Girls Horse Club Blog

Egyptian Wildfire

Published by • Sep 12th, 2009 • Category: 2009 Fiction Competition Winners

1ST PLACE, 13-17 Age Groupby Autumn Thompson, age 14

Stacy Mulligan stumbled across the searing desert sands towards a canyon ahead of her, her head aching. She was lost in the desert of Egypt, all alone. And the only reason she was here was because her mom wrote travel books and had come here to research background for her next book.

Stacy remembered her excitement when her mom explained that as a part of her summer vacation, she could come along, and they would actually visit the great pyramids of Egypt. It had been her favorite subject during 5th grade geography — all those stories about archeologists finding those neat golden treasures beneath the tombs had sparked her imagination! That was about all she’d loved about school. She much preferred the woods near her home in northern California, exploring as far as her cautious mom would permit.

That night before they left on the guided tour, she could hardly sleep. She was dressed and ready well before her mom was; and after breakfast, she could barely keep the grin off her face as the tour company’s driver arrived in his van to take them to this famed site.

When they’d arrived, the camels were already saddled, looking bored with their role in this venture. Stacy’s guide, Ahmed, seeing that she was young, and would be riding right next to her mom’s mount, had taken great care in telling her how to ride the camel. He rode his camel close by, his calloused hands never leaving the guide rope as they began their short journey into the desert. A half-hour into their trip, with little warning, a calm clear morning turned menacing, the light breeze turning quickly into a gusting wind. The sand began to kick up, and was soon stinging her face with a thousand tiny needles.

Ahmed seemed alarmed, although he still spoke in a steady voice so as not to worry Stacy and her mom. “Don’t worry, this will pass soon. It is only a little sand blowing past us.” He gripped the rope a little tighter.

The words were hardly out of his mouth when a great sand-laden gust startled Stacy’s camel, who bolted into the thickening atmosphere. To her horror, she realized she could no longer hear Ahmed’s voice. Neither could she hear her mother, who moments before had been cautioning her to pay close attention, saying in an oddly high-pitched voice: “Stacy, it’s okay — Ahmed will help us through this!”

Now Stacy’s camel was plunging into the thick fog of desert sand. She was terrified!

Suddenly, with a great jolt, the camel stumbled into a deep depression. Stacy flew off him, smacking her head hard on a protruding rock. When she recovered her senses, she was lying in a sandy pit, alone. She had nothing with her except her backpack, equipped only for a morning outing — a cell phone, three fun-sized bags of Goldfish, and a bottle of water. Just on a whim, that morning she had thrown in a fancy silk blanket her mom had given her for Blazer, her miniature horse. It wasn’t exactly a survival kit!

Stacy plunged blindly into the noon-white heat. She began to cry as she stumbled on, doggedly pressing ahead with no sense of where she was. She was immediately thirsty, her mouth filled with gritty sand. Without much thought for her future, she drank her bottle of water like it was the last water she’d ever drink and pressed on.

At last, after what seemed like an eternity, the storm began to abate, the air clearing. She found herself along some sandstone cliffs. From this vantage point, she thought she could see the pyramids way off in the valley below, but the waves of heat were playing tricks on her eyes. She was amazed and alarmed at how far the camel had carried her before dumping her in this desert place. Stacy thought of her mom, who must be in a state of near panic. For once, she admitted, my mom has a reason to be worried sick! Dragging herself over rocks, she continued on, feeling dizzier with each step. Mom was right about my clothes too, she conceded to herself. At least I’m covered up—hat, sunglasses. Yep, it’s a good thing she said no to my flip flops.

Suddenly, she tensed. Was that a sound in the rocks over to her right? Stacy stopped in her tracks and listened—it seemed exactly like the sound of rocks falling! Uh-oh, she thought. There’d better not be a wildcat or worse skulking around here—I wouldn’t have a chance of fighting back! But for now, all was silent again. Relaxing slightly, Stacy gamely stumbled on.

Just then, to her wonder, she heard the trickling sound of a spring somewhere nearby. I must be imagining things, she said to herself! No, there was no mistaking it, she heard it again! With a quick turn around an outcrop of rock, there it was!

