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A dark horse moving through darker air is the pinnacle of the darkest corner of the mind, for it is the one that we never catch a full glimpse of. And in trying to hunt that stallion, one assumes the full responsibilities of that netherworld. But the fear inspired by a dark horse is trifled by the fear inspired by its rider or the message that it brings.

I found myself at home, sweeping the floor with a stiff, wooden broom with stick-like bristles. They swept across the floor in a scratching, scraping chorus and the sound began to grate my ears. I stopped and looked around. My small cabin was quite almost nothing – no tables, one chair, a series of round, hay beds on the floor for the dogs and myself to sleep on and beyond that, not much else besides a wooden box of a cabin whose walls let some light leak in from the outside. The one window in my house had no glass, but was rather a square cut into the wood with a great amount of mold collected underneath it where rain had poured in during the storms.

I swept the dirt and dust to the door and flung it out, feeling good for the moment, like perhaps today would bring some hope. As the dust flew into the air, swirling around as if it were raveling in the air, I heard a series of barks and opened the door wider. Three thin, medium-sized dogs, one black, one white and one a mix of these colors, came running into the cabin and ran immediately to their beds, curling up into balls and panting.

“What are you guys doing?” I asked the dogs. “You’re crazy!”

The black dog, Chrissy, then barked at me with her head held high, so as if to respond.

“I think we need to go find food – what do you skidunkles think?” I continued, creating a new word.

The black and white dog, Collie then barked, lowering her snout as she did, and I rose to make my way to the door, hearing the dogs rise from their beds behind me. The white dog, Rebel, ran over to me, his head straight up as he stood by my leg and gave a foreboding whimper that perhaps should have been a sign to me. Ignoring this, I turned to look at the other two dogs. Each of them, with their frazzled, wild fur that stood like a that of a hunter, even though they were quite far from being great hunting dogs – they were far too rambunctious and frantic for that. Still, we were always able to catch something and so, grabbing my bow and quiver from by the door, we departed into the cool, mid-afternoon air.

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