Thursday, July 12, 2012

Emma pt. 3

Want to start at the beginning? - Emma, Part 1


It was hard to gauge how fast they were going.  With the moon and stars still hidden behind clouds, Emma, even with her dwin eyes, could barely make out the rocky field around them or the dense forests beyond.  The features of the landscape faded into black a short distance from them, making it seem as though they were completely alone in some dark world.

Lison guided them slowly through the field.  Emma could feel each step the horse took, the muscles of its back rolling and working, the stomp of each hoof on the ground vibrating up through her. 

She also felt Lison sitting behind her.  He had one arm out to either side of her, holding the reigns.

Emma’s face suddenly flushed at the thought of where she was, riding horseback with some human she’d met only moments ago.  Her mind flashed back to her mountain home, to her mother and father who would be in their chambers, possibly asleep, possibly awake, debating if they should confront her brother Nelum about the company he’d had over. 

She pictured the house, each wall curved and constricting, trapping her in every direction she tried to go.  The walls had been painted in some rooms, sprawling scenes of the countryside and mountain ranges of their land.  They had always seemed to mock her as a child, to serve only as a reminder of the things she could never have.

She shuddered at the thought of it.

“Cold?” Lison asked.

“No, she blushed again, her mind returning to the tall stranger behind her, “Just thinking.”

“Not regretting getting on Juniper here, are you?”

“Never.” She smiled, then gestured to the right, “The road is just over there.” 

“Where?” She could feel him move, leaning to the side and tilting his head forward.

She pointed “Just to the right.”

Lison steered the horse, hesitantly at first, then faster once he too saw the road.

“You dwin and your eyes,” he shook his head in disbelief, “I’m not sure how you do it.”

“They say dwarves could see in pitch dark.” She regretted it as soon as she’d said it.  She was too eager for something to say to him, and now was acting like the dwin she hated, who had nothing better to do than sing the praises of dwarves all day.

The sound of the hoof beats changed, the crushed gravel road did not absorb the noise as the grassy field had.  Instead each hoof clomped against the ground loudly, at an increasing pace.

“I’m going to hold onto you so you don’t fall off, alright.”


He wrapped one arm around her waist and kicked the horse in the side, clicking with this tongue and cheek. 

Instead of enjoying the wind in her hair, or the world rushing by, all she felt was jarred and uncomfortable.  Each step the horse landed jolted through her.  If not for Lison’s arm she would be shaken loose onto the ground in moments. 

She heard his voice in her ear, “Loosen up, lean forward and grab onto her mane if your need to steady yourself.”

Emma did this, leaning closer to the horse’s neck, and felt Lison lean down with her.  She wrapped the long hair around her hand and loosening her legs.  It was more comfortable.  She was able to look around and see that they weren’t going that much faster than they had before, the stone markers on the sides of the road giving a clear indication of their speed.

They went on like that for a moment, until Emma was again comfortable holding herself on the horse. 

“Ready?” He asked.

“Yes.” She called back.

He squeezed his legs, kicking the horse, and they bolted forward. As they sped the hoof beats grew louder and the horse bucked up and down rhythmically with each step. 

The deep vibrations of each step beat against the ground and ran through Emma.  Her legs tingled and her insides felt light, like she was full of nothing but air.  She leaned forward further, keeping her legs loose to avoid being bounced up and down with the horse’s movements.  Lison moved with her, keeping his arm tight around her waist. Her hands curled around the horse’s mane, gripping it tightly, but not yanking at it. 

Wind whipped at them, and the air filled with the steady sound of the horse breathing.  The markers on either side of the road passed in a blur. 

Emma’s face split into a wide grin and she wanted to spread her arms to the side and feel the wind hit her, but she kept compact against the horse’s body, enjoying each moment. 

She pictured the trees rushing by, the rocks, and looming dwarf statues.  She imaged she was leaving them all behind, that they would ride through the night and when the sun came up it would illuminate a new world, spread out before her.

Far too soon, Lison pulled back on the reigns and they slowed back to a trot. 

“What’d you think?” He asked, squeezing her lightly around the middle. 

“Can we go a little longer?” Her words were broken some by the jubilant laugh that welled up uncontrolled from her chest.

Lison laughed, “I don’t want to go too much further in the dark,” she felt him twist in the saddle, looking behind them, “but we can gallop back to camp.” 

“Alright,” she said, regret clear in her voice.

He pulled the reigns to the side, turning the horse around to point back down the road. Emma wrapped her arms around the horse’s neck, feeling it inhale and exhale.  She ran her hands up and down the soft hide then rested her cheek briefly against its warm neck.

“You’ll kept an eye out and let me know if we pass the camp, won’t you?”

Emma leaned back into him, tangling her fingers in the mane again, “Maybe, if I’m not too distracted.”


Continue to Part 4


  1. Another fun chapter, hinting at maybe a relationship? I am not really certain where this story is going at this point, but this whole part felt like a whimsical distraction. Not in a bad way, but unless you are forming a relationship, I'm not certain how much this chapter advances (whatever) storyline you are working towards. Don't get me wrong, it is a fun and well written chapter, and it could all come out in the wash, I my just need to read more...

  2. I'm (hopefully) building to what will be a very complex relationship between these two character that will go through many stages. This is also meant to be the moment of exhilaration that will propel Emma into the choice she will be presented with in the next installment.

  3. I like the exhilarating way you describe the ride! This would make a fine description for anyone who hasn't ridden a horse but wants to know what it's like. I don't know if you ride, but the attention here to detail is excellent. The fact that it takes place at night, my personal favorite time of all, made it all the better.

    I get the feeling Emma and Lison are going to be kind of a thing. Is this the case? I hope so! it seems Emma feels free out there, contrasted with her home which seems as if it must have stifled her. The way you described the paintings on the walls as mocking her, versus her current, very un-dwin-like horsemanship, really works. You got a magic pen, girl.

  4. I suddenly have the urge to ride a horse for the first time. The detail in the feelings is just right. No too much and not too little. And I do so love the budding relationship.