“Yes!” she cried, pumping her fist in the air, with what was left of her rapidly dwindling energy. “Water! Finally!” She scrambled as fast as she could in the direction of the cooling sound.

Minutes later, Stacy lurched over to the small pool of water gushing out through the rocks. Gingerly, she cupped a handful and found it tasted fresh and cool — nothing short of a miracle. She gazed down into the pool, her discovery lifting her spirits. She felt better now, but she was still exhausted, and still very lost.

Stacy didn’t know what made her look up just then, but she did. To her amazement, standing at the other side of the pool was a horse! But it wasn’t just any horse. Not a mustang, or the small, thick-bodied breed that she knew lived in these desert environments, but a tall, shining blood bay stallion! As if he didn’t care for someone staring at him, the wild stallion snorted loudly, jerked his head up, and backed away.

The stallion had a long swan neck, a perfectly shaped Arabian head, a muscled chest, a high crest, and a highly-set tail. Yet he was big for an Arabian — about sixteen hands high. Plus, his body was a little less finely-boned than a purebred Arab. But Stacy could tell that he had at least some Arabian blood in him. And boy, did he look fast!

“Wow!” Stacy said in awe. “What a beauty you are! Where did you come from?”

The stallion gave no answer, but without warning, suddenly neighed shrilly and reared up to its full height, then shied away. Frightened, Stacy quickly backed away, then cautiously stood up.

The red stallion flattened his ears into his long, dusty black mane and glared. Stacy suddenly realized: This horse wants water badly, but he’s not coming anywhere near this pool while I’m here!

“It’s okay, big fella,” Stacy said nervously. “I’m not going to hurt you. Go ahead and drink.” She mumbled to herself, “Don’t worry. I’m not going to do anything to you. You needn’t be afraid. I’m the one who’s afraid, you could trample me into desert dust in no time!”

Stacy and the stallion remained for a few minutes locked in a duel stare-down. At last, the red stallion lowered his nose to drink. Carefully, Stacy reached back and ever so slowly, tugged off her backpack. The stallion watched her every move.

She pulled out one of her bags of Goldfish and stared at it.

“Hmm,” she said out loud. “These things may not be that good for horses, but hey, I don’t have anything else to give him. Besides, he probably won’t come near me anyway.”

Stacy stood up and slowly walked towards the stallion.

“Looky here, fella,” she said brightly, as if it were the best day in the world, “Got some Goldfish for you. They were supposed to be for me, but I won’t mind if you have a few. Come on, they’re good!”

The stallion stared at her, his look decidedly suspicious, if not hostile. Stacy was surprised he hadn’t run away before now. Then, the horse stretched out his neck to sniff. His large, wind-drinking nostrils flared to catch the scent of the crackers.

“Aw, come on, fella,” Stacy pleaded. “Aren’t you hungry?”

This close, she could see that his blazing red hide, while sleek and glistening, had scars crisscrossing it. And his ribs were showing, as if he wasn’t getting enough to eat. What would he eat anyway? Stacy thought. She could see nothing for him to eat in this dry place. Still, despite his flaws, he was the most beautiful horse she had ever seen.

But the blood bay stallion wouldn’t come any closer. Suddenly, he wheeled around and began to canter away from Stacy!

“Hey! Where are you going?” she hollered, snatching up her backpack and charging after him. “Come back here!”

The stallion slowed, and turned his head to look over his shoulder, and then trotted swiftly away. Stacy ran after him, being careful to keep him in sight. As she ran, she was certain the stallion knew his way very well, for he wasn’t stumbling or hesitating in any way.

As she followed as fast as she could, the stallion gaining ground ahead of her, she thought to herself, This animal is unknown, a mystery, yet so magnificent! He’s like wildfire in everything about him—his coloring and his wildness and speed. In fact, Wildfire is his new name from now on!

Finally, the stallion slowed, and Stacy, panting heavily, caught up with him below a low, overhanging shelf of rock. He spun around, surveying the scene for threats. But seeing there were none, he relaxed slightly and turned away from the girl.

Still holding the Goldfish, Stacy put them on the ground where the stallion could see them easily.

