I, Emberjade, filly of Quakethorn, daughter of Opalpedal, and sister of Bravewind, will have the pleasure of telling you of this time. The time when I began to understand more as I approached my third birthday within two moons, and how a large change came into those short sixty days... so I implored myself to reveal this to you, of my deepest secrets that may even transform within those around me.
(My fellow members (Lol), if you have time, could you do me a favor? By just reading through this whole thing. Of course, not in a rush, gotta take your time! Thanks!)
Emberjade trotted beneath the oaks as she thought deeply of her third birthday hurtling at her within two moons of time. The young mare was growing up quickly and her parents were proud of it. ‘You are becoming quite a young mare,’ her dam commented, ‘Soon you would have a mate, and have responsibilities.’ Emberjade disliked the idea of having a mate; a pegasus to look up to; she wanted to be her own boss, having no one to tell her what to do. But, of course, she knew that in some way or another, she would have to continue her families’ line.
A sudden rush of wing beats erupted above from where Emberjade stood, “Hello Emberjade!” An all too familiar voice cried, Courseflame, “What are you doing?”
The young mare looked up, “Hey,” she said promptly, and ignored his question; she preferred to keep her thoughts to herself.
The young stallion landed before Emberjade, and cocked his head, “You seem rather gloomy, what’s up?” He asked, stepping closer.
But she backed away, “Nothing is up with me,” she said harshly, her eyes snapping onto his gaze coldly, “What’s up with you?”
Courseflame edged nearer, and his wing brushed hers, “I don’t have anything up with me,” he murmured, “But I do think you’re awfully pretty.”
At that statement Emberjade jerked up her head, forcing the obnoxious two year old to stumble back, “Well, I don’t care!” She yelled, her crystal eyes sharp and blazing with passion, “Leave me alone!”
To her astonishment, and relief, the young stallion galloped away on hoof. Breathing heavily, she turned back to her herd’s grazing grounds, too irritated and angry to fly. Relief washed over Emberjade from the knowledge of more pegasi around her to protect her from all the nagging stallions. She leapt into a canter as she spied her brother, Bravewind, and halted beside him.
“Hello, brother,” she greeted him.
The four year old turned his gaze to her, “Are you excited for your third birthday, Emberjade?” He asked his face cheerful.
“I’m not sure what to be,” she admitted, “I’m excited yet- yet unhappy about it.”
Bravewind studied Emberjade for a moment, “Is it you growing up, and having to have more responsibilities?” He questioned, concern etching his face.
Emberjade blew softly into his nostrils, “Mama wants me to find a mate,” she murmured, closing her eyes.
Bravewind pressed his forehead against hers, “I understand,” he whispered, “I felt the same way when I was in your situation. But I found a mare that loved me, and I did her.” Everything in the young mare melted, everyone was interested in her, but she wasn’t in them. Every time Courseflame or some other stallion told her their feelings for her, she’d always get irritated. “Well,” Emberjade sighed, “I’m going to go graze,” with that she turned and trotted away, wings splayed out by her sides. The two year old mare at last found a generally quiet spot and collapsed into the cool grass, nibbling at the blades randomly, for she wasn’t hungry. Everything muscle in Emberjade relaxed and she flopped over on her side, but she didn’t let her guard down, for it was always foolish to do so. Her ears swiveled alertly and all senses working. The young mare sighed deeply, enjoying every moment of the cool evening.
Sudden sounds of something approaching yanked her out of her day-dreaming. The sun was just setting over the horizon, casting long black shadows, and making everything appear golden in the sun’s rays. Emberjade’s ears swiveled about her, ready for what might come. But nothing came. The young mare slowly rolled onto her hooves, flaring her wings cautiously. Her heart was thrumming uncontrollably and she itched to leap into the sky; but she held herself firmly to the ground, imploring herself not to be a coward and to face whatever might be stalking her.
Suddenly a tall gray appaloosa leapt out into the clearing, his hooves splayed outward before him and his neck lowered, teeth bared. To Emberjade’s utter astonishment; it was a Tundra Herd steed, his own lived way out, north of Beach Herd’s territory. Promptly after she realized this, the appaloosa pricked his ears, surprised by her presence so far away from her herd.
“Excuse me for intruding,” the young stallion apologized, lifting his head slightly, “But what are you doing so far away from your herd? The sun is nearly set.”
Emberjade snorted, unfazed by this steed’s sudden courtesy, “That’s none of your concern,” she replied firmly, “But what are you doing here in Beach Herd’s territory?”
He shook his mane, and lowered his wings to appear unintimidating, “I got separated from my herd in a stampede while migrating to warmer lands,” he answered, honesty filling his expression, “And I needed help, so the nearest possible assistance was here, your herd. I thought you might have been… well, certainly not what I expected of course,” he admitted.
Emberjade eyed him cautiously, “What’s your name?”
“Bramblemist,” he answered, nodding slightly, “Yours?”
The young mare hesitated, she didn’t dare reveal hers, let alone trust this steed. She will have to test him, until he fully earned her faith, “That will have to wait.”
Bramblemist nodded understandingly, “I know; it’s for your good.”
. . . .
“What is this foreign steed doing here in our lands?” Oceanwing blared, pawing the ground savagely, “He is not welcome!”
Emberjade dipped her head in respect, “He needs our help; Bramblemist is his name. He told me that he had been on a migration to the south of his territory, but a stampede had interfered, and as a result, he was separated from his herd,” she explained hastily, eager to get away for the over-stallion to deal with Bramblemist.
Oceanwing snorted, giving no evidence of dismissing her, “We will discuss this in the council,” he announced, raising his wings in preparation for flight, “But for now, I will have him under guard.” The warriors obeyed, stepping to Bramblemist’s side, and gave him cold glances.
“Sir,” Emberjade interjected, “What should I do?”
The over-stallion turned his attention to her, hovering midair, and looked thoughtful, “You will join the council meeting for the discussion of this incident,” he said finally, “And you will be a witness, for you were the first one to- meet this steed from Tundra Herd.” At that he nodded, dismissing the subject, and turned to fly away, followed by two of his warriors.
Emberjade rattled her dark gold feathers irritably; she wanted nothing to do with this. The young mare paced, wearing down her annoyance with Oceanwing’s decision. Why did she have to be apart of discussing Bramblemist’s situation? She lashed her tail, and glared coldly at the back of the retreating over-stallion. Why? Was all she could think of, and the more she pondered, the more she was enraged. Emberjade tensed as she felt a pair of eyes on her, she turned to meet the gaze. Bramblemist quickly looked away, purposefully pricking his ears in a different direction. A suspicion instantly arose in her heart, something oddly familiar, much so that she almost immediately knew what it was… he liked her.