Girls Horse Club Blog

Nightmare: Chapter 15

Published by • Jan 23rd, 2010 • Category: Fiction, Loft Book Club Favorites

by Findabhair Blacksgote, age 14

Fiala studied the professor carefully. He seemed to be nothing more than a cheerful old dotard, but she saw in the shrewd blue eyes keen intelligence, and heard the hidden sharpness in his voice.

“We have one here in the city,” Jan muttered, staring at his tea cup suspiciously.

“Ah!” the old professor beamed. “Would you mind if we went to see it now?”

“We—” Gareth began.

“Her name is Ava,” Fiala interrupted.

“Yes, of course,” said Professor Neron apologetically.

“As I was saying,” Gareth continued smoothly. “We have her…” he looked pointedly in Fiala’s direction, “…in the stables at Stargate Inn. We can go there whenever it suits you.”

“Well right away of course!” Professor Neron exclaimed. “Sorry about the tea, but you’ll have to finish it later.”

Fiala blinked as the cup was whipped from her hands and roughly deposited in the wash bin.

Next instant they were outside the academy again and the professor was trotting down the crowded roads at an extremely fast pace. Fiala supposed he was more accustomed to the busy streets than she was because she was having an awfully hard time elbowing her way through the throngs of people. Eventually she simply clung to Jan’s shoulder and let him do the elbowing. He was much more suited to removing people from his way; sometimes all he had to do was glower. Merchants and farmers alike scuttled out of his way like mice at the sound of footsteps.

Several minutes later Fiala was introducing Ava and Professor Neron to one another in the warm semi-dark of the stables. She listened with amusement as the professor babbled on about Ava’s good conformation and beautiful coat. It seemed that she had found a fellow admirer of Nightmares.

“So what are we going to do about finding it’s herd?” Bain interrupted in the middle of the professor’s explanation of Nightmare eating habits.

“Hmmm ” the professor lifted his head and looked down his crooked nose at Ava’s left wing. “Back to my office to consult the maps!” he declared and marched out of the stall. Fiala groaned and drooped. She far preferred the sheer mountain cliffs of shale to those stairs.

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Editor’s Note: Nightmare was first published at GHC in the former Loft Book Club, and was a finalist in our monthly Judge for Yourself competition in January 2007.