Yeah, you’re Wildfire, all right! Stacy thought.

“Here Wildfire — these are for you,” she said. “Hope you like them.” She walked to a nearby rock and positioned herself just underneath the rock overhang. Wildfire watched her warily.

Pulling out her silk blanket, Stacy spread it on the ground. She lay down, and for the tenth time since this nightmare started, checked her cell phone. Of course, it had no bars! Her mom always thought she could protect her daughter by way of a simple call on her trusty phone. Guess not this time, Stacy thought glumly. She suppressed tears once more. What good would tears do, she reasoned, not any better than her electronics!

“Dang it!” she growled to Wildfire. The stallion stomped the ground with a hoof, as if he were sympathizing for her.

That night, it took Stacy a long time to go to sleep. She soon wrapped the blanket around her, since the once blazing hot desert air had now turned cold. Shivering, and longing for the safety of her warm bed back home, she finally rested.

Cautiously, Wildfire came over to the strange girl and sniffed her from head to toe. Then, he turned and went back to eat the Goldfish Stacy had put out for him.

* * * * * * * * * * *

The morning sun, already promising heat, awakened Stacy. Stiff and still chilled from the night, she sat up quickly, suddenly conscious of her predicament. Immediately, she scanned the area for Wildfire. He hadn’t run away, she thought, for there he stood, not twenty-five feet ahead of her. She slowly walked towards him, holding out her hand. The stallion snapped his head up and ran away, but not far.

Stacy sighed, as she watched him pacing back and forth nearby. Obviously, it would take some time to earn this horse’s trust; that is, if she could survive out here long enough.

Despite her fascination with the beautiful steed, her own survival needs were pressing in. She cupped her hands to taste the gently running water, but that did nothing to curb her increasing hunger. Her meager supply of Goldfish offered little sustenance. Her fear returned, for she knew she couldn’t survive very long in this harsh place.

Right then, Wildfire’s blood-curdling scream cut through the air, jolting Stacy out of her reverie. She whipped around to see the red stallion charging towards her at full speed, his neck stretched out to its full length, his teeth bared! She screamed with terror and turned to run, but she saw something that made her freeze with horror.

About six feet or so above her a lion, tawny as the desert sands, crouched, snarling and baring his teeth menacingly. Stacy saw his muscles tense to pounce. Her eyes were frozen in the lion’s steady, golden gaze.

Suddenly, Wildfire lunged for Stacy and knocked her out of the way as he thundered by. Abruptly shaken from her paralysis, his sideswipe sent her into a roll on the hard ground. Breathless, she dug her hands into the dirt to stop herself. Then she leapt to her feet and gasped with shock when she saw the lion and Wildfire going at it hammer and tongs!

The enraged stallion was rearing, his deadly hooves striking at the cougar. The powerful lion leapt off the rock and slashed at Wildfire’s chest, but the red stallion fought back, kicking wildly. The cat dodged under the rock for safety, where it crouched on the ground, swishing its tail slowly back and forth.

And that was when Stacy found her voice. She grabbed any rocks that were small enough to fit in her hands and ran forward, screaming as Wildfire reared again and again.

“Get out of here, cat! Run! Get away from him!!” Concentrating, she hurled a rock, hitting the lion squarely on the neck.

Startled by the sound of Stacy’s voice and seeing the rock fly past, Wildfire shied slightly to the side. That was enough for the big cat to leap up and go for the stallion again! Yelling at the top of her lungs, Stacy dodged around Wildfire, without a thought for her own safety, and hurled more rocks at the lion. The rocks found their marks on the lion and, yowling, the lion turned and fled, losing his nerve in the face of an insane girl and horse! But Wildfire, cutting him off, flung his powerful hooves at the big cat. They struck the lion in the skull.

Stacy dropped to the ground, breathing heavily. Her adrenaline was pumping like crazy, but now it was over. Wildfire had saved her from the big cat, and she had fought right along beside him.

Wildfire’s trumpeting call of victory rang through the air. Stacy focused her eyes and looked. The stallion stood tall and proud over the body of the lion, tossing his head majestically. His eyes blazed. Stacy saw that he had killed the lion. She winced, but was relieved that it wouldn’t bother them anymore.

