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Part Four - Not Wild

Tom shuffled through the boxes of junk with so many stupid things that he’d collected over the years. Now that he was leaving home, he had to sort through it to double check it was all still junk. It was a thoroughly boring job, but it had to be done as his parents wouldn’t let him just through them away. “There could be valuable memories in them,” as they said.

“Some memories these are,” he said in reply to his recollection of his parents’ words. He practically dropped the now sorted box to the flour next to the previous five. He rubbed his bare feet along the flour as he walked back over to the closet.

Relief filled his mind as he saw that there were no more. He looked back over at the bed where he had piled the ‘keeps’. There was a camera which was worth keeping, an old Bible which he couldn’t get himself to toss, a comb that an old girlfriend forgot at his house, and a letter sent to him from Rick. That was the only one that he truly cared for of the other three.

“Good, easily packable,” he said as he picked up his pile of clothes from the closet flour. He almost dropped them when he found another box under them. He sighed and threw the clothes into a heap on the bed.

He bent down to pick it up, but noticed this one had a word written on it, unlike the ones before it which were plain. It read, ‘Valuables’. Tom chuckled as he read it. There were no valuables from his past.

He grabbed the box and yanked it up. He nearly fell over backwards as it wasn’t as heavy as he expected. On the contrary, it was practically empty. One item tossed around inside as he caught his balance again.

He carried the box to his bed and opened it. Inside he found an item he had since forgotten about. It was the picture of horses by the autumn lake at sunset. A smile hit his lips as flashbacks flooded his mind.

How the white horse had looked at him. How he had ran his fastest to follow it. How he had first seen the black Stallion. How it scared him to death at its sheer size alone. How it had looked into his eye. How its fur felt under his hands. How it had put its head on his shoulder. And how it looked as it flew over the hill.

He leaned back onto his bed laughing the hardest he had ever done in at least three years. He closed his eyes to help put his attention more fully on those things he wanted to remember. He ran through the memories again, only this time taking the time to recall everything: the chill of the breeze, the birds, the oddly striped horse, the cliff, and the words which had been spoken by someone.

He realized how his bed felt a little poky. He shifted positions, but that only made it worse. The air started to move over him and it sent a chill through him. He opened his eyes and found a purple and orange ceiling. He burst into a sitting position. He found himself in a grassy field with pine trees on three sides. The sun was setting, creating a sky of color.

“Make up your mind,” a voice behind him said. He jumped to his feet and spun around all in one motion. The black Stallion was laying in the grass, just above where his head had been. “You were quite happy one moment, why the fear all of a sudden?” it said between mouthfuls of grass.

“Who are you?” Tom asked.

“I think you know,” it said looking at him. “But if you must know, my names Chaphar.”

“What?” Tom answered. “Why would I know who you are?”

“Because,” Chaphar said finishing another mouthful. “We’ve met before.”

“No we haven’t,” Tom said getting angry.

Chaphar just stared at him. “Judging by your expression, I’d say you are lying.”

“Fine, prove we’ve met before,” Tom said almost yelling.

Chaphar stood up. “Must I really go through this again?” Tom was about to answer, but Chaphar snorted loudly. “Oh well,” Chaphar added under his breath. He then began pawing the ground wildly, tearing up grass.

“What are you doing?” Tom asked backing up a few steps.

Chaphar responded by jerking his head up and grunting. “Stop it!” Tom shouted.

Chaphar bolted forward neighing so loud, the echo could be heard running down the nearby canyon. “Whoa!” Tom said jumping out of the way. “I get it, I get it!”

Chaphar reared up and began pawing the air above Tom. Tom instinctively put his arm up to block the blow he knew would come next. The hooves began their downward journey and Tom closed his eyes, expecting death.

“I’m sorry,” Chaphar said as his hooves landed a few feet from Tom’s head, producing a violent shake from Tom. “But if you wanted proof, that is the proof you would recognize. I didn’t want to do it before and I sure didn’t want to now. I find it embarrassing acting like a wild animal.”

Tom opened his eyes. “Then why did you do it?”

“It was necessary,” Chaphar said waving his mane back and forth. “Ugh, now my mane is all messed up. It’s so hard to keep it neat and even harder to untangle it.”

Tom put his arm down and watched as Chaphar laid down in the grass and began rubbing his mane on it. Tom fought back a laugh at the comical sight. Sure horses do it often, but it was funny knowing the reason.

Tom looked away as the laugh was nearly breaking out. The urge left immediately as he found the four items he had chosen laying in the grass a few feet away. “Um, I got a comb.”

Chaphar stopped rolling in the grass. “A what?”

“A comb,” he said standing up.

“What’s,” Chaphar said standing up too. “Ah…it do?”

“It’s for unknotting hair. Your fur is similar.” Tom said as he picked it up walked over to Chaphar.

“That little thing can do that?” Chaphar said examining it with his left eye.

“Yes,” Tom answered as Chaphar sniffed it.

“It’s not your smell that’s on it,” Chaphar said pulling his head away to look at Tom.

“No, it belong to…somebody else.”

“Well, no matter,” Chaphar said turning his left side to Tom. “Could you help me out and straiten my mane?” he asked tossing it all onto that side of his neck. Tom nodded and began running it through his mane.

Copyright © 2010 C. L. Richardson, All Rights Reserved; "Untamed Picture" © Nathanael Eisner