POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:04 pm

She hated the horse, and it wasn’t fair.

The elegant ball marked the downfall for Galilee and her mood. Waking up hungover and unable to meet the eyes of her pretty peers, she could not even seek advice from her father – who was so suddenly enamored with Dreyma it made Lee sick. Conversations about the casual nature of some relationships only felt like salt in the wound, like Skoll was throwing everything away for nothing.

Then the new rumors – ones Lee didn’t want to believe in, but Skoll wouldn’t look her in the eye and she hadn’t asked.

Frustration burned down the short fuse, and the misbehavior of one ill-trained stallion was all it took for Galilee to snap and scream.

It was a nice day and meant to be a nice ride through the fields and forests, but Suncatcher was overeager. His mistress had little time for him most days, and so almost as soon as the saddle was placed on his back he became wild. There was no malice in his playing and exploration, but he mashed every one of Galilee’s buttons. Jumping creeks a calm horse would step over, stopping to browse from every leafy branch in sight, ignoring commands – and then he saw a duck, and it was over.

Galilee was thrown from the golden horse’s back. Her fall was caught by bushes, but all she could do was gape helplessly as Suncatcher ran toward a lake’s edge. The mallard’s presence was enough to turn the colt into a vicious stallion, slamming hooves against the shore, pinning his ears, lunging with bared teeth – until the duck took flight over the water. The stallion waded a meter out into the shallows, then turned and nipped at an insect on his shoulder.

“Suncatcher!” Galilee cried, and because was more familiar with it: “You dick!”

He twitched his ears and looked up at her, then scampered away when she stormed toward him. One ear angled out uncertainly, and he splashed in the shallows to avoid her when she charged – half wanting to play, half afraid of the aggression in the wolf’s gait. She tried to chase him, then slipped on a wet rock and fell to hands and knees in the water.

Sore, wet, angry, she began to cry.

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POSTED: Tue Apr 17, 2018 12:31 pm

Sian had been practising her fishing – well, to put it accurately she had been failing at fishing, but the Damaichu girl had always been taught that in order to learn something you had to suffer through many failures first. She supposed she’d got lucky with her aptitude with the bow and arrows; her latest venture wasn’t going as smoothly.

Part of it, she knew, was down to the frustration which had emerged in her soul since her trip to Krokar. Sian didn’t know exactly what she’d expected – though she had tried her hardest to expecting nothing. She had told Eros as much. So why did she still feel bitter disappointment in what had transpired? Even the ball had proved to be a grandiose distraction – an excuse to drown her sorrows - and little more.

It all came down to something Sian was tired of feeling: fear. She had been afraid her whole life, it seemed, and now she was afraid that her life would only amount to disappointment after disappointment. That she would never truly find her place, her people.

Snow-white paws splashed in the edges of a trickle of water and her ears lifted from wilted frustration to take in the sound of a yell. The caller was downstream and downwind and Sian didn’t catch on to who it was until she started to move toward the sounds. The wind shifted and the scent caught her nose: Galilee.

Sian thought then that she might turn and flee. She wasn’t sure how awkward things might be between her and the Haskel girl now, since the ball. Certainly the Damaichu hadn’t sought Lee out, but she was also determined not to avoid her because of fear – or anything she could interpret as fear.

When Sian reached her, Lee looked somehow defeated. The Cavalier’s golden eyes didn’t have to search far to snag upon a potential cuprit: a large, buff stallion pranced nearby. He looked unsure – at least from what Sian could tell of equine expressions – and immediately the stiffness in Sian’s own body language eased to softness. It would do none of them any good to go charging up to a strange horse carrying all her frustrations and doubts.

Her gaze flicked away from the stallion, onto her friend.

“Lee? Are you – what’s wrong?”


Don't let the tide of your sorrow drown your nights and flood your days

POSTED: Tue May 01, 2018 12:20 am

Water rippled around the sand-colored horse’s paler legs as he watched his handler, still uncertain and ready to spring away again. But Galilee no longer chased him; she didn’t get up from where the lake’s small waves rolled over her wrists and knees, soaking them. Her palms stung where the pebbles grazed them, and only the coolness of the water soothed her hands.

The pain that made Lee cry now was internal and pent-up. Salty tears spilled down a long muzzle to join freshwater, but when a voice called out, she was quick to wipe at them, inadvertently wetting her face further.

“S-Sian,” the wolfdog stuttered, then flushed, cleared her throat, and stood up. “Dumbass horse just – he just got away from me, is all, and I fell…” Was it lamer to cry because of emotional problems or the pain of skinned hands and knees? She snorted loudly in an attempt to rid her nostrils of mucus.

Suncatcher snorted back at her, lowering his ears and eyeing Sian curiously.

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