Disclaimer: All belongs to Franzoni, Fuqua, and Bruckheimer, I just got inspired.


A Legend of Fallen Nights

One

You may not believe it now, but once I was a great warrior. Yes, I do look very different; my coat shiny and dark brown, my nose longer, my ears more alert and wild looking, and oh yes, I have a tail. But there are some striking similarities between this life and the last. Most notably are my eyes, for they are still as dark as the night and although I may not speak, I am not as dumb as you believe.

When I first awoke from my dreamless sleep I found myself in a forest, surrounded by steam, mist, animals of the dark, and strange men. The cold night was lighted only by the dim stars above us. I could hear the men speaking. "Ahhh, there's a good girl, there's a girl, lass. Yer all right, now, it's over."

What is over? I wanted to ask, blinking my eyes as I found even the candle light was hard to bear. Where am I? Where have I come?

I found myself in a strange new land with strange new acquaintances and in a very strange new life. High in the lands where there was always a hill bigger than you stood on, and a hill bigger than that and so on. The grass was always green in the summer and the winters were always bitter and cold. I had hooves, walked on four feet, and made strange noises when I tried to speak, but strangest of all, I could not seem to remember what I had so desperately wanted to cling onto. I was myself, but yet I was not—I was new.

My snout got in the way of things, when I tried to tell my masters things, but they only laughed at me and gently patted my face while I saw the other horses running free and dumb. They knew nothing and were of no use to me; all but my mother, who was my only solace.

I spent little time with Mother, though, and the days years were quick when she would groom me and run wild with me in the fields where we ate and played. I did not understand at first why they separated Mother and I, but it was what was expected. I was grown and to be prepared for a new life.

The people I lived with lived nowhere and we drifted from place to place. When in war the people I lived with pained themselves blue and put twisting, black decorations all over their bodies as if to frighten the enemy. The display was fascinating—and I often longed to take my own life up on the battlefield, where my mother always charged the enemy first, followed by the steady stream of horses and men. Someday, my master promised, I, too, would be amongst the many horses charging the enemy.

My master's name was Bruce and he had a lovely wife (who gave me plenty of ripe red apples) named Eithne, but they only had one child named Brigid. Brigid never found comfort or fun in playing with the other children, as I had come to observe, but her curiosity was in horses, and drawing funny knots and designs on everything…sometimes even me. I did not mind, as long as she did not pull my tail or braid my hair!

There seemed to be a reverence and a sort of fear coming from Brigid when it came to us horses. Due to the fact that she never pulled on my tail or tried to braid my tail, I found a liking in her. The girl had orange hair that never seemed to tame, like her father, and freckles with very light skin that easily burned when the sun was out, which was an incredibly rare event for the highlands. Although tall and thin, Brigid was almost unbreakable—she liked hard work and did all the chores her father and mother asked of her. Brigid was quiet, barely speaking to anyone but her father Bruce, and sometimes to me.

Bruce was a fine man and kind to all of his people and horses. My life was simple, filled with lots of green, green grass, and the comfort of a well built stable. Had my life always been this way, my story would end here, but it does not and change occurs quick and often, leaving the weak and unprepared behind in its wake.

The night began bright and beautiful; Bruce took me out for a jaunt to keep my back used to a rider when the time came to be placed in battle. Bruce and I rode to the sun, chasing after it as the great flame disappeared over the edge of the very earth, turning the sky bright purples, pinks, and reds as if it left the blue sky smoldering from its very heat.

"There's a good boy," Bruce patted my nose, as I ate from his right hand, filled with oats, "a fine warrior you'll become, aye?"

I ate heartily from my master's palm, licking up whatever I could despite all the oats that had spilled onto the dirt ground of the thatch covered stable. "Goodnight then, warrior, 'tis a rest you deserve," Bruce slapped my large shoulder when he had finished his time with me, "and early tomorrow shall we all wake to a bright new dawn to welcome us from our slumber."

With that, Bruce left me and although I wished he might stay longer, I was too hungry to call after him.

I slept easy that starry night. The moon shown so brightly it might have blinded the night creatures, for it tried to steal into our stable. A few of the horses snorted and neighed, but in my dreams I could have see the stars bright and clear as they attempted to kiss the earth while I gazed upon them. In my dreams, all was different and I was not a horse, but a fellow human and I could speak with other humans. Humans I thought I knew, but could not name. Only in my dreams and nightmares could I speak their words and names and remember everything, but the moment I woke all prior knowledge to a silenced life was gone.

There was a sudden ruckus outside, shouting and bellows of war. In moments I could feel and see the flames right outside the stables. Some of the horses had been taken to fight, some stolen by whatever enemy had attacked, and still some rode off of their own free will, but I remained trapped in my stall.

Now the stable doors were wide open and I saw the fighting so close. From outside the flickering fire frightened and amazed me. Inside the stable was too dark to know what really was going on and I neighed loudly, kicking at my door.

From the flame I saw a shadow come running into the stables—and until the figure was at my stall I could not see who it was. I neighed frightfully, fearing a Saxon had come to steal me away, but I would fight and die before they should take me!

"Sh!" A hoarse voice calmed and grasped my reigns tightly, pulling me to my wits and her eyes. "Don't fret, my warrior."

A weak hand slid over my muzzle to console my worries and I was assured of Brigid's presence. Our eyes matched and I saw in her weakened state and what fear she held. What's the matter? I snorted in confusion.

Making sure no one had spotted her; Brigid haphazardly swung open the lock on my stable and led me out. What going on? I stomped my hoof at the ground defiantly. Where are we going?

"Come now," Brigid ordered roughly, "we've no time for this!"

The urgency in Brigid's voice alerted my senses and I became aware that there was something incredibly wrong. With no more hesitation, I followed Brigid to the stable doors and she shielded her eyes from the light of the fire while I did my best not to fear it.

Where can we go? I thought frantically. We're trapped!

When Brigid tried to mount me, she fell back to the ground and I gave her a look of confusion. What's the matter with you? I grew impatient.

I then noticed when she stood that there was a strange liquid on the ground, seeping into the stray hay and dirt. Not only was Brigid wounded, but I never remembered her ever riding a horse and the shouts from outside had dwindled. Lowering onto my haunches for Brigid, I allowed her to easily get on my back although I could sense her pain when I stood. I faced the fire once more. We must be strong.

Closing my eyes I ran and Brigid lie against me as we leapt through the flames and raced through the town. There was an odd, unfamiliar language surrounding me, but I refused to open my eyes and I believe Brigid also had.

In the recesses of my mind I saw a man—a man who had never been in my dreams. "There is a legend that fallen knights return as great horses…"

Father…

The whisper came from my own voice, the one I could remember from so long ago. The sight of Brigid came to mind and I assured her with a loud snort. I will protect you, great warrior, for I have seen what awaits you.

I did not open my eyes until we were deep within the forest and fighting the brush with the shouts of the enemy far behind us. Brigid was now unconscious and her long, orange braid slapped against my bare skin, but my pace never slowed as I let my instincts guide me southward.


So what do you guys think of my brand new take? If somebody already thought of it, I commend your brilliance. As for me, I am trying to do as much justice to Lancelot and his new horsely state as possible. Do you like? Tell me and I may just keep her going! Oh yeah and it'd fun if somebody else did a Tristan and Dagonet one and kind of collaborated it with my own story, I'd be totally up for that action. Just give me a ring on da e-mail.