Sanna’s red hair swished as she scanned the rolling, boulder-studded meadow. Radish tops in hand, she slipped through the rough wooden fence that outlined the pegasus pasture. It was true that the fence wouldn’t necessarily do much to keep the adult pegasi in, but it was effective in keeping predators out for the sake of the foals. Sanna imagined she looked something like a predator now sneaking through the grass.
Boulder to boulder, rise to rise she weaved her way across the pasture. She saw little foals only a few months old frolicking and rough-housing. Their mothers kept a watchful eye on them, and at least one ear on Sanna. But the mares didn’t concern her. She was looking for a specific pegasus: a gelding owned by her father named Apel. Among the rather drab browns and creams of the mares he should be easy to spot.
He was the color of sweet honey underneath what looked like a dusting of chocolaty soot along the crest of his neck and his spine. Sooty dapples adorned his shoulders, neck, and hip. His feather mane and tail, too, were dusted with “soot”.
Curiously, only the longest feathers in his wings shone against his sooty coat in a bright, almost glittering gold. All others were dusty black. He was a striking pegasus, fitting for her boisterous father. As she climbed a rise, black feathers a little ways off caught her eye...but something wasn’t quite right. The black wasn’t the right sheen. Sanna’s blood ran cold.
She stopped in her tracks and ducked behind a boulder as a tall pegasus strode into view. This one was intense and harsh looking. His feather mane was stiff and knife-like. White eyes with narrow pupils flashed like lightning as they shifted side to side, patrolling the pasture. It seemed to Sanna that he was composed mostly of sharp edges and points. Most of him was the darkest black Sanna had ever seen. Only his shoulders, hip and upper legs faded to a steele grey. His wings, mane, and tail: all black. Supposedly his color was called Blue Roan. Sanna swore he tinted red rather than blue. Her mother called him Semrah, but Sanna didn’t think that name was nasty enough.
She shuddered and started to creep away, her eyes glued to the black beast. Sanna grimaced as her feet crunched on gravel. Semrah snorted and wheeled around to face the noise, his ears pricked forward, head high, nostrils flared in the breeze...those terrible eyes scanning the horizon. They fell upon Sanna and she froze. Impossibly long moments passed as the two stared each other down in a bid for who might win.
Finally Semrah’s ears swiveled to lay flat against his neck and he took a purposeful step toward Sanna. It was decided.
“I’m going to die,” she muttered before spinning and dashing for the nearest fence.
Thunder filled her ears as Semrah bore down upon her. She didn’t bother looking back. Sanna ran like hell, scrambling over rough patches, desperate for the fence before Semrah’s cruel curved beak met her flesh. As she dove for the fence she could feel Semrah’s breath on her head. Dirt and sod pelted her as Semrah skidded to a rough and sudden halt. Sanna clawed herself farther away before turning to look. Semrah’s mouth was open, his ears flattened, wings raised, and eyes wide as he paced back and forth along the fenceline. He lunged at her again when she stood, throwing his chest against the fence and reaching out to her as far as he could.
Sanna yelped and fell backward again. Her heart was pounding. A little wooden fence was all that stood between her and Semrah. But Semrah wouldn’t cross it. Despite his rage, he respected the fence. Holli had trained him well, and Sanna breathed a sigh of relief. Apel wasn’t getting those radish tops any time soon.