Photo © Yuer Yu via Google Photosphere
Tongue-clicking to soothe the herd, Ekaranak tightened her thigh leathers. She wanted one last solo ride before the warband left at dawn. Uncle said she was too young, to wait until next winter. But that was a lifetime away.
The humans might all be routed by then.
She’d seen some captives. Hideous creatures. Weirdly brown-tinged skin, as if they’d dissolve into sand at any moment. Intimidatingly tall, but with flat teeth like horses, and long skinny fingers. Deceptively delicate, they were bloodthirsty predators, every one.
Ekaranak stroked Gra’s neck until he stilled, and leapt gracefully onto his back.
Humans were bigger, but magruks were swifter. How could she fear anyone who feared horses? They would part around the humans’ blades like water, rain death upon them from all sides.
Ekaranak’s joyous whooping matched Gra’s hoofbeats. She would help take this green land. She would earn her rider name at last.
Word count: 150. Written for this week’s What Pegman Saw writing prompt. Big thanks to Josh and Karen for hosting this super-cool challenge! This week Pegman takes us to Haipei, China, which has some really gorgeous landscapes — it was hard to choose! Click on the link above to see the images the other participants found, and the stories they were inspired to write. And feel free to join in!
World building: most of the stories I’ve written so far of the magruk invasion that led to the War of the Tandonni are told from the point of view of the locals — the humans. Of course, the magruks have a completely different perspective. They see themselves as victims of their forced migration away from their homeland and the horrible reception they received as they moved into these greener lands. Obviously the vicious human natives were responsible for all the initial bloodshed, and then once there were so many deaths on both sides, it was too late to back down from war.
To clarify, this is one way I’ve kept this part of Eneana from seeming too quasi-Medieval: they had no horses* until after the magruks brought them over from a far continent, which happens pretty late in their technological development. So all through their Medieval-like period, they have no knights and no jousting.
* They have horse-like animals, namely donkeys and a similar forest-adapted species called caramund, and they have oxen to use as beasts of burden, but no riding animals suitable for riding fast or in battle. And no riding giant eagles or dragons either, hah.