The Wild West Chase

Shreya Pawar

“Now what?” asked Ivy as she buried her head inside her rough, dirty hands. “This is impossible!”  The burning hot sun made beads of shiny sweat drop down her chin.   The dusty ground swirled around her feet.  “I cannot go under or around the cacti field…but I can go over it!”  “That, pardner, is one great idea,” Ivy’s friend, Karen, praised while she groomed her horse, Saffron’s, hazel colored mane.  “I am sure our horses can leap over the cacti,  they sure do have some long feet.” Karen straightened her horse’s leather saddle and pushed herself up Saffron’s deep brown body.
“Come ‘ere Thunder,” Ivy called out.  She petted Thunder’s deep gray muzzle and jumped onto her soft gray back. “Giddy up horsey!” she yelled. “When I say go, you jump over the cacti.  Three, two, one, go!”  Ivy gazed at the view of the long field of cacti, then shouted “Stop!  The horses will not be able to make it to the end.” Ivy gripped
Thunder’s reins tight and pulled her to a stop.  When she heard Ivy yell stop, Karen pulled Saffron’s reins as hard as she could. Saffron soon slowed to a stop. “What happened?” asked Karen.  “I saw that the cacti field was to big for the horses to leap over, so I halted everyone right there and then,” explained Ivy.  She wiped her murky hands on her khaki colored pants which were once clean. “How about we try going around the cacti.”  “Sure thing, there better be some way to go past those cacti,” said Karen.  She climbed back on to Saffron’s back and slowly made her way around. “I do not think there is a path, Ivy.”  She looked over the dry field. “Y’all think we should try another
way?”  Karen asked. “Maybe we should try a running start like those people on the rodeo do.”  “Hmm, that may as well work,” commented Ivy. “I do not think it would hurt to try.”
“Come on now Thunder, you have to take a couple of steps back and then gallop with all the speed ya’ got.” Ivy patted Thunder’s back and felt herself whizzing over the field several seconds later. “It worked, gosh I cannot believe it worked!” she screamed.  “Told ya’ so,” said Karen.  “You horses did great, you deserve a treat for that.”
Karen fished out a handful of crisp red apples and let Saffron happily eat them off her hands. “Now all we have got to do is get that goner.”
“We did great, though the horses did most of the work,” admired Ivy as she brushed Thunder’s silky gray mane.  “And as you said Karen, I think the bandit should enjoy his last happy days of his miserable life.” Ivy hopped back onto Thunder and said, “Well, it is going to be night soon, so I think that we should set up camp.” Karen found a lone joshua tree on the top a high sand dune and exclaimed “That is the perfect spot for camp.”  “We will be able to see all of our surroundings from the top of that hill.” She marched up the hill along with Saffron and collapsed on the soft sand.  “Finally we can take rest.” Ivy shook open Karen’s eyes.

“We cannot go to sleep, we are just going to have supper and then we will march on,” she scolded.  Ivy dumped out her bag and grabbed the beans out of the pile of things.She gave a can of soup to Karen and kept a can of
beans for herself. “Finally we can have food.”  Karen gulped down the can of moldy soup, and said, “Let’s go now, there is not much time left.”

She jumped back onto Saffron’s back and proceeded down the sandy dune in a slow trot. The cool night made her shiver and she pulled a blanket out of her bag of many things.  Ivy trotted on her horse next to Karen and said “I found this paper on the dune, I think this is the person we are looking for.” The bandit on the wanted sign was
surprisingly not a man, but a woman.  Her hair was let loose around her broad shoulders. Her outfit was a worn out rag that looked like it was tailored to fit her, but other than that, she looked like a real bad criminal.
“Okay, this person looks like she just came out of a nightmare,” said Karen. “At least now we know how our bandit looks.”

