Story by SunBlind © December 2000
Kier'dey'lors are the creation of DS
He limped painfully towards the stream. Slowly he lowered his head to drink eyes watchful, ears wary. His head jerked back a moment later when he thought he heard something, but it was just the wind rustling the bushes. He drinks again from the stream until he is satisfied. Scanning the area he chooses a path and vanishes into the woods.
"Did you see him! I wonder what happened to him, he looked awful," the cheerful mare said to her friend.
"Taar'sho'meir, don't say things like that, and not so loud, what if he heard you?" the more conservative mare replied.
"Come on Peir, he probably couldn't hear anything from those ears of his anyway. Besides, what could he do to us, he'd fall apart if he tried anything."
Peir'nim'tech said nothing but stared in silence in the direction where the stallion had went. Finally she got up and led her friend back to the Trust.
That night the snow fell, covering the land in its cold whiteness. The members of the Trust were warm in their sheltered glade, huddled together for warmth against the icy wind. But one of them remained awake. Peir could not stop thinking of the stallion she had seen that morning, the one who must now be freezing somewhere, out there, alone.
Careful not to wake anyone, she slipped past the sleeping Trust and silently trotted back to the stream.
The moon threw eerie shadow upon the frozen land. What had once been a safe trail to the stream was now full of menacing movements and sounds. Peir sighed in relief as she came out into the clearing where the stallion had stopped to drink. The snow had covered all evidence of his passage through this area. Though she wandered a bit in the direction he had taken, Pier knew she wouldn't be able to find him without some kind of miracle. And then she remembered the caverns she used to play in as a foal. They would be warm and dry. A perfect place for a lost stallion to seek shelter.
Peir cantered quickly up the hill to where the cavern lay hidden. She stood outside a moment, to catch her breath and to listen. But she could hear not a sound from inside the dark abyss. Not having ever come here at night, and running the risk of meeting up with a hostile stallion, she was terrified as she stepped into the waiting darkness.
She stared, trying to get her eyes used to the dark, but it was nearly impossible as so little light filtered in from the nighttime world outside. The she heard it, the sound of metal on stone. Just for a moment, but it was there……*he* was there.
"H…h…hello?" Peir stuttered and she peered about hoping to see him. At first there was no response. She took a tentative step forward. The stallion spoke, "Go away."
His voice was deep and strong, but she could also hear how weary he was. She was tempted to do as he said, just because that was what he wanted. But she stood her ground instead and asked his name.
"Go away!" he replied more insistently, but Peir refused to give in to that voice. "I am Peir'nim'tech and this is my cave you are in. You can't ask me to leave."
The stallion considered this a moment, then said, "Alright." He stepped forward from the shadowed depths of the cave. It took all of Peir's will not to gasp as he moved into the light from the cavern's mouth. She couldn't even begin to imagine what had happened to him. But then she realized he wasn't stopping, he was leaving since she would not. Quickly she blocked the exit and said, "I won't let you. Not till you tell me who you are."
He glared at her and pinned his ears back. He didn't speak loudly, but his voice was full of hate and venom when he said, "I do not know who I am. Now let……me…..leave…….." He drew that last three words out in such a way that Peir shivered.
"I'm sorry," Pier replied. "I….I didn't know. Ever since I saw you at the stream this morning," the stallion drew back in surprise, "I wanted to know you. I'll go. You can stay here as long as you like. I'll make sure no one else comes."
Pier turned to leave. "You were watching me?" the stallion whispered. Pier nodded, embarrassed, "I couldn't help but wonder what had happened to you, and if I could help you find what you were looking for."
The stallion looked at her quizzically, "I am not looking for anything." After a pause he asked, "My appearances do not frighten you?"
Pier shook her head and smiled. "On the contrary, I think you're interesting."
The stallion obviously did not know how to react to that, so he merely mumbled, " Hest't`cal'iss. That's my name."
Pier pushed him back into the cave where the wind did not reach for he had begun to shiver. His injuries were obviously drawing on the last of his strength. They both lay down to conserve their warmth. "Tell me what happened."
The stallion shook his head. "I wish I could. All I remember is pain, something with large claws and teeth was tearing at me, ripping me apart, bit by bit. Then it went away, I don't know why. But I was left there alone, bleeding, dying. Next thing I remember I'm in a human's dwelling. He had healed my wounds. Repaired and replaced what could not heal. But I was young, just a foal at the time, and was very frightened. So I left. I ran. Perhaps I should have stayed.
"Over the years I wondered where I could go, where I could stay. I found that I did not like being around humans, they'd shriek and cry out when they set their eyes on me. So to this day I carefully avoid their towns and farms. Even amongst the Kier'dey'lors I found no comfort. Somehow I knew I had once been one of them, but now I knew I never would be again. They would stare and mock and laugh till I would be forced to move on again. Even when offered kindness, it was tainted with pity," here his words were spat out bitterly, "And so I kept moving, avoiding all creatures. But now it is cold, and I needed shelter. I had to stop."
He looked at her thoughtfully. "There is no pity in your voice. Do I not disgust you?"
Pier shook her head. "Come back with me, I'm sure my Trust will welcome you and….."
The stallion stood, "No! I will admit to having been lonely at times, but I do prefer my solitude to the insanity one finds when trying to live with a group of noisy creatures intent on playing games all day long. I seek companionship, not a Trust." He went to stand near the exit.
Pier stared out into the storm. "My parents will miss me," she thought. "And who knows what kind of trouble Taar will get into if I don't watch over her." Then the mare looked up at the stallion silhouetted against the cavern's mouth. "But I can not leave him."
She got up and stood next to him for a while, watching the storm settle into the gentle falling of fragile snowflakes. He looked at her a moment, and when she leaned against him he did not pull away.
The next morning, all that remained of the two Keir'dey'lor was a double trail of hoofprints, side by side, in the newly fallen snow.