She watched Wildfire — he too was breathing heavily. There were bleeding cuts on his chest, as well as scrapes from the sharp rocks on his back, shoulders, and sides, but those didn’t look too bad. It was the gouges from the lion’s claws that had inflicted the most harm. Stacy hoped they didn’t get infected.

“Not so tough, was he Wildfire?” she called shakily to the stallion. “You whupped him good, and so did I! Thank you for saving my life.” She wished she could go up and stroke the stallion and thank him for what he’d done — but she knew better. He wasn’t ready for that yet.

But maybe Wildfire’s grateful to me for saving his life, Stacy thought as she watched the blood bay stallion closely. Maybe he’s realized we need each other to survive, so he’ll let me get closer to him. Besides, he’s tired now more than anything, so he probably won’t want to waste all his energy again trying to run away from me.

Stacy got to her feet and went to get her backpack. She fished out one of her bags of Goldfish and hungrily ate some. The rest she put in her hands. Wildfire looked up and saw Stacy as she walked slowly towards him. He blew out his nostrils, but that was all. The stallion watched the girl as she walked towards him.

Stacy held out a hand to Wildfire.

“Come here, big boy, I’m not going to hurt you,” she said to him. “After all, I saved your life, didn’t I? And you saved mine in return. We need to be friends now — you can’t just keep running away from me. Shying away from an obstacle isn’t the answer — you need to find a way to overcome it instead.”

As she talked, she walked closer to Wildfire, who studied her warily.

“You must have eaten those Goldfish I put out for you last night,” she said to him. “You must have liked them. After all, I can’t see any other food around here for you to eat.”

Stacy was right in front of the stallion now. She could feel Wildfire’s breath on her hands as she held out the crackers.

“Here Wildfire,” she said to him. “Have a bite. They’re delicious.”

The stallion just stood silently, but he stretched out his neck to smell the Goldfish. His soft nose touched Stacy’s hands and his body stiffened up. But he was hungry. So slowly, he lipped up the crackers, keeping an eye on the girl the whole time.

“Good boy!” Stacy said proudly. Carefully, she stretched out her free hand and laid it on Wildfire’s head. It was almost as soft as her silk blanket. The red stallion raised his head high and backed away, but Stacy followed along after him.

Wildfire’s hindquarters backed up against some big rocks. But he didn’t seem to care. At last, the stallion stood, while Stacy stroked his silken coat. Finally, she turned away from Wildfire and stepped a few feet away from the stallion, hoping he’d follow. For a few moments, she thought he’d just stay where he was, but then she heard the sound of hoofbeats as he walked slowly after her! Yes! Stacy thought with joy.

The horse and the girl headed to the spring to quench their thirst in its refreshing waters. As Wildfire drank, Stacy studied the cuts on his chest. They were deep, but the stallion had gotten the lion away from him before it had done serious damage. Already the wounds were starting to scab over. After she’d drunk her fill from the pool, she and Wildfire hiked back to her “camp”.

Stacy scarfed down another bag of Goldfish, and though she looked longingly at the last one, she knew she would need to save it for tomorrow. Keeping her hunger at bay, she lay back and watched Wildfire, the stallion’s blazing red hide glistening like fire in the sun. Wonder if he would let me ride him, she thought with a touch of inspiration. Maybe, just maybe…tomorrow? Now that would be an adventure to equal all adventures!

The exhaustion of the day’s challenges closed in, and Stacy was soon asleep and dreaming. Riding astride Wildfire, decked out in brightly colored Arab tack, they were galloping freely over the dunes.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Wildfire’s loud whinny awoke Stacy from a sound sleep. She looked around for a moment, her dreams of riding the stallion still fresh on her mind. Could she do it?

After getting a drink and eating her last bag of Goldfish, Stacy walked cautiously up to Wildfire. Amazingly, the red stallion let her stroke him without moving away. She looked into his large, dark eyes.

“Would you let me ride you?” she whispered. No reply.

