(Based on the song by Roxette)
Chapter 1: Lazy Days
The air was calm. The scent of honeysuckle blew through the valley. The summer sun was hot and made the humidity linger through the afternoon. It was a quiet day except for the crackling of the small stream and the constant whinnying of Shadow Dancer.
"Would you please be quiet?!" yelled the young blonde hair, green eyed girl who was sitting underneath a weeping willow tree.
A few seconds later she heard the thumping of hooves as Shadow peeked his head through the long showering branches that hung to the ground.
"Now what do you want?" she asked, as the big black face looked in at her.
He nickered in response and walked fully underneath the tree to tower over her, sniffing her hair and then her clothes for some hidden vegetables or sugar cubes.
"I don't have anything for you! Leave me alone! You don't like me any other time!" she exlaimed, pushing his nose away from her.
"Shadow!" her brother, Lance, yelled from outside in the pasture. Shadow perked his head up, twisted his ears toward the sound, and trotted out from the tree.
"It's about time I get to be alone!" she yelled sarcastically to her older brother.
"Katie! Get out here!" he yelled to her as he put Shadow's halter and lead rope on.
"Okay so maybe not!" she said to herself as she walked out to him.
"You have a bad attitude!" he said to her with an attitude back as he walked away.
"Thank you!" she finished, pulling a piece of hay from a bale that was sitting on the ground, and started chewing on it.
They walked down the dusty lane and back to the stable. Lance took Shadow back to his stall as Katie jumped over the fence into the broadmare pasture. She walked up to a chestnut mare, Katie's Comet, Katie's mare that she took care of ever since she was born. But, now after a successful racing career, and bringing the most money into the farm, she was retired and in foal with her second colt. Katie dreamed of racing again but hadn't in the last two years since Comet was retired. She knew her dreams of racing again would soon come true since she was promised to be the jockey for Comet's first colt, Mystic Rocket.
"She's due to foal in a couple weeks." Katie's dad, John, said from the fence.
"Yeah, I know! I'm so excited! I hope she has a filly this time." she replied while rubbing Comet's face as she started to doze.
"Do you have any creative thoughts on names for the new baby like you did for Rocket?" he asked while entering the pasture.
"Well, if it's a filly, like I hope, I was thinking about Comet's Wonder. But, if it's a colt, I really like Space Cowboy." she finished.
"You're really into the outer space words, aren't you?" he laughed while he rubbed Comet's protruding stomach.
"Yeah, I guess I am! I never noticed that until now!" she laughed, too.
"Hey, what are ya'll up to?" Katie's best friend, JC asked, standing at the fence with all his riding gear on.
"Oh, nothing much. Just talkin about names for Comet's new baby." she replied.
"Sounds cool! I have to get home, get changed and cleaned up. I'll be back later!" he finished.
"Ok! C'ya later!" she replied and watched him get into his car and leave.
"He's doing really good on that new horse." her dad jumped in.
"Which new horse?" Katie questioned as they both walked back to the fence.
"Sundown. I was timing his quarter mile before I came over here." he informed her.
"How is the horse?" Katie wondered.
"He's good too, but, needs some work. JC is a little more advanced and is used to more stronger and faster mounts, but he is adjusting well and willing to cooperate with him." he finished.
"Well, that's always a good sign. I can't wait until I can race again with Rocket!" she exclaimed.
"Soon. Probably next month." he added but then was interupted by Katie's mom, Marie, who was up on the porch of the huge house.
"Katie! You need to get in here and wash the dishes then clean the fish tank!" her mom yelled.
"I don't wanna!" she yelled back.
"Just go do it!" Lance exclaimed as he came back out from the barn.
"Shut up!" Katie yelled again.
"You are so lazy!" Lance replied in defense and before Katie could say anything back, her dad interupted.
"Do what your mother says!" he said in a stern voice. Katie grumbled and walked across the yard to the house.
"It's about time she does something." Lance said, smartly.
"Must you two always argue?" his dad asked.
"What else do you expect us to do?" Lance answered the question with a question.
"Did you ever hear of the phrase - why don't we all just get along?" he replied.
"Um, no?" he laughed.
"Ha! Ha! You're funny!" he replied as he put his hand on Lance's shoulder and they both walked back up to the house.
Chapter 2: Summer Fun
"So, what do ya'll want to do tonight?" Lance's girlfriend, Kelly, asked Katie, Lance, and JC, who were all sitting in the living room.
"Whatever. We can go to the mall or see a movie if ya'll want." Lance responded as soon as the phone rang.
"Sounds good to me." Katie replied as Lance walked into the kitchen to pick up the phone.
"Me too!" JC jumped in.
"Whatever we decide to do, Chris and Joey are coming too." Lance said as he entered back into the room.
