Berättelser

The meeting

Målning över en röd stuga med rött stall bredvid i dimma. Ett stort träd står mellan byggnaderna. Marken är lerig och till vänster i bild finns en hage med vitt staket

It was a gray and cloudy day where the moisture hang heavily in the air and the leaves dripped like a maple tree cut in the completely wrong season. The ground was usually at these times coloured in red, yellow, vague orange and all other possible colours in between, but this year it had mostly become grey and rotten immediately. The rain had recently passed to a still drizzle and a powerful thunderstorm had passed as quickly as it had arrived. Straight down in the pasture it hit! A weak little flash that reminded me of a wispy little fir on Christmas eve. It wasn’t much to have, but the bang! Oh, yes it had power in it, the windows on both the dwelling house and the stable trembled, and the trees folded easily as a wheat harvest during heavy winds, away from what disturbs the peace to closer to the safe roots come.

But it could just have been me who imagined it. Hugo, my large little horse, took it a bit worse, his fur is almost standing now. O well, he will be alright, that creation will no one put down in the first place. Three wolf attacks he has survived without a single scratch! Probably scared them back into the same abyss they so surely crawled out of. Never I thought a horse could become that bloody and soiled with guts and whatnot, but alas I was wrong. Hours in the washing stall were required after that, but that is another story. He shall get some daylight at least, before it gets even darker. The sun is so weak during this time of the year and the days become ever shorter. The frost is slowly advancing, “so you’re lucky you have a nice and warm blanket Hugo!”, I said loudly to myself with the lead ready next to the brown’s stable door.

Målning över Hugo och Edvard i stallet, upplyst av två svaga lampor på stallväggen. Hugo står i boxen och Edvard står utanför med en röd grimma i handen, med den andra handen på Hugos nos. Båda tittar på varandra

– “Off with the latch and out we go!”. We went out into the chilly grey. There came some slightly irritated snorts from my side and I could almost feel what he thought, that it was warmer inside, less wet, dryer hay, and not to mention the cozy halogen lamps covering the walls. But, as it now was, as far as I know it is good with exercise, movement and long agonizing visits outside in this lovely autumn light. Or well, light and light, but completely gray and haze is a sort of light too.

The slosh from two boots and four soon no longer clean hooves reached the paddock where it lay so nicely next to a pack of fine old oaks and firs. The gate was opened and Hugo was once again free in the modestly sized and now very muddy pasture. I gave him another pat and turned back where-from I came, but just a few steps later a dampened squeal was heard from behind, a squeal so filled with worry that my feet froze in their steps and I could almost not make myself turn around and face the total silence that now was right behind me. I don’t know if it was the moist air that did it or if I in fact shuddered with fear when my eyes met Hugo, and never, never will I forget that sight of a horse, almost devoured by the autumn darkness, tensing every muscle to at any moment fight for his life or throw himself over the fence to escape from the dark creature that now was present in the corner of the paddock. A single chirp was whispered in the nearby trees. It was almost like the wind had gone quiet, but I could still feel its cold strokes where I stood. My gaze quickly switched between the horse who still hadn’t moved, and the mysterious thing that only a few meters away neither moved or gave away any sound. It was almost like it absorbed the last remaining evening light.

The creature twitched, Hugo turned where he stood and in two short jumps he was over and beyond the fence on his way towards the grove not far from there. “Hu-“, I gasped, “Hugo!”, I screamed after him while I faltered forwards trying to go the same direction he disappeared, but it was too late. All I heard was the thuds from hooves that quickly diminished from a horse that was devoured by darkness. Hissingly I fixed my eyes upon the creature and with force I took a step forwards, but moved by weight too hastily and with a lost heartbeat the leg slid backwards instead, almost so I fell forwards. With a number of swears I regained my balance and once again fixed my eyes on the creature together with every muscle in my body to curse the bastard that had scared my horse and ruined my previously terrific evening mood. But just as the vocal cords began to work I heard;
– “Yes”, a voice so powerful that my fur almost rose – but at the same time as soft as the eastern wind, “it was darn muddy you have it here”. I became so surprised that I almost sat down, but the creature jerked out a wing and sort of grew in size as it stood up. And that was when I saw it. A wing the size of a car were lifted to the sky, revealing two glowing eyes behind what looked like another wing, It was like an animal wrapped in a huge blanket where only the head was seen. Black as the night with crystal sharp eyes.
– “A dragon!”, I gasped quietly to myself as more heartbeats went lost. An indication of a smile appeared on its face and my poor heart jumped another few beats like it wanted to tell me something, but what I never got to figure out, because when I got the question, “so do you have any coffee?”, it was then I fainted.

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