Undaunted, Stacy considered a strategy. Seeing the large rock near the spring — the very one she’d sat on while watching Wildfire for the first time — she walked bravely up to the stallion, grabbed a handful of mane, and led him right up to it. Wildfire gazed at her curiously but didn’t resist. Carefully, Stacy stepped onto the rock. Wildfire’s sleek back was right next to her now. Did she dare to try?

The red stallion snorted and stomped the ground with his hoof. He swished his long tail about, but seemed more occupied with the large flies swarming around him than his would-be rider. So Stacy placed her hands on Wildfire’s back. Then, she rested her arms on him.

The stallion looked at her for a moment, and then went back to nibbling at a stray weed that was poking up through the rocks. Emboldened, Stacy lay across his warm back. Carefully, she twisted around so she was facing his neck and grabbed double handfuls of his long, black mane.

Wildfire lifted his finely molded head and snorted in surprise.

“Easy, boy,” Stacy said to him. “This won’t hurt you.” But at the same time, she swung a leg over his back and sat there! She pressed her legs tight against his sides, ready for anything.

Wildfire sidestepped in amazement, then jerked his head up to its limit and neighed wildly. Then, he reared up. Stacy practically tumbled right off his back! She locked her arms around the stallion’s neck in a viselike grip as the red stallion screamed and leapt forward, as if he’d been shot from a cannon!

They roared out of the canyon with a speed that would have given any blue-blooded thoroughbred a run for his money! Stacy squeezed her legs tightly around Wildfire’s sides as she bounced around on his back and grabbed handfuls of mane to pull herself back into her seat. She heard nothing except the pounding quadruple beat of the stallion‘s hooves; felt nothing except the wind beating against her; saw nothing except Wildfire’s black mane whipping back into her face and his stretched-out red neck.

“Whoa, Wildfire!” she screeched at him, but of course, she got no answer.

Wildfire’s speed was slowed by the deeper sand of the dunes, but he was still going like the wind. He was, indeed, racing like wildfire! The red stallion charged full out across the sand, leaping anything in his path, slewing randomly back and forth, and in general, making it feel to Stacy like she was riding a rocket bound for destruction. And amazingly, he hadn’t tried to buck her off! Never in her life had she felt more thrilled!

At long last, Wildfire’s blazing speed slackened. He slowed to a stop and stamped in place, nodding his head up and down. In spite of his long run, he was barely even breathing hard, and he was hardly sweated up. Gasping, Stacy leaned down and draped her arms around the stallion. She was exhausted — in no shape for another wild ride like this one!

She looked around her for the first time. Stacy was surrounded by golden sand dunes, but the canyon was no where in sight.

“Oh no!” she cried. “We’re lost again! Oh, Wildfire, how could you? Now how are we gonna find our way back?”

Suddenly, Wildfire stood up tall and pricked his ears forward. His body tensed. Stacy looked in the same direction and saw maybe a half-mile or so off, tiny figures in the distance!

Her hopes surged. “Oh, please let it be rescuers, NOT some new danger!” she cried.

Stacy leaned forward and ever so gently, tapped Wildfire’s sides with her heels.

“Come on, boy,” she urged. “Let’s go see what that is over there.” But the stallion didn’t budge. He was still watching the distant figures on the horizon. Just then, Stacy thought she heard a sound muffled by the desert wind. She listened closer and gasped. Could she be hearing her name?

Wildfire snorted and pranced back and forth uneasily. Stacy heard her name being called again. Suddenly, she realized it.

“Oh my gosh!” she shouted in joy. “No, I’m not seeing desert raiders, but RESCUERS! We found them, Wildfire!” Then, smiling to herself, she thought: No, they found us!

The blood bay stallion half-reared at that point, staring directly at the figures in the distance. He screamed his challenge to them! Startled, Stacy grabbed his mane to stay on. But she knew that if Wildfire got too crazy, she would be thrown.

With the figures coming closer, again, the stallion screamed and reared up, his hooves striking wildly at the sky! And this time, Stacy wasn’t prepared. Off she went, falling with a hard thud into the sand. Trumpeting angrily, Wildfire galloped back and forth, his head elevated and his ears pinned back.