"Ok, kewl!" Katie said, excitedly.
"And no, you will not be invading Chris' space!" Lance warned her.
"Would you stop telling me what to do!" Katie hissed at him.
"Well, as long as I'm your older brother I will always tell you what to do!" he snapped back at her.
"Then stop being my older brother!" Katie yelled, as the war raged on.
"Ok! Stop! That's enough for one day!" Marie barged in from being outside.
"Fine! I was gonna check on Shadow anyway!" Lance informed as he got up and walked out the house. Kelly followed behind him.
"This is gonna be a great night!" JC jumped in from being silent the whole time.
"Yeah. It's usually an adventure when me and my brother are together." Katie informed.
"More like a war!" JC laughed as a car pulled into the driveway.
"That must be Chris and Joey!" Katie said as she jumped up and ran out the door.
"Which car are we taking?" Joey asked Lance as Lance and Kelly walked over to the car.
"Well there are six of us. So, whichever can fit the most people." said Lance.
"Then I guess we'll take mine." Joey said as he got back into his older Bonneville.
"So, where are we headed?" Chris said, looking at the four of them crammed together in the back.
"I guess we'll hit the mall first and then go to the movies." Lance replied as he cuddled closer to Kelly.
"Sounds good to me!" Chris said, turning back around.
A few minutes later, they were downtown at the city mall. It was packed for a Friday night as the humidity started to cool down from the setting sun. They walked through the glass doors into the mall and were greeted by a huge fountain, sitting in the center of the mall foyer. On each side, escalators rose to two different levels of the mall, where each level was open on the inside, looking down into the foyer. Also, at various places in the mall, were glass, see through elevators.
"Let's make a wish!" Katie demanded as she drug JC over to the fountain and grabbed a nickle out of her pocket.
"I don't have any money to make a wish." JC jokingly laughed, letting Katie go first.
"I wish that a handsome boy will come and whisk me off my feet!" she finished as she threw her nickle into the fountain.
"You werent supposed to say it out loud! Now it wont come true!" JC informed her.
"Well, it wasnt about you so what does it matter?" she said, turning to look at him.
"Oh, geez, thanks! Now I feel so much better!" JC and Katie laughed and walked back to the group.
They walked around the mall for an hour and then lined up to see a movie. It was now dark outside and getting cool. Katie stood very close behind Chris as they waited to buy their tickets. Lance looked back at her with a mean look and Katie backed up into JC.
"Whoa, don't get too close, Im not your dream man, remember?" JC joked again.
"Ha! Ha! Very funny. My dream man is in front of me. My wish will come true. You'll see!" she finished.
"If you say so." JC replied as they walked into the movie theater.
After the movie was over, they all crammed back into the car and made their way back to the farm.
"How 'bout a midnight swim?" Lance said, looking at Kelly in a mysterious way.
"Yeah, kewl!" Chris replied as they all ran over to the inground pool.
"But I dont have my suit with me!" Kelly informed.
"Well you wont need one!" Lance said, grabbing her hand.
"Am I missing something here?" Katie said, confused.
"We are skinny dipping! C'mon!" Chris said to Katie as he ran inside the gate.
"What did I tell ya?" Katie said to JC, who were the only ones outside the gate.
"This is going to be a disaster!" JC sighed as Katie laughed and drug him inside the gate. The night had just begun.
Chapter 3: Trackside Rush
"Is everybody ready? Let's go!" John yelled as he closed the trailer gate. It was JC's first race on Sundown and everyone was excited to go. John, Lance, and Kelly went in the truck pulling the trailer and Marie, Katie, and JC left in the Jetta. They were on their way to Woodland Park, a racetrack about an hour away.
"I should still be in bed!" Katie mumbled, groggily, as she looked at the clock which was showing 6 a.m.
"You could have stayed at home" Marie replied as she looked over at Katie, who was falling asleep on the door.
"Nah, I wouldn't have let her!" JC jumped in from sitting in the backseat.
"Well, you would of had fun getting her out of bed like I did this morning then!" Marie laughed, as she remembered dragging Katie off the bed.
"I just would of jumped on her" JC finished as he leaned up between the seats.
"Huh? What did you say? Are you two talking about me?" Katie jumped up from her short minute nap.
"Go back to sleep!" Marie replied and Katie plopped her head back down.
"So, how do you think Sundown will do?" Lance asked John as they headed down the freeway.
"Well, he's in good condition and ready to run, but his speed isnt like I wanted it to be. It pretty much comes down to how good JC rides today" he finished.
"I can't wait until I can ride Shadow at the Royal Luxemberg Cup! He has been getting promising reviews lately!" Lance exclaimed.
"Well, we better get started on him soon or he wont be getting anything!" John exagerrated.
