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 Category:  Horror and Thriller Fiction
  Posted: January 10, 2021      Views: 33
Chapters:
Prologue 1 

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 ABOUT
ALLI JOHNSTON  

I wrote horror recreationally for years and took a hiatus for college. I am recently graduated with a BS in Equine Science and a minor in Psychology and have my own business as an Equine Sporthorse Therapist. Fantasy worlds, creepy adventures, and st - more...

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Chapter 1 of the book Blood of the Covenant
The journey begins
"Turkey Red (1)" by Alli Johnston

Background
The family of 3 (siblings) begins their journey into the dangerous Wild West. They are running from something.


Elijah, Isabella, and Amos spent the rest of the gloomy afternoon loading everything into their saddlebags, dreading the unfortunately necessary moves they needed to make. Each of them moved in silence, slowly gathering their things and secretly wishing a miracle would ride up to the cabin, telling them all is well and they don't have to leave.

Wishful thinking, indeed.

The rain had subsided from the morning storm, leaving a soft scent that was refreshing to their dry noses. Rain was never a bad omen, not anymore. The family felt gratitude any moment in which the dusty terrain rested from terrorizing their sinuses and lungs. Isabella took advantage of the silence to reflect on the past year, why things had happened the way they did, what started it all.

Nearly a year prior, in 1873, immigrants had moved into the country from Russia. The people were calling themselves Mennonites. Tension arose, particularly among the people in the West. A drought was plaguing the states, forcing many to eat their livestock and abandon their crops. Upon hearing word of these peoples' arrival, it seemed as though no one would have food to eat. There was not enough for those who lived here, how were immigrants supposed to eat, too? Why do they think they can come here when we are in such a dark time? People were already going hungry. They claimed they had a drought-resistant crop which they brought with them to help us, raising questions but ceasing most of the anguish. After some time, the crop flourished. "Turkey Red", they called it. A wheat that required less water and could outlast hotter days in comparison to what we had been growing here.

The entire country was reviving.

The entire country except for the poor.

Elijah, Amos, and Isabella were very poor.

As the wonderful new crop spread among the nation, something else spread, as well. The animals that were given the strain of wheat fell ill, going insane before handlers were forced to shoot them down. Children were dying. Everyone else... Oh God, everyone else...

Three horses were saddled the next morning. A fourth was tied off near the others, carrying a load of saddlebags and old, dirty sacks. Isabella looked over each of the horses, making sure all was intact and tightly tied down for the journey. First, her horse, an obsidian-colored gelding with no other visible markings. Konah was his name. Her best friend for going on eight years now. She longingly fluffed his mane as her train of thought began to wander, wondering if it was wise to take him with her. She worried shortly if she may regret this decision, if one of those people -

No. She shook her head, causing the loose strands of her dark hair (almost matching Konah's exactly) to brush lightly over her shoulders. These strands never quite stayed in the bun she quickly assembled every morning to keep her long hair out of her face.

She checked over Amos' horse, a chestnut gelding named Indian, and Elijah's horse, a bay gelding named Burro (and rightfully so). Briefly, she noted that each of them shared a similarity to their mounts. Amos had light brown hair with tones just a bit softer than Indian that he kept shoulder length at all times. "Adds character," he had said. Elijah had dark hair, like Burro, but preferred a shorter cut than Amos. He could also be an ass, Isabella thought with a quiet chuckle. She took one last look over the pack horse, a bay mare named Tweety, and returned to the boys. All had passed Isabella's thoughtful inspection.

There was a brief discussion consisting mainly of questions - "Are you sure we've got what we need?" "Did we double check feed for the horses was packed?" - before tightening each cinch and preparing to mount.


As the boys were getting on, Isabella looked back. "Just a moment," she rushed away from the group, hurrying back into the house one final time.

When she returned, she hastily shoved something into the worn, tanned satchel draped around her shoulder, deeming it too important to go into one of the sacks or saddlebags. Her brothers didn't seem to notice, nor care, what it was.

"Let's go. Before I change my mind."


Hours had passed. The unending emptiness seemed to continue growing with each step they took. The horses were becoming bored, stamping and snorting at each other. Occasionally, there would be a black spot in the distance, a house, or maybe a store. Hopes would spike for only an instant, immediately becoming crushed under the weight of their fear and dread. They knew it would be like the small Wyoming town they were riding away from. Dangerous and empty. Or worse - not empty at all.

Dangerous. The word echoed in Isabella's mind. Before, the word described walking too close behind the green horse or firing the Walker too close to someone's house. Now, it could mean something beyond what they ever could have imagined.

The hooves became muffled as the broken cobblestone faded into dirt. Uneasy silence accompanied the emptiness.

Author Notes
I encourage you to check out the prologue if you have not yet before reading this! :)

Turkey Red was actually a wheat brought to the U.S. by Russian Mennonites.
The Walker was a popular handgun during the late 1800s with enough power to stop a man.


Most of this story will have some historical accuracy behind it but overall this is fictional.

Thank you for reading :)
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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