Brackentail sniffed the air, filtering it through his nostrils. The young stallion had been pondering about a question for a long time- What will Anok be like after he and his friends fly on to golden meadow? Will their descendants pass on the legends to their young, and their foals’ foals? He had so many worries and questions that did not have any solution or answers to them. Suddenly A bright gold palomino swooped down and crested the hill of which Brackentail stood, landing gracefully beside him.
“Hello Brackentail,” Opalsky nickered, “What are you doing?” Her golden eyes glimmering with curiosity.
The young stallion tensed, unsure of how to answer. He barely knew this mare; she was the one who went up to him two days after the battle, asking him his name and pestering him with questions of his adventures with Star and Morningleaf; and telling him her name and almost everything about her. Brackentail took a breath, “I was just thinking,” he said finally, looking off toward the Dark Water, where his friends, Hazelwind and Echofrost, had taken over a hundred pegasi to spread throughout the world.
Opalsky followed his gaze, and locked hers on the same point, “I understand how you feel,” she said quietly, her golden eyes shining with tears, “My brother was merely a yearling when he joined them in crossing the Dark Water.”
A sudden feeling came over Brackentail, he wanted to comfort the young mare, but yet didn’t know how. He fluffed his feathers as a breeze blew from the eastern coast, “Then we’re in the same situation,” he said promptly and lowered his head, forcing his eyes away from the sea, “I don’t think we’ll ever see our friends again, Opalsky.”
Opalsky snapped her head toward him, surprise flooding into her warm eyes, “This is the first time you ever called me by my name,” she exclaimed, prancing lightly on her hooves. Brackentail couldn’t help but give a slight smile; this mare seemed to enjoy him, in some way that he didn’t know why.
A dark pegasus swooped down from the sky and landed beside a chestnut with aqua blue feathers, Star and Morningleaf. A sudden annoyance grew in his heart and he couldn’t stop from thinking jealous thoughts. The young stallion lifted off the ground and hovered, still keeping his attention on the two, “I’m going now,” he said, not even giving Opalsky a glance.
He could feel the disappointment wash over her, “Oh, okay. See you later then?”
Brackentail merely nodded and crested the hill, toward Star and Morningleaf. He thrust his wings forward and halted, hovering midair, “Hi Morningleaf!” He greeted the two year old filly, and gave Star a nod.
“Hi Brackentail,” the blue winged filly said, and nuzzled him, “What were you doing up on that hill again?”
The deep bay looked sheepishly into her amber eyes, “I- I was up there again- because I just hoped that maybe… maybe to see them returning.”
The three knew well of whom he was speaking of, and they all sagged with sorrow over Echofrost and Hazelwind’s absence. Star tossed his long wavy mane to the other side of his neck, “They aren’t going to come back,” he said sternly, “We must face the truth and accept it as it is.”
Brackentail and Morningleaf nodded sadly in agreement. It was Morningleaf who changed the subject, “Who was that palomino mare you were talking to?” She interrogated the orange winged colt.
“Oh, uh… she’s Opalsky,” he replied quickly, embarrassed, “I don’t really know her that well.”
“Then why was she talking to you? Out of all the pegasi she knew?”
“I don’t know.”
Star studied Brackentail, “Is there something going on between you two?” He asked, standing straighter.
The big colt slightly laid back his ears, “No! Of course not; I told you already, I barely know her!” He snapped, and stepped back in surprise of how angry he felt.
Hurt flashed over his black friend’s face, “I just thought-”
Brackentail held up his wing, “No, I’m sorry; I don’t know what’s up with me. I guess it’s just that I miss Hazelwind, Echofrost… and Bumblewind,” he said quietly.
A hush fell over the group, as they honored their deceased friend silently. Star sighed, “I know, his death often gets to me at night.”
Morningleaf hiccupped, “Me too,” she sobbed, and buried her face in the black foal’s withers, crying quietly. Star and Brackentail waited patiently until she calmed down and ceased her tears.
The blue winged filly wiped her eyes with her wings, “We have something to tell you, Brackentail,” she announced solemnly, changing the subject. And exchanged glances with Star, “Star and I’ve been discussing this for quite a while now…” she paused, and smiled at the black foal, “So we wanted to inform you first since you’re our friend-” she stopped and took a deep, steadying breath, “We’ve decided to become mates.”