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Killing Horses - Read Excerpts from the Book

A small piece of the rising sun peered at me from over the hill, and the green of the trees and fields glistened with morning dew. Every morning I had the same thought: it is my good fortune to be greeted by this sight as I walk from the house to work. Stopping at the big barn door, I gazed down the long stall aisle and out through the back door to the early light.

As I trudged wearily to the house, I wondered why the lights had been left on. Then I saw my sister standing just inside the partly opened door. When I stepped onto the porch the door opened wide but she didn’t move to let me by. She stood there in my way, with an odd look on her face.
I felt my heartbeat hesitate. “What’s wrong?”
There was fear in her voice. “It’s Andi. She’s hemorrhaging.”
At first, her words did not register. My brain went vacant. Then I saw the blood on the dining room floor. I pushed her aside and rushed through the house. There was blood on the bathroom towels!

Riding on the back of the tractor I shivered cold sweat as I watched my mare’s body dance and bob at the end of the chain. Her limbs were nearly torn from her trunk as we pulled her across the pastures and dirt trails, and up and down the ditches and gullies to The Crematory. I averted my eyes, but could not really escape the scene because of the unbearable rotten odor that invaded my senses.

Today, my disguise was excellent. I resembled a hunter. My hair was tucked up inside a red and black plaid hunters cap (the kind with ear flaps), my jacket was the tan poplin popular with shooters, my mustache was black, and I drove a friend’s new Ford pickup with a gun rack in the back window.

Several days after the first meeting with Wilson, I found myself standing ankle deep in a chemically saturated tributary to the Mississippi River. The banks of the smelly swamp were tarry black with the now familiar look of a chemical waste depository. Standing beside me was an exhausted, wheezing Arthur Wilson, who had led me through the wet brambles to the site of yet another barrel-filled dump. Hoping he wouldn’t have heart failure, I peeked at him several times and decided to cut the search short.

The truck had left the small Midwestern town abruptly and sped down the highway to a car wash facility near Eureka, Missouri where, using binoculars, I watched the driver (whom I didn’t recognize) go to the rear of the vehicle and open up the spigot to a gush of dark green liquid. He then threw some coins into the slot, grabbed up the sprayer wand, and began washing and rinsing the truck. It’s contents poured down the big drain in the floor. In awe of the ingenious scheme, I whistled softly and blurted out, “Well for crying out loud! Who would ever guess that poison is draining down from the car wash stall to who knows where?”

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© Copyright by Judy Piatt, Killing Horses LLC, 2009-2010
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