Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Prompt: Pale, Dream, Horse, Vale, Blood (use at least 3 of these)

Jerrod watched his feet moving through the tall grass, seeds clinging to his tall leather boots, stems catching in the ties that criss-crossed around his calves up to his knees.

A dream, then. Those were his brother’s boots. Pop made them two years before Benson was called. He put them on straight out of the Holymasse wrapping and wore them every day until he left. Jerrod never asked for his own pair. His father quit cobbling when the courier brought the word about Benson. Quit everything.

Jerrod lifted his gaze from the mesmerizing grass and saw the vale stretching before him, the hills rising on either side. He’d never crossed the Pass, never taken the Merchants’ Trail that ran past their village on its long winding route through Kordill. He and Benson used to lie in their beds and talk about their plans to travel along the length of the Trail. They figured a cobbler and ferrier could make a fine living going from town to town.

Then one spring day, the Wild Herd ran down from the Pass, and Benson walked right out on the trail and held out his arms and a pale gold mare stopped cold in front of him, whickering and flicking her tail. The midnight blue stallion raced around them, but neither she nor Benson paid him any mind, eyes locked on each other. Finally he reared and pawed the air, then raced away, leading the rest of the herd onto the plains. The town fathers sent a courier out that night that they had a Speaker among them. Benson was called before the next moon. Since the horse had come, he’d already left, in a way, but Mom and Pop still held each other and cried as he rode the mare away without a backward glance.

Now Jerrod dreamwalked along the length of the vale where the horses grazed in winter, sheltered from the ice storms that thundered across the plains. He saw no horses, no birds circling above, not so much as a crawling centipede or lumbering pillbug in the grass. The sky was light, but he could not see the sun. It’s a dream, he shrugged. See what it holds.

A flicker of movement in the tall grass caught his eye. He veered from his path and pushed slowly through the tall stalks that grew up to his chest. A foal, curled in hiding. Pale gold, like the mare that had chosen Benson. It looked up at Jerrod in alarm, flailing its spindly legs as it tried to stand. He crouched down and held out his hands to calm it. Hush, he thought, though he didn’t say it aloud. I won’t hurt you.

The foal stood, shaking with fear, but eyes wide with curiosity. Jerrod held his hands out still, giving it time to get used to him. It took a wobbly step, and he smiled. Then it turned enough so he could see its flank, and his own eyes widened. A bloodred spiral traced around its hind hip. The design Benson had planned for his ferrier mark. Jerrod reached out a finger and traced the line. He stood and looked down at the foal, who looked up at him with wide, innocent, trusting eyes.

Well, little one, I guess we better go now.

[TBC, perhaps]

Dogs in house:

Adele, 21

Time writing:
25 minutes

May word count:

1 comment:

  1. Prompt: Pale, Dream, Horse, Vale, Blood (use at least 3 of these)

    I woke from a dream of blood. It slipped from my awareness like a dried leaf crumbling in the hand, and I was left with only a racing heart and unspecific memories of _red_. My wife shifted to my left, but resettled into sleep after a moment. I swung my legs over the edge of my bed and padded to the window, my stockinged feet making barely a whisper on the thick rugs.

    Outside the moons were bright, making the flickering latern lights at occasional streetcorners seem redundantly pale in comparison. The castle rose above the city, a dark silhouette against a starry sky. The horizon was glowing, but it was far too early for sunrise. I blinked, and the sky washed red, blood falling upwards to the heavens before raining down around me.

    I sat up, heart racing. The bed to my left was empty, and I knew I was truly awake this time.

    Time writing: ~15 minutes