"Please don't tell me that you are still considering Katie helping, do you?" Lance replied with a sort of cringe to his voice.
"Yes, I'm still considering it. She has high hopes on riding Rocket and she hasn't ridden in a race for the last two years since Comet's last race. She needs some practice so I might as well let her in on the training." John finished as he turned off an exit.
"Great! All I need is her tagging around everywhere!" Lance grumbled as he looked over at Kelly, who was asleep with her head on his shoulder.
"This will be good for you two to get closer to each other" John informed him.
"Sure, if you say so!" Lance laughed as they turned down the country road, the track, only a few miles away.
The scent of leather and horses floated through the misty morning air as they drove through the gates to stables behind the track. Pounding of hooves were heard and glimpses of horses on their morning run were seen through the thick fog that had rolled up onto the track.
"Everyone out!" John yelled as he went to the back of the trailer and opened the gate.
"Which stall is he going into?" JC asked, waiting to take hold of Sundown's lead rope after John backed him out of the trailer.
"I think the number is 39. Its the end stall of the second stable." he finished, handing JC the lead and pointing to the stall.
"We're gonna go walk around" Lance announced, Kelly sleepishly walking by his side.
"Well, dont be gone long. We are staying to exercise Sundown and then going back to the hotel!" Marie informed them as they walked away.
"And you can clean out the trailer while we take the tack over the stall" John said to Katie as she finally walked over from the car.
"Oh, gee, thanks!" Katie grumbled.
"Are you ready for some exercise?" John asked Sundown who was tied beside the stall as he brought the tack over.
"Well, I know I'm ready!" JC said, excitedly, as he helped put the saddle on.
"He doesn't seem too excited" Marie said, trying to put the bridle on Sundown's drooping head.
"I'm sure he will be once we get him out on the track" John replied, pulling Sundown's head up for Marie.
"Mount up!" Marie said to JC, giving him a leg up.
JC jumped up and trotted Sundown onto the track. They had a long day to go and race full of tough competitors to face.
"Having fun?" Lance laughed at Katie, who was still cleaning the trailer.
"Leave me alone!" Katie snapped back.
"Aww, are you still mad 'cuz Chris don't want you?" Lance snobbishly replied.
"Shut up!" she yelled.
"And you thought that whole skinny dipping routine was going to work!" he laughed and Katie charged at him.
"Katie!" Marie yelled, returning from the stable.
"Ha! Ha!" Lance still provoked.
"Knock it off, Lance!" Marie exclaimed.
"Fine!" he replied as Katie stormed away.
"You two, get in the car. We're going back to the hotel" Marie said to Lance and Kelly as she jumped into the car. They quickly followed and left for the hotel.
"Welcome everyone to the last race of the evening at Woodland Park!" the announcer blared over the speakers, "This race is for four year old's and up and is set to run in about ten minutes!" he finished.
"I hope JC can pull him through. Sundown seemed to be lagging this morning" John said looking through binnoculars, watching the horses take their lap before entering the gates.
"Well, as long as he watches out for Palisades and Regal Star, he'll do fine" Marie informed him while she looked at the current odds.
"Can I ride Sundown in the next race?" Katie said out of nowhere to John.
"What are you talking about? Sundown is JC's horse, plus, you haven't ridden in a race for over two years!" John replied.
"Well, its not like I forgot how. Just a little rusty on the edges maybe" Katie said, while scoping the backstreach for Sundown.
"Its bad enough that you have to help with Shadow!" Lance jumped in from sitting on the other side of Marie.
"Don't start!" Marie snapped as the horses loaded into the gates.
"They have been loaded" the announcer came back on, "And, they're off!" he yelled with excitement as the bell rang.
The thud of hooves grew louder as they crossed in front of the stands. Sundown was seventh in the pack of nine horses. As they rounded the clubhouse turn, JC edged Sundown up to the fifth space and stayed there down the backstreach.
"Im so nervous! I can't look!" Katie exclaimed as she put her head down.
"They are coming around the turn!" Marie yelled, grabbing the binnoculars from John.
"Where are they?" Lance asked, trying to scope them through the bunch entering the homestreach.
"They are in third! And still gaining!" Marie answered.
"Go! Go! Go!" John yelled in excitement as he stood up.
JC edged Sundown past Regal Star and was right on Palisades tail but the finish line came quickly and Sundown ended up in second. JC cooled him down and brought him back to the gate and was met up with John, Marie, Katie, Lance, and Kelly.
"Katie!" John called while grabbing the reins from JC.
"Yea?" she answered from behind him.
"You're racing in two weeks. Get prepared!" he said sternly as he walked away with Sundown as JC jumped off. She looked over at JC, who just gave her a mean look and walked back to the stable.