Home > The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses #1)(12)

The Law of Moses (The Law of Moses #1)(12)
Author: Amy Harmon

“Putting screens on your windows. If I’m going to paint in there, we need some ventilation. Without screens, I’ll have bugs biting me, swarming around the light, and getting stuck in my paint. And you and I will get high from the fumes. My brain is already scrambled enough.”“Cracked,” I said, not thinking.

“Yeah.” Moses scowled.

“Well, it’s working for you.” I turned and looked at my walls. “Cracks and all. In fact, if your brain wasn’t cracked, none of the brilliance could spill out. Do you realize that?” And it was brilliant. He hadn’t used any paint yet. But with a grease pencil and a cracked brain, Moses had filled two walls with the beginning scenes of a blind man who found his sight and a horse who came alive only at night. It was already beyond anything I could have imagined.

“Have you even slept?” I turned back to him with a yawn.

“Nah. But I’ll go crash for a while now. I’ll be back after dinner.”

After dinner was too far away and I had hours to kill until then. After I took care of my chickens, mowed the front lawn, and helped mom for an hour with the two foster kids we’d taken in for a few days, I retreated to the corral. My horses were happy to see me, and I felt bad that I’d made them wait for my attention. The meadow was still grassy and they had water, so it wasn’t as if they were starving, but I rarely missed a morning with them. I made it up to them by spending the rest of the long afternoon until dark trying to make Lucky fall in love with me.

Lucky was a horse with a black coat and an even darker mane. He was the most beautiful horse I’d ever seen, but he knew he was beautiful, and he had a temper. He didn’t want to be touched or ridden or coaxed into standing still. He wanted me to leave him alone. Dad had a client that hadn’t been able to pay his vet bills, so they’d worked out a trade. It wasn’t a great trade, because Dad needed horses he and Mom could train to be around kids. But the horse had a pedigree Dad liked, and he thought maybe he could get some stud fees out of him.

Lucky reminded me of Moses—powerful and perfectly formed, muscles sinuous and defined just below the sleek surface, and the way he held his head and ignored me was almost spot-on Moses. But then Lucky would look at me and I knew he was well aware of my presence. He hadn’t forgotten me for a moment, and he wanted me to chase him. Call me crazy, but I was pretty sure what worked with the horse could work with the boy.

Moses came back that night. And again the next night. And the next. I watched him in wonder as he added color to the lines and a dream-like quality to the story that made me feel like I’d stepped inside the blind man’s head and was seeing it all through his eyes—seeing the world for the very first time.

Moses didn’t stop with my walls. On the third night the story continued on my ceiling, and he rigged up some scaffolding so he could paint the Sistine Chapel right on my ten by twelve bedroom ceiling. I had to admit, I didn’t know about the Sistine Chapel until Moses told me all about Michelangelo as he assembled the platform he intended to lie on while he painted. He said some day he would see it in person. He wanted to travel all over the world and see all the great art. That was his dream. I stayed very quiet while he talked, only contributing when I thought he was losing steam and might stop talking. I needed him to keep talking. I wanted to know everything about him. I wanted inside, and little by little, especially when he was painting, he was giving me glimpses, brief moments with him that I treasured up like a child collecting fragile shells and shiny pebbles. And when he wasn’t with me, I took out those treasures and turned them over and over in my mind, studying them from every angle, learning him.

My parents didn’t know what to think about my room. Nobody did. It was too much, almost, for such a small space. When you stood in the center with the story cocooning you in color, it was easy to get dizzy and grow lightheaded from the sheer magnitude of the detail and the depth of the work. But I loved it. I left my furniture arranged like a little island in the center of my room so nothing covered the walls, and I strung golden twinkle lights around the edges so that when I turned off my bedroom lamp to sleep, the little lights would cast the blind man’s dream in a soft, warm glow. It was magical.

I felt like an idiot when I handed Moses a hundred dollars the night he finished. I was pretty sure it would barely cover his paint and supplies. But it was all I had, and I’d had no idea what I was getting into when I asked him to paint a mural on my wall.

He actually seemed pleased by the money, like he’d forgotten he’d been commissioned, and thanked me sincerely, folding the bills inside a soft leather wallet and shoving it into the pocket of his jeans.


DAD SAID HORSES REFLECT the energy of the people around them. If you’re scared the horse will shy away from you. If you doubt yourself he’ll take advantage of you. If you don’t trust yourself, neither will he. They are truth detectors. It isn’t rocket science. It isn’t voodoo. There’s a reason you give a horse his head if you’re lost. He’ll always take you home.

It hadn’t escaped me that the horses were afraid of Moses. And if Dad’s theory was correct, it was because Moses was afraid, and the horses were simply mirroring a very powerful emotion. Horses scare some people. They’re so big and powerful, and if it’s you against a horse, well, the horse will kick your ass.

But I didn’t think Moses was afraid of the horses. Not exactly. I was pretty sure Moses was just afraid in general. Anxious, desperate, manic. Whatever. And our horses knew it.

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