Academia Acres

“You’re to dispose of his old things and come straight home,” Raven’s mother stated for the thousandth time.
“I know, and I don’t see what everyone’s so worried about,”  Raven herself was quite calm, in fact, she thought going to see her uncle’s farm in Illinois exciting, as she hadn’t been outside of Montana since she finished college.  “It’s not like I’ll be gone long.”

Raven’s truck sputtered and died as she pulled into the drive of her great-uncle Darren’s farm.  “Come on Daphne…” she pleaded, but the engine remained stubbornly silent.  Raven sighed and turned away, resigned to staying in Illinois until she could get it fixed.  Her eyes swept over the farm she had come to see, which stood eerily silent, empty of all vestiges of life.  The land looked just like she had expected- all rolling pastures and green grass accented by big, empty barns. 

“Why hello there, madam, you must be Miss Finch.”  Raven turned to see a short, rather plump gentlemen squinting at her through his glasses.  “I’m Mr. Rubik, no relation to the cube.  I’m here to see to the disposal of your uncle’s effects.  Now first of all something must be done about the horses, I suggest-”

“Horses?” asked Raven, “I was told my uncle sold all of his stock before he died.”

“All but two, my darling.  Very fine young thoroughbreds, I am sure you will get a good price for them if-”

Raven ignored him and began walking towards the nearest barn.  She was eager to see the animals.  Having grown up on a cattle ranch, Raven had been around horses all of her life, but she had never seen a thoroughbred up close before today.  She entered the barn and smiled as the smell of horses hit her, she had been right in guessing the animals would be kept near the drive.  A furry grey head popped out of the stall nearest her and whinnied cheerfully.  Raven approached the stall, looking over the filly carefully.  She looked young, not quite mature, and seriously lacking muscle tone.  In other words, she needed work. 

“Yes, that one is… Farmbox,”  Mr. Rubik explained, rifling through papers to find the right form.  “She’s two years old, Darren was apparently quite fond of her.”  Raven raised her eyebrows at the name, but decided against saying anything, who was she to come between these crazy easterners and their horse names.  Farmbox nudged her impatiently, begging for attention.  Raven scratched her briefly, then turned to look for the second horse.

“Bartlett’s Amour,” Mr. Rubik was already at the next stall, “Three years old, in good condition.  Tall, lovely as his name.”
Raven didn’t exactly thought the name ‘lovely’, but again kept silent. I could always call him something else anyway, she thought.  The red chestnut colt was tall and gangly, but hardly what Raven would call ‘in good condition’.  He was fat.  Unlike Farmbox he hovered in the back of his stall, pretending not to notice that he had company.

“Someone needs to work with these animals,” she commented to Rubik.
“No one has the time or experience, and besides that they must be sold, as none of your relatives are-”
“Didn’t you mention your firm closing when we talked on the phone?” Raven cut Mr. Rubik off.
“Well yes, regrettably our firm is no longer to keep up with the cutthroat-”
“Great, you’re hired.  I’m going to need a manager,”
“Of course, the first thing we need is a trainer.  After that we’ll see about starting these horses on a workout regimen at the track- there’s one quite near here, I believe?”
“But won’t your family be expecting you home?” Mr. Rubik searched for a way home.
“Not really, they know I’m not the type to pass up on something new, this will work out just dandy.”

I think that’s enough diarrhea of the keyboard for one sitting.  You get a cookie if you can guess where I stole Raven’s last name from. :wink:

I liked it a lot. :slight_smile: can’t wait for the next!

Raven pushed the gas a little harder, finally coming in sight of the farm.  Her uncle’s - now officially her own - the place had changed little since she had last seen it months ago.  It had been over a year ago that she had first stepped on the soil at Academia Acres.  Those few months had been a blast - acquiring horses, learning the ins and outs of training.  Even her reluctant manager Mr. Rubik had enjoyed this new business.

But it hadn’t been meant to last.  Raven still had a lot of things to settle back in Montana, and the task had taken longer than she had hoped.  She was only now able to return.  The farm’s horses had been home during her absence; without a trainer proper there wasn’t any reason to keep them at the track.

Mr. Rubik did offer some measure of hope, however, and had hired a temporary trainer in the last month subject to Raven’s approval.  She couldn’t wait to meet him.

Raven pulled into the drive and stepped out of Natasha, Daphne’s replacement.  The truck was loaded with stuff she had brought from Montana, far more suitable for a permanent move than the two outfits she had made do with before.  Raven looked at the daunting pile before turning away and moving towards the barn.  She could already see the bay Aettir Rituals in the paddock, and was looking forward to getting reacquainted.

“Excuse me?”  An unfamiliar voice.  Raven turned to see a young man standing behind her with a perplexed look on his face.  “May I ask who you are?”

“The missing returned.  Raven Finch, the owner.  You must be Trent Jacobson, my new trainer.  Rubik told me about you.”  Raven offered her hand.

“Guilty,” the other admitted, shaking.  “You’ve got a few nice looking animals, shall we go take a look?”

Raven nodded primly and the two walked towards the barn.

Out of time.  Honestly I was shocked to find my account not deleted as I haven’t logged in since December, but I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I’ll try to be a little more of a productive member of FF society now.  I know the above is boring, but I felt like I needed an excuse for the absence for my characters.

Nice writing, it’s not boring. :slight_smile: Welcome back!

Not boring at all, nice story! Welcome back  ;D