Maria's freedom

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Commercial Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A story of Maria and Willow, as they find their way to what may seem to be heaven, when Willow runs away and Maria is left stranded.

Submitted: July 06, 2011

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Submitted: July 06, 2011

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Riding into the sunset ontop of Willow had always been Maria's dream. 
At that moment, the sky was a pale pink and the sun is just upon the horizon. 'It seems such a waste to not ride tonight,' thought Maira, collecting her things and heading for the stable. There was a light summer breeze, making Maria's fine golden hair sway. As she tied it up into a ponytail, she realized Willow waiting for her at the stable, her coat shining in a magnificent way. Maria smiled. She walked over and opened the stable gate. Willow trotted out happily, and brushed against Maria's side. Maria fixed the saddle upon Willows back and put her arms around the magnificent horse. 
"You really do leave me breathless," She said, "You are truely amazing, Willow." 
 

As she hopped upon Willow's back, Maria smiled. 
"Come on, Willow, prove to the world why I love you so dear." She whispered into the horses ear. Willow hesitated, but eventually galloped out the back of the stable. The view from Maria's mountaintop home was truely breath-taking, as you could see the vast lands and the seas from just one point. She had lived in that house since she was young, but Maria sensed it was time to move on. She looked back at the ranch, her mother making dinner. Little did she know that Maria wouldn't be home for dinner. 
A tear ran down the girl's face, the innocence seemed to escape her. She wished that she could have said goodbye to her family, but it would have been too painful, and knowing herself, she would have backed out. She seemed almost happier riding with Willow, for once in her life she feel truely free. Not that she hadn't had freedom at home, but there was a sense of power now, one she had not had before.
Maria had decided she would sleep in a cabin built for her father tonight, and tomorrow she will ride until she gets to the next town. From there, she will ride to wherever Willow takes her, and she will set up her tent there. Eventually she will build a house, but for now, she must take baby steps.
 

The ride seemed short. It was a matter of a few hours before she got to the countryside house. Inside, the lights were off but it still seemed lively. Maybe it was the fact that there were many different creatures lighting up the late evening, and the horse muching in paddock next to the cabin.
Maria hadn't been here for a few years. She used to come out with her father and camp here, this is where she improved her horse riding skills. She was a master at it now, and Willow was her follower. Willow had always been drawn to her side, they were basically drawn together like magnets. Maria hopped down of her horse, and rounded her into the gated area with the other horses. One of the younger horses she reckonized as being her father's colt, he was training him up for the big race at the end of the year. This surrounding reminded her of the poem 'The man from Snowy River', as it was similar surroundings, only many years on. 
Maria calmly collected her things off the sadle and took them inside, the cabin door unlocked. She turned on the lights, and to her suprise everything seemed to be the same. She took her things to the all-too-familiar bedroom she claimed as a child, with her childhood belongings still in there.
Maria was happy to be home. Rushing into the kitchen, she took out her eating utensils and glassware, ready for dinner. Being a vegetarian, her diet was limited. She brought the typical vegetables, as well as a fresh loaf of bread and some cheese. She put it all onto her plate, but within a matter of mintues, it was all gone. Maria, feeling full, layed down on the couch and suprisingly fell asleep quickly.
 

At dawn, Maria woke up to hear the sound of the door opening. It didn't sound like a human opening the door, it was a creaking sound as if the wind blew it open. But it could not be? She locked the door?
To her suprise, it was a human. It was infact her father's friend, Tony.
"Good morning Tony, may I ask, why are you here so early? What are you doing here?" Maria pondered, as she did not expect someone to come here, especially so early in the morning.
"Your father sent me here to look for his colt, he wanted to start at the break of dawn. As you can see, I am already running a tad late. I noticed there was someone inside here and I came to see who." Maria stood up and walked over to the door to greet Tony.
"Oh. That's reasonable. Would you mind not telling my father I have been here? For you see, I am escaping. I need my freedom and my father would not let me have as much as I need." Tony nodded, as if he understood exactly what I meant.
"I must scurry along now. Until we meet again, fair Maria, Goodbye." Tony said, picking Maria up and kissing her cheek. Maria blushed, but Tony just winked at her and left.

