Spirits

(This story is from a photo prompt, included below)

SpiritsWind whispers through the soft feathers of my wings. I swoop down, landing before the wooden building half buried in pristine snow. The place looks strange in the pre-dawn light, as if it really is haunted.

I was sent to investigate this place, as rumors were spreading that it housed a malicious or ghostly presence. Standing in front of the old gray church, I can start to believe the rumors, though it is still hard to imagine anything mean enough to take down a dragon. I crunch closer, past ice glazed trees, feet sinking through ice to soft snow.

Movement flickers at the corner of my eye. I stop, staring through a broken window. Nothing. I move closer, through snow the color of my scales. Just as I reach the steps up to the door, a blur of movement explodes past me. I jump as an unearthly wail rends the air. I stagger as the thing charges in front of me.

Black is the first thing I notice, stark against white snow. Black hooves thrash the air, tangled black mane whips in a non-existent wind. Before I can react, the creature screams again.

“Antira!” he wails. My eyes widen. I haven’t spoken, let alone said my name.

“What?” I ask.

“Beware, Antirrhinum! Our kinds have not met in a thousand years, but the time is soon that they will meet again!”

I stare. “Your kind?”

“The Myrjieque Chevala, the Magic Horses,” he says.

I snort. “What dragon fears a horse?” The stallion stills, only his forelock billowing slightly.

“None, but the one who took my life. For I think she has learned the curse of the spirit form.” Quick as he’d come, the ghost horse whirls and disappears back inside the building. I stand and stare for a moment, realizing…

I leap into the air. I will tell the others of the horses approaching. But no more. I do not belong with them. My old enemy is right—even in life, I had not truly belonged in the land of the living, but in this surreal place of spirits.


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