Below is the 1st part of an Andi fan story I started like...before Christmas. At the same time I was writing this, I was also trying to finish up a story for the Circle C Short Story Writing Contest. (I had severe writer's block on that story!) My Mom was like, "why don't you finish that one and send it in?" I said, "uh, Mom, I can't do that. This one is already way over the word count limit!"
So, here it is! I hope you enjoy it! :)
If any of y'all aren't familiar with Andi and her family, then you're probably someone I know personally. Shoot me an email if you have any questions.
Emily, this is for you. :)
"Andi Carter! Get down here!" Chad's annoyed yell jarred through the Carter home.
Andi dropped what she was doing and went to see what her brother wanted. She had been cleaning her room, but if Chad wanted her to do something outside she would rather do that. !
When Andi came to the top of the stairs she started to slide down the handrail but the sight at the bottom made her stop. Chad stood glaring at her, fist on his hips, jaw set. He did not look pleased.
"You wanted me?" Andi squeaked.
Chad nodded. "I want you to get outside and TAKE CARE OF THAT HORSE YOU'VE LEFT STANDING AT THE HITCHING POST FOR GOODNESS KNOWS HOW LONG!!"
"Oh, no!" Andi gasped as it all came rushing back to her. She had went for a Saturday afternoon ride with Cory right after lunch. When she came back Mitch was just returning from town, and he had asked her if she would be interested in going on a cattle buying trip with himself and Peter next week. At first Andi had turned him down saying they didn't want her tagging along. But when Mitch persisted she admitted that she would love to go along, and went inside to ask Mother.
Although Mitch thought it was a grand idea, as did Andi, Elizabeth Carter didn't. When Andi wanted to know why Mother wouldn't let her go, Mother said they would talk about it later and sent Andi upstairs to clean her room.
Andi hadn't thought another thing about Taffy...until now. How could she have forgotten her beloved mare?
"I'll do it right now," Andi promised. She clattered down the stairs, snatched up her felt hat, and scurried out the door. Chad followed her.
They were both equally surprised when Taffy wasn't tied to the hitching post. Chad rushed off the porch and across the yard. He looked around and down the road, before ducking into the cool barn. Andi had to run to keep up with his long strides. Where could a horse go that fast? And better yet, why?
Upon entering Taffy's stall Andi and Chad found Mitch unsaddling the 'missing' mare. Andi sighed with relief at the sight of her horse.
Chad glanced from Taffy to Mitch to Andi. "You seen me go in the house to get Andi and you brought her-" he nodded to Taffy- "in here, didn't you?" Chad accused.
Mitch winked at Andi. "Yeah, something like that."
Chad just shook his head and left, mumbling something about crazy siblings.
Andi grinned, "Thanks, Mitch." She unlatched the stall door and stepped in. "I'll finish up."
"What are big brothers for, but to do your chores." Mitch handed her the brush. "What did Mother say?"
"She said we would discuss it after dinner tonight." Andi slumped against Taffy and sighed, her cheery grin gone. "That probably means 'no'."
"Maybe not. I'll mention it to her." Mitch promised and turned to leave.
Andi's smile returned. "Ok."
Over the last month or so, it had become almost expected for the entire family to come together for dinner on Saturday nights.
Justin and Lucy, who were expecting their first child, drove out from town. Katherine and her husband Troy, along with Levi, Betsy, and Hannah would join them as well.
Troy had returned to his family about six months ago, begging forgiveness from Kate and the children. Although members of the family (especially Chad, who didn't want to see his sister hurt again) was skeptical, as the months passed everyone came to realize that Troy had found Jesus and had truly changed this time.
They were renting a small house in town, and Troy had gotten a job at the lumber yard.
This particular evening Justin, Chad, Mitch, and Troy were discussing the cattle buying trip. The plan was Mitch and Peter would leave in two days for Tonopah, Nevada, buy the cattle and put them on a train to ship them back to Fresno. They would travel, both ways, on horseback.
"I still don't understand why you want to go by horseback." Chad groused.
"If we took the train, we'd be home days earlier, but-" Mitch started until Chad cut him off.
"You'd be home several days earlier and then maybe some work would get done around here!"
Justin snickered as he glanced back and forth between his two brothers. "Chad, I think that's exactly what he's trying to avoid."
At the opposite end of the table, Andi waited to see if her mother would bring up the subject of whether or not she would allow her to go. She didn't. By the time Luisa started serving dessert, Andi had decided to bring it up herself.
Elizabeth smiled at her youngest daughter. "Yes, dear?"
"You said we would discuss my going on the cattle-buying trip with Mitch and Peter." Andi reminded her.
"I did say that." Elizabeth nodded.
"Well...can I go?" Andi hesitated.
"May I go," Elizabeth corrected, before looking on down the table. "Mitchell?"
"Do you think you can handle this impulsive sister of yours?"
Andi's hopes rose.
Mitch grinned. "I think I can manage."
Elizabeth turned back to Andi. "Andrea, one day you'll be too old to tag-along with your brothers."
"Does that mean I can go?" Andi asked hopefully.
Elizabeth smiled. "Yes, dear. It's probably not the most proper way for young ladies to spend your time, but...I think your father would have wanted you to go. But it's just this once mind you."
Andi stood causing her chair to clatter to the floor. "Thank you, Mother!" She raced around the table to hug her. "I love you."
"I promise I'll never ask again, if I can please wear them on the trip." Andi pleaded. She was attempting to convince her mother to allow her to wear overalls on the excursion with Mitch and Peter.
Elizabeth looked up from where she sat at the kitchen table snapping peas. "Andrea, you know how I feel about this."
"I know, Mother, and I don't mean to be disrespectful. I'll change into a dress anytime we go through a town. When we get back I'll put them away and never mention it ever again."
Elizabeth sighed. "Promise it's only this once?"
Andi grinned. "Cross my heart!" She leaned across the table, gave her mother a hug and a kiss, and dashed out the door.
I hope you've enjoyed part 1! I can't make any promises on when I'll have part 2 for you.
What do you think is going to happen next?