am considering revisiting the concept. It had some potential.
“Hey, Aaron, what’s up?”
Brown-haired, brown-eyed Aaron Henderson looked up into the tree he was walking under and saw his best friend Jason Everett perched on a tree limb ten feet off the ground. “Hmm, that’s a hard one,” he said dryly, “but I’d have to say that would be you.”
The blond-haired, blue-eyed boy looked down at him. “Didja bring your swords? I was hoping we could do a little fighting.”
Aaron shook his head and cursed. “Dragonsteeth! I got back so late from our last battle that I got strapped by Henderson for not feeding the horses on time. I was only ten minutes late! He sold one of them, but he lost the money gambling, so he was in a really bad mood.”
Jason looked down at him curiously. “Which one did he sell?”
“Falnir, my favorite. Blast!” Aaron cursed again. “If only Henderson could have waited for the next race, I know I would’ve won on him!”
Jason shrugged. Aaron was an exceptional rider, owing partly to the fact that he could somehow communicate with the horses through his mind, a secret he had only shared with Jason. “Which horse will you ride in the next race?” he inquired.
“Firetail, unless Henderson sells him too,” Aaron grumbled.
“Well, good luck to you,” Jason said. A sly smile spread across his face. “You’re going to need it!”
Aaron growled at the insult and started shaking the sapling. Jason yelped with surprise—and fell off onto Aaron, knocking them both to the ground with a thud. Aaron squirmed out from under him and jumped on him, which started off a wrestling match which ended abruptly when they heard peals of laughter from behind them. Jason shoved Aaron off of him and stood up.
A party of three men and two women, the youngest a girl about the boys’ age and all of them on horseback, were standing behind them, having apparently snuck up on them while they were wrestling. Aaron got up, brushed the leaves and dirt off himself, and bowed, Jason following his example. “Good afternoon, sirs and madams,” Aaron said, hoping that was the right thing to say. “What brings you this far into the Divide?”
The girl looked at them coolly. “We are out for a ride. Father wanted to see how his new horse handled. And you?”
“Wrestling,” Jason said, grinning. He was about to say more when Aaron suddenly walked forward to the horse on which the lead man was sitting. “Falnir!” he exclaimed excitedly. “How are you, fellow?” Falnir nickered and shoved his nose into Aaron’s chest. Aaron laughed and rubbed his neck. The man on his back smiled. “So you’re the hand of Slagar Henderson,” he remarked. “You take very good care of the horses. I wish I had a hand that was as good as you.”
Jason stared. The man’s face had finally clicked. The Governor of Gatesville! He was the governor of the town on whose outskirts Aaron lived, and the orphanage was located near the middle of it. No wonder they sounded royal.
“Has Falnir lived up to your expectations?” Aaron inquired politely.
“Yes. He was very well trained. Was it you who taught him?”
Aaron flushed and dropped his eyes, embarrassed to receive such attention. “Yes,” he muttered.
“You have a way with horses,” Governor Sendic replied. “How old are you?”
“Fifteen, sir,” Aaron stated, backing away slightly. “I must be going now. It’s almost feeding time for the horses.”
“Yes, yes. Do not keep them waiting. Good-bye!” the governor said cordially, as with a light touch he guided Falnirv away.
“Good-bye!” Jason called out as the rest of the party turned and rode away as well.
Aaron grinned mischievously as he saw Jason staring after them. “You’re sweet on the youngest, aren’t you?” he asked innocently. Jason glared at his friend. “I am not! Shut up!” Aaron smiled even wider and started chanting, “You’re sweet on the youngest, you’re sweet on the youngest, you’re sweet on the OOF!”
Jason had lunged forward and tackled the chanting boy around the legs, bringing them both to the ground. They started to wrestle again. Suddenly Aaron broke free and jumped to his feet. “Look at the sun! It’s going down! It really is feeding time for the horses now.”
Jason grimaced as his stomach grumbled. “It’s feeding time at the orphanage too! Good thing they’re used to my nomadic habits, or I’d catch it!”
Aaron groaned. “I will catch it if I’m not back! Good-bye, Jason!” he yelled as he darted into the woods like a deer.
“Good-bye, Aaron!” Jason called after him.
After ten minutes of running, Aaron broke out of the Divide and onto the horse farm on its border. He was panting hard as he continued running towards the barn, thinking Maybe Henderson isn’t home…..