Stacy scrambled to her feet, unhurt.

Suddenly, Wildfire stopped his pacing and screamed again. But then, he turned to look at Stacy for a moment and abruptly wheeled around and took off in the opposite direction, sand flying up from his hooves!

Shocked, Stacy tried to gather her wits. It took a few seconds for her to scream, “Nooo! Wildfire, come back! Don’t leave me!” A neigh floated back to her briefly on the wind — and then, the distant figure of the red stallion vanished over a dune. Stacy stared after him numbly.

And then, as if by a miracle, a sage-green Land Rover pulling a horse trailer came into view. The doors were yanked open, and Stacy saw her mom.

“Mom!” Stacy yelled, tears already tracking her grimy face. “You‘re here!”

Her mom hugged her joyfully. “Oh Stacy, I can’t believe we found you at last! Are you all right?”

“Sure, I’m fine,” Stacy answered. “Starving and thirsty, but no broken bones.”

She then took notice of the two men who had arrived with her mom in the Rover. Introducing them as Ben and Kamed, she explained that they were trackers that she had hired to look for her daughter.

“They own an Egyptian Arabian horse stud farm,” she told Stacy. “As well as experienced horse breeders, they are also volunteer game wardens.”

Ben had Stacy sit down and rest while he checked her over from head to toe.

“She seems to be fine,” he decreed, “other than needing food. Good thing your daughter’s tough, Mrs. Mulligan.” Stacy grinned at the comment. Of course she was — how else could she have survived in the desert alone?

“Now,” said Kamed in an accented voice, “how did you manage to find us?”

“Well…” Stacy sighed. “Believe it or not, I found an amazing horse when I was lost. I got him to let me ride him today, and he found you guys.”

Her mom looked shocked. “Stacy Isabella Mulligan, is that true? You rode a wild horse over here to find us?”

“Yes! I really did! Didn’t you see him when you first spotted me?” Stacy asked in puzzlement. Ben nodded.

“Yes, we saw a horse from over where you were and we heard one screaming. But where did he go?”

“He got scared and ran away from you,” Stacy said, tears springing afresh to her eyes. “He must have gone back to a canyon I spent the night in when I was lost.” And then, the realization hit her: she was rescued, but what would happen to Wildfire? She’d ridden him and they’d fought together against peril! She couldn’t just walk away and leave him out here to fend for himself! Suddenly, she knew she HAD to have Wildfire for herself. After all, he was hers just as much as anyone else’s, wasn’t he?

“Oh, Stacy,” sighed Stacy’s mom. “Always the daredevil type. Riding out on a wild stallion to find us in the middle of the desert…well, it’s so wild and crazy it should be in a book!”

“And he saved my life from a lion,” Stacy said hastily. “I can’t just leave Wildfire — that’s his name — out there alone! We HAVE to go find him and bring him back with me!”

“Okay,” said Ben. “We’ve brought horses with us to ride into the desert just in case the truck broke down, so let’s go and see if we can find this Wildfire. Are you up to it, Stacy?”

Stacy nodded so hard, her ponytail snapped up and down. “Of course I’m up for it! I just need a little water and food and I’ll be ready as anything!”

Like magic, her mom pulled some energy bars out of her pockets and handed them to Stacy. She also got a bottle of water from the Land Rover.

“Here,” she said. “You can have these while we get ready to go. I’m sure you’re starving!”

A few minutes later, they were all in the truck and driving across the waves of golden sand.

Not too long after they’d started, Stacy shouted, “There it is!” Sure enough, the high sandstone walls of the canyon rose into sight before them. They got out and began to tack up the four beautiful Arabian horses that Ben and Kamed had trailered with them.

As they rode inside the canyon, a loud snort startled Stacy and she saw Wildfire standing next to the spring!

“There he is!” she said as quietly as possible, so as not to spook the stallion.

“Wow,” said her mom in amazement. “Isn’t he gorgeous, Stacy? But how could such a horse survive out here, all alone?”

Ben suddenly gasped. “It’s Aasifat! I’d know him anywhere!”

“A-what?” Stacy said, staring at him.

