George’s Crusade

“Sometimes the only way to get justice is to break the law to raise awareness to the real crime. I understand if you need to do this, just be careful and good luck.”

I wrote this story in answer to the following prompts:
FOWC with Fandango  — Consent
Pensitivity’s Three Things Challenge — Numb – Tissue – Sweat
Authorworld — Picture – Trespassing
Your Daily Word — Derogate
Ragtag Daily Prompt — Nervous

George’s Crusade

The black hand of the ‘No Trespassing’ sign loomed large upon the barbed wire fence. George extinguished her torch as she crouched within the long grasses. She’d tried to do this the legal way, she asked for consent to have a look around but the stable owners wouldn’t allow her. Now, she was forced to do it this way.

George hiked up her jeans, “I have to do this,” she breathed with her parent’s attempts to derogate her from the course of action ringing in her ears.

They were worried she would get arrested, or hurt whilst trespassing. George knew otherwise, if they were doing what she thought they were in this place, calling the police would for them to admit their atrocities.

Taking a deep breath, she grabbed the fencepost and vaulted over the no trespassing sign. She landed in a state of nervous anxiety. Getting caught now would be very bad, but she had to do this.

Staying low she crept toward the distant shadowy buildings. Already she could hear the pawing of hooves and snorting of horses in a state of unrest.

The field she was crossing was deathly quiet until something large flinched and cantered away. The hoof falls were too quiet to be a horse. George suspected it was the deer as she crept on.

Reaching the far side of the field, she heard an owl hoot. Using moonlight as her only form of illumination, she couldn’t see the bird of prey. She smiled in the direction the sound emanated from anyway. Animals and wildlife were her fascination and hobby in life.

The field was secured by a steel barred gate. George mantled it and dropped onto the mud track leading into the stable yard.

At once she wrinkled her nose. The stench of decaying manure was overpowering. It was mired by something worse too. George flicked her torch on and gasped at the sight of a partially decay horse carcass dumped behind the building. She took out a small camera and swiftly filmed the grim discovery.

Flattening herself in the shadows of the end of the stables, she peered into the building. Through the darkness, she could make out the doors of some of the twenty-four stalls, spread either side of the central corridor. Each was occupied by at least one unhappy sounding horse.

The building appeared devoid of humans and so George slipped inside. At once the dust and mould rich, stench-ridden air choked her and left her coughing. She paused to gain control of her breathing. Then engage her camera and crept further in. Her attention was taken by her chestnut and white mare suffering a coughing fit.

She may only be seventeen, but George knew this horse needed emergency veterinary treatment. “Easy, girl. I’m going to get you some help, okay,” she whispered while smoothing the sweat from the horse’s nose. It was so hot, she knew the horse had very little time to live in this state.

Moving on, she saw some stalls crammed with horses, other horses were abandoned in the central corridor due to overcrowing. Dusty rosettes and medals hung from some of the stalls, an indication of the pedigree these horses had.  

“Oh, you, poor things!” Georgie felt tears welling as she saw the condition of the horses now. They were all dirty and ungroomed. Many were sweating despite the coolness of the building. Their emaciation and laboured breathing showed infection spreading among them. One or two even had deep tissue wounds on the backs and legs from rubbing saddles among other unimaginable cruelty.

Each time George approached a horse it would roll its eyes and flare its nostrils in terror. She could hear hooves scraping through the piles of manure it was forced to live in. “It’s okay, I know you’re suffering. I’m going to help you all I promise.

George passed stinking, fetid water troughs and festering feedbags alive with insects. She reached a white stallion in the central corridor and felt the urge to kill the owner of the horses.

It took one look at her and reared onto his hind legs with a terrified whinny.

“Hey, I’m a friend!” George stepped to the side as the horse thundered into the concrete beside her. At once she seized his bridle. The leather was slick with blood where it had rubbed the horses flesh raw from being worn for too long.

The horse was in unimaginable pain as it kicked and fought out of fear of further injury.

George hung on unafraid and full of desire to help him. “Easy. Shush. It’s okay,” she soothed while looking into his eye and smoothing his long nose whenever she could.

Still, the horse wrestled with his restraints, desperate to flee.

“Please, you have to trust me,” George inhaled a deep breath and prayed. She closed her eyes and released her breath with her nerves. She was sending positive calm energy into the atmosphere. Something she knew a horse could feel and hopefully respond to.

