Chapter 4

"We move out!"

My head bolted upright and my ears fell flat against my skull. Lightening cracked unsteadily somewhere in the distance, sending chills down my spine. I leaned on Rain's leg, eyes bulging. I couldn't even see Spirit through the darkenss, but the followed the gently wavering tail of the horse in front.

Thunder bellowed above and below, shaking the earth. I squealed and my pace turned up a notch until I was cantering blindly. I heard a deafening crash, and lightning had struck a tree, and Spirit was turning wildly away with scanting hooves. Trying to reverse, I was lost in a whirlwind of screaming whinnies, and the worried calls of my mother. Where was she?

Forgetting about Rain, I tumbled forward. I couldn't tell up from down, left from right. Where were we? What direction had they gone in? The questions kept hitting me too late for me to think of answers. My legs ached like fire, and I felt like I'd collapse in ashes. But I wasn't the only thing burning.

The one thing that lit up the dark was the wavering shapes dancing across the dry bark of the fallen tree. I wasn't sure whether to go towards it or away, and I found my legs dragging me back. Heat rolled into the face and stung my eyes, followed by an acidic smell that made my chest hurt. I squinted and felt myself slipping, and I whirled around, then everything disappeared, and I stretched my eyes wide and stuck out my legs.

Slope stretching before me, I remembered my father's dark words as the gravel tore at my pelt, and stones attacked my face. Pain was hot all over, and I let out a tiny cry, but I could no longer hear my herd.

"Rain!" I pleaded helplessly, the dust falling over me blinding the top of the ridge. "Spirit!" But it was hopeless, and I let my head fall limp onto the hard, rough ground. They were gone.

The End

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