Early the next morning, I had the strangest dream… In my dream, I was thirsty, and I started saying “water…” slowly and quietly. Then I started saying it louder, then more often… The last time, I said it pretty loud, and that woke me up…

“Water…” The Unicorn stallion, still laying on his side facing me, he was the one saying that. The low fire alone gave the only light that was in this room. Remembering yesterday, I was quickly crying again. But he kept saying it… Eyes still closed… “Water…” “Water…” I looked over at the water bucket by the door, and sighed. There would be only one way to give him water… It was the same way I watered the seeds I planted in my garden… It was the same way I put out embers that popped out of the fire… I sighed again, then got up slowly, walked over to the water bucket, and got a good mouth-full of water. I… did what I needed too… I put my mouth down over the top side of his mouth as he lay there, and let water slowly trickle down into his mouth… He sensed it right away, and promptly drank all that I let fall in… “More…” I walked back over to the bucket and got more. I walked back to him, placed my mouth down on top of his from the side, and let more water fall into his mouth from mine. He very quickly drank all I could carry in my mouth. “More” came quickly back… After maybe 15 minutes and draining that bucket down to the knot, he drank from my mouth. As I let water trickle out of my mouth into his, he drank, and drank… And, after that 15 minutes, he stopped asking for more. It was clear to me he was asleep.

I laid back on my belly where I was before, and started crying again… Well, he was alive, for now… But then… My mom had quietly warned me that there were a few areas of a stallion I must never touch until we were married… I… had to push up against one of those areas, a bunch, just to get him out of the cold, and into my house… And another area… Well, he needed water… How could I… Then I got this terrified thought that maybe he would consider us married because I had touched him there… I didn’t know… But I stopped crying at that thought, well I wept softly… That would be a whole new experience for me, and I honestly think I would welcome that… Of course, that thought flew quickly away… I was smaller than him… My eyes were too close together… There is just no way… I cried myself to sleep again…

Later in the morning, I woke up. I think it was later in the day, close to noon maybe. I was on my belly where I was last night, facing where the head of this Unicorn stallion was. Well, his head was up now, he was up, laying on his belly. His ears indicated he was alert, listening. His eyes were open, and he was looking well, in my direction, but off to one side. He didn’t look around, but kept looking, staring in the same direction. I realized he was listening more than looking, well, unless…

I didn’t wait for him to say anything, and I didn’t really know how I knew… Quietly, I said this. “You can’t see…”

Neither angered nor upset, he said, quietly, “No.”

After a brief delay, “How do you feel otherwise?” I asked quietly.

“Alive I guess, and I think that’s a miracle. My belly is sore and my legs are too. Well, my head and neck hurt too, but I think being alive is more the important thing.” He said this slowly. Then he stopped in thought for a little while. Then he asked quietly “Am I to thank you for rescuing me?”

I just started crying. “Yes, it was freezing, and it would take too long to go get help… I’m sorry, you were very heavy to move, and the path… You were far away… I had to get you–” My thoughts, words made less and less sense as I remembered my panic…

He slowly smiled, then interrupted me. “Miss… You saved my life…”

He laborously moved one of his front hooves until he found one of mine, just to touch it. “Thank you” he said quietly.

I just cried… I could have cried all day.

But he asked soon, “I apologize if I upset or offended you…”

Well, I had to stop crying, to let him know that he wasn’t upsetting or offending me. I worked on calming down. When I felt I could talk without crying again, I tried to say quietly “Getting you out of the meadow, and into my house, that was quite a chore…” He smiled. Then I added this “At least you are alive.” I couldn’t help it, and did cry some more after that. Him dying was one of my worst fears from the moment I brushed the snow off his Unicorn horn. And, for me to work so hard to get him in here, only to find out that he had died… That would just have been too much for me…

I think he realized we needed to change the subject. “I am hungry however. Do you have any food you can spare?”

I said quietly “Just a minute.” I got up and walked over to my stash of oats and used my magic to pull out a clump, then lay it down in front of him. I knew he wouldn’t be able to see them so I started to think how to tell him.