After a long moment of near silence, the horse fell still and turned his head fully to look at her.

“Thank you, my, good, boy. I can’t numb your pain, but I promise to get you to a place where good people can make it go away for you.” George smiled as the horse lowered his chin over her shoulder, permitting her a hug.

She used the opportunity to loosen and remove the bridle and free the horse from his agonising captivity.

The horse snorted through his pain but remained calm. He knew now that the girl was here to help him.

“Good, boy,” George filmed his wounds and kissed him. “I have to take these pictures to a man who can help save you. I promise to come back and get you out soon.”

The horse nodded his beautiful head and nuzzled her hair for a moment. A thank you if ever a horse said one.

George smiled as she put her camera in her pocket and turned away. She headed quickly for the door of the equine hell. She made it two steps out into the fresh air when a hand seized her ponytail.

“Gotcha, yer, yer nosy little madam!” said a deep voice close to her ear. “I should shoot you for trespassing, but I reckon I’ll let the police ‘ave yer.”

George shrieked and tried to break free, “Call the police then. It’ll be my pleasure to show them what you do to those poor horses!”

“The way I keep my ‘orses, ‘as nothing to do with yer!” The unshaven man propelled her forward while maintaining his grip on her hair. “That way, we’re going to my ‘ouse!”

“I’m going nowhere with you and you’re wrong about that! I’m going to see you jailed for your disgusting crimes against those poor creatures,”

“’ow did yer know anyway?” he asked as he continued to frogmarch her through his farmyard.

“I saw you riding and beating a filthy chestnut mare, two weeks ago. This week, I saw another in your horsebox. I could smell her unkemptness. I stole a look and saw her wounds too. You’re not getting away with it!” George tried to twist away.

He swung a hand and slapped her face. “Yer disobedient, nosy little witch!”

George fell to her knees with her face stinging. She blocked the pain with fury, sprang to her feet and darted away. She made as far as the gate before he grabbed her sleeve so forcefully, he tore it.

“Come ‘ere! Run again an’ I’ll shoot yer where yer stand!” he threatened.

“No! Let me —” George heard the thundering of hooves.

“What the —” the man forced his captive around in time to see a wall of white fur turned silver in the moonlight.

The stallion from the stable cleaved the man from George and bulldozed him through the fence with a sickening crack and a scream of pain.

“Thank you, my lovely,” George breathed as she smoothed his heaving flank.

The horse knickered and lowered himself to his knees.

George got the message. Taking careful grip of his mane, she climbed aboard and hugged his neck. “Let’s go get you some help, now.”

The stallion nodded his beautiful head and started forward.

George chuckled as she watched him take great care to stand on his owner’s ankle as he set off trotting down the track.

Horse and girl were soon off the farm and heading for the village. There she roused the village constable. Using both her footage and the condition of the horse as evidence, she explained what was going on.

Not one hour after she left the farm, George returned on the back of the stallion with an escort of RSPCA agents and the police detail.

The stable owner was discovered where George had left him. He’d suffered broken ribs and a broken ankle. He was duly arrested for his cruelty to the horses and led away to hospital in handcuffs. In the days that followed, he would receive three years in prison for his crimes. Each one of his horses were seized and given new homes where they could be rehabilitated back to health.

A month after the event, George left her house walked down to her stable block. She and her parents had three horses, two donkeys and a llama. George took great pride in keeping her stables and yard spotlessly clean. She kept a good grooming schedule and ensure regular veterinary visits kept her animals a good condition.

Unlocking the gate of the last stable she smiled at her newest friend.

The beautiful white stallion nickered at once as he came forward to nuzzle her. His facial wounds are healing well and he was an entirely different, happier horse. For his heroic rescue of George, her family had delighted in giving him a new happy forever home.

“Good morning, Titan. Let’s go for a run!” George said with a beaming smile for her new friend.

The End

Thanks for reading my friends.

There’s more in the Poetry CornerPoetry Nook, and the Short Story Collection

Have a great day!

12 thoughts on “George’s Crusade

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  1. I LOVED IT!!!! It was a movie!!!! Well written Mason. Great narrative with imagery, action, suspense, drama. Great storyline—good over evil—and justice prevailed because of the bravery in one so young. And I love that you called her George!

    Liked by 1 person

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