In the meantime, here is the first page as a teaser for the rest of the short story. If you would like to read the whole thing, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all for the support and encouragement!
Midland Valley, California was all a-buzz as it prepared for its annual Christmas parade. The parade wasn’t so much a fan-fare event with millions of dollars poured into it by the city council, but rather, it was a way for the neighbors to support each other. Each year, the whole town burrowed out of their toasty homes to watch members of their community strut down Main Street all for the sake of being “in the Christmas spirit.” Children bundled up to their eyebrows in heavy down jackets would marvel at the way their breath hung in the air and then vanished as they sat, freezing, waiting for the parade to begin. Jill Golden, age nineteen, saw the memories of past parades play in her mind. It was a bit like looking into a shadow box; the setting always remained the same, as did the people. Jill’s shadow box of last year’s 2001 parade did not look much different from the parade of 1951. Despite fashion differences that occurred over the ages, Midland Valley’s one and only high school band still played their same medley of Christmas tunes, the volunteer firefighter brigade still blared their wailing siren, the classic cars, though different each year and ever-changing in style, still revved their engines, and the Fox Hunter’s Farms beginning riders class still rode atop their aged lesson horses. This year, however, was different for Jill. She was in charge of 27 young riders all within the ages of four- to nine-years-old. She was responsible for organizing which rider rode which of the stable’s 42 lesson horses, and had to make sure each child knew how to control his or her horse. All the while, Jill would ride her Appaloosa gelding, Arrow, at the front of the herd for the duration of the parade.
If it weren’t for the horses, Jill might not be so keen on sacrificing some of her precious study time in order to help out with the novice group of students. She was a student at Midland Valley Community College, and she rarely had time for anything besides studying, sleeping, and slinging around English training saddles. Jill had lived in Midland Valley all her life and knew the characters of the town like she knew the entire cast of her favorite television show Friends- intimately. Most of the people who lived in Midland Valley were either newly married with a baby or two, or were what they all called “old timers”, like her grandparents. Jill lived with her cousin, Melinda, in a comfortable two bedroom apartment in the “college district” of town. With three more final exams still to be taken, and four days until the annual parade, Jill had much she needed to accomplish.