"Does this horse belong to you sir?" You asked the black-haired man who was in the stable, as you watched him continue to pet the eight legged equine.
"Yes. I tracked him here, and now I intend to take him back."
"Woah, slow your roll there. You can't just take him." You informed. "You have to fill out certain forms, and provide a proof of ownership. You're going to have to come back tomarrow morning. Operating hours of the stabels end at 10pm." The man was about to speak, but you quickly inturupted him. "I do apologize but I am not in power to release this animal to you, and the boss has already left. If you want your horse back, you will have to comply with the rules."
The man was silent for a few moments before sighed and then responded, "...Very well then. I shall return."
"And I asure you sir, your animal is in safe hands."
He gave you a small nod, and then walked past you and out of the stable. The horse whined a bit as he left, almost as if he didn't want the man to leave. You walked over to him, and petted him. He calmed down soon enough, and you walked out of the stable and towards your car. You got in your vehicle, and made your way home for the night.
The nest day, when you returned to work, you found Drake standing near the office, talking to Boss.
"What's up?" You said as you approched the both of them. Boss looked at you, and you automatically noticed a worried look on his face. Obvious distress showed in his features, and apon seeing it, your face fell to a frown. "...What's wrong?"
Boss looked down at the ground, but then raised his head back up again. "I was just talking with Drake here, about why I had to leave so suddenly yesterday." He hesitated before he continued. "My wife's mother has been sick and... she uh... she died in the hospital yesterday afternoon..."
"Oh my... I... I'm so sorry." You said sympathetically.
"Carol was... pretty upset."
Silence hung in the air around you, and your whole mood changed. You couldn't even imagine the amount of stress and grief that his wife now had. Even though he was trying to be strong, he seemed quite shaken up too. He never talked about his mother in-law much, but he would mention her on random occassions, recollecting on funny things she had done or said. He always joked that he could write a whole comedy act on her, and it would be a sure hit.
"Daddy!" A girls voice sounded, breaking the silence. From out of the office, a little girl about the age of 8 or 9, with long blond ehair, ran up to your boss. "Daddy... Do I have to stay inside? It's boring." The girl was wearing shorts with a flowery design in the stitching, a pink t-shirt, and a headband with a pink flower which held back her hair. She had brown eyes, and looked like a typical "Daddy's girl"
Boss looked at both you and Drake. "Oh man... um. I hate to ask, but could you guys watch my daughter? She had to come with me today, because her mom is working out the funeral arangements with her reletives. I have a ton of paperwork to do today."
"Oh sure!" You agreed without question. Drake reluctantly nodded in agreement as well. He didn't particuarlly like little kids. It's not that he hated them or anything, it's just that he always felt nervous for their safety, and always became a bit paranoid when he was around them. You bent down so you were eye level with the child. "What's your name sweetie?"
"Lilly, this is [name]" Boss said pointing to you, as his daughter looked up at him. He then pointed at Drake. "And this is Drake. They're going to keep and eye on you. Be good for them, alright?"
"Thank you." Boss said to you and Drake. "I owe you guys big time."
"No problem!" You replied.
Boss returned to inside the office, leaving you and Drake to watch Lilly, and also to go about starting your day. Your first task of the day was going to be to check on the Silver, the new mare.
"You wanna go see some horses, Lilly?" You asked.
Drake said he would catch up with you guys later. He had to go help some of the other employees with some mechanical problems they were having. That was half of Drake's job. Part of the time he was a handyman, and the other part of the time he did the same basic animal care that you did. He rather prefered working with the animals than fixing things, but he was fine with helping out when the situations called for it.
You first took Lilly to the tree near the office, and helped her pick a few apples off of the branches. After that, you and her both walked to the stable, and approched the pen which held Silver, the mare. You opened the pen, and the horse came right up to you.
"This is Silver." You said to Lilly. "You wanna give her an apple?"
"Okay!" She held her hand out to the horse, offering her an apple. Silver ate the apple from out of the girl hand, which made her smile, and giggle. "She's cool!"
As your day continued, Lilly stayed by your side and even helped out with some things like brushing the animals. She enjoyed watching you do your daily work. You tended to the needs of many different animals, all of which you told Lilly their names. You showed her the ponies, which she really loved. Then, later in the day when you had a bit of free time, you asked Lilly if she wanted to ride one of the horses. Her face lit up with excitement and happily said yes. You asked her what horse she wanted to ride, and, unsurprisingly enough, she picked Silver. When you were dressing Silver in the riding gear, you told Lilly how each peice of the equipment was important. It was sort of like you were teaching her. When Silver was all dressed in full gear, you lead her and Lilly to the small pasture behind the stable. It was a fenced in, rectangular feild where people would go when they wanted to learn how to ride a horse, or just were not ready to try the trails yet. You all went into the pasture and you hooked Silver to the fence. You turned towards Lilly and motioned her over to you.
