It was a shadow cloaked night, a bright full moon suspended like a puppet in the starry sky. Cut off from the beautiful sky, were two horses, a black filly, and her white mother. They were trapped in their small cage. Trapped forever; forever waiting for their fate to change.
The black filly looked up at her mother. Her muddy coat, which had once been flawless and sleek, was scabbed and crusty. Her mother's was identical. She looked into those hard brown eyes, and flicked her tail. When? She asked.
Her mother's ears swiveled forward, and she nudged her daughter with her muzzle. Soon, she said. Soon. She began to scratch at her matted coat, and weeks of dirt clouded the air around her. The filly shivered in the dark night.
So you believe it... The young horse looked at her mother with wonder. It's been years since the prophecy was made. There is a possibility that it is nothing but a lie to give us hope. This made the older mare stiffen. Her eyes darkened.
Do not doubt the prophecy. It is older then you, made by the Sky Horses. She tossed her head. He is coming, and he is bringing the One. She shook her mane again, specks of dirt flying from it. I can feel it... He has found her.
The filly tilted her head to the side. You know, she mumbled. You haven't told me what the prophecy is. How am I supposed to believe when I don't know what I'm supposed to believe in? She dug at the packed dirt, squeezing close to her mother for warmth.
The mare lowered her head to the ground. Have faith, she began. They are coming, and they are going to fight for us.
The filly stomped her foot angrily. I want to know what's supposed to be coming to change our fate! I'm here with you and the rest of us, and I have the right to know!
Her mother looked out into the stars, and slowly nodded her head. You are right, I must tell you. Now is the time. The filly whinnied encouragingly. So the mare began. The wind stirred gently, as it always did when the Prophecy was spoken.
When the wild horses are imprisoned in the metal cages,
Their fate decided as beasts of burden,
The Seeker will bring the One,
The One will change the fate
The One will understand the secret language,
The One will summon the Sky Horses,
Twist the forces of destiny,
And set the horses free in the hills of the green.
The wind settled, and the two horses' manes settled back to their necks. They lowered their heads, and continued to paw tirelessly at the packed mud, digging their way under the fence to freedom. They knew that it was hopeless. There was no way to escape their prison. Until the One came for them.
Until then they watched the moon above. They waited.
Chapter 1: The Girl at the Back of the Bus
Tiffany rolled her eyes at her parents as she walked past them out the door. They were making way too much of a deal out of this. She definitely wasn't all that excited about it. It was her first day of school here in Oklahoma. Oklahoma. That was going to take some getting used to. Whoever thinks about wonderful old Oklahoma anyway? Ugh.
Tiffany strode down the sidewalk. She'd lived in New York City, a famous city where people actually wanted to live. Tiffany kicked up some pebbles, looking out at Oklahoma's drab fields. She shook her perfect brown hair with frustration as she stopped at her bus stop. She didn't know how she was going to survive in this dump. Her father thought that it would be a “good opportunity” for them to relocate. Really, he just wanted to get his promotion to sales manager for whatever company he worked for.
Tiffany pulled herself from her thoughts as she heard a footsteps on the gravel behind her. She smiled at the only familiar face. It was her neighbor, Michelle. Tiffany quickly took note of her tacky clothes. Her mother had told her to wait until they were settled before they went to the mall for fall shopping. Tiffany rocked her hand to the side in a wave to Michelle.
Michelle stepped beside her and they looked down the road together. Tiffany ran a finger through her hair. “I wish I were in New York,” she said for about the hundredth time. “I hate Oklahoma”
By now, Michelle was used to Tiffany's whining. “At least there's a mall here,” she said. “Just be happy for that, and stop whining.” She flicked her wrist and the small bells hanging from her bracelet jingled.
Tiffany rolled her eyes, and watched as the hideous yellow bus screeched to a stop before her. She winced as the fumes flew through her sensitive nose. She followed Michelle gracefully up the stairs, keeping her shoulders back. She wanted to make her first impression on these Oklahoma people good. She lifted her chin and glided to the back of the bus, sliding into the ugly gray seat next to Michelle.
Tiffany smoothed the creases out of her skirt and tossed her hair before turning to Michelle. “Hey, are you doing anything after school?” she asked in boredom. Michelle shook her head, but Tiffany could tell that she was trying not to look at her. Or whoever was across the aisle. Tiffany looked over her shoulder, and saw a dark-eyed girl staring at the ground between her feet. Something made her presence chilling.
Tiffany studied the girl with dis-taste. She had straight brown hair with tons of split ends. Her eyes were hard, frozen at the spot between her muddy boots. The girl was wearing a hideous white T-shirt, and simple dull jeans. She looked like she was trying to melt into her seat and become part of the faded leather.
Tiffany raised her eyebrows and leaned over to Michelle. “Hey, who's that girl over there Michelle?” Michelle shifted in her seat.
“That's Cindy Halind,”she said in a low husky voice, which was so different from her usual cheery honey-suppled chatter. “I don't think she has any friends.”
