There is now artwork (under the cut) and a theme song! Borrowed, but nonetheless. :D
Title: The Edge of Neight, aka Stallion Crest 2/8
Rating: PG/All Audiences/No goats, they're assholes.
Summary: Things are peaceful at the ranch until a good-for-nothing show pony joins the herd and destroys the plans already laid in place. Or is he there to free an untamed heart? *whinny*
Feedback: Yes, please! It's like a nosebag full of delicious oats, or a Not-A-Carrot.
Warnings: DID I MENTION THIS WAS A (clean) SOAP OPERA ABOUT HORSES? There will be: comas! Deserted Islands! Evil twins! Cold, cruel stares as the camera fades to black! Intense looks! Burros! Tears. Tears coursing down my face as I laughed myself sick writing this. Here's to hoping you laugh, too.
Did you miss Part One? THEN YOU MISSED EVERYTHING.
The Edge Of Neight
click the title to listen to the theme song!
For days Top O'The Line had kept Fancy busy at her jumping in preparation for a big event at the end of the month. She blocked Skidoodle from ever getting scent of her golden filly and disrupting the plans for their bloodline's name that she had already set in place. She wasn't too old to foal again, but she knew the ranch owners would want her young horse as the mother to the next champion from the famous studline of Ransom Paycheck.
That didn't stop her from being mounted by the stud, however. Her daughter could have him when she was through. They lay in the hay of Ransom's private stall when finished; she lit a smoke and exhaled slowly, flicking at the ash with her other shoe.
"You've got more tricks up your fetlock than any other mare I've encountered."
She smiled seductively, showing every inch of her perfect, long teeth, and tossed her fiery mane. "You don't know the half of it."
Ransom rolled, getting a few other itches scratched, and grumped, "When is that daughter of yours going to come around? You know I could take her if I wanted. But dammit - I want her to come to me."
Top O'The Line tried to hide her displeasure at being dismissed as a suitor, but changed tactics. "Just give her time. She'll come around soon enough. Especially when she has no choice."
They both laughed cruelly.
Stormy cantered casually along the fence line separating her from Skidoodle, nonchalantly tossing her ebony mane. Any other stud would have gone mad with the wanting. But Skidoodle was still pining for that sad sack with the rainbow dreams and candy wishes, Fancy Face. Stormy snorted and kicked at the fence. Fancy? That flea-bitten nag? She raced to the edge of a pond and admired her reflection in the shining waters. She was perfect. Glistening and black like a river stone, she stood on two legs, practicing her Dressage piaffes. She wondered if she should drop hints that those high-level skills translated elsewhere...
When her mane was pulled and braided, and her rider dressed in his best astride her, there were none that could compare to her beauty, to her control. Her dancing was unparalleled. But once turned out to the fields to be on her own, her precise Dressage dancing became something wild and free. She was a fiery tempest, a hurricane of hooves and mane ready to strike out in anger... or lust.
She could hear music somewhere from across the water. She tossed her black mane, swished her tail and began to move to the rhythm inside her. Lost in motion, she didn't notice the loud snort or pawing next to her until a cold nose nudged her side while she performed a tempi change to the faint beat only she could hear.
"You look pretty amazing, Stormy."
She bared her teeth, "Justin Time. Who asked you?" She showed off her canter pirouette, her intention to leave him wanting more, but it seemed the buckskin colt had had his fill of being teased and left wanting. He blocked her path and bit at her withers.
"It's time you stopped playing games with me, Stormy."
She laughed. "WHEEEEE HEEEEE heee heeee pbbbbtttll! Believe me, it's not you I want to play games with." She tossed her head towards the grey stallion nibbling on a bit of clover at the far end of the pond. "Now that's a stallion built for rolling in the hay."
Just then, Clover cantered over. "Hey, guys! What are we all looking at?"
Stormy rolled her eyes and galloped off in the direction of the brash new stallion. Justin whinnied his frustration, looking over his shoulder at the horse that got away.
"J-justin? Did I say something wrong?"
Justin turned sharply, ready to bark out a retort, but when he caught sight of the pony's silly face, her forelock all messy and shading her eyes, her large teeth too big for her face... He just couldn't bear to hurt her.
"No. No, you're fine, Clover."
Clover beamed her wide, silly grin at the object of her affection. Justin, however, cast a look over his shoulder towards Stormy.
He didn't like what he saw.
Fancy bobbed her head in frustration as the groomer took their time combing out her tail. Finally, they were done brushing her and binding her tail. She raced out of the barn and headed for the open pasture where she scented Skidoodle. Her mother was nowhere in sight. At last, she'd be able to meet the new horse and perhaps even fall in love, just like she had dreamed.
A large black body blocked her as she made for the vetch-covered field.
"Random Paycheck! What on earth are you doing here? Out of my way, how rude!"
