The Mare

She's there. I see her.

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 I close my eyes as another punch is delivered to my face. It doesn't really hurt anymore. They hit me because of what I like but I like it that way. I prefer them hating me for who I am than loving me for who I'm not.

 "You fucking faggot." He punches me again and steps back, cradling his wrist. I'm assuming he hurt it. I'm still standing. I begin to walk away. "Yeah, you gay prick. Go back to your horses." I'm not gay. I don't have anything against gays but I'm not one.

 I walk to the stables. I can't afford to ride so I just watch. Sometimes I do get a ride. The owner, Amelia, lets me if there's a horse that needs exercise. My feet crunch over the snow as I walk towards the stables.

 "Aidan!" she calls from a loose box.

 "Hi, Amelia," I say.

 "What happened?" she asks, examining my face. She gently touches a place just under my right eye which is brown. My left eyes is blue. She's not much older than me. She's only twenty. So, that's three years.

 "Nothing," I say dismissively.

 "It looks like something. You can talk to me f you want." She takes my hand in hers and gives me a little smile.

 "It's okay," I smile back. "Do any of the horses need to be exercised?"

 "Yeah. Dream Catcher needs to be ridden. Will you take her out on the trails?"

 "Of course," I beam, Dream's my favourite horse by far. She's a sweet sixteen hands dun mare.

 ^^^^^Dream Catcher^^^^^

 I fix the blanket on her rump and swing myself into the saddle. "Good girl," I coo, patting her neck. I give her a squeeze and she trots into the forest. The only thing I don't like about riding in Winter is that I'm stuck to a trot on the hard ground.

 I put the headphones in my ears and Eminem blasts through. I hum along and look at my surroundings. The snow is like a cold blanket covering the ground and the trees are like an old person's hands, trying to gab at me. Even through the headphones I hear it. I wheel Dream around in the direction I heard it from. Her ears are perked forward and her breath is like little clouds floating away like dreams, just out of reach and impossible to grasp.

 My breath is coming in gasps from my trembling body. I'm looking around desperately. I brush my brown hair from my eyes and keep looking. I can't see anything but the bare trees. Disappointed, I turn Dream around and continue the ride. It's not long before I hear it again. This time I'm fast enough to see the end of a white tail.

 Of course, every horse person knows there's no such thing as a white horse. Also, this horse has dapples but the tail at the end is pure white.

 I turn Dream around and ride towards home. The horse is trotting in front of us. I keep Dream trotting until we come to the yard. Her shoes chime on the concrete as I walk her to her stall.

 Every time I ride I see her. The mare.

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