*Based on the song by Garth Brooks* Ethan Hart is a barrel racer. He loves the Rodeo more than anybody. ~Cover By: Maggi Styles ♡~


1. One

For some people it's really hard to wake up as early a 3 a.m., but for me and the team it's completely easy. I hopped off of the top bunk, landing quietly on my feet, trying not to wake my eldest brother, Viktor. I slip out of the room, un-noticed and begin heading towards the barn. My bare feet lightly brush the ground, my shaggy auburn hair sticking to my forehead from sweat. I get to the barn door and begin to open it, until I hear, "Ethan?".

I twirl around to find my younger brother, Daegan, staring at me, rubbing the sleepiness from his eyes. I shake my head and open the door, Daegan helping me after realizing that I was going to practice. I can hear Starfire lightly snoring in her stall.  Daegan walks to the tack room to get the saddle and the bridle/ reins that I use.

"Star, come on girl, practicing time.".

Starfire opens her eyes and lifts her head. Her nostrils begin flaring, signaling that she's going to sneeze. I duck and Daegan gets covered in horse snot. He shouts something that's either, 'Ew, Star.', or 'I am going to get you, Ethan.'. I'm pretty sure it was both. Daegan sets the gear down and begins chasing me, a bucket of cold water in his hands and we both take off .

"Oh hell no, Daegan.".

I begin running back through the barn, Starfire unlocking her stall herself. She kicks the door and it hits Daegan in the abdomen. He wheezes, "Son of a bi--." after dropping the bucket.  I watch as he digs in his pocket for his inhaler. After two minutes, he's breathing better. I shake my head, carrying the saddle and bridle/reins over to Starfire.

Once I have her gear on her and I have changed into the spare clothes I keep in the tack room, Daegan, myself and Starfire walk down to the practice corral. I hop on Star's back, balancing myself on the saddle, watching Daegan open the gate. I stare at the three barrels that aren't even ten feet away. I lean towards Starfire's right ear and whisper, "Ready, girl?".

She answers me by shooting through the gate, rounding the first barrel. We round the other barrels with ease. After the tenth time rounding the third barrel, Starfire suddenly goes down. I jump, barely getting my left foot out of the stirrup.

"Oh my God, Star!".

I run to her side, stroking her mane, mumbling to myself. Daegan runs away, back to the house to get Viktor. Viktor is a large animal vet, working rodeos and other events, so I'm hoping that he can help.

Daegan and Viktor come running back in, Viktor ordering Daegan to move me away from Star. 

"No, I'm staying with her!".

"Ethan! You have to!".



No, the horse I have trained for barrel racing, CAN NOT have a broken leg, not even a sprain! Couldn't Viktor splint her leg or something?

"Ho-ho-how did she bre-bre-break her le-leg?".

"I have no clue, Little Brother. I'm sorry, but I have to put her down. You don't want her hurting do you?".

"No, I don't want her hurting, just let Daegan and myself get the tack off of her.".

Viktor nods, helping Star stand so Daegan and I can get the tack off of her. I make Daegan take it back to the tack room, hanging it up where he found it, knowing that I'd have to retire the blue and brown gear. Daegan grabs my right forearm and drags me away, Viktor pulling out his .45 pistol and setting it on the ground beside him.

I jerk my arm away from Daegan and run back to the house just as I hear the gunshot ring out through the barn. The horse that I've loved since I was three is gone. Now I have nothing to do for the up coming rodeo, nothing. I reach the front door and sling it open, making Mom, jump.  She nods her head and I continue running to mine and Viktor's room.

Once in there I grabbed my laptop, logging into the chat room that my friends and I use almost everyday.

(E- Ethan, K- Kimia, C- Chad)

E- Guys, I have a problem.

K- What happened?

C- Yeah, Tell us Ethan.

E- Viktor had to kill Star.

K and C- WHAT.

E- Yeah, Star broke one of her legs and had to be put down, so I can't be in the rodeo.

K and C- Damn

E- Yeah.

I told them bye and logged off, not wanting to answer their questions anymore. I set the laptop on the desk and then hopped on the top bunk. I pull my knees to my chest, upon hearing Viktor enter the kitchen along with Daegan. They begin talking to Mom, Viktor telling Mom that he had to put Star down and Mom gasping. I kick off my boots, letting them drop to the floor with a thud, then I lay on my left side and pull the covers over my head.

A few hours later I hear, "You sure he's okay, Viktor?" and "Yes, Mom, he's fine.". Then I hear Mom yell, "Viktor Niklaus Hart, you're brother is not fine!".

I jump from the top bunk again, this time I head over to my dresser, grabbing a faded t-shirt and a pair of jogging pants. I walk into the bathroom and then I hop in the shower after taking my dirty clothes off. I climb back into the top bunk after checking my phone, seeing if Kimia texted me. She hadn't, so that's good.

I drift off to sleep, only opening my eyes as Viktor comes in, changing into his own pajamas, climbing into the bottom bunk, also falling asleep. 

"Ethan, I'm sorry," he says, rolling onto his back.

"Vik, it's fine, I'm fine. You did what you had to do," I say.

"Whatever, Ethan," he says, sleepiness in his voice.

"Night, Vik.".

"Night, Ethan.".

I drifted off to sleep again, tossing and turning, dreaming about Star. My life is going to be rough now, or at least three weeks.

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