Ecacusayet. Lightning flash. The renegade stallion known as Echo has eluded capture ever since he escaped the Ryan homestead shortly after birth. Seventeen-year-old Eli Ryan plans to change that. As his search narrows to the location of the horse's hideout, Eli nearly runs down Cassie Callahan in the Texas desert. Although an intriguing diversion, not even her compelling green eyes will deter him from his goal. But her stubborn protection of the legendary stallion just might steer him off course.
"Have you seen a horse running wild? He's dirt-colored with a black mane, and his rump is a patch of white covered with dark brown spots--a stallion real full of himself."
Miss Callahan hesitated and her gaze became serious. "I've seen wild horses from time to time. Why are you looking for him?"
Eli thought of Josie, lying in her bed back at the ranch, recovering from her wounds. Rather than talk about the near-death of his sister, Eli turned his mind to the horse.
"There's a legend in these parts about him."
Miss Callahan waited.
A chill ran down Eli's spine. The horse was just a damn horse, he reminded himself, despite all the talk to turn the animal into something else--something spooky.
This story originally appeared in Love, An Anthology from Whiskey Creek Press.
Includes my contemporary young adult short novella
A Current So Swift
A wilderness course on the Green River in Utah has sixteen-year-old Amy Whittaker stuck on a raft with football players and cheerleaders from her high school. No longer able to maintain a low profile among the more popular crowd, she wonders how she’ll survive the week. Even more distressing—Sawyer Tate, her crush since seventh grade, is also in the group. When a torrential rainstorm flips the boats and strands everyone, Amy is forced to take charge. And when Sawyer makes it clear he has feelings for her, remaining invisible is carried away on a current so swift.
“We need to get off the water,” Henry yelled. “Left paddle!”
We struggled to execute his command as a heavy downpour reduced visibility. The river jostled us repeatedly. Aaron, sitting at the front, flew into the water, his paddle snapping back and hitting Tina. She screamed and slid from the edge of the pontoon onto the floor of the boat.
“Stay calm.” Henry’s panicked voice was at odds with his words as he yelled in Aaron’s direction. “Lift your legs. Don’t let them drag.” Aaron bobbed in the swift, foamy water.
I turned to Tina. “Are you okay?” There was blood on her forehead, but the gash didn’t look deep.
The boat stopped suddenly, then flipped. I hit the water hard, pain shooting through my shoulder. Immediately, I was submerged, struggling to find the surface. Clawing my way upward, I gasped for air and tried to orient myself. The raft had overturned on a rock, but now floated down river with the rest of us. At least, I think it was all of us.
I caught a glimpse of Sawyer far ahead. I twisted and leaned back to bring my feet up. My butt hit something hard and I winced. The water was so fast, I couldn’t do anything but be swept away. With the strong current, I couldn’t get near the shore. Fearing I’d catch a submersed obstacle and drown, I focused all my energy on staying afloat on the surface.
Water went up my nose and I coughed, trying to stay straight as I sped along in the flow of whitewater.