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Title: The Rides
Fandom: Original
Character: Original
Length: 455
Rating: None
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: None

"Beware that carousal, my son," said his mother. She dressed, as she always did, in a long gown of drab color (green this time) and wore her silvery white hair up in a crown. Her face looked ageless, but from her hair, she was always been thought his grandmother.
"Not again!" he said. "That's what you said about the one at the fair. And in the park. And when we had that carnival at school. And I rode them all and nothing happened!"
"This one is different," she said.
He looked. It was. More brightly colored, more elaborately bedecked with flowers and birds in the brightest of shades -- but beneath the carvings all the horses were depicted as white, with a golden mane and tail and all of them were horses, not deer or tigers or anything --
"That's what you said about the one at the fair. And in the park. And when we had that carnival at school."
She rolled her eyes and muttered about how the longer she held it off, the better. But he ran off and got his ticket, and watched the carousal go through its cycles, eying every horse. When it finished, he was the first in the line, and could choose his horse bedecked with scarlet and snow-white roses.
"A horse for a knight," he told it and imagined it tossed its head in assent.
Then the music box began to churn out the tinny music, and the horses began to move. To lope. To gallop. And to bound from the carousal out over the fields.
He had read enough from his books of chivalry to know to hold on with his knees. He leaned forward over its neck, let the wind blow in his hair. Was this what his mother feared? The horse leapt hedges of bright pink roses and babbling brooks, and charged through wild-flower-filled fields and down paths in forests of maple or pine.
Long after, as the sky turned pink and peach and gold, all against the blue, like an opal, the horse began to slow. A lake lay ahead, casting back the colors, and a pier spread out into it. The wood was rickety, but the sunset touched it with color. Three boats were tied to it, colored in blue and gold. His breath came out. And then the horse came to halt on the pier. For a moment, he could not move. Then the horse stamped its hoof.
He dismounted. The boats bobbed on the mild waves. He drew a deep breath, untied the nearest, one blue with gold trim, and stepped it.
He felt no surprise when it gracefully pulled from the dock, and put its bow to the lake.

October 2017

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