Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chapter 7: Bolt's Grand Adventure

If Altin had learned one thing, it was that the world doesn't stop during a crisis, not even for the Grim Reaper. And while Altin might have gotten himself into a bit of a pickle, the rest of the household hadn't seemed to notice.

Bolt had never really gotten into the warm fuzzy family spirit the way Spot had. He just never paid much attention to the adventures of the twolegger. Consequently, he spent most days (and nights) on his own. Most of Appaloosa's inhabitants had gotten used to seeing him roaming free throughout the town and knew to leave him alone.

But not always.

Little Layla Melody lived on a farm -- in this town, everyone did -- but her father Jonah always told her they didn't have the time to take care of a horse. Layla knew that wasn't true, but her dad stood his ground, and had always refused to let her pick out one of the foals in the annual town horse adoptions. But she knew she could prove him wrong, and today was her chance. She had finally tracked down one of the Plains' wild horses, and once she caught him and brought him home, she knew her dad would realize she was grown up enough to take care of a horse.

Just a little bit closer, and...

Bolt was so not a fan of this idea.

Then again...she smelled like carrots. Carrots are good. Maybe she'd share.

True love blossoms.

Mr. Melody was less impressed when they showed up at the bookstore he managed. "Layla, we can't keep him, princess."

"But Daaad, I'm almost grown up. I can take care of him myself, you won't even notice he's there!"

"That's not it, honey. We can't keep this horse. I've seen him around, he belongs to the man who lives up on the hill past the Singletons. The one with the zebra."

"But Daaaaad--"

"No buts, Layla. Say goodbye to the pony so we can take him back to the house for the owner to pick up."

Layla unenthusiastically trailed along behind her father and the less than wild horse as her father spoke on the phone with the strange man who lived on the hill. He was already there waiting for them (with a real zebra, wow!) at home when they arrived, but as Layla reluctantly handed him the rope lead, he shook his head.

"Hold on a second, let me talk to your dad before you go anywhere," he said, stepping around her.

"So...your daughter really likes horses, huh?"

The elder Melody nodded. "Her mother was a farmer. Layla used to tag along on her visits to the horse farms to pick up fertilizer. The kid always used to beg to sneak over the fence to see the baby foals. Before my wife's mysterious disappearance, of course."

Altin wasn't going to touch that one. Too much drama of his own already, thank you very much.

"Do you have kids,....?"

"Altin," he filled in the unspoken blank. "And n-uh. Yeah. A two year old, Elsie." Damn psychic neighbors. He hadn't been planning on saying that. He watched the little cowgirl tease Bolt's mane, getting the beginnings of an idea he wasn't at all sure he'd enjoy. "Listen, I'm leaving town for a while, as of, well, right now. Do you...want to keep him? His name's Bolt, and he's probably overdue to leave his mother anyway. I'm pretty sure they're conspiring against me when my back is turned."

Jonah hesitated for a minute, then laughed. "I hadn't told her yet, but now that Layla's almost a teenager, her birthday present this year was going to be a foal at the town adoptions. But she does seem to have taken a shine to your boy here...alright, we'll do it."

As the father told the little girl the news, Altin's idea grew into a plan...and yes, he was definitely sure he wasn't going to like it very much at all. Leaving town wouldn't be so bad, and what waited was a bit of a mystery (a short, crying, diaper-wearing mystery). But first he had to tell Sage Oxendine he was quitting the Organization. She was definitely going to throw something at him.


(Z: Don't worry, Spot got to say goodbye.

The "townies" got up to some hijinks during the course of "filming" this chapter. Consider the following a teaser for the next update. That woman is a menace, a menace I tell you.)


  1. < / 3 Bye bye Bolt. But at least he's with a family who will love him and take care of him now.

    Can't wait to see Elsie! Soooo friggin excited for your move you have no idea.

  2. If you're horribly impatient, I did just update my family trees with new entries...

  3. Awe, that was sweet for Altin to give the little girl Bolt. I'm also excited to see Elsie!

  4. Altin = super adorable in this chapter. I'm glad Bolt is going to stay with a nice family that smells like carrots.