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from Aradia's Diaspora by Susan Woerner

Copyright © 2018–2020 Susan Woerner

Scene 9

Falling on my butt as I slid to the ground off of Arion’s back, I was thankful to have such a well-padded derriere. Isobeau had sheathed her dagger and picked up a nearby bucket as if it were just another day. She headed for the stream to the side of the clearing where Arion was drinking great gulps of water. Patting the horse’s neck, my hand came away wet and muddy.

“What were those things? Will they come back?” I asked her.

“I have heard of them but I have not encountered such until this morning. I was not sure the incant would hold but it looks like they have left us alone. For now.”

She brought the pail up and slowly poured it over Arion’s back. She took another pail of water and poured once again. She motioned for me to rub Arion’s flanks while she poured water over her backside, neck, and head. Arion continued to drink water. As I worked my way around her, the cold stream tingled my feet and ankles, making me realize how thirsty I was. I bent to the stream, cupped my hands and took a drink, enjoying the sensation of cold water in my mouth, down my throat and into my stomach. Ahhh. I closed my eyes for a moment, enjoying the sensation of it.

When I opened them again, everything looked… everything looked... amazing. Where the sun reflected off the water, it popped up into the air, like little mayflies I’ve seen on rivers in the heat of summer back home. But these were bright lights dancing everywhere. When I reached out my hand to touch one, it moved back and then zipped toward my eyes. It was so bright, I couldn’t make out any features, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t a mayfly.

Wow. That is something. Wow. I ...

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