Acushla Bound

Mikaela finally found an afternoon of no obligations, no commitments. She packed a small lunch and headed outside to sit by the lake.

She spread out a blanket and found a comfortable place to lean against the massive oak they saved from splitting following Hurricane Irma. The strapping still held it together, but the tree had healed nicely.

The breeze floated across the lake, carrying with it the warmth of the sun. Her skin glistened in the heat, but she was still comfortable. Her brown hair, desperate for a trim, curled up against her neck.

She purposely left her phone inside to escape interruption, but she brought a journal and pen, should any creativity come to visit.

She listened to the songs of the chickadees and cardinals as they flirted above her between the branches. Over the lake, herons and egrets swiftly flew by, looking for their lunch. Relaxation finally found her.

Slowly, she slipped into slumber, laying on her blanket. Her limbs and her eyes became heavy, but she didn’t struggle or fight it. It was nice to let things go for once. In the distance, the shell chimes clinked, lulling her further into a deep sleep.

In the distance she heard the galloping of hooves. She startled herself awake. As she opened her eyes, she realized she must be dreaming. Nothing around her was familiar.

The tree she slept under was now a willow tree, glistening in the sun. Her branches swayed in the winds, and almost iridescent leaves sparkled.

The familiar birds were gone, but new ones filled their place. Blue birds chirped and danced around her blanket. One even landed on her shoulder and sang a beautiful song.

Mikaela thought to herself, this is a pretty nice dream.

The high grass between her and the lake had transformed to a field of wild flowers, vibrant and rich with life. Butterflies, dragonflies, bees and more moved among the flowers, happily floating on the air.

One dragonfly floated towards Mikaela. This one was different from the others. As he neared, she realized it was a damsel fly instead…one set of wings instead of two. He floated and landed on her nose.

She looked cross eyed at him. She didn’t want to scare him, but then, she sneezed. He swiftly moved away, and once her fit was over, he floated nearby instead. He drifted away and then back several times.

Mikaela finally figured out he wanted her to follow him. She stood up. It was then she realized she wasn’t in her shirt and shorts anymore. She was now in a gown, similar to those of the Renaissance or one an elf would wear in LOTR, but it was lightweight and floated loosely over all her figure flaws.

She stepped onto the grass and found small stepping stones forming a path ahead. The damsel fly continued to beckon her to follow around the field. The path followed the edge of the lake which reflected as a turquoise and teal blue with a slight mist floating above.

As she continued rounding the edge of the lake, she discovered a wooded forest before her and heard the faint whinny of a horse. The damsel fly floated in mid-air before her, making her look around.

Mikaela noticed the air had a slight chill and rubbed her arms to warm them. She wondered where the warmth of the sun had gone. As she looked around, aside from knowing this wasn’t home, she didn’t know what she should see.

The damsel fly floated backward, allowing her to step forward, and then she tripped across a strap of leather.

“Ohhhh, this is what you wanted me to see?” She questioned as she picked herself and the horses bit and reign from the ground. She looked at the name engraved on the strapping… Pepper.

The damsel fly continued forward, leading her past the first few trees in the forest. There stood a beautiful Appaloosa in the thicket. He was already saddled, but no bit nor lead on him. He pranced to the side on hearing Mikaela’s footsteps.

As she neared, he bowed at her. She stretched out her hand, touching him on the star of his forehead. He neighed softly.

“Pepper?” She spoke gently to the magnificent creature. He shook his head up and down. The damsel fly landed on Pepper’s ear. Pepper twitched his ear, and the damsel fly took off, not to be seen again.

Mikaela recalled back to her youth. She had only ridden a horse once, but loved them immensely. She held out the bit to Pepper, “Shall we?”

Pepper pranced for a moment and opened his mouth. He was ready to get underway; although Mikaela had no idea where they would be going. She fastened the bit, checked the saddle, then climbed atop Pepper.

“Lead the way Pepper. Lead the way.”

With that, Pepper took off into the forest, headed towards the mountains in the distance.

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