I could still see Gabriel looking at something. I wasn't completely sure what it was but it clearly fascinated him.
"Something doesn't feel quite right." I mumbled under my breath. "I bet you've already figured it out, haven't you sweetie?" I knew it was silly but I hoped he could hear me, even if he was nodding and laughing at me being silly and missing something obvious.
I looked around for clues. My eyes were drawn to a horse-drawn carriage that was racing down a nearby road.
"Hey. Do you want to go investigate?"
He looked up at me with excitement. "What about...?"
"We don't need him!" I looked into the sky as I spoke, winking. "We'll make a great team, won't we? It'll be great fun!"
For a moment he was unsure but I put on my widest grin and bundled him up into a hug. "We'll be home soon." I whispered to him. He broke off the embrace and grinned. "Now that's the attitude! Which way would you like to go?"
I kept my eye on that carriage - it was still there. "That way!" he shouted and began to run in the direction that I had been hoping he'd go in. I followed him as fast as I could and smiled to myself when he stopped to take a closer look at the horses. There was a man stood with them. He looked as if he was stroking them but they didn't look real.
They looked like robots.
"Hello beautiful." The man said in my direction. I pretended to blush and returned a less flirtatious greeting.
"What lovely horses you have." I said, starting to examine the nearest one.
"You want?" He looked at me directly, reluctant to break eye contact. "You want one?"
I hesitated. I was sure that these things were key to it all but didn't think there was any way of getting it off him. "But I don't have any money."
He looked around suspiciously before pulling it away from the others. "It is broken. Barely works. Have it."
He thrust it into my hand before I could say anything else and was leaving. "Wait!" I yelled but he was gone.
"Hello," Gabriel said. It took me a minute to realise that it had been aimed at the horse, not me. The horse slowly moved its head to look at him. Gabriel smiled widely. "Can we keep him?"
I smiled. "I don't see why not."
I was examining the controls on the horse as Gabriel played with it. I thought I had figured out how it worked so I picked Gabriel up and placed him on the horse's back. Then I climbed on behind him and smiled.
"Fancy a little ride?" I asked. He nodded enthusiastically so I set the horse into motion. It was fine to begin with but then it started to veer off to the right more than I told it to and soon we were careering through the city on a wild robotic animal. Gabriel screamed in delight, thinking it was all part of the ride.
But I looked ahead and panicked. If I didn't get this horse under control pretty soon, we were going to get seriously hurt either jumping free from the thing or crashing into the solid wall that was fast approaching us.