Chapter XIX: Into the Mind of Fire (11/18)Mature

'No, no, no, no...' Tayna whispered, fear turning her organs to liquid in her chest, sloshing around and making her feel ill. She leapt up from the ground and pinched her fingers between her lips, whistling perfectly and ordering Equus into a run, she ran alongside it at an intense speed, Will couldn't believe that she kept time with the animal, but the determination in her strides was clear. Just before the land flattened out, Tayna leapt into the air, flying towards Equus and landing on the worn brown saddle with a thump and an 'oof'. 

I need to catch up, Will thought as he saw the distance growing between them, suddenly his lower body felt numb, and when he looked down at his feet, he saw that he was disappearing into white mist, 'no!' he yelled helplessly as he felt himself disappear entirely, to appear moments later on the back of Equus. He grabbed Tayna's waist to hold on, taking comfort that he didn't exist in this reality. He held on tightly as the smell of smoke grew ever stronger and they saw the true horror of the fire. Every thatched roof was set alight, through the gate Tayna could see villagers running around desperately. The riders on the Noxian horses yipped excitedly, running them down and swiping fiery torches to knock them down, then rearing in victory. Glittering embers flew around them, blending into the billows of black smoke which rushed into Will's lungs and causing him to splutter furiously. They were both blinded with the speed of the embers coming towards them, burning their skin like the touch of cigarette butts.

Then, as they reached the entrance, a tongue of flame spat out at them as the house nearest exploded, Equus reared and threatened to throw them both off, he tossed his head and shook his mane in protest. Tayna tugged at the reins to calm him, watching fire spread further.

'We have to go in,' she shouted,  Equus whinnied desperately, fearing for them all and refusing to rush into the fire. Gathering the reins into one hand, Tayna stretched out her spare arm and sent a huge gust of wind towards the entrance, cutting a path into the wall of fire, then yelling 'hiya' and ordering Equus into Castia. 

Inside, barely anything was visible in the smog, Tayna had to squint to see, her eyes watering more. The darkness of the riders gave them the perfect cover, and she heard them galloping and whinnying all around her like sly demons in her nightmares. But Tayna thought only of her family - the only family she had - and her determination to find them. 

Suddenly, the shape of a rider materialised in front of them out of the smog, the red eyes and the head-guard of the Noxian glimmering. It reared monstrously, twice as large as Equus. Tayna’s horse reared in terror, Will fell off straight away while Tayna tried to grip onto the reins, but eventually she toppled off the saddle and onto the ground, onto her side and knocking her head. 

The End

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