Maria sensed that before anyone else arrived, She must leave. She had a long day ahead, and the last thing she needed was to be caught escaping. 
She walked around the house, gathering her belongings. She hated saying goodbye to this cabin, but in order for her to move on, she had to give up the things that meant most to her.
She walked outside, the freezing air shaking her body. The sun was blocked by the mountain top, making it seem much earlier than it really was.
At first, she thought her eyes were playing tricks. She did a double take, but she saw it. The gate was open, and the horses had escaped. She suspected Tony had accidently left the gate open, but the herd had taken that chance and escaped. Maria broke down. She fell to her knees crying, her body shaking. How could Willow betray her like this? Maria had expected the horse to have some loyalty, as they had been together for so long. Tears ran down her face like waterfalls. Maria was devestated.

Maria picked herself up off the ground. She needed to be firm. She decided to walk for a while. 
As she was walking along the mowed grass strip, she notcied hoof prints. Something inside Maria seemed to do a backflip. Without instructing them, Maria's legs ran to follow the prints. 
It must have been a while until Maria's legs tired. She slowed down to a jogging pace, then noticing the prints starting to fade and dissappear. She realized she had missed the herd by a long shot, and once again felt weak inside. Maria was too far from the cabin to go back, but yet too far from the nearest town to walk there. She kept walking, as if expecting to find another cabin to rest in. It seemed like hours until Maria passed out. Maria was too tired to notice the 9 horses gallop past her in the direction she came, and also too tired to notice Willow drag her along with them.

The next morning, Maria woke up upon a soft bed. She was confused, as she could have sworn she fell onto the rough ground. Her immediate thought was that her father had found her and carried her back to the cabin, and that thought scared her. 
She remembered a strange dream she had last night. The horses in the herd could speak. They had by-passed poor Maria while sleeping and at Willows command, stopped to help her. Willow instructed them to continue back to the cabin, and Willow picked up Maria and followed them. It was almost as if Willow was the leader of the herd.
When the herd had gotten back to the cabin, Willow helped Maria into the house. Maria vaugely remembers walking into the house, as if she had lived this scene of the dream.
She also remembers the herd talking in the background, and Willow whispering to her: 
"Dearest Maria, do not fear. The herd escaped, but I followed and encouraged them to come back to the cabin. When they sensed you on the ground, I instructed them to go back and I would follow. That is how you got here. Go to sleep now, but in the morning I suggest we go back home, to your family. I have a feeling after this mishappening he will allow much more freedom than expected."

Maria got up to the familiar surroundings of the cabin. She questioned whether her dream was a reality and sat to think. Not long after that, She looked up to find Willow looking in the window. Maria smiled. She had a quick breakfast of ceral from the cuboard and walked outside, noticing her belongings already packed. She saddled up Willow and hopped on, once again tying her hair back into a neat ponytail. With a simple instruction, Willow was off. They galloped for much longer this time, stopping to view the lands that surrounded their home. 
When they finally arrived, it seemed Maria's family was waiting. Her mother was in tears, and ran towards the two. Maria jumped off Willow to greet her, only to be embrassed by her mother. Her father slowly walked over and joined the reunion.
"Where have you been! We thought you would be back by last night!" Her mother said in a rush of words, a worried look escaping her face.
"I wanted freedom, Mother. I cannot stand to be locked up here, my whole life. I planned to see places I had never been before, the freedom seemed to overwhelm me." Maria replied, sighing.
"We can build a granny flat out the back, Maria. We were saving it for your 19th birthday, but because you seem so impaitent for freedom, we can start the building tomorrow." Maria's father said.
A tear ran down her face. She realized then that escaping was not the best idea in the first place. She turned around and faced Willow, and gave the horse a hug. She knew that her dream was infact a reality, but to save her parents thinking she had gone mental, she never mentioned anything about it. She knew that setting Willow free might be the only way to repay the debt she owed the horse.
 

The next morning, she got up and walked over to the stable. Willow was asleep, but sensed Maria and awoke. Maria opened the gate to the stable and stood back, tears forming in her eyes. Willow looked doubtful, but once realizing what she was doing, slowly walked out. Maria wouldn't forget this moment, and kissed the horse goodbye. She gave it a long hug. Willow looked into Maria's eyes, and to Maria's suprise, said "Thankyou."
Maria watched Willow run into the sunrise. Although Willow was Maria's best friend, she knew Willow will come back someday, as she had to her parents. Maybe not so soon, but one day when the time was right.

The end.

 


© Copyright 2020 samanthaacourtney. All rights reserved.

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