The carriage eventually triumphed over the muddy, dingy trails and squelched to a stop after another ten minutes, give or take. Their location was in a modest patch of land whose beauty might have been much more extravagant if the absence of the pastel blotch called a "mansion" didn't grace the once wheat dominated lands. It sat like an overweight pimple on the face of the grasslands where, upon alert observation, the boy noticed the wholesome shape of many a maid's collective shadow in the taintless windows, presumably dusting countless knick-knacks and chandeliers. As he unloaded himself from carriage, he noticed the thousand bloomings of immeasurable amounts of white flowers, whose petals gently kissed the land and gave it the appearance of newly fallen snow. It was a deep contrast from the Africa he had previously and shortly known, the one that dressed itself in brown and heat, and he admired the sight for as long as his mother's schedule permitted (fifteen point five seconds, precisely). Some were crushed under the carriage, and he took care not to step on and hurt a single one as the boy's descent was made.

Fleur merely stomped on them.

The boy was about to grip his suitcase between his case and drag it to his room, but his mother merely kicked the case out of his hooves with a well planned buck.

"That's the bag boy's job." Her voice snared into that of a serpent's cold hiss.

"Yes, Fleur."

The force of her kick had caused a rain of supplies from his carefully packed case to freely tumble into their first breath of African air, including his bunny. It plummeted into a particularly fragment patch of flowers, dirt now tentatively chewing at the toy's ears. He went to lunge for it, but his mother pulled at his finely groomed tail and spat at the ground.

"That's also the bag boy's job."

"Yes, Fleur."

"Are you trying to put him out of a job? Is that why you keep doing these things to me?" She emphasized the word "me", the mask of a mother she had once worn on a previous year now non-existent from years of stress, pain, and buisness.

"No, Fleur."

She supplied an unladylike snort. "I'm sure. You've been doing things to spite me ever since your birth. I'll be keeping my eye on you this week."

"Yes, Fleur."

No more words were spoken as the distance to the house decreased and the run to his bunny increased. Choosing to ignore that slight pang of doubt that clamped onto his heart in his mother's direction, he instead opted to make the best of his time by exploring his temporary home when he walked in the front doors.

As soon as he clamored up the uppermost staircase, the pure size of the establishment struck him. Pillars spun from pure earth pony artistry and well hardened marble stood as testimony to the wealth upholding the glorious palace. Hooves had carved out deep recesses and disruptions in their rightful place on their backsides. Gawking at the sight was a stained glass window which hummed many shades of sunlight into the room, scintillating power and the rainbow onto the opposite walls. After appreciating the silent beauty that the goddess Celestia had graciously sacrificed many a thing for, even throwing in a quickly summoned and stated prayer, he shuffled to the right where presumably his room lay in wait.

To his surprise, upon entering the room, his luggage was resting against cheesy wallpaper. The walls donned with rabbits of all colors, one for every hue the rainbow spewed, were currently in a foot race with his slight embarrassment. He had no doubt that his mother had specify chosen this room in order to teach him some sort of lesson, or perhaps it was how she got her kicks (which were quite few and far between nowadays). Nonetheless, after a quick rummage through his bag ("Or is that also the job of the bag boy?", he wondered aloud), he was once more reunited with his bunny and the persistent smell of Africa. Only now it was more of a taste, the pollen of white flowers and the skin of zebra. I wonder if a zebra is much like a flower, he pondered. After all, their stripes could serve as the dark of soil and their skin is not far off from the color of the field outside. I should stop thinking such ridiculous thoughts. They serve no purpose but to possibly anger my mother more. And much like a light switch being forced down to off, the boy cut short in all recollections, thus terminating all silly thoughts on the comparison of zebras and flowers, and went to bed.

His last observance of the world around him was a glance out his window. It was the last he offered to the foreign world. A blizzard of white, a slur of green blade. Yet there was a color off, a certain stain of sorts...a black spot.

There was someone watching him.