Though this story has appeared here before, I have decided to post an updated and unabridged version. On this blog I can expand my stories out to fill in my growing 'Divide' universe in a way that is not appropriate for a short story anthology.
Mountains rose out of stony planes, a long spine of earth and trees that stretched across the horizon. Waning sunlight cast the mountainside in a pale orange glow. Flat pine needles reflected the light, washing the forest in false autumn colors.
Cutting a path through the trees, overgrown with moss and creeping vines, was a steep dirt road. The stones that once lined either side of the trail had slipped away, succumbing to the incline. In their place ground cover slowly reclaimed the road. The rhythmic sound of hoofbeats against the ground was muffled by the dense trees all around.