The horsemen are coming. They always come. Now we can hear them, the galloping monsters thundering through wasted lands and out of the forest.


2. Brenna

I made sure that I fell asleep early. I knew that if I didn’t then I would not only miss the Ride, but I would be too tired and sloppy as a result. I clutched the book Fianna had gifted me to my chest. It never left me.

I awoke to the sound of horses approaching. It was time, I had to be fast. I moved slowly, not dislodging one shining brown hair on her. I grabbed my packed bag, still clutching Fianna’s book.

I left the bloodied room, sweeping my long raven hair back into a cord as I did. The heavy wooden door was hard to open, I’d never had to open it before, Fianna had always gone through first to make sure it was safe for me.

Once outside I wound through the alleys straight to the main street, I had always wanted to see the Horsemen ride through here. And, if the stories were true, many different teams would be galloping through the alleys and looking for maidens. I knew this was a risk, I was the perfect age, but I had to see the ride. I would never forgive myself if I didn’t.

I saw the silhouette of the street team approaching over the hill. A black form quickly approaching, moving, evolving. Starting as a pulsing form, the Horsemen quickly turned into individual forms. These horses galloping faster than those we had in our town.

They finally reached me and I pulled back. Fear tore through me, leaving me bare to the bone as one pair of white eyes turned to my violet ones. His horse instantly halted, he didn’t even jolt forward or flinch. He gave a command and the horse turned and slowly walked towards me. He needn’t rush; he knew I was paralysed by fear.

He dismounted his beast and knelt down, still looking into my large eyes. He stayed there, just looking, searching. This was unlike the legends. He was meant to grab and run. This was what happened. That was the way.

So why had he stopped? Were we wrong? Was this unusual? I needed answers. My curiosity pulsed against my fear and I spoke.

“What are you doing?” I asked, my voice shaking.

“Your eyes…” He whispered slowly, still staring.

“Are you going to take me?”

“Yes, I must. Your mine.”

“What? I don’t belong to you, Rider!”

“All will be explained.” Then he grabbed me, nearly throwing me onto his horse. I landed on it with enough force that Fianna’s book dropped from my grasp.

“No!” I screamed as it dropped onto the stones below. “Please. Please, Rider, get my book up for me. Or let me down, I’ll come quietly. Please?” I begged him, pleading with him. But he ignored me, mounting his horse and kicking him on. Leaving Fianna’s book behind us.


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