REWRITE – The Horse from the Woods: Prologue Part 1/3

I have decided to rewrite my entire Horse From the Woods story from the prologue up! Well, I have rewritten this story many times from 1st grade, including in 4th, 5th, and 8th. I have once again rewritten it this year, as I am in 9th grade and you can see the immense improvements that I have made. I hope that it is better and that I have worked out all of the bugs. Please tell me what you think!

Running through the early morning moistness of the Mathurin Forest that enveloped her quaint home in obscuration, a young girl of ten brushed through the rough branches that tore at her soft-featured face. As she flailed her arms to shield herself from the treacherous twigs, her light, maple- colored hair snagged on the trees’ wooden appendages and her cheeks grew red with frustration. She frantically scanned the thick forest before her with her dark, emerald green eyes as she searched for the source of the strange sound that had impelled her to run through the wood. She quickly passed trees and bushes as the light dew that covered the grass below her feet, soaked into the leather of her boots.

As the young child darted through the green foliage that surrounded her, she felt the thrill of excitement pass through her spirit. She felt alive as she ran in search of the mystery that waited to be unveiled. There was a bright smile on her face as the branches began to release their firm grip from the girl and her hair flowed freely behind her. Her footsteps were light as they lifted her across the forest floor, yet her breaths were sharp and sudden. She felt a pang in her chest and slowed to a walk to allow her pounding heart rest from her sprint and her lungs to retrieve the oxygen they demanded.

The child suddenly jumped in surprise as a small whimper echoed throughout the woods. The cry seemed to come from an animal as it bleated in pain and anxiety. As the girl recognized the sound from earlier, she once again bounded after the taunting noise. Her mind was full of wondrous thoughts as she longed to be rid of her curiosity. What had made the peculiar sound?

The weeping of the creature continued, leading the girl through the brush that scratched at her until she broke through the trees into a small clearing. As she pushed the foliage from her face to unveil the glade, her face lit up with bright captivation upon the new discovery. The child’s dark eyes widened as her cheekbones began to fall to a frown upon her countenance. The cheery pink flushed from her face as wonder was replaced under the rays of the Septian sun, no longer hidden under the thick leaves of the trees. The girl stretched out her small hand to touch the marvelous creature that was lying before her in the long blades of the forest grass with a feeling of hope that the animal would not dart in fear.

As the creature rested in the silence of the Mathurin Forest, the child studied its small, yet delicate body. The fur was of the purest white with large dark brown splotches scattered about the coat as if they had been painted on by the faeries of the forest depths. The paint coat was exquisitely complimented with the dark, black flow of mane upon the side of the long neck and the tail that nervously flicked about, although not yet fully grown out. The four strong legs of the creature were curled beneath its body as it rested in the dew-covered grass and its ears were upright with alertness. The dark muzzle of the animal slightly moved as it snickered and flared its large nostrils. The child noticed the timidity presented through the clear, blue eyes of the creature, and was momentarily stunned with the beauty of them. The color of a fresh stream gave a sense of calmness as they sparkled beneath the luminescence of the sun.

It was a foal at which the girl stared upon. A foal rested upon the floor of the forest under the sun’s warm summer’s gleam. The child’s attention was soon averted to the disturbance within the center of the foal’s forehead. Disrupting the artistry of the white fur lay a large, deep gash that dripped with the thick crimson of blood. The liquid oozed from the massive wound and followed the ridge of the horse’s brows before running down the sides of its head. The skin that had once covered the area looked as if it had been harshly torn away, as morose and terror emitted from the passionate eyes of the foal. The hurt animal snickered nervously and held still despite the unbearable amount of pain that traveled throughout its body. The child was astonished and confused at how the horse came to be wounded and realized that it was fresh as the blood continued to seep.

She felt another presence as she stood before the mysterious creature. There seemed to be a weakness that lingered over the clearing within the trees and bore down upon her and the young horse. The foal seemed tired and weak as it rested in the dew of the grass and it gave the appearance of exhaustion and debilitation. Its head was held with little strength as the muscles were deprived from enervation. The girl sensed that the fatigue came from the animal itself, but was unsure of how. She too felt that a heavy layer of weariness had been laid upon her stealing the very soul within her.

As she was bewildered with the oppressing feeling, the curious child took a few cautious steps forward with her eyes intently focused upon the foal’s. She placed her feet lightly as she tried not to startle the shy animal. As she drew nearer, she could feel the tension grow between them with each turn of the foal’s only colored ear. The horse waited cautiously as the unusual intruder tested its boundaries. The girl’s hand drew nearer and nearer as a smile emerged from her face. She paced closer and closer until her hand finally came across the soft fur of the foal’s muzzle. Surprisingly, the animal did not move as the girl kneeled in the grass beside it and stroked its snout.

Still inquisitive of why the foal was injured, the child reached towards the animal’s forehead. The horse quickly jumped to its feet and escaped from the intruding fear into the darkness of the forest. The girl was thrown back onto the ground as the animal loudly squealed with fear and distress from its tormenting wound. The child lay on the ground for a bit until she came to a realization. Sitting up, she rubbed her aching forehead and began to dart after the creature into the foliage.

