She leaned on the high window sill with her arms crossed and her chin on them. The sky was still streaked with orange and crimson, the last rays of sun refracting through the dust in the air, she thought. All that beauty from just dust. It was getting dark earlier now, and she was glad. The brilliant high mountain sun made Callie uneasy sometimes, stirred something in her that wanted to roam, wanted, really, to get on a horse and ride up and down the streets of Santa Fe, plod along up a trail to the top of Cerro Gordo, the fat brown hill up the canyon. She wanted to ride south in the fading day toward the rodeo grounds where there was space so she could grab hold of the sturdy mane, kick the bare sides – bareback was freedom – lie low and let the horse lengthen into full gallop, to run and run and run – no worries about gopher holes or rocks or falling off, riding like a burr in the mane.
But. She sighed. She didn’t have a horse. None. Only Rob had one, and he was getting werid, and his uncle, who lived near her and just got a new Arabian. She stood up. She could go back up there, just for a night visit, just to see if that wonderful horse really was living on the next road to hers. She could slip out the patio door, down the hill to the arroyo, up the other side across the road to the fence of the pasture where Victoria now reigned. A queen of horses. She spread her schoolbooks across her bed and turned the lamp on them. Standing at the door in her room that let to the back patio, she turned to look at the scene of homework being done. She came back and put a pencil and pen alongside the books. Then she slipped out into the darkness.