Amanda lays on her parents bed, her legs and arms stretched out over the length of the king size, her fingers and toes becoming closer everyday to spanning the entire bed. The shepherd looks around as if ready to protect anything that comes near his master. She opens her eyes and Frankies tail wags joyfully, he's happy to see another bright day with her. Amanda reaches for his greying face and scratches behind his ears. His leg starts shaking in harmony with the petting he's receiving.
“Morning Frankie boy.” He stands up and lets his tongue hang over Amanda's face. “Are you hungry?” She asks the pup. He turns his head, as if trying to decode what she's just said.
Amanda stands and stretches, trying to get her head about her. Usually she would sleep in, but today she's on a mission. She has to check her traps, set all around her fathers vast property.
“Lets go boy.” She says, walking to the kitchen. It's an old house, creaky, and scents of dust fill its every hollow place. The house was bought by the Traceys 20 years ago, when Amanda's parents had finally decided to settle down. After taking a bite of carrot Amanda decides she's not hungry and leaves the old victorian to fetch her four-wheeler. The old cow, Bess, greets her by the fence and follows her along till Amanda walks in the barn.
“I'll be back miss bessie, don't worry.” She says, sliding her weathered boots on and starting up one of her only means of transportation. She backs out of the wide barn doors and takes her trails, resetting all her empty traps. Every time she arrives at another empty cage her heart sinks a bit. Sure, she thinks, the garden is prosperous, but she hasn't had an animal to eat since sometime last year so shes desperate. She misses it, she misses her family.
As she drives further along the dirt roads through the forest she comes upon a trap containing some sort of animal. She stops and jumps off, running towards it. Frankie has been tailing her this entire time so he trots ahead of her and sniffs at the walls of the cage. As she gets closer she realizes it's a coon. She opens the trapdoor and grabs it by the scruff. It hisses and claws at her and she hates what's coming next. She snaps its neck. Her and her dad had traps out all the time, but he always made her kill it. Gives you guts, he'd say. She didn't regret killing them all though, or she wouldn't have had the guts to kill her meal today. Frankie dances around her feet as she goes back to her four wheeler. He hops on the back like a kid and she gives him a look, yet he still remains seated.
“Fine Frankie boy, you asked for it.” She says. She revs it and he immediately jumps off, just in time because Amanda takes off fast. She misses her brother now, riding her four wheeler 50 miles an hour through the trees. She turns sharp to the right and goes out into the field. She yells as loud as she can as she goes quickly through the tall grass. No one can hear her out here, as far as any passerbye is concerned her road doesn't even exist. In the year before the small gravel road wasn't exactly taking its time becoming grown over. Her hair flies in the wind behind her and she feels unstuck from her forever home.