onsdag 4 maj 2011

Ch 3, Changes

The dark ominous clouds seemed to be centered above the high tower. Ravens and crows circled around it, some landing in their nests built in the lush ivy to prepare for the gathering storm. When Horse looked around and it was painfully clear that the sky behind them was comfortingly clear blue with white, fluffy clouds in cute shapes and a swallow drifted past in the direction they'd come, he tried to back around the bend again to get away from the suspicious-looking figure on the drawbridge. To get away from the entire, quite terrifying stronghold, really. He thought that the best thing they could do was to ride back to the last crossroads and pick another direction from there, but the Prince had other Plans! His hero instincts had been touched by the cry of alarm from the tower and he had not the sense, nor the capacity to resist.

When he noticed that Horse started backing away, Pollux ordered him to stop and then slapped him unceremoniously on the rump so that they started galloping straight towards the drawbridge. Another bolt of lightning hit a tall pine tree beside them, causing the terrified Horse to gallop even faster.

The figure only made careful, subtle moves with its fingers but the closer they got, the more the air around the figure started to shimmer with lively shapes and colours. Just when the Prince had  drawn his sword and they were 25 yards away, a beam of magick with all the colours of the rainbow shot out of the index fingers of  the figure, which were pointed directly at the quickly approaching yahoos.

There was a sound like *poff* and a big puff of amaranth-colored smoke, which when it dispersed revealed that Horse was still moving fast forward. The Prince on the other hand was laying upside-down on the ground with his four legs in different directions, shaking his head in confusion. It took a few seconds for the Horse to notice that he was running on two legs instead of four, he had feet instead of hooves (not to mention hands with the ability to grip things!) and that he was not moving forward as fast as he was used to. He then stopped and looked back at the Prince, who was still shaking his head, and completely forgot the cause of the transformation.

The Prince had a thick brown coat, a black, spiky mane and very, very long ears. He stopped shaking his head and rose unsteadily onto his scrawny legs and looked around. His ears twitched nervously when they registered the sound  his new hooves were making against the road. Horse felt sorry for the Prince in his unaccustomed shape and decided to give him a carrot to calm him down. The pack was on the ground close to them so it was easy to find. The issue was using these damned thumbs and the rest of the fingers to open the clasps. Horse solved the problem by opening the pack with his teeth, like he used to. The Prince was already used to acting like an ass, so it came quite naturally to him to happily munch the carrot offered to him and then think nothing at all about what had just happened.

When Horse was digging around in the pack to find the carrots, the Prince's  mirror, which accompanied him everywhere, fell out. He picked it up to put it back inside but hesitated when he saw his reflection. He'd seen it before in still water, but now it looked completely different of course.  His colors were the same, so he had very light blonde hair with shockingly pink stripes, very fair skin and calm brown eyes. The nose was a bit wide but his teeth were excellent. He was, quite simply, as beautiful as a human as he had been as a horse; easy on the eyes. When Horse finally tore his gaze away from the mirror he realized that the figure from the bridge was standing next to Pollux, feeding him sugar cubes. Then it turned towards him and with a smooth, flowing motion pulled back its hood.

tisdag 3 maj 2011

The Horse. Ch. 2

 The morning after the Prince's theatrical departure, directed towards the setting sun and Adventure with a capital A, Horse was casually strolling around in the glade where they'd made camp picking up the most important pieces of equipment and dropping them into the open pack. The Prince himself was snoring loudly from a shrubbery he had hoped would protect him in case of rain. Luckily for the Prince the weather had been nice, and hence taking cover under the sparse foliage had been completely unnecessary. When the packing was done, Horse walked over to the shrubbery and started to neigh. Loudly.

To another horse this would have been quite beautiful, because he was singing an old nursery rhyme that most mares sing to their foals, and he had a pretty good singing voice. For a horse. To the newly awakened and extremely sleepy-headed Prince however, it was bordering on torture. When he'd figured out what was making the traumatizing noise he tried to shut the Horse up by mumbling irritably at it. When that failed he tried to bribe Horse with carrots, but to his dismay that didn't work either, since the horse had already eaten his morning ration of carrots and was religiously keeping track of them. When the song ended, Horse quieted on his own accord and Pollux sighed with relief, swung his pack onto his shoulder and swung himself onto the Horse's back. How the Prince had managed to make the glade look like some awesomely popular heavy metal band rocked through it on their world tour in just one night is a mystery that to this day stands unsolved.

