Wordcount: 450 words
They left the conversation there, Wendy was too wrapped up in the framework of the story beneath and what it meant. Because if all this was, the world, the people, was a reinterpretation of older stories, then nothing could be taken at face value. She wasn’t just trying to see the world as Heather had shaped it, but as it actually was. Every day that Heather’s was gone, her story lost some of its hold over the world. Things got a little darker, a little more real. There was little that Wendy could do to stop that slow fade of power, but if she did nothing… The story would revert, and the foundations Heather had laid, that Good would always win because bad guys were dumb (and bad shots), would go out the window. Like Disney’s Snow White, a fluffy family tale that only masked the older legend of blood and tears and friends and family lost.
And in the oldest tales, unicorns weren’t always good.
The problem was that the world felt so real. She could feel the late summer sun on her back as she walked, the faint breeze that wafted through the forest that brought the scent of an approaching storm. She ran fingers down the trunk of the trees as she passed, walking aimlessly away from the camp. All of her senses were telling her this world was real, solid, not some flimsy overlay. Cat trailed along behind her, adding random rustles of grass and leaves as he stalked unsuspecting bugs. The ever constant hoofbeats were missing though; Moonstar had remained by the wagon claiming that he needed to keep an eye on the Black.
After a while she ended up sitting beneath a massive oak tree, Cat in her lap, and the memory of another tree and another world seeping through her senses.
“Is this real?” Her hand paused, and Cat looked up at her maowing soundlessly, demanding she continue petting him. “I could be dreaming, back under the apple tree, and none of this would be real.” He stretched out a paw and batted at her hand, and she laughed. “You don’t care, do you. Either way, either world, you just want your due.”
Cat sniffed, settling back into his rumbling purr as she started petting again.
“You’re right, I suppose, what’s real is relative. I think therefore I am.” Cat blinked at her, slow and lazily, apparently unimpressed by her line of reasoning. “Alright, alright, I’ll leave the philosophy to cats.” She grinned down at him as he closed his eyes, the purr increasing in distinct approval.
They stayed there, lounging beneath the tree until approaching hoofbeats signled Riley and the Black’s return.