Ransom paced back and forth languidly. "Off somewhere in a mighty hurry, aren't you?"
"That's none of your business, WHEEEEE HEEEEE heeeeee pbbbbtttll!"
"If you'd ever slow down, you might see that you don't need to race off anywhere. Everything you could ever hope for is right here." Ransom reared back on his legs, pawing at the air and showing his strong torso, pointing at his mighty underbelly with his front shoes. Fancy turned her head away in disgust.
"I'll never want you, never!"
Ransom snorted cruelly. "I don't think he'll want you either." He moved close and whickered in her ear, "All you'll have left is me. Don't fight it."
She looked beyond the large black horse and gasped. There, the object of her desire, the horse that she hoped would take her away from the life she hated and a mother who didn't care about her was rubbing noses with her arch-enemy, Stormy.
"I’ve got it, lassie– I appreciate your help, but I won’t need fairther assistance."
Skidoodle veered back a few paces from the ministrations of the pushy black mare that was trying to rub a bit of dirt off his nose. Stormy looked over her shoulder and grinned. It was just as she'd planned: Fancy was galloping away, hooves and tail high with her retreat.
Stormy trotted alongside Skidoodle, trying to make conversation.
"So how are you liking the Star W Double T Walking F Rocking U Flying C Circle K Ranch? Are you being treated well? True, we have some... low lifes here, but evidently," she snorted, "the owners are running a charity alongside the high end breeding, racing and eventing operations."
"Are you calling me a charity case, Princess? No one speaks to me like that what doesn’t get a hoof to the kisser!"
Skidoodle looked green fire out of his large eyes and had the appearance of a pissed off pugilist. His ears flattened and he bared his teeth. He may have been a show horse, but he was no charity case! He could run away and live with the wild Mustangs of the west and never bat an eye or swish a tail at the hardship. Living with the circus taught him how to be strong, how to survive. He bet this manky filly never had to lift a hoof. Probably never felt the sting of a crop on her haunch.
Stormy stepped in place, tossing her mane. "Not at all. Just warning you that there are those here that might... take you down a peg. And there are those here," she whickered into his ear, "that can help you reach new heights."
She bit at his neck and sauntered off, looking over her shoulder. "See you around, handsome."
Skidoodle turned to walk back to the stables; he was sure he had caught scent of that elusive filly, Fancy. Instead, he was bit to bit with that treacherous she-beast, Top O'The Line.
"My daughter enjoyed your little... public tryst. I couldn't have planned it better myself."
"Out of my way."
Top O'The Line smirked and took a few steps sideways. "Well, seeing as your way and my way won't interfere with one another, surely."
She watched the handsome but wild horse canter off, delighting in how her plans to make a name for herself through her filly were working when she sensed someone behind her. She whirled.
"Gringo! What are you doing here?"
Top O'The Line looked to see if anyone was watching then nudged Gringo into the shadows. "I told you to never speak to me in public again!"
"Sí, sí, ees joos... I mees she so moosh. I theenk about she all de time. Por favor: tell me what she look like agains, eef only to paint the peekchure of she in mi cabeza, Señora."
Top O'The line looked into the soft, furry and kind face of Gringo el Burro, a single tear glistening on his long lashes, trembling with release. She snorted cruelly.
"I'll do no such thing. She's gone, Gringo. And if you don't watch your step," she moved closer so that her voice was the iciest hiss in his long ear, "you'll be gone, too. Forget her. She doesn't exist, do you hear me?"
She raced away, lest anyone see her consorting with Gringo. He watched her sadly, the lone tear giving way and running the length of his snout. He couldn't forget. He loved too deeply. It would seem that yet another sun would set without him ever knowing of her life...
Gringo made his way back to the stable. Maybe Hank would have some fermented hops for him to drown his sorrows in.
Skidoodle stepped out of the trees behind the stable. His eyes narrowed with suspicion and his nostrils flared with anger. He couldn't catch her scent on the air; she was headed for the top of the hill in the distance, and then she was gone. Unfortunately, she was headed in the place all the horses had been warned not to visit, or something dreadful would happen to them. He snorted in frustration - there was no way he could follow her. But that Top O'The Line was up to something, and he would find out what. No matter what.
Meanwhile, Top O'The Line crested the hill and made her way gingerly down the rocky slope, over the trepidatious brook, and leaped nimbly over an old, crumbling stone wall. Ahead was a shed, a shack, really, rickety with age and neglect. A faint whinny sounded; Top O'The Line pricked her ears forward and bared her teeth.
"You shut it in there! No one will ever find you. No one will ever know who you are, if it's the last thing I'll ever do!" She whirled around to face the Star W Double T Walking F Rocking U Flying C Circle K Ranch, eyes rolling wildly with madness, determination etched into her very bones. She furtively whispered, her voice filled with restrained passion, "No one!"