She let the cool night breeze make her long blond hair flow behind her as she stared at the pale moon in the sky. “I have a feeling that we are going to meet this so called “Jade” the bandit soon.”  “Her name certainly does not fit her personality,” commented Ivy as she followed Karen on Thunder.  She gingerly dragged her fingers through Thunder’s mane and let the smooth hair curl around her fingers. “But I sure do not like the look on the bandit’s face.”  Ivy sure was right Jade’s mouth was curled into a evil grin that made her tanned face look a pale for some reason. “I do not know why, but this bandit is freaking me out,” Karen said.  She reached for the pistol that was kept safely in her bag.

“Come on let’s go faster, it will take days for us to find Jade if we go at this speed,” Ivy complained. She raced in the moonlight and watched the path grow windier as she went further. “Be a little careful, it looks like the road is getting windier,” Ivy warned.  Karen huffed out a cloud of exhaustion as she tried to keep up with Ivy.  “Ivy, can
you… slow down a bit,” she huffed.  “When I go back home to Roseville I am going to sleep for a week.” She felt the cool wind pressing against her as her heart pumped a mile a minute.  “Oh come on you slow poke, you have got to be faster than that to be a cowgirl,” teased Ivy.  Her heart steadily beated in her chest, as if she had not just ridden on her horse at a speed that could rip her apart.

Karen heard something tiptoe near them.  “Shhh!” she hushed.  She felt the presence of another person or thing hiding behind them. When she turned around though, she only saw a boulder.  “There is something hiding behind that boulder.” Ivy whispered.  She grabbed her rifle from a pouch on Thunder’s back and loaded it. “Who is there?” she asked.  She took steady steps towards the boulder until a woman with a ragged black dress leaped out.  “Y'all are goners’,” teased Jade.   She loaded her smooth black rifle and said “You actually thought you sheriffs were going to lock me up?”  She strode towards her enemies and shot. “Mwahahaha” “Aaaaahh!” Karen yelled as a bullet raced past her shoulder, missing it by an inch.   She cracked Saffron’s reins and screamed to Ivy “Load your rifle up!”.

Karen grabbed her bag and searched for her rifle. “Damn nabbit, I can’t find my rifle.” Ivy fished her rifle out of her leather pouch, loaded it, and blindly shot at Jade. It clumsily missed her target and disappeared into the night sky. “Seriously!” she screamed in frustration.  Ivy aimed again, but the rifle gushed and wheezed and did not
shoot.  She tugged at the lid of the rifle and saw that a bullet had neatly sliced it into two
parts.  “No more rifle for you,” laughed Jade.  She shot at her targets again and saw that her bullet had neatly created a hole in the girl called Karen's thigh. “You will never be able to put me in jail at this rate.” Jade blew into her rifle and felt a gust of hot air and soot cover her face.  “Oww!” screamed Karen in agony.  Her rifle gone and her thigh hit, she was almost helpless.  She patted Saffron’s mane and felt the smooth hair tickle her skin.

“Only if I could trample all over Jade and make her meet her end...wait a second I cannot, but the horses can,” she yelled at Ivy.  “Good idea! Let’s do it,” replied Ivy.  She cracked Thunder’s reins and screamed “Trample over Jade!” to the horses.  Ivy felt herself break through the wind and then everything stopped and Ivy felt a soft bump. “Oh yeah, we did it!” she celebrated.  “Oh nooo!” screamed Jade.  The horses neared her as they galloped with their
deadly legs, her death coming nearer.  Then she felt a sharp pain as the horses’ hooves reached her heart and soon she was dead.

“Woohoo” yelled Karen. She had finally dealt with Jade and she was dead.  The sharp pain on her thigh returned as she grabbed a wet cloth and tied it around her wound.  She could finally return to her home sweet home.

Ivy knew that her mission was done. The bandit had been killed and there was no more danger. “Are you okay?” she asked Karen.  A bullet had hit her friend’s thigh and had created a nasty wound there.  Karen would have to go to a doctor soon after they would return.  “Eh, I am fine, this is really nothing,” Karen lied.  The pain was killing her and she immediately wanted to leave.  The mission was over and she would go home, finally. She could not wait to sit in her comfy chair. Thankfully, she would go home with victory.


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