Horse managed to steer away from the sunrise, which was the obvious direction according to the Prince, and their travels continued at a comfortable but respectable pace. The weather was nice and the world itself seemed to be in a good mood. Unfortunately this scenario didn't last very long, and dark, heavy clouds were gathering further along the road. Both the Prince and Horse realized that this was a serious matter. Horse slowed their pace and the Prince was smart enough to be more watchful of what could be along the road, which up to that point had been almost suspiciously easy to travel.

They carefully followed a turn of the road and while a bolt of lightning shot past, turning the Horse's mane and tail into pink-striped pom-poms of static electricity, a house appeared some distance away. They warily got closer and closer to the big house, which had a huge tower, a moat, a solid foundation, parapets and a whole bunch of ivy clinging to it, and thus was more of a stronghold than a house, a difference which the Prince knew nothing about and Horse honestly didn't care. The thing is that there was this high-pitched yell for assistance from the highest window of the tower and simultaneously a hooded figure in a dark green, silver embroided cloak appeared out of nowhere on the lowered drawbridge.

To be continued...

måndag 2 maj 2011

The Horse. Ch. 1

He looked a little bit like a zebra, but he was a lot larger and with a mane and tail that billowed  wonderfully in the warm summer wind. His color was not quite that of an ordinary zebra, though. As you all know, zebras usually have black stripes, not pink like his were. And it wasn't a soft pastel pink either, but a fierce hot pink that would frighten away any lion looking at it. And that even though lions don't actually perceive colors very well.

He was happily trotting around in a summery green meadow, stopping every now and then to munch a delishious dandelion or two. A half-hearted attempt at a fence circled the meadow, and since he was a very well behaved horse he stayed inside this warped creation even though he could have easily stepped over it and then gained complete freedom. But, can you imagine, the Horse was also very intelligent. He knew that sometimes there's this cold, white, fluffy rain that covers and freezes all the good stuff on the ground and makes it not taste good any more. Not to mention what it would be like to sleep outside when the weather got bad. And that's when he needed his, slightly stupid, "owner".

Think of the devil and he might just show up, though this guy didn't actually have one malicious bone in his body. Come to think of it, "guy" is the wrong word, because he was a Prince with a capital P. His name was Pollux, but the servants in the castle referred to him as "Polly" (when no one of noble blood was around) since he wasn't much smarter than a parrot and he really liked polygons. While we're on the subject of names; the Prince had never thought of calling his Horse anyhing but Horse, and Horse didn't care as long as he got hay to eat and a stables to live in during winter.

The thing is that the warped imitation of a fence around the meadow was meant to be a pentagon, even though no corners could be detected. The Prince had built it by himself and was exceedingly proud of the achievement since it was the only thing he had ever done on his own. But finally the day had come for the next big adventure in the Prince's life. He was to ride out into the World and find a princess, countess any other form of young, unmarried, woman of noble birth in dire need of being rescued (for the mood to be just right).

Horse rolled his eyes. Where would they find a woman, a princess even, willing to spend the rest of her life togheter with Prince Pollux? Sure he would one day be the ruler of a kingdom so enormous, it covered the majority of two continents, and allowed the neighbouring countries to exist only as pin points on the map to accentuate how excessively enormous the kingdom really was.
Oh, right... It might not be that difficult to find a power hungry young lady after all.

While the Prince handled the saddle, Horse was going through the Prince's pack to make sure that they didn't lack something that was absolutely vital. He found a wide variety of stuff, some of which he would get off his back as soon as he had the opportunity. When everything was prepared the Prince theatrically swung himself into the saddle and rode towards the sunset. Horse rolled his eyes again. If they were lucky they'd make it a mile or two before they had to make camp.

To be continued...