Skyrider

For the Daily Post prompt: Punishment, a slightly different interpretation of the fairy tale prince.

Riddaren_rider_by_John_Bauer_1914

In a fury, the prince stormed into the stables and ordered his favourite horse to be saddled, the horse that rode the sky. Grooms and stable boys fell over themselves to prepare the horse, terrified of the prince’s anger should they keep him waiting, or should he find fault with their work. The prince had barely time to tap his foot with impatience before his horse was brought out, shining and brilliant in his finest trappings. Thin-lipped and white-faced, the prince snatched the reins and, without a word, leapt into the saddle.

He dug the spurs savagely into Skyrider’s flanks, and the horse soared into the darkening sky. Already the first stars were shining; soon it would be night. Mercilessly the young prince urged his horse on, further and higher, higher and further, until the roaring wind of their flight blew white foam flecks from Skyrider’s flanks to join the waking stars. At last, his horse tiring, and when even the spurs could make him go no faster, the prince found what he had been searching for.

He reached out a jewelled gauntlet and snatched it from its velvet bed—the star of destruction. His face, white with anger, grimaced as a mirthless grin of victory spread across his face, and he balanced the star in his hand, testing its weight. When his father raised his face to the heavens and saw the red star of death streak across the sky and fall upon his palace, his city, his realm, he would regret bitterly his refusal to name his youngest son as his heir.

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Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

21 thoughts on “Skyrider”

  1. This prince was also cruel to the horse–so he’s an extra waste of space.
    The beginning of the story reminded me of Apollo and Phaeton. Nice twist at the end. 🙂

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