The Horse Rears 822 Times

Crossing the mountains with the wind at his back, the storm dark around him. The rattle of sabres is drowned out by the thunder. A bolt of lightning splits the tree next to him and then he is falling.

He falls off the mountain and down to the trees below. He is an eagle, he has lost the eagles, he knows the air. He knows the mountain. Romulus and Remus…

There are elephants in the forest but he doesn’t see them, all he sees are the slapping branches, the leaves that slash at him. He bounces down and down and down and at the bottom there is another horse waiting for him, and the rattle of sabres, the crash of thunder, lightning strike. Again, and again.

He is falling, he is falling.

At the very bottom of the well there is a rat slapping through the ferns, scaresome, furred like rotting blackberries, ripe as the fen, perfectly preserved. He is a skull with leather skin stretched across it, the gape of a slit throat, tissues purple, the imperial colour, pregnant belly, acorn eyes. The Irish Elk cannot be extinct…

The rattle of sabres the crash of thunder the mountains the lightning he is falling