Tiffany looked Cindy. Without shifting her body she hissed at her. “Hey Cindy, where'd you get that shirt?” she asked. Cindy showed know sign that she had heard her. Tiffany frowned. “Cindy! You there?” She felt a jab in her side and whipped her head around.
Michelle was staring at her sternly. “Tiff, she can't hear you.” she whispered. Tiffany frowned. “She's deaf.” Michelle explained. Tiffany looked at the girl again.
“Oh.” she said. She had a sinking feeling. How could she be so stupid. She wished she could just sit next to the girl and befriend her. But there was just something so unnerving about those hard eyes, that Tiffany just couldn't bring herself to do it. She had a felt an urge to stand up and get as far away from Cindy as she could.
As if she was reading Tiffany's mind, Cindy looked up and bore her eyes into Tiffany's mind. Tiffany shivered and looked away, pretending to fiddle with her necklace. When she looked up again, Cindy was still staring at her, as if she were waiting for something.
Tiffany turned away and swallowed. She tried to distract herself with Michelle. “So I was thinking you could come over after school and we could do make-up or nails or something.”
Michelle smiled warmly, the darkness of her voice gone, the honey-supple returned.”That would be good, Tiff. Maybe we'll even get some homework done.”
Tiffany wrinkled her nose, all thoughts of Cindy erased. “Ugh. Who cares about homework anyway?” She quickly remembered Cindy, and snook a glance over her shoulder at her. Cindy's gaze had returned to the floor. Tiffany heaved a sigh of relief, her uneasiness draining for the bottom. She was ready to show Blinswon Middle School just how great she was. She slipped her hands into her pockets and leaned back, trying to look completely chill. She smiled as eyes turned toward her: the new kid.
Michelle tapped her when the bus screeched at the front door of the school. “We're here, Tiff.” Tiffany looked at the school and moaned. It was hideous. A big, ugly concrete building. To her, it looked like one of those prisons that you see on TV. She covered her eyes with her hand.
“Please tell me that I'm seeing things... That just can't be where I'll be spending half of my time for the next 9 months.” She shook her head at the block letters across the door: BLINSWON MIDDLE SCHOOL.
Michelle patted her shoulder. “Don't worry, you'll survive Tiff.” They gathered their books together and stood up. Tiffany was careful to let Cindy make her way up the bus and descend down the steps before she stepped out into the aisle. She hopped down the stairs and stared at the disgusting building in front of her.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Cindy sit down by herself on a bench, staring at the concrete sidewalk. The wind blew through hair, but she didn't seem to respond as a few loose strands flew in front of her eyes. Her pale hands were folded neatly on her lap. Tiffany wondered for just a second what it would be like to live in a world of silence. The thought immediately disappeared from her mind when she looked down at her tan hands and realized that her nail polish was beginning to chip. She quickly folded her arms before anyone could notice.
The bell rang and Tiffany followed Michelle up the ugly concrete steps into the jail of a school. They walked through the shadowy hallway, up a flight of scratched up steps, and into a dusty classroom. Tiffany sat next to Michelle in the back of the classroom, wiping a summer's worth of scum off of her desk with a handkerchief. She wrinkled her nose as a cloud of dust floated in the air around her. She sighed when she saw that that weird Cindy girl was in her class. Hopefully they didn't have the same schedules. She rolled her eyes.
Cindy looked around. As usual, no one would probably want to sit with her. She kept her eyes to the floor and sank into a chair next to that new girl.
Tiffany looked up as she heard the chair screech back behind her. She saw that it was Cindy, and quickly looked away. Tiffany was careful not to make eye contact.
Finally, their short plump history teacher, Mr. Adams, waddled through the door. He sat down in his big leather chair, and began to take attendance. “Tiffany?” he called.
“Here.” Tiffany chirped loud enough for everyone to hear. Well, except Cindy, who couldn't hear anything at all. She thought.
When Mr. Adams got to Cindy's name, he had to look around the room, because she wouldn't know if he'd called her name or not. Cindy just stared forward, as if she was seeing something remotely interesting at the front of the classroom.
Mr. Adams set down his clipboard, and began to shuffle some papers on his desk. This gave Tiffany some time to look around the room. It was small, and had ugly barf-green walls. There were tiles on the ground that probably used to be white, but were now extremely dirty and gray, with scratch marks from the chairs. The hideous walls were covered with drab posters about boring historical events that she didn't care about. The only clean-looking thing in the room was the white board behind Mr. Adams.
Mr. Adams stood and propped a book up on Cindy's desk so that she could read along with whatever he was about to lecture the rest of the classroom. He sat back down in his chair and cracked open his version of the gigantic history book. Before his mouth was even open, Tiffany knew that it was going to be a long speech. He began to drone on about the effects of the Civil War on the United States. By the time he was through, Tiffany was beginning to wish that she was deaf like Cindy. That way she wouldn't have had to hear a thing.
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