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We were, finally, on the trail again. At the first river crossing, I noticed that the current was unusually calm. Even the water level was lower than usual. I climbed down a very steep bank and was focused on my footing. It had escaped my attention that there was not an exit on the opposite side. Instead, there was a steep cliff. I was extremely nervous walking in the middle of the river. I felt trapped! I scanned the landscape for a way out, and that is when I first saw them. High on the top of the cliff, and silhouetted by the bright afternoon sun, stood a big familiar horse. Though only a dark shadow, I knew him from somewhere, just as I instinctively knew the shadowy figure upon his back. My heart was racing, I blinked to clear my vision thinking that I was seeing strange things from looking into the sun, and sure enough upon opening my eyes again the shadow horse and his rider were gone!

I turned to ask one of the other horses if they had seen them too, but they were all far ahead of me. I tried to refocus and concentrate on the rock strewn river bottom as I picked my way along behind the others. I was so relieved when we came to a crossing on the opposite bank.
I climbed out of that spooky place and commented to Spy, “I’m glad that we’re out of there. I’m not looking forward to the return trip. Did you see the dark horse and rider on the top of the cliff?”

“No. I didn’t notice anything, but I was watching every step on the shifting shale beneath my hooves.”

“What about you, Midnight? You see another horse and rider above us?”

Midnight snorted “No.” He didn’t notice anyone on the top of the cliff, and neither did any of the mares. Why had only I see them?

Fiction & Literature
October 11
Jackie Anton

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