Author: DT Maxwell
Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to the Firebringer Trilogy. It is the copyrighted and intellectual property of Meredith Ann Pierce, may she continue to write beautiful fiction. This little fan piece, however, is all mine.
Notes: This was written for no particular reason other than one, I was boiling hot, and two, thinking of winter actually helps me cool down. Timeframe is generic: it could be before the exile or after the return to the Hallow Hills. You pick.
The round moon shone down on the white-covered grove, casting an ethereal glow on all its pale light touched. Winter had its full grip on these hills, evident from the icicles that hung from bare tree limbs to the deep drifts of snow that even moose would have trouble navigating through.
Slowly, quietly, as if loath to disturb the serenity of the great clearing, figures began to emerge from the tree line. Ears twitched at the smallest sound, feet were carefully placed on invisible paths, and when the creatures breathed out the air became nearly as white as the snow. Reds and blues, gray, the rare gold, other relatively abnormal hues - these were the colors these beings bore, inherited from previous generations and passed on to posterity.
After a few minutes, all that could had gathered into a rough circle at the center of the area, facing inwards, of all sizes and ages. For generations uncounted this most sacred of rituals had occurred at every rising of the full moon, and not even their race's lengthy history could pinpoint when it had first taken place.
At a low whistle from a gold-spangled blue, the circle began moving to the right, gradually picking up speed. Snow flew as youngsters kicked up their heels beside parents, young couples frolicked with eyes for none but their partner, and laughter and joyful tunes began to fill the air.
Moonlight flashed on long spiral skewers that grew from foreheads, on cloven heels, on tossing manes and tasseled tails.
The unicorns danced.
The gold-and-blue whistled again, higher pitched this time, and the ring moved left. The unheard tempo increased, speed picked up until everyone from the oldest elder to the youngest colt was almost galloping, the near-frenzied pace exhausting, though the participants paid no attention to fatigue. Right then, only the dance mattered.
Soon, all too soon, as the full moon neared its zenith, the dancers slowed, exhilaration clinging to some and weariness to others. Mates rubbed shoulders, dam nuzzled their children, and the unicorns finally came to a complete halt. A circle had been completely melted and pounded into the deep snow until the bare earth was visible.
Just as quietly as they had come, they began to disperse in all directions, the shadows of the forest swallowing them up into the night.
The blue stallion with gold flecks halted before the tree line, gazing back over his shoulder at the clearing with dark eyes.
Snorting, he turned and bounded into the barren woods, intent on home.
Until next moondance.