Fly, Florence

Under cover of thick fog, three horses approached a fence. Two crept forward, quiet and cunning, the third snorted and shook restlessly.

“This way,” said Patricia, her mane rippling as she tilted her head to indicate a gate.

“Are you sure?” whispered Gertrude.

Behind them, Florence whinnied and stamped her feet, ignoring pleading glances from her companions.

“I’m sure,” said Patricia, and she took the bolt between her teeth and slid it aside. She pushed the metal with her nose, and the gate opened wide. Beyond lay a vast green field that disappeared into the fog. Beyond that lay… “Freedom,” said Patricia.

For a moment, neither horse said a word. Florence, in her own world, leapt up and down, coughed and swished her tail.
“I’m scared,” said Gertrude. “Should we really go? What if there’s nothing to eat? What if something eats us? What if we can’t handle it?”

“Whatever happens,” said Patricia. “We’ll handle it. We must.” She looked over to their frenzied companion. “If we don’t go, they’ll kill Florence.”

At the sound of her name, Florence trotted between her friends, then through the gate and out into the expanse beyond. She frolicked back and forth for a moment, then reared up on her hind legs and let out a throaty bellow. It echoed outwards into the fog.

“Florence has always been free,” said Patricia. “They never broke her. Let’s go.”

The three of them galloped forward into the grey and green.

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