"Alright, what I want you to do is put your foot in here" You said, pointing to stirrups. "And then grab the horn of the saddle, to pull yourself up."
"I'll try!" The girl replied to you. She walked up to the horse, and lifted her foot up, placing it into the stirrup. You stood by her side, watching closely, just incase she slipped. She grabbed the saddle horn, and you gave her a push to help her up. She got up, and sat in the saddle.
"Great job!" You praised her. "No, just hang onto to the saddle, and we'll start walking."
With Lilly now situated, you took the lead, and led Silver around the pasture. You walked around the perimiter a few times, and then went along different paths within the feild. There wasn't a moment of time where Lilly didn't have a wide elated grin.
After you took Her for a ride, she had the happiest smile on her face. You helped Lilly get off of Silver, and then you all walked back to the stable. You let Lilly open the gate to Silver's pen, and also give her some sugar cubes. You exited the pen, shutting the gate. As you were locking the gate, you heard Lilly's voice from behind you.
"Hey, [Name], Who's that?" She asked. You turned around and saw her pointing to someone, and when you looked in the direction she was refering to, you saw the man from last night standing infront of the quarentine pen again.
"Oh! Good." You said out loud. You walked towards him, while Lilly followed you. When you reached the man, Lilly stood close by your side. "Ah, your back!" You noticed that the man was wearing different clothes then the last time you had seen him. And, rather then the leather-like clothes he had yesterday, these clothes looked much more casual,
"I said I was going to return, did I not?" The man replied.
"Right." You replied. "Then come with me, and I'll take you to the office where we can sort out the release forms." You looked over at Lilly. "Come on, sweetie."
You, Lilly and the man walked towards the office. While you were walking, you spotted Drake standing and talking to a few of the other employees.
"Drake!" You called. At the sound of his name, he came over to you. "Could you watch Lilly for a few minutes? I need to take this gentlemen to the office for release forms."
"Oh! So you are the owner of the horse we found." Drake said. You noticed that he stopped for a moment and looked at Loki a bit quizically, but then his expression quickly reverted back to normal. "Good to know he's going back to where he belongs."
Drake took Lilly, watching her for the time being, while you led the man the rest of the way to the office. Once you entered the building you went up to boss's little room and knocked on the door.
"Who is it?" He said in a somewhat angry tone. "I'm busy!"
"It's [Name]." You replied. "I have a gentlemen here who claims he is the owner of the horse you found."
"Oh... then come in then."
You opened the door, and walked inside. Boss's desk was filled with piles of scattered papers and pencils. He didn't look up from what he was writing on to answer you, but instead kept his eyes fixed on the information in front of him, concentrating on getting all of his work done.
Before you could further explain, boss intergected. "I don't have time to do any release forms right now, so I'm giving you the power to do it, [Name]." He said. "You know the process well enough to know how to do it."
You were surprised by what he said, but seeing as how he looked like he was pretty stressed out at the moment you didn't question him. You said thank you, and then exited the room. You took the man down the hallway to another room. Inside, you went to a file cabnit and, after searching for a few moments, you pulled out the two forms that needed to be signed. You sat down behind the desk, and moved the computer mouse to awaken it from sleep mode. You quickly opened the database program which held the information on all of the animals here.
"May I see your proof of ownership?" You asked the man. He handed you a peice of paper, which looked rather old. The document had begun to yellow with age, and the corners and edges were brittle and starting to tare. You looked at the document for a few seconds and quickly noticed that it was written in some language that you could not read. "What language is this written in?" You asked.
"Oh, You don't read runes?"
"Um... no." You replied. "But... I think we have a program here that will translate it." You stood up, and walked across the room, and placed the document in a scanner. You turned it on, and within a few minutes you had the image scanned into the computer. After that was done, you then opened the language program you had spoke of, and ran the image through it. The program analyzed the image trying to find a match to the odd symbols. It took longer then you anticipated, but it soon identified the language to be Nordic Runes. You had never heard of such a language before. You assumed that it must be some old norweigan language or something. While the program was translating the runes to English, you took this moment to ask the man a question.
