Leaning forward in her saddle, Marion softly willed her mare to go faster. Moondance understood and broke into a full gallop. Marion reveled in the cold wind through her hair and the snowflakes kissing her face. She looked back down the mountain road to see that unfortunately the king and his men were still gaining. Moondance just couldn’t compete with the longer stride of the warhorses.
Scanning her eyes back up the mountain, Marion searched until she spotted the service road. She wouldn’t be able to travel as fast, but it cut the distance by a third. Not to mention navigating the warhorses up those switchbacks would be next to impossible. She waited until the last possible second, then cut Moondance hard to the right and up the service road. She heard shouts as a few of the king’s men tried to pursue her.
“No! Keep to the main road! If we hurry we can still cut her off before the castle gate!” Marion heard the king shout a few more orders before the noises faded away, leaving only herself, Moondance and the winter forest. It was rides like this that Marion lived for.
Expertly navigating the switchbacks, Marion and Moondance quickly made their way up the mountain and emerged near the front entrance of the castle wall. Shouts came from men on the watchtower and the gate slowly began to open to allow Marion entrance. She and Moondance rode into the castle and came to rest in the court yard, where a servant helped her dismount. As she stretched her sore muscles, she heard the galloping of the king’s warhorses coming through the gate. They came to a stop, surrounding Marion and Moondance.
Marion turned, smiling, and gave a small curtsy to the king. “My lord, it seems you have caught me.”
“It seems so, my lady,” the king replied. “But it also seems that my queen, Marion, has yet again beaten the king and his men in a race back to the castle. How do you do it?”
“My lord must allow his lady a few mysteries,” Marion replied.
In that instant, bright light flooded out Marion’s vision of her king and her castle. A voice called out as she adjusted her eyes to the light.
“Great job, everybody! You all worked hard! Have a great weekend, and remember, the new Spin release comes out Monday, so I hope to see you all here!”
Marion wiped down her bike, grabbed her gym bag and headed to her car. Time to pick up the kids.
Source: Wed Stories: Worlds Away