His feet were sore and blistered in his shredded shoes. His shirt was bramble-torn and leaf-stained, his trousers dirty and frayed.
The river was a mirage-like solace, too good to be true. He knelt on the bank and lowered cupped hands into the cool water.
After he had drunk his fill, he turned to see a horse, fur as dark as the blackest mud, with rushes tangled in its mane.
‘I’ve heard of you,’ said the man. ‘I won’t ride you, no matter how sore I am.’
The horse snorted and struck its hoof on the ground. ‘You think I mean to drown you.’
‘That’s what you are, isn’t it?’
‘And what are you?’ asked the horse. ‘An office man, some would say. Yet here you are, feral and bargaining with a riverside fae.’
‘Bargaining?’ The man’s question was cautious.
‘You are running, are you not? I will bear you to whatever you seek, if you give me one thing in trade.’
‘Friendship,’ the horse replied. ‘I sense you need it as much as I.’
Another microfiction. I’m definitely feeling a kinship with watery stories right now (even more than usual). Hope you enjoy this one!
Image by Holger Schué from Pixabay, used under Pixabay License.