Chbapter 22

Horses

Only Samard’s horse remained calm, doubtless because he didn’t wish to eat it. The other horses backed away, side stepped from him, lowered their ears, and bared their teeth.

He didn’t want to frighten them. But their muscles rippled under their shiny hides. Their stomachs bulged. They smelled of fresh meat. Samard’s mouth watered. He couldn’t help it. He tried to enjoy the ride and majesty of the mountains. Then a horse would neigh or shack its head and draw his attention back to his hunger.

Where had such thoughts come from? These were not his. He had never tasted horseflesh. He’d never even desired to eat horse. So why such desires?

“What’s the matter with these animals?” Eperson asked, in exasperation. He was having difficulty staying in the saddle. His horse turned in one direction as he pulled on the reins in the other direction. His horse bucked, stomped, hopped, stomped, kicked, and bucked, seemingly all at the same time. The horse wanted to bolt, while Eperson was doing all he could to keep him from doing so.

None of Samard’s friends or guards could control their horses.

Samard knew why. The horses could smell his thoughts.

He envisioned sinking his fingers into the their flesh and ripping it from their bones and eat it bloody, hot and raw. He imagined the thrill of the chasing them down. He could see the whites of their eyes as they rolled in terror. He heard the shrieks of agony as he ripped them apart. He shook his head, but the images would not go away.

Horses were magnificent creatures, noble and gentle. They did not deserve to be so cruelly frightened. But no matter how hard he tried … the images persisted.

He could see his blood stained hands; taste the sweetness of their meat.

If he could not make the images go away, maybe he should leave.

As soon as Samard turned his horse around and set his thoughts on heading back to the stables, the other horses settled. A quick glance over his shoulder told him no one was following, not even his guards, who never left his side. They all stared at him as if they didn’t know him.

He didn’t blame them. Their horses had warned them there was something wrong with their king. Now the men were afraid of him. Samard understood their fear, he just couldn’t explain to them what the matter was; he didn’t know himself.

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Published in: on August 7, 2011 at 9:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

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