Disclaimer:I don't own The Scorpio Races, nor do I think I can ever compete against Maggie Stiefvater's wonderful writing.
As Corr hobbles slowly towards Sean, I can almost feel Sean's rising joy. He looks in wonder at the capall uisce. Corr has done many things, but he's never chosen Sean over the sea. Sean rushes back to the sunset-coated capall and I watch as they meet at the ocean's edge. It tugs at them, wanting them relentlessly, but neither horse nor man can be budged. I find myself looking away. Sean's love for his horse is difficult to explain, just as my love for the island is. It's what keeps us here, on Thisby, each for different reasons. I take a step back, George Holly following my lead. Then I turn away. My feet kick up sun-bleached sand as I walk away. For once, Sean doesn't notice.
I walk slowly to my home. The day seems sad, the wind blows at me and I taste melancholy on its breeze. For once, I have nothing to do, nowhere to go. No job to find, no errands. No races. After the Scorpio Races, everything goes back to normal. All of the tourists will leave and our Thisby will be left to its own devices. Until next November, the talk of my incredible win will fade away. The island will be peaceful again. As peaceful as it ever will be, at least. There are some things that never change.
I almost don't realize that I've arrived at my home until I walk up its shabby front steps. Dove whinnies shrilly at me, most likely asking for food. I've pretty much spoiled her since she won the Race. She saved my family's skins. She deserves more than I can ever give her. I enter the house and go to the kitchen, planning to get a few carrots to feed her, when I see Finn. He is sitting at the kitchen table with Gabe. They both look at me solemnly and I suddenly know what they were talking about. Like I said before, there are some things you can't change. Gabe still wants to leave the island.
There's an unspoken agreement exchanged between our gazes. I no longer care if Gabe goes, as long as he doesn't abandon us. And he knows that. On the other hand, it's still hard knowing that he won't be here for me or Finn one day. I incline my head to the front door and he trails after me as I go outside. Finn doesn't follow. My brother watches me feed Dove, who nickers as I give her the carrots. A long silence stretches out between us.
"I'll be leaving on the last ferry from Thisby, with the remaining tourists. That's a few days from now." His voice is determined, final, and I know I cannot change his mind. I nod softly. I don't trust myself to speak. I swallow a sob as Gabe's hand gingerly touches my shoulder, trying to console me. He pats my shoulder a few times and then I hear his footsteps fade as he walks away. Dove nuzzles my pockets, undoubtedly looking for more treats. She loses interest soon when she realizes I don't have any and resumes her trot around her paddock. Her head tosses and she rears and I laugh along with her. Seeing her like this is almost like watching one of the capaill uisce.
Watching her, my mind wanders to Sean. In my mind I see his sharp face, his windblown hair, his upturned jacket collar. He's just about as wild as our island is. Is he still down on the beach with Corr? Abruptly, I find myself wishing for the two of them. Yes, even Corr. I had grown used to training with them, enough to feel the emptiness when that time was gone. Some part of me worries that with the races over, Sean will go back to being the reclusive outsider that he is. That he will forget about me. I shake my head. My thoughts are conflicted. Since when do I think like that?
Before I know it, it's dusk and Finn is tugging gently at my arm. I allow him to pull me into the warmth and safety of the house. I go into the kitchen, make supper for three. We eat quickly and quietly. One can see that each of us has something on our mind. As I clean up, I hear the door open and I spin around. Sean? But it's only Gabe leaving. He's probably going to meet his friends at the bar. I mentally kick myself. Of course it wouldn't be Sean. That horse tamer had better things to do than come out of his way to see me.
I fall into my bed early but I'm not ready to sleep. If only I could get that sharp face out of my mind. I grumble and turn on my side. A flash of red catches my eye and my gaze rests on my bedside table. A slice of moonlight falls on a red ribbon bracelet. The bracelet that Sean gave me just a few days ago. The day of my first Scorpio Race. I remember it clearly. Him giving me that bracelet. Our second kiss. The push of the crowd around us. The day that I won on Dove, an almost impossible accomplishment.
Just before my eyes close, I make a promise to go down to the beach tomorrow morning. I'll sit on the cliff, where we first officially met. And, eventually, he'll come.
For those of you who don't know or haven't read the Scorpio Races, this story's beginning overlaps the last chapter of the actual book. The one difference is that I've changed it to Puck's POV. I will be making Sean's POV next. And, hopefully, they will meet up in the next chapter.
Please review! I love feedback!