The Beckoning Light

by D. L. Keur writing as E. J. Ruek

Sight dimmed at twilight to become blindness.  It made the rustle and peep of bird and mouse loom large.  It made the trees creep nearer, branches lurching forth, reaching out as if to pluck an eye or tear an ear.  Upon his back, dear Shasta sobbed, her gown tattered and soiled with blood and semen.

They moved far from ordinary bed and fodder.  They moved beyond where wheel had rutted.  At her bidding, he had run, his hooves still bloody from pulping her tormenters.  But, now, he knew not where to go, lost to the wilderness of night.

Ahead, faint glow–a horizon’s greeting.  Moonrise summoned him his way, and, obedient to his need for guidance, he followed while the girl, gone silent now, slept unsteady in the saddle.

Labored in his breathing, the wound he had received from hand-held knife taxing him his strength, he plodded on, ever careful not to stumble. But he was dying.  This he knew.  He had to find safe harbor for his mistress soon.

A ray, a gleam upon the rising hillocks, drew his eye, the moon come full upon the verge, and, there, within it, a wingéd pale of gold, bright against the shade, stood beckoning.