The man rode through the trees and fog in a quiet sad manner. Head bowed, he bore shadows for his eyes and a short wild beard stretched darkness across his face. His cloaked shoulders were sunken under the weakness of his spirit. He swayed loosely at the mercy of his mounts subdued pace. He was as a phantom of the morning fog. A creature left behind by the passing night.

His mount appeared once noble but now long short of rest or care. The spirit of its master had brought that mighty beast low. The horse's coat lay loosely wet and matted upon its diminishing form. It bore a heavy burden that labored each step, but the burden was neither the rider's weight nor the small pack behind his saddle, nor the weapon that slapped upon its flank as it strove on. It share its master's anguish. The creature bore its rider's trial.

The forest remained in silence in company with this intruder. It sat and watched this thing of death as it passed through its branches and across its meadow. All that was heard was the impact of the rider's blade upon his horse, and a quiet chime of some metal upon the beast's saddle. The clop of the hooves were muffled in the sodden earth to the sound of a fading heartbeat.

All sound stopped as the man came upon a gentle river and was forced to halt.


Skip said...

I like your imagery and the horse taking on the trials of his rider is a nice touch. Let's see this fleshed out as a complete story!

AedonTor said...

Heh, I thought the horse bit was the worst part of the whole thing. Not what I wanted at all, but I was just fighting for words at that point.

Mary Massie said...

but the horse part is my favorite!