"What breed is your horse, if I may ask? He's unlike any other I've seen." You said. "His emerald eyes are very interesting, as it's very rare for horses to have green eyes."
For a few moments the man didn't answer. "He's... Part of a royal bloodline. Let's just leave it at that."
"Fair enough." You replied. A beep came from the computer, saying that it had finished with the translation process. Now that the document was in a language that you could actually read, you looked at it, and compared the information to the details that Boss had collected and added to the database when he found the horse. The horse's hoove had a identification number on it, which matched the ID number on the mans document. "You are Mr. Loki Laufeyson, correct?" You asked when you saw the name on the document. The man simply nodded. 'Huh... What an interesting name...' you thought to yourself. The document had all the correct information, so he, indeed, was the the owner of the horse. "Alright! Everything checks out. Now all you need to do is fill out these two forms, and you'll be all set."
You gave him the papers, and then left the room. You walked back to your bosses office and knocked again.
"Boss?" You said.
You opened the door, but didn't walk in. Instead, you stayed in the doorway. "Everything checked out with the horse. Mr. Laufeyson is the legal owner."
"Laufeyson? What kind of name is that?" Boss said.
"I think it's Norwegian."
"Anyway, is that all?" He asked.
"Uh... yeah." You said.
"Good then please leave. I'v got work up to my neck and I'm swimming in papers that I need to find and file and send out and-"
"Boss." You said, inturupting him. "Just... relax. You don't need to stress out over some paperwork. You know that any of the employees, myself included, would help you in a heatbeat if you asked us."
Boss sighed and ran his hand through his hair, rubbing the back of his head. "I know... I know."
"We're all here for you..." Neither of you said anything more of the subject. You gave boss a nod, and then walked back out of the room.
You began to return to the other room, when you saw Loki walking down the hallway. He approched you, handing you back the two forms you had previously given him. You took the papers, and when you looked at them you couldn't help but notice the amazing handwriting. It looked like fancy calligraphy more then anything else. You didn't relize you had been staring at it until you heard someone call your name from behind you, which brought you out of your daze.
You turned around and saw Lilly along with another female employee. They both rushed up to you, out of breath and panting, and then began speaking in a very concerned tone.
"[Name]! Some people are trying to take that eight-legged horse away!" The employee informed you.
"What?!" You nearly shouted. "They cannot do that! They don't have legal rights to take the animals off this property!"
"They say he's a species unknown to them, and they have to seize him to do some sort of investigation."
"UUGH! What the hell!" You said, now yelling with frustration. "I just find the owner and this crap happenes!!!"
Lilly spoke up and continued the explanation. "And, when Drake went to try and stop them, they knocked him down to the ground!"
"They tased him!" The employee added. She then looked over at Loki. "Sir, If that's your horse, I'd suggest you hurry and find out what is going on."
"They are not taking him on my watch!" You replied. "You, come on!" You gave Loki a push, and began running quickly towards the stable. When you both got there you saw four people standing around the quarentine pen. One was a police officer, two of them wore white lab coats and were closely examining the animal, and the other was dressed somewhat like a bodyguard. The horse inside the pen was naying loudly, and trying to get the people to stay back. He was obviously frightened.
"HEY!" You yelled out. "Get the hell away from him!"
"Miss, we have direct orders by-"
"I don't care! You can't take him! Now get out of here!" You moved towards the four people, but the bodyguard quickly grabbed you, holding you back and preventing you from getting at the other people. "Unhand me!!" You demanded. The guard did not let go even when you started trying to escape his hold. The guard was strong, and easily kept you restrained no matter how much you flailed.
The two men wearing lab coats began pulling and tugging on the horses lead to try and make him follow them, but it was not such an easy task. The equine reared back, lifting his front legs off the ground, and ended up knocking one of the scientists to the ground. At the sight of this, the policeman quickly took out what looked to be a small hand gun.
"NO!" You shouted. "Loki, Stop him!"
Even before you said it, Loki was already moving towards the policeman. He tackled the man to the ground, but was just a fraction of a second to late. The gun went off and out of the barrel came a small dart with a long neddle. The dart hit the frightened horse in the hindquarters, making him emit a loud cry. The policeman pushed Loki off of him, and he and the other three people quickly led the horse way, into a truck that was waiting just outside the stable's back door.
"Spike!" You yelled out, as you ran after the men. You were no match for them though as they had quickly shoved the horse into the trailer and began speeding off of the property. You could only watch as the truck drove away with Spike inside.