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Iridescence (Chapter 4)

Trotting along the river’s edge was a high-stepping and playful filly, tossing her head rebelliously against her rider. Feeling eyes on her, the palomino swiveled her pointed ears and turned her dished head towards the river. Her startling ice-blue gaze met the fae’s and she nickered a sweet hello. Suddenly the human rider gave his reigns a quick, slightly overdone tug, and the filly snorted then continued gracefully along, her silver-white tail swishing as she left the river’s edge and slipped through the trees.
Knowing she needed to follow, the fae considered her options. She could go back to her original form and risk being seen and/or captured, or she could stay the way she was and risk first flight. As the current pulled her along, her thoughts came back to the human on the filly’s back. Not wanting anything to do with those rude and seemingly inconsiderate creatures, she decided on the latter option. Reviewing the memories of the other swan, she tried to peace together the dynamics of flight. Spreading her large glittery wings, the fae picked up her speed and started to move them rhythmically, as she saw in the memories. First, her chest and belly rose, then for a moment it looked as if she was running on the river as she steadily took flight. Keeping a keen eye out for the palomino, the fae slowly flew over the forest.
The breeze felt wonderful on her feathers as it swept off the few remaining drops of water still dripping from her. Scarce clouds drifted lazily by overhead, giving momentary relief from the sun’s glare. Finally, as the trees faded to tall grass and shrubbery, a flash of silver and gold came across the fae’s vision. Immediately descending towards the horse, she noticed the rider was just removing its tack. Tilting her wings, she curved back towards the forest to find cover. Opening her wings to their full extent, about 6 ½ feet across, she slowly came to a stop at the base of a large oak tree surrounded by thick bushes. Quickly moving into the bushes, the fae relaxed and willed her transformation to begin. The gem on her forehead shone as she changed from bird to almost human.
She sat for a moment, recovering calmly, and then peeked over the bushes, her swirling eyes sharper than a hawk’s. The filly was staring straight at her; ears pricked and nostrils flared in excitement. A soft, welcoming sound came from her, and the fae giggled but ducked quickly as the human looked in her direction. She bit her rosy lower lip and hoped her silvery hair wouldn’t give her away. Her pointed ear twitched slightly as she focused on the horse and rider, then she let out a quiet sigh as the human gathered the rest of the tack and took it away. Peeking from the bush again, she watched as the human set the tack in a somewhat large mechanical-looking thing. As soon as the human was a few feet from the filly, the fae widened her hypnotic eyes. The horse’s blue eye locked on her and she swished her high-set tail. The fae whistled smoothly, a beautiful bell-like sound, and the golden ball of spunk shot towards her. Grinning, the fae laughed and crouched as the filly got nearer and nearer while the human started a useless ruckus in surprise and anger. A moment later, when the filly was close enough, the fae leapt up and turned in midair to land on her back, both hers and the horse’s hair silver hair streaming through the air like solidified moonlight.
She grabbed a fistful of the filly’s mane and giggled gleefully as they sped towards the forest. Leaving its owner’s shouts behind, the filly raced through the trees, tossing her head and waving her tail like a banner. Dodging branches, the fae stroked the palomino’s shoulder, caressing the rippling muscle and shining gold coat. Suddenly she tensed, then leapt upwards and grabbed onto an overhead branch. She hung there, laughing, as the filly continued for a few more yards then slid to a stop. She danced a few steps then heard the fae’s laughter and swiveled around and nodded her head as if she humorously admitted playing the fool.
Dropping from the branch, the fae landed effortlessly and gracefully strode towards the golden beauty. Ice blue eyes followed and stayed locked on her as she placed one hand on the filly’s white forehead and the other on her strong, muscled neck. The fae’s slender fingers combed through the silver-white mane as she rested her forehead on the filly’s. As she closed her rainbow eyes, both beings opened their minds to each other and joined spirits for a moment. [First, growing up in a stall with her tiger-eyed dam, then being torn away from everything she knew to be broken and tamed. But no matter what anyone did, the fire, the spunk was always there. It was a while before someone who could handle it found her. He was a young, flame-haired boy who had just as much rebellion in him as she did herself; her rider from earlier in the day. In getting to know this boy, she figured herself out so much faster than she ever thought possible...] The affection for this boy frightened the fae, and she withdrew quickly.
Moonfire, the fae gathered was the horse’s name, snorted and stomped her hoof. As the hoof hit the ground, it turned from a striped cream to a shiny pearl-like color. Immediately all of her hooves changed color and she pranced in surprise. The fae stroked Moonfire’s muzzle and sent her a mental message that would translate into something like, -Go home, to where you are loved.- Moonfire stepped closer to the fae and placed her big chin on her back, pulling the fae closer in an equine hug. Then she stepped back, reared, and gracefully cantered away, her hooves flashing in the light on the setting sun and her silver hair streaming behind her.
The fae swung back onto the large tree and rested against the trunk, oddly comfortable on the rough bark. Thinking over the day’s events, she knew the two animals she’d learned from were necessary and enjoyable, but what she needed most was yet to come. Stretching, she laid her head back on the trunk and lifted her swirling, glowing eyes to the sky. Stars were slowly beginning to appear as the sun ended its daily journey across the sky, their presence foretelling a clear, beautiful night. With a quiet sigh, the fae closed her eyes and floated into her half-conscious rest.





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