The next day started off raining steadily. The two couples’ colts fussed, but Lakefrost and Flamesong calmed them down as best they could, covering them with their wings. The babies fell back asleep to pass the time.
Eventually, most of the clouds cleared away. Thunderblaze watched idly as the clouds drifted across the sky, letting rays of sunlight pierce them and shine down on Dawn Meadow. Then he remembered something.
“Let’s celebrate!” he neighed. “Sunshadow is a week old!” Without waiting for an answer, Thunderblaze charged into the sky and started spinning circles. Sunshadow was his first foal, and he was jubilant that he was born healthy, had stayed that way, and that his mate had survived the birth. Throwing off those thoughts, he dove through the few remaining clouds, scattering them. He glanced back at Lakefrost, who had left Sunshadow with Flamesong and was barreling towards him. He darted to one side and her playful strike missed. She righted herself, staying upright, and smiled at him. They flew side by side for a while, perfectly synchronized. When Thunderblaze veered right, Lakefrost followed him identically. When she plummeted, Thunderblaze did the same. Lakefrost turned the plummet into a somersault and Thunderblaze mirrored her. They kept having fun in the sky with twirls and loops and other stunts until they landed almost half an hour later, panting for breath. Redstorm looked at them in awe.
“That was superb!” he gushed. “You two could be a dance team!”
The couple were about to reply when the sky somehow dimmed. Lakefrost was startled because it wasn’t nearly dusk yet. Thunderblaze looked around and then up, thinking that there might have been a pegasus blocking the sun. There wasn't, nor would they be expecting one to be soon, because the messengers had already returned with the other black foals and their mothers. Flamesong squinted at the sky, noticing the lessening of light as well. Her squinted eyes settled on the Sun and what she saw startled her.
“What’s the problem?” Redstorm asked, picking up on their nervousness.
She answered shakily. “Do you know what the moon looked like when the twins were three days old?”
“Yes, it was a crescent,” her mate said.
“Well, that’s what the Sun looks like right now.”
“No way. Did you get enough sleep last night?”
She stamped her hoof. “No, I mean it! Look at it if you don’t believe me.”
Redstorm did as she said. “Well, I’ll be–… ” he stopped in surprise.
Lakefrost and Thunderblaze squinted and looked too. “What in the name of Spiderwing is that?” Thunderblaze said in disbelief.
Even though he hadn’t been specifically asking her, Lakefrost tried to answer.
“I’ve heard that Riverlight calls it an eclipse,” she said, nerves making her voice louder than she meant it to be. “They are apparently the Ancestor’s way of warning us or punishing us about something. The smaller the sliver of the Sun gets, the less chance there is that they will forgive us or that we will survive whatever is about to happen.”
Several pegasi who were grazing nearby looked up at that. A few of them squinted at the Sun, which had gotten even thinner as Lakefrost was talking, and stampeded. Their fear was infectious, and they scared more steeds into running with them.
Over by the watering hole where the black foals had been brought to, the black foals’ dams looked up at the rapidly enlarging group of stampeding pegasi.
“What’s happening?” asked Darkblaze’s mother, a small dapple gray mare named Rainstone.
“Look at the Sun!” whinnied Nightpearl’s mother, a dun named Lightsun.
Rainstone did so and suddenly wondered how she had missed the sight of it. She knew the same thing as Riverlight about eclipses. Unable to look away, she watched the thin crescent get narrower and narrower, then squeezed her eyes shut, not willing to see what happened next.