Blood and Honey

Blood and Honey

A single gunshot echoed across the plain. Startled, Honey lifted her head. As her gaze came to rest on the figures cresting the horizon, Honey heard her human mutter obscenities under his breath. She recognized the black horses and their riders. Her heart started to beat faster.

The shadow riders had been following them for three days. Last night, Honey had carried her human through the underbrush in the darkness, hoping to leave the shadow riders far behind. For a while they both believed they had succeeded. Stopping to rest and eat had clearly been a mistake.

Honey’s muscles were poised to run. She waited for the command from her human, but it didn’t come.

As the riders drew closer, Honey’s heart pounded like a stampede. She danced nervously and whinnied to express her distress. Why did her human sit so quietly?

The shadow riders were so close now that Honey could see their faces, both horse and human. Hollow eyes inside skeletal heads. Their clothing and skin ragged, torn, and missing in places. Honey reared up in fear.

Finally, her human moved. He leaned down to stroke her neck and whisper in her ear.

“Darlin’ Honey, a man couldn’t ask for a more loyal horse, but I can’t be running forever. And it ain’t your time.” He hopped to the ground, leaned his head against hers one last time, then turned and began walking toward the shadow riders, leaving a trail of blood in the grass as he went.

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This is my submission for Flash! Friday #24. This is my first time participating in this challenge. You had to write exactly 250 words based on the photo prompt (which appears above).

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Image Credit:  John C. H. Grabill

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