The girl gingerly walked down the steps. In one hand she clutched a leather bag close to her chest.
She broke into a sprint along a gravel pathway, flying past green pastures speckled with plump animals lazily chewing grass.The crisp morning breeze flapped her clothes, as she began her early vigil, greeting the pink streaked sky, greeting the break of dawn itself.Her rosy face was upturned as she slid to a stop, kicking up dust at her feet.
She blinked her eyes, clearing them of the dirt particles now wrenching tears from her eyes, dribbling down her cheeks, drawing intricate patterns along her weather beaten face. Her vision now cleared; she looked up, and surprisingly her gaze met with the luminous, eyes of a magnificent black horse.
It watched her curiously, all the while chewing grass, not sparing a moment to fill it’s hungry belly. Suddenly, it tossed it’s head sending locks of silky mane tumbling.
Softly , it snorted, breathing air out of it’s flared nostrils. The girl scanned this magnificent beauty and noticed it’s back for the first time. It was pink and raw, scarred with the marks of a whip. She felt rage building up in her, “Who would dare harm such an amazing creature?”
She was so engrossed in the moment that she didn’t even notice the tanned hand that raised up and hit the horse on it’s hind-quarters. It reared up, dangerously close, screaming in pain .. It shied from the hands of cruelty and galloped away.
“And who might you be, lass? Messin’ with my horse, ay.”,a deep voice broke the shocked silence.
The girl had the fire of fury kindling in her usually serene gray eyes.She raised her hand as it trembled with emotion, and met the eye of the speaker of the words that she did not make any sense of. Her lips made no movement to speak.
He was a tall man, who had a gray beard, streaked with white. He wore a red kilt that just grazed above his ankles. He had bushy eyebrows that nearly covered his small eyes that had shrunk from years of squinting. He scrutinized this strange girl’s intense movements and appearance.
Who was she?
She had raven black hair,curling evenly,wreathing her face as it escaped from beneath a tightly bound blue scarf, dyed from the black mountain berries.
Her eyebrows were just beneath, resembling the wings of a bird, outstretched in flight. Making way for a pair of deep-set almond shaped eyes, gray in color tinted with streaks of green, fringed by dark black lashes.
She was a medium height person, her chin reaching well above the fence.But she had a curious way to make the helpless child feel her to be small,and the largest monstrocity to feel her to be intimidating.She had a very mystifying aura that sometimes led people to believe she was much more than just a youth of her age.
She had a lean stature, making it seem as though she was drowning in the folds and layers of her wispy clothes. She usually wore coarse,dresses woven out of deep colored cloths, blue, green,black, and brown. A heavy shawl was draped around her, engulfing her small shoulders. Atop that she wore a thick hide coat, with the fur turned in, when the weather turned for the worst.
Upon her feet were leather coverings that served as shoes, and laced up till her knee, often padded beneath it with strips of cloth to keep her warm.They were embroidered with glass beads of various colors and fringes. She donned upon that hard boots, slicked with animal fat to serve as water proof and to protect the hide underneath.
A sudden movement shattered the silence and a puff of air clouded. The old man’s head snapped up to meet the girl looking at him with an icy stare.
Her lips began to move, and white clouds drifted from them. Suddenly, a noise , a graceful tune played on her lips. Soft syllables filled the old man’s ears as she began to sing, an unknown. Then, as suddenly as she had started, she stopped.
She shook her head, as if in frustration, and raised her hand. Towards the hills she raised it, in an silent salute, to the silhouette of the black horse. With a lingering look at it’s figure, she turned at heel and began to walk towards the brightly lit horizon.
Somehow, something inside the old man stirred, he had a deep feeling that this mysterious girl would never come back again.
Just before path dipped into the horizon, the girl turned and looked back at the old man. Very slowly, a brilliant smile crept across her radiant face before she turned back again.
And as she dissappeared, the old man thought he heard the echos of her song, resounding through the sky. And as he listened closely, he faintly heard the outline of the name, ~Maria~