Kamed nodded wholeheartedly.

“Yes, that’s Aasifat, no doubt about it. In your language, Aasifat means “storm”, and believe me, it’s the right name for him!”

“Looks like he escaped from his owner. Good for him!” Ben said.

Stacy was stunned. “You — you mean he belongs to somebody else?” Were her hopes of keeping Wildfire for herself gone for good?

“He belonged to a man from Spain that moved here to start breeding racehorses,” Ben replied. “Aasifat was bought here. Juan Rafael — that’s the owner’s name — abused him badly, though, and was arrested by the police about six months ago when someone saw Juan beating the stallion. Now it seems that Aasifat escaped from his old home and was living wild out here until you found him, Stacy. As a matter of fact, Aasifat won a prestigious endurance race about the time Juan was arrested and before he ran away.”

“A-asifat?” Stacy stumbled over the funny-sounding Egyptian word. “But is Juan going to get him back?”

“No,” Kamed answered. “He will not be going back to Juan. The police decided that Juan couldn’t keep his horse because of the way he’d treated him. Apparently, he put steroids in him and other illegal drugs to make him look better and be more powerful.” He shook his head in disgust.

“That’s terrible!” Stacy’s mom gasped in shock. “How could he even think of doing that to a horse like this? The very idea astounds me!”

“Well, we’ll see what we’re going to do with him after we capture him,” said Ben. “Come, Kamed.” He spurred his horse towards Wildfire — or Aasifat, twirling his rope above his head.

The red stallion screamed his battle call and reared to his utmost height, fire glistening in his eyes. Before he could land on all fours, though, Ben tossed his rope. It landed cleanly around Wildfire’s neck. The stallion fought so hard that Stacy was afraid he would hurt himself!

Ben seemed to have sensed her thoughts.

“Back away!” he called to Stacy and her mom. “He might hurt himself, fighting this hard. Looks like we’d better tranquilize him.” He pulled out a gleaming silver gun and fitted a dart to it. Then he pointed it at Wildfire and pulled the trigger. The stallion fought wildly, but it was only a few moments before the drug took effect. He staggered dizzily, the fight draining out of him. He looked almost ready to collapse.

“Hurry, Kamed!” shouted Ben. “Get the trailer. It won’t be long before the dose wears off. Let’s get this big guy in there — his wild days are now over!”

* * * * * * * * * * *

Three days later — on the day they were supposed to fly home — Stacy, Ben, Kamed, and Stacy’s mom stood outside Wildfire’s new stall at Ben’s Desert Wings Stud Farm.

“So,” began Ben. “We’ve made a decision. Stacy, since you live so far away, you won’t be able to take Aasifat — or your Wildfire — home with you. So, we’re going to keep him here as a breeding stallion. After all, California isn’t really the place for a horse like him. He belongs here. It is the place of his ancestors. You understand, don’t you?”

Stacy sighed and looked wistfully at the blood bay stallion. She now knew in her heart that Ben was right. Wildfire really did belong here. Her hometown wouldn’t be the right final home for the great stallion. But she would miss him terribly, and she was sure that Wildfire would miss her as well.

“Yes,” she said. “I understand, Ben. I’ll sure miss him, though!”

“Well, we’ll be sure to send you photos of him,” said Ben. “And we’ll let you know how he is always.”

Kamed suddenly interjected. “But there’s one thing Ben is forgetting to tell you, Stacy. Aasifat will be bred to our best mare, Al Sha’ar. In Arabic, her name means The Poet — Arabia is where we got her from. When we breed her to Aasifat, she will have a foal. And Stacy, as a gift to you for finding such a wonderful stallion, the first foal will be yours! Your mother has agreed to the terms. And we will take care of the shipping costs and everything.”

Stacy just stared at him for a moment…then it all sank in. Jumping in the air with a delighted squeal, she yelled, “You — you mean, Ben and Kamed, that it’ll be mine? The first foal of Wildfire-oops, I mean Aasifat?!”

Ben grinned. “Yes indeed. We’re hoping it will be a colt. But a filly would be equally good. Whichever it will be, I am sure it will be the finest horse in all of California.”