The young filly dodged bushes and large rocks as it escaped from its fearsome predator. As it galloped through the woods, the child followed behind. While the wound from the foal’s forehead continued to bleed, drops of crimson were thrown about the leaves and grass behind the animal as it ran. The girl followed the trail through the immensely large forest with undying intrusiveness.

Exasperated from pursuing a swift horse, the young girl came to a stop and rested against a moss-covered tree trunk. She caught her breath as she began to wonder about her mother. She figured that her mother would begin searching for her if she stayed out in the forest for too long, and decided to surrender in her chase although she had not yet quenched her curiosity.

Still recovering her strength, the child walked slowly through the Mathurin Forest, observing the stunning beauty as she traveled. She had not realized it before, but her father had picked an exquisite place to build their home. Not only did the wood from the trees offer her father wood for his carpentry, but also a stunning display of Mother Nature’s grace. The large branches that stretched over her blossomed into large arrays of leaves, some with nuts or fruit, and blocked much of the sun’s light from catching sight of the forest floor. She remembered back to autumn when she would dance amongst the falling leaves, painted with colors of fire and smiled with her recollection.

The girl also noticed the little things of the thicket that she had ignored in previous days. A humble bluebird perched upon a small twig above the child as she stared up at it with wonder reflecting from her large, green eyes. It gave a chirp before fluttering off into the darkness. As the young child opened her ears, she was amazed to hear what she had unconsidered before. The foal seemed to have awakened her spirit as she peacefully let the sounds of rustling leaves, soft breezes, and birds relax her and give her a sense of cleanness.

While blinded from the winsomeness of the forest around her, the girl unintentionally discovered a comfortable meadow, nestled in the safety of the trees. A bright grin lit up her face as her emerald eyes sparkled from the glowing glimmer of sunlight, peaking through the clearing and all her worries and troubles left her, leaving her soothed and effervescent. As she entered into the gorgeous variety of colorful flowers, she began to twirl and frolic about. She became elated as she spun through the plants and lightly glided to the center of the wild garden.

She was surprised to see the foal, lying in the soft fragrances, intently watching her as she danced about. Coming to a pause, the child stared directly into the crystal eyes of the animal, with the secret hope that it would not flee again. The young girl noticed that the bleeding from the foal’s immense wound had momentarily stopped, although the streaks of red still stained the white of the coat. Then, she realized that the overpowering feeling of weakness was no longer hovering overhead, and it seemed that the horse was also disimpassioned and placid.

The girl could feel a slight connection between the animal and herself as she began to trudge through the velvet flowers, slowly approaching it. The horse’s nostrils flared as its ears perked up in alertness. It studied the girl as she drew closer and kept a steady glance on her. The girl was a few feet from the horse when she noticed its ears relax along with the heavy breathing and uneasy temperament. She shortened the distance between the foal and her with a newly found confidence that came from the easiness of the creature. Once again, she kneeled beside the creature and began to pat the soft, dark stubble on its muzzle. The horse scrutinized her as the girl met with her glittery eyes. The young girl loved the blues of the foal’s eyes as they swirled like the waters in a soft, trickling stream running down the side of a majestic mountain. She continued to examine them in the radiant glade, as her spirit grew weary with tiredness.

Closing her eyes and freeing her mind to wander with the wondrous thoughts that danced about, she began to dream and imagine herself with the horse from the woods. She pranced amongst the trees as she kept her eyes focused to the foal running to her right. She could see the flash of white between the trees as they traveled through the dark forest together in bliss. The sweet, rich smell of ivy and summer trees filled her nose along with the alluring songs of the wind that graced against her face and flung her long, maple hair to trail behind her. The petite child smiled as the forest lifted her from the trap of gravity, allowing her to glide over the grass of the glade.

It was wondrous as she dreamed of the impossible, until she slowly opened her eyes, releasing her dream into the world. She awoke to find that she had thrown her arm over the neck of the beloved horse and had been resting her head against the animal’s side. The creature had not been alarmed, showing that it had grown to trust the young human as she lay against its body. The child could hear the soft, unconstrained thumps of the horse’s heart beneath her ear, which lay upon the creature’s side. The heartbeat was airy and tranquil, telling of the animal’s current feelings.

“Nadia!”

The young child jumped in surprise at the call of her name, scaring the pinto foal to gallop into the trees once more. The voice had sounded distant, yet Nadia recognized it to be that of her mother and felt torn when the longing to chase after the horse rose within her. She quickly decided to follow the creature and began to sprint after it, despite her mother’s call. As she ran past the long branches that sagged in her way, Nadia relied on her arms once more to protect her vulnerable face.

Suddenly, a dark shadow swept overhead the dense forest that covered Nadia with a boisterous boom of a roar. A powerful gust of wind followed the call as the trees around Nadia were blown back. Nadia held her ground as she fought against the sudden gust of wind with her long, light brown hair jerking wildly behind her. She glanced upwards to the skies to discover the cause for the unusual sound and wind, only to be met with the protective leaves of the bushy trees. A sense of dismay overcame her as she wondered of what creature had bellowed the frightful sound.

