Wordcount: 503 words
Grab a Story by the Tale
Riley slid off the Black reluctantly, her hand glued to his shoulder as if he’d vanish as soon as she let go. The stallion whickered happily and chewed on the ends of her braided blue-black hair. Wendy wondered who she might have been in an older story; a younger sister, a cousin, someone lurking in the background sea of faces that never quite made it onscreen, useful for nothing more than filler. Walk-on roles, like David’s massive armies from the Shadow Wars… only they were people here.
“So, have a good ride?” Wendy didn’t get up, letting Cat enjoy his boneless sprawl for a bit longer.
“itwasreallyfast” The girl sounded breathless and almost distant somehow; as if she was talking from the far side of the field. Which could have just been from the run, but it felt wrong. Wrong like the hollow Moonstar had left behind when he went back to being just a horse.
“What?” Unsettled Wendy frowned up at the girl, “I can’t hear you hun.”
“Said it was really fast.” There, the girl sounded solid again, less like she’d waft away on the next cross-breeze. “Oh Wendy, he can run,” and there was raw wonder in her voice. Wendy could see the same pride echoed in the Black’s stance; his ebony neck arched and midnight tail flagged even at a standstill. Now all they needed was a cross-country race and they’d have every horse book she’d ever read as a girl. She smiled up at Riley, sharing in the joy of a well-made match.
And watched as the world rippled as the story realigned.
“What the hell?” Wendy was on her feet as soon as she felt the wave, sending Cat rowling unhappily at his abrupt relocation. Riley and the Black just looked confused as Wendy glanced around nervously, trying to figure out what had happened. “Did you feel that?”
“Feel what?” Riley stepped closer to the Black, who snorted ears flickering back and forth as he tried to find what had alarmed Wendy.
“There was a–,” Wendy waved a hand, unable to find a suitable word. “A change, something changed. Where’s Moony?” Because she’d never called him Moonstar, it seemed too formal before for someone named after a child’s toy. And now, now she wasn’t sure what to call him, but Moony still fit somehow.
“The white horse?” At Wendy’s nod Riley pointed back towards the campsite. “He was trying to get Aunt Maylin to let him into the red-white wagon. He wants the sugar I think.”
Red-white? Red-white was the cook’s tent and that made no sense, because the only thing in there were the foodstocks and– Oh.
“We have to get back there, now! Run, run!” And she was slinging Riley onto the Black’s back, slapping his rump in frustration. And they were off, a streak of midnight thundering through the woods and back to– back to something. She run after them, Cat at her heels, knowing she’d be too late but trying anyways.