CORY TRUDGED ACROSS the showgrounds under a bruised-purple mass of thickening clouds. The sky looked a lot like the muddy watercolor paintings she did as a kid. The parking lot, previously crammed with trailers, had thinned out. Jack and Vee, off conducting some horse training business, had told her to be back at the stabling area by four to leave for home. Cory hugged herself, glanced at the watery winter light and thought maybe she would head back to the stabling area and see if they could get on the road earlier.
Cutting through the deserted parking lot near the maintenance building, she turned the corner and heard an angry voice hiss, “Now! Lift it now.”
Something told her to stop and wait. What were people doing back here when it was almost dark? She inched closer and hid behind a huge tractor parked behind the building. The familiar sound of a horse cantering on the hard bluestone footing was all she heard. Then nothing. A woman’s voice called out, “Now, hit him now!” Then the staccato sound of hoofbeats.
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