Chapter 10: Lost Hope
Stormsong pricked her ears and stood, her eyes wide and her heart pounding.
“What was that?” Skyfall whispered, for there was another loud snap.
No one knew. Rain was eyeing the barn door, Zahara was standing on her hind hooves, trying to get a better view of the barn, and all the other Kihlari were neighing and squealing, or kicking the walls of their stalls.
Then, there was a loud bray.
“It’s Jagger,” Rain said, lifting her head high.
Then the barn door burst open and a large palomino stallion charged inside. On his back was Landwalker, who was pulling a rope.
There was loud squeal, and a small chestnut filly appeared, her eyed wide. She bucked and reared, her emerald feathers shimmering. It was Emeraldsun.
Other Landwalkers and Kihlari ran into the barn, shouting and neighing.
The last Kihlari galloped inside, ridden by a Landwalker. The Landwalker was pulling on a rope, and a dark bay appaloosa limped inside.
Stormsong and Skyfall exchanged a worried glanced. The stallion was Thundersnow.
“Help!” Emeraldsun screamed. She reared and stomped her hooves.
Thundersnow moaned and collapsed on the hard floor.
Squeals and screams followed, and three Landwalkers rushed towards him, and dragged him into a stall.
Thundersnow!” Emeraldsun screamed. She reared, and blasted a mournful cry into the ceiling. The Landwalkers quickly grabbed the other ropes tied to her legs and wings, and pulled her into a stall in-between Thundersnow and Skyfall.
“Emeraldsun! What are you doing here?” Skyfall whinnied.
“Me and Thundersnow were trying to save you two! And now this happened! It’s all your fault!” Emeraldsun glared at Stormsong, and turned away. She poked her head into Thundersnow’s stall.
The palomino stallion brayed again, and trotted up to Rain.
“Jagger!” Rain whinnied, “What happened?” she asked, as his Rider put him in a stall next to Rain.
Jagger pranced and tossed his mane, “We saw the two wildlings in the woods, likely spying on us. So, Ivor and I captured the filly, who had tried to run away. The dark bay appaloosa charged at me and attacked, but I kicked his leg, and he dropped on the ground. The filly had screamed and tried to fly away, but couldn’t. We dragged the two wildlings here and you know the rest.” Jagger barred his teeth but softened as his Rider brought him a bucket of water and patted him on the back.
“You did good today, Jagger,” his Rider said, flicking back his long blond hair.
“Thanks, Ivor,” Jagger nickered, knowing his Rider couldn’t understand him.
Ivor curled his lip and jogged up to Ari, who had just walked into the barn.
Rain huffed, “Why did you hurt the stallion?”
“Why not? He attacked me.” Jagger snorted and arched his neck.
Rain rolled her eyes and looked at Stormsong. “Do you know the two wildlings?” she whispered softly.
Stormsong nodded, her lower lip quivering. “They are...well...they were...my friends.”
Rain softened and nuzzled her, “I’m sorry,” she nickered, “But there’s nothing I can do.”
Stormsong nodded again, “I know.” She turned away from Rain, her wings trembling.
Skyfall poked her head into Stormsong’s stall. “Emeraldsun won’t talk to me,” she nickered sadly. “And Thundersnow is badly hurt.”
Stormsong sighed and her knees buckled. She lay down in her stall, “I don’t know what to,” she told Skyfall.
Skyfall nodded, “Things will get better. I think. Hopefully.” She curled her lip and stepped back. She leaned against the side of her stall the separated her from Emeraldsun.