There’s the scent of the impossible in the air.
She looked towards the hills, out of reflex, but the scent is coming from further down the valley. Blip is pawing the ground, carving out the shape of what Ali’s tasted on the wind. She can’t focus this close, so the horse’s muddy gouges are only smudges, but it’s big, whatever it is.
“And it was turning into such a nice day.” Paul is already starting to lug their gear out of the shed, unknotting the straps and buckles tangled from their less than careful storage. “Hey, gimme a hand– err, fang, will you?”
She sighs, a heavy damp wave that smells of annoyance and the tang of rising adrenaline, and shifts her forequarters up and over so that her head can reach. With a practiced roll of her nose, she hooks one the straps around her tusks and yanks the whole mess out into the yard with a whuff of near-boiling exertion.
“Ow! Hey, careful!” Paul’s scrambling backwards, face bright-red from the heat, but she’s caught another whiff of the madness and she’s in no mood to wait.