Although apprehension swelled within her, Nadia continued forth, her adventurous spirit persuading her to pursue her goal. She continued to follow the horse through the Mathurin Forest once more, with less courage than before. As she stumbled over fallen logs and large rocks, Nadia felt that she had lost the animal until she caught sight of it ahead. The horse walked slowly for its follower to return, and waited patiently for the girl. When she finally reached the foal, she came to a light walk beside it, reaching her arm over its strong shoulders. The creature glanced up at Nadia and gave its ears a flicker with a small grunt. With a slight laugh, Nadia brushed the animal’s dark mane with her small fingers before pressing its long head against her own, and letting her light brown hair fall across the foal’s brow. The young mare gave its head a slight shake to remove the girl’s hair from its face. Nadia felt a strong bond with the horse and she felt the need to help it as she once again wondered about the mysterious wound that lay on the foal’s forehead.

Nadia’s heart suddenly leapt as she heard her mother’s terrified screams in the distance behind her. Afterwards came the roars from the creature the she had previously heard. With courage once again filling her spirit, and the drive for adventure pushing her foreword, Nadia turned in the direction of the screams. “I have to go!” she cried out to her dear animal although she knew that it did not understand her language.

Once again Nadia was sent sprinting through the deep woods that stretched for miles on Septia’s great maps, however she was no longer chasing a mysterious, young filly. She now bounded for the safety of her mother and possibly her father. She no longer paused to observe the splendor of the forest as she ran with a clear mind. She was focused on her goal. After minutes of passing trees after trees, Nadia suddenly came to a realization. She was unsure of where in the Mathurin Forest she was and did not know the way back to her home. Exhausted with fatigue and stress, she came to a stop and placed her small hands on her knees. Bending her back over her widely spread legs, she let her long hair hang down as she took in deep breaths. Waiting for her heartbeat to drop, she frantically worried for her mother. Why had she screamed?

Suddenly, Nadia was lifted up from the ground as the young foal emerged from the trees and dove between her outspread legs, lifting the girl onto its back in a single sweeping motion. Nadia was shocked and taken by surprise when she found herself on the back of the mysteriously wounded foal and struggled to stay on, especially without riding gear. Once she was in a somewhat riding position, she nervously clutched the waving mane and set her sight ahead. Realizing that the foal was carrying her with great speed through the woods, despite the extra weight, it led Nadia to wonder more of the animal. Trees blurred past them as the horse ran as if its hooves were not even meeting with the grass and gravity was not a common enemy. Even though the horse was not fully grown, it was the fastest one that Nadia had ever seen and it gave her a smooth ride with less bumps and jolts than any other horse that she had ridden.

After overcoming the shocking abilities of the young mare, Nadia heard the continuous screams of her parents ahead. She listened helplessly as her stead continued to carry her towards her home. The ferocious roars continued along with the crackling sound of fire. As the two drew closer, and the woods began to thin, Nadia could feel the sharp burn beginning to envelope over her. The temperature drastically began to rise as the forest fire came in sight ahead. The screams of her parents died out from life, yet they would never cease in Nadia’s nightmares.

“Mother!” cried out Nadia as she gave her foal a kick with the heel of her foot. As her animal deliberately increased its incredible speed, tears began to expose from its rider’s eyes. Nadia cried out in agony and loneliness as she realized that she would never again see her parents. “We are almost there! We are almost there!” she cried out in despair, recognizing a few of her surroundings. The blaze that bit at her delicate skin made her turn in discomfort, yet the thought of her parents drove her on.

Finally, the young foal and the child burst through the last of the forest’s trees into the small clearing that Nadia called home. Leaping from her mount, Nadia instantly ran towards her burning house. The trees around had set aflame, raging on in a constant blaze, frightening the foal. Fire destroyed both her home and her heart as she watched it burn her life to the ashes below. She became infuriated and ran closer to her home to rescue her family, but was thrown back from the tremendous heat alone. Nadia screamed with irritation and suffering as flames licked at her cheeks. Not surrendering, she was given another boost of courage that sent her running towards the raging inferno once more.

As the house crumbled to the ground, spewing flames about, Nadia was thrown back into the ashes on the ground. The heat of the ashes instantly drove her to her feet, and burned through the soles of her boots. Her long hair matted to her face with sweat and tears, causing Nadia’s face to be unrecognizable. Soot and smoke blackened it along with her hands, and minor burns rested upon her cheeks and arms. Wiping her face with her blackened sleeve, she dropped to her knees in despair. She couldn’t do anything. It had already been done. Her parents were gone, and there was nothing that she could do. Smashing her hands into the burning ashes, she damaged the delicate tissues without concern.

Then, the roar that had previously bellowed across the skies, repeated itself with great volume. Nadia stood and glanced to the skies through her blurred vision. Tears continued to stream down her face, burning her singed cheeks as they passed over. The cause of the forest fire suddenly crashed onto the ground before the girl as a colossal golden-brown dragon arched back its head and bellowed into the skies.

| REWRITE: The Horse From the Woods: Prologue Part 2/3 ->