“OH MY GOSH!” Stacy cried with happiness. Impulsively, she raced over and hugged everyone. “Thank you sooo much, guys! I’ll take the best care of Wildfire’s baby, just see if I don’t!”

“Yes, I’m sure you will,” Ben said graciously. He shook Stacy’s mom’s hand. “Good luck on your book, Mrs. Mulligan. Take care, all of you.”

The last thing before they flew home was to get a picture of Stacy and Wildfire together. The sun shone brightly down on the stallion’s flaming red coat, and his thick mane rippled as he threw up his head arrogantly.

“Bye, Wildfire,” Stacy whispered to the red stallion, hugging him. “I’ll always, ALWAYS remember you!”

Wildfire nickered softly in response.

And as they headed back to California, Stacy looked out the window and, once again, was riding Wildfire, his hooves pounding out a wild rhythm as the two of them thundered over the golden sands of Egypt.

The End

24 Nickers »

  1. As much as I’m jealous of you for winning, congrats! You’ve got more talent then I could ever dream of…

  2. Wow. Amazing story. :) I hope that it’s a colt, too. I think that geldings are awesome lol:) amazing story, you definitely deserve first.

  3. CHAMPION story … i could see it in my mind.. I have to say though i probably wouldn’t have gave the horse the fish crackers.. Id woudl have already eaten them. lol very detailed

    ~HF

  4. It was good. But I asked my mom and lions are NOT in Egypt. She saids they are in Africa.

  5. lol HF, me too! This was amazing story! Edge of my seat!! Please, please, PLEASE write more and submit them when general submissions open. PLEASE!!!!

  6. that was amazing. congrates. i hope i will be as good as you

  7. Great story!! love the detail! :) you def. deserve your win!!!

  8. I had a different perspective on the lion than Jonannah. Although wild lions may not exist in modern Egypt, we know the character Stacy was interested in ancient Egypt, so she would know that statues of lions were common — like the Great Sphinx, which has the body of a lion, and other statues that have been found by archeologists. Whether or not it was the author’s intent, my interpretation was that the lion was a spirit sent to test Wildfire and Stacy’s courage, and ultimately establish their bond. Here’s an article with more info about the lions of Egypt:

    http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/lions.htm

    Wonderful story Autumn!

  9. Thanks a ton, everyone, for all the comments! I’m back to the drawing board! This contest was a lot of fun. :)

  10. Love the story! 100% awesomeness. :]

  11. Wow.

  12. oh my god! i am jealous that you won but you sooooooo deserved it! you are such a great writer! i couldn’t do half as good as you!

  13. I am currently working on a sequel to Egyptian Wildfire and I’m excited to share it with y’all when general submissions open. :)
    -Autumn Thompson

  14. OMG i’m sooo ready for the sequel! and husky+horsegirl3, congrats on winning. but i don’t think that the submissions are gonna open until late Sept or early Oct. anywayz, lookin for that story! look for stories from me; i hope ya’ll enjoy them! workin on a series right now!

  15. Sounds great!

  16. can’t wait 4 the submissions 2 open!!!

  17. lol, a character in my story was named stacey too!

  18. I just read ‘Egyptian Wildfire’ and found it very entertaining and well written. Good job.
    Nan (Nancy Clarke, author of ‘Stormy Hill’, a children’s horse story, recently published)

  19. :) Great Story! .

  20. thanks!

  21. Autumn: this is an awesome story! You have so much talent. We are all so proud of you. Keep writing!

  22. I commented before. i can’t wait to read your sequal. let us know when you post it.

  23. I was going to try to send my sequel in for general submissions this month, but they closed before I had time to edit it and stuff. Oh well-guess I’ll have to send it in when general submissions open again. A little “preview” (so to speak) of it: It involves a bad guy, the offspring of Wildfire/Aasifat, Stacy the heroine and lots of excitement and suspense! :-) *pumps fist in the air excitedly* of course, I can’t tell y’all too much or it’ll give away what the story is about lol.

  24. i think your story is awesome. i havent read a story with so much with excitment. Yes plese let us know when your sequal is posted.