The coolness of a perfect mountain morning bit the tip of sixteen year old Anneke's nose. Her mid-back length dirty blond hair swayed in the breeze as her beautiful green eyes surveyed the vast pasture before her. She clutched her red shall around her body and tiptoed across the creaky wooden porch. She peered over her shoulder at her family's house, and when she found no sign of movement from inside, she ran across the dewy green grass to the barn. She groaned and grunted as she struggled to push the enormous door open. As the morning light spilled into the musky interior of the building, several of the horses stabled inside nickered and whinnied.
"Windy and Chimer, Abel and Dynus, please keep quiet." Anneeke tiptoed over the fusty straw in the barn isle and snatched a bridle off a hook on the far wall. A mischievous grin passed over the girl's full pink lips as she approached her favourite gelding's stall. "Chimer… c'mere my friend." Anneke made light kissy noises and coaxed the animal towards her. He dropped his large head over the half door and blew warm breath onto Anneke's hair, making the girl giggle. She offered the big grey horse a handful of oats before she put the worn leather bridle onto his head. "Time for some fun" she whispered, tying her long white skirt into a knot at her thighs. She carefully led Chimer out the door of the barn, and closed it behind them. With one last grunt and deep breath, Anneke sprung onto the bulky draft's back, and sighed in content at the feeling of his warm, soft hyde against her bare legs. With one last nervous glance at her house, Anneke nudged her mount into a relaxed canter, and steered him far from her family's land.
Chimer and Anneke walked along their usual route, which took them approximately seven miles from Anneke's farm, and past the "fire hills" as the sixteen year old took to calling them. They were exposed to the sun for long hours a day, and all the vegetation and grass growing in that area was dead and dried out. Anneke's favourite part of her daily ride was over the crest of the hill. Dry chunks of dirt and rocks tumbled down the hill under the weight of Chimer's hooves, and Anneke always felt like she was on an adventure some where else in the world. In the desert perhaps. The sun had still not awakened, so the air was chilly and drab. Anneke found out that if one woke up at a particularly early hour, one's breath was visible in the grey air. Chimer began his descent down the coarse side of the slope, and dropped his neck, as if the carefully inspect each rock before he trod over it. Anneke grasped several strands of the gelding's coarse black mane, and squinted her eyes shut, hoping that Chimer would mind his lumbering hooves and arrive at the bottom of the hill safely. The horse grunted stumbled, provoking a squeak from Anneke. The horse snorted as if in dismay and trotted daintily down the rest of the way. "Chimer!" Hissed Anneke, grasping the animal's sides with her bare legs. The horse slowed to a walk, and ambled across the field, stopping every few strides to snatch up a mouthful of long yellow grass. Anneke didn't mind the frequent breaks, she was far too busy looking up at the sky, where the morning mist was beginning to burn off as the sun peaked over the fields. She closed her eyes in content, and savoured the very sound of Chimer's steady breathing and the twitter or birds. When the duo was well half way across the field, a coyote spooked at Chimer's immense presence, and bounded away. The horse, not expecting the sudden movement, squealed and picked up a frightening gallop. Anneke screamed and held onto the leather of the reins with all her might. "WHOA, CHIMER! WHOA!" Anneke's voice rose to a shrill plead, but the horse continued its mad dash through the tall grass, swerving at nothing and throwing a few bucks here and there. Anneke bent low over the horses' withers, and squinted her eyes shut, hoping the wild ride would be done soon. When Chimer finally returned to a graceful canter, Anneke opened her eyes, her hands shaking in fright. "Whoa." Anneke spoke softly to the gelding, and sighed shakily when he returned to a walk. The girl took several moments to regain her confidence before she realised that she did not recognise the field any longer. Rose hemp bushes and wild flowers flourished in the bright green grass, and the mountains seemed to be a lot closer. "Oh, Chimer…we're in trouble now…" Anneke was about to turn her horse around and head back to the farm before her parents awoke, when something else caught her eye. Chimer was interested too; he had his ears pricked in the direction of a thicket of bushed and coarse branches. "Just don't get scared" she mumbled, allowing the horse to sniff his way to the bushed. As they approached, Anneke noticed a huge hill leading downwards to a different field, one much unlike the ones Anneke was used to seeing. This one was rich and green, and many brown specks were visible from Anneke's perch from above. She realised, with a gasp that several horses were grazing below. Chimer must have noticed too, because he let out an ear piercing whinny. "OW! Chimer!" Anneke slapped her hands to her ears, but not before she heard the answering whinny from below. "Nice going, Chimer" she grumbled, as the line of horses came running towards them. It was then Anneke realised with a gasp, that those horses did not belong to any body…they were wild.