1. First Breath
Dusk fell as a warm northerly breeze played through the blue gums, tossing the grey-green leaves this way and that until they chattered loudly at the disturbance. With a final swirl, it left the trees to skitter across the dried grass patching the paddock, teased the grazing horse’s forelock, trying to push up under its cotton rug to tie knots in its mane.
The horse tossed his head at the breeze, swished his plaited tail, then bent his head and resumed eating. The breeze puffed around the horses feet for a moment, then darted towards a mob of kangaroos eating along the fence line between the blue gums and the property. The kangaroos scattered, bounding in all directions, seeking the safety of the trees.
As the light fell, and the first star dimpled the sky, the breeze gave a last sigh, and died. In its wake, a small orb popped into existence. The trees ignored it, as did the grass. The horse twitched an ear towards it, then turned and walked towards the house as a girl with orange hair ran across the yard to the paddock.