Thursday, December 12, 2013

Whispers Next Door - An Extract

I started writing Whispers Next Door today! Here is part of the first chapter so far. I'm really enjoying writing about Fanny again, she's becoming quite a strong character, but I'm not aiming to finish in a month this time, I'm just sort of rolling with what happens and how much time I have.
And I've turned planner, so I spent this morning writing up profiles -- Arg!

‘Dot, Socks, Dancer, Tilly, Promise, Outlaw, May, Tripper, Liam and Quince. Got it?’ Kelly’s crop slapped each stall door as we walked down the barn aisle. ‘You’ll be on Tripper, Liam and Quince.’ The stall doors were hit again. I eyed the crop. 

‘Got it.’

‘Tripper and Quince are geldings, Liam’s a stallion. Tripper is a chestnut with a snip. He’s 6. Quince is a dapple grey with a blaze and dark points. He’s coming up 6. Liam is a dark bay, snip and two front cornets. He’s 15. Quince and Liam are in 1.2m class’s, Tripper does 1m class’s. Not much else about them you really need to know right now. Right then, lets bring them in.’ Kelly began walking back down the barn aisle, and I hurried to keep up with her.

I felt slightly out of place in this stable, the horses in the stalls looked expensive, and probably were. We passed  Kizzy, standing in an un-used stall at the end. She watched us pass, and I pulled a face at her. She snorted and stretched her head out over the door. I gave her face a quick rub.

Kelly picked up 3 lead ropes, and passed them to me. I held them lightly, and rubbed my hand on my jodhpurs before holding them properly. It felt weird to be in jodhpurs, not jeans, and jodhpur boots and chaps rather than my cowgirl boots. I reminded myself this would be a good job to have.

Outside, Libby and Lexi fell into line with us, holding their own lead ropes. Libby winked at me, and Lexi slipped me a smile. I grinned. Kelly strode on, nodding her head when they said ‘Hi Kelly’.

At a paddock gate, Kelly stopped.

‘Fanny, Libby and Lexi. Libby and Lexi, Fanny.’
‘Oh, we know.’ Libby said, opening the gate. ‘She’s been hanging out with us for a few weeks now. We go to the same school.’

Kelly eyebrows flickered up on her face. ‘Well, lets catch these horses then.’

I rubbed my hands on my jodhpurs again, and followed Lexi into the paddock. Kelly slipped the latch back on the gate. We stood next to the gate in a row. All I could see was a lane-like paddock stretching out in front of us, lined with trees.

‘Do-ot.’ Lexi sung loudly.

‘Da-acner.’ Libby copied her twin, singing a horse’s name.

I could hear hooves, and all of a sudden, a small herd of horse turned the conner and were galloping down the lane toward us.

‘Woah there.’ Kelly called, and the horses slowed down. Lexi and Libby began attaching their lead ropes to the halters, fearlessly walking into the middle of the group. My eyes flicked over the sleek coats, looking for Tripper, Quince and Liam.

Quince wasn’t hard, he was the only dapple grey in the herd. I waited for Libby and Lexi to get their horses so I could find Tripper. He turned out to be about the same size as Quince, and could have been a chestnut version of him. I guessed they were both thoroughbreds.

‘Liam’s in a separate paddock.’ Kelly took my last lead rope. ‘I’ll get him today, you three get back to the barn, and start tacking up.’

‘You’ll have 3 horses like me.’ Libby smiled, chatting as we walked. ‘Lexi has 4, but they are more experienced, so its not any more work.’

Lexi nodded, agreeing with her twin.

‘These guys are experienced and good at what they do. I just hang on and got with it. You and Libby get the fire crackers. The ones who are young and need work.’

As if to prove a point, one of Libby’s horses shied away as the wind ruffled Libby’s red curly hair. 
'Stop it Socks.’ She snapped. ‘You would never guess, but Socks is the oldest of my lot.’ She rolled her eyes. 

What do you think? 
I'm already enjoying writing Whispers Next Door :)

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