Chapter 8

"Where are you taking me?" I demanded as the rope tie pulled like a choker chain around my neck.

I stumbled for what I'd once thought of as freedom, the lush grass outside of the pen, and the horison beyond, but on these tethers, I was far from the wild colt I once was. Subjected to such torment to my instinct, I simply bowed my head and followed the human along the fence line, not allowing my gaze to trail to the tumbling filly trying to grab my attention. What a showoff!

My ears flicked to the sound of human voices, and that of children nearby. I straightened my neck and turned, alert at once as a group of people thundered past. The human holding my rope seemed unwary, so I let my guard slip a little and continued to traverse after him, my knees aching from my fall. I knew that under my fur bruises would blotch my skin, but I removed my mind from the subject.

Ahead was a building that offered the promise of warmth and shelter, but I was still hesistant to follow. The big tall doors turned inwards, leaving a gaping hole where the musty air met fresh. I refused to move.

"Aye!" The human barked.

My heart gave a leap like a salmon struggling upstream. I flared my nostrils and tried to flee the other way. I coughed for breath against the strangling, burning fingers of rope that clasped around my neck. My mane was grabbed again and a strong arm pulled me back in line. I knew it was wrong to give in to my enemies so easily, but wariness sagged at me, and I was tired to the bone, throbbing all over.

We walked on. My unshod hooves felt strange against the weird, smooth, hard ground. Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop. I focused on the rhythm of my own steps before being settled into a bed of hay. My knes began to bend and I folded into a neat ball on the soft ground, too tired to go on trying. I tried to think of Spirit giving me words of encouragement, but I failed to trace my memory.

A bucket sloshed against the thigh of a human as they tramped in front of me, black boots covering my blurred vision. Droplets darkened the concrete. I sniffed, looking up, the human's shape eclipsed by a small window letting in the light. The few seconds I'd though to of laid down on the hay must of been hours, because the light that fell in was cold, white, and had the bite of winter filled its sails. Moonshine.

I felt the soft bristles of a brush drawing over my body caked in mud. Soon dust clogged the air, making it stifling to breathe. I lifted my head weakly and drank, then lay back down again, feeling them work my feet. It stung my hooves as they ground them down, and my joints seared where they held me down, but I was in no position to object. My only hope was for it to be over and done with.

What is that decadant scent? I sharply took a breath, struggling to get a look. Did my eyes decieve me? I leaned forward, lips feeling the golden shape. Crunch! The sound was satisfying to my ears as I chewed the carrot, the warm, summer flavour washing over my tongue. I closed my eyes, and for once, I didn't think of Spirit or Rain. Actually... my mind was fuzzy. I could barely focus. I looked into one of the humans faces. What was in the middle of that carrot? What are they doing now? My mind is being slowly cleared.. I can't even remember where I am. Help! I relaxed, letting out a long slow breath. Spirit? Who was that?

The End

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