It was a dreadfully windy day in Virginia, and the sky looked positively grim. Others worried about the thunderstorms that were surely on their way; Red O'Malley ignored the weather and went along in his work, thinking that they were all safe inside even if there were thunderstorms.
His work involved feeding the horses, exercising the ones that needed exercise, cleaning their stalls, and cleaning the horses themselves. Today, and for the past several months, it had been another part of his job to check up on Angelfire, the mare. According to Dr. Judy Barker, the mare was going to give birth any day now. Red had witnessed a birthing maybe once before, but he could barely remember anything about it. All he could recall was Max Regnery pacing worriedly as the mare had gone into labor.
Red turned down the offer of help from Kristi Cavanaugh and told her to go home before the thunderstorms hit. This seemed to be the only thing that could turn her away from Red, because she quickly told him goodbye and ran off. Red wished for a second that thunderstorms would come along more often – that way he would have a shadow only for maybe one or two days of the week instead of practically all of them.
He kept working, pausing to check in on Angelfire once every hour. Soon enough, when Red checked his cell phone, it was nine-thirty at night, the time Max usually left. Red had already given the horses their dinner and had decided that he was going to keep them inside tonight instead of turning them back out. There were horses on pasture board, of course, but he figured they would know how to deal with some rain.
Max exited his office and glanced around. Red waved when Max caught sight of him; Max looked particularly grave today. "What's up?" Red asked, as Max approached him. "There isn't anything wrong, is there?"
"No, everything's fine," said Max shortly. "I was just wondering whether you wanted me to hang around for a while, with the thunderstorm and everything."
Red took a second to decipher Max's meaning. When he realized that Max thought he'd be worried about a little rain, he laughed. "Look, Max, I'll be fine here. It's just a little rain – what harm can come from that? Anyway, if Angelfire goes into labor, I'll give Dr. Barker a call and see what I can do."
Max nodded, but he still looked hesitant. "Red, these storms aren't supposed to pass over for another few days. It'll be more than a little rain. They're likely to be severe thunderstorms."
That changed things a bit; however, Red didn't want Max to worry. "Awwh, relax, Max! I'll be great here on my own. I've been working with horses since I was twelve. I've seen a foaling before, I know what to do if a horse gets injured, and I have my cell phone if the electricity goes out. I have your number, and Dr. Barker's, and if you have all the numbers written down in your office, I've got all those, too. It'll be fine."
This discourse on Red's abilities seemed to reassure Max a great deal. "Okay, good," he said, clapping Red's shoulder. "Well, good luck, and I'll be out first thing tomorrow morning." He bid Red farewell and walked off, only after turning off the lights in his office and closing the door.
Red trailed Max outside – not in order to stalk his boss, but to see what the sky looked like now. It was already beginning to rain, and it was thundering monstrously. White-violet lightning lit up the sky every few seconds. It's really close, thought Red. He considered bringing in the pasture board horses but decided he wouldn't until things got worse – or if the wind started ripping branches off trees and knocking trees over. Red nodded decisively at this thought and turned back inside.
Don't worry. It's just a little rain.
Yes, Red thought, everything was going to be perfectly fine.
A/N: I think I broke Red in this one. (Yes, I saw this sentence with a different character in a Chuck A/N. It fits this story perfectly.) Don't hate me. FCMD, I cry, FCMD! Also, there is only one chapter left on my other Saddle Club story, so don't worry about me abandoning, 'cuz I ain't gonna! :D I'm just really excited about this little guy. :)
WARNING: I have FCMD (Favorite Character Mutilation Disorder) and forgot to take my meds when I wrote this. This is the only time I'm warnin' you.
DISCLAIMER: This is the only time I'm saying this. This is a site called fanfiction, which includes the two words 'fan' and 'fiction'. What does this say to you? Also, if I owned Saddle Club, Red would be the main character instead of Stevie, Carole, and Lisa.