But, I guess he smelled those oat plants as soon as they were there in front of him. He smiled again, and really surprised me. “You are a Unicorn.” The way he said that, I could not tell if it was a question or a statement. But, he continued. “Well, you would be the first friendly Unicorn I have ever met…” I did detect, well sadness in his voice as he said that. I felt that… I felt the same way towards just about everyhorse around me, until I left the big city, anyway. He ate everything, every last stem. He asked for a drink. I said I would bring the water bucket over. We were already low on water, and I would probably need to go get some more water in a bit, especially since we both needed water. It was quiet a minute, then I sighed, and explained that he could just drink as much as he wanted since I needed to get more. He drank most of what was left, and I finished the rest. “Is it day now?” he asked afterwards.

“Well, I think so, early afternoon maybe. It is just freezing cold, and was snowing madly on and off the last few days. I think if I am to get us water, I need to go soon…”

“Well, that is scary to me” he said quietly. “Not being able to see… That makes me pretty dependent on the only other friendly Unicorn I know…” Well, he ended up talking very slowly by the time he was done saying this.

I was that Unicorn, and I realized that, not being able to see, he really was pretty dependent on me, for now anyway. I guess I said what I felt… “Well, I will help you any way I can.” It was awkwardly quiet after that. Still, I added this. “I really should get the fire going again, then refill our water bucket some. The pond is frozen, and it will probably take maybe an hour.”

“Well, be careful. I don’t want to have to come try and find you.” He said this slowly again. I think that just made both of us want to cry. I felt that way…

I got two logs going in the fireplace, to warm things back up. And didn’t have to move far to do all that, between levitation and fire magic. He realized right away what I was doing. Maybe he could sense it as I used my magic. He said quietly “I wish I could watch…” I didn’t answer, but I was pretty sure when his sight came back in a few days, just one look at me, and he would be quickly gone. I didn’t consider myself the best mare specimen, and if the colts at my school were any indication… They had told me everything that was wrong with me. How could I forget.

“I hope to be back soon” I said quietly, then I walked out the door, holding the bucket with my magic, and also pulled the door shut. It was early afternoon, and the wind was very low. The sun was out some. It was cold but not absolutely freezing, with my coat on anyway. Still, I followed my path down to the pond. I tried to avoid looking too much at the mess I had made trying to get him up on my wagon… It did take about an hour to get the bucket most of the way full. I filled the bucket maybe half way by melting water on the pond and dipping the bucket in once, then I pulled up some ice chunks from the creek using my magic. Then I headed back to my house.

When I went back inside, I made sure to fully close the door behind me, then I put the bucket down in its spot near the door. The stallion heard me come in, and was clearly relieved. “I… am so glad you are back… This is just… not seeing… I just feel so very dependent…” He didn’t start crying, stallions usually don’t cry, my mom told me once. But I did see tears form and slowly fall down his face.

Well, I didn’t know what to do, so I didn’t do anything, and I had not moved far past the door. But I did say, quietly “I will help you any way I can.” I really meant that.

Well, he said quietly “Thank you… I think I need your help right now…” He put his head down, and tears still slowly fell. But he was soon asleep.

I think I was just… drained… I walked slowly over to the same spot where I had slept last night, facing him, with the fireplace beyond. Then I laid down on my belly, and, for the first time maybe, just looked. He was light blue like me, but maybe being almost frozen to death did that, I don’t know. And he was bigger than me, of course. His mane and tail were a lighter brown than mine, but not white. His Unicorn horn was a similar blue, but his was larger and a lot brighter. I guessed from that alone, that his magic was probably a lot more powerful than mine, no surprises there. And he felt… I felt he carried a lot of the same outcast feelings that I did… I just sighed.

Then, I turned away, and watched the fire for a while. I absolutely refused to hope for anything. I was trying to be a real friend like the mares I had met here. And I meant what I said. Taking care of him would mean extra work for me, but I would do anything I could to help him for a few days until his eyes began to work again. Like I said, I didn’t think he would stay much beyond that. He would thank me sincerely, then he would be on his way. That’s just the way it would be.

I really did feel so drained. Even though it wasn’t dark outside yet, I was quickly asleep too.

————–

1. The Background Music for this entire story is entitled “The Divine” from the “Forever Today” add-on for the original soundtrack for the “Seekers of Adoulin” expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and is copywritten by Square Enix. Players of FFXI will recognize this tune immediately, and this tune is fitting since a lot of this story takes place in the dead of winter. Please purchase this tune, and play it softly in the background while you read each chapter.

2. This story, “CSR Princess” is vol. 14 of the Chronicles of Summer Rain, and is copyright 2017 by Shysage

 

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