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Where Rainbows May Fall

The land seemed to be shining with something more today, the ferns and grasses greener and the thick trunks of the oaks more robust. Coupled with the bright sun, this day was even more perfect than the days before it. Pegasus swooped down with graceful speed, a precision of lean muscle, glossy wings, and coat. His mane and tail flowed in a seamless line behind his powerful croup and withers. The feathers of his wings fluttered from the rapid air flowing across his body as the land streaked by in blurs of green and brown and washes of other bright colors danced in his peripherals.

His sleek obsidian form came dangerously close to smashing into the ground before he snapped his wings to their full expanse. A sharp pop filled in the quiet around him as he altered his course toward the sky. A few powerful strokes of his wings saw him to the aerosphere before he leveled off to once again glide lazily across the breadth of Lisadour.

Pegasus arched his neck gracefully, allowing the perfect lines of his anatomy to be seen by the creatures below. A few small creatures paused to watch him glide by, enamored by the sight of his faultless silhouette. And how could they not admire him? Pegasus knew he was a sight to behold with his spotless coat and mane, not to mention the powerful wings that stretched out twice the size of his articulate body.

He acknowledged the small creatures under his protection and preened at their attentions. He liked the looks of awe and wished for more, but he had a job to do as protector of the realm. He angled his wings to make his way toward the border. The interior of the realm was his favorite place to monitor since it had varied landscape and an abundance of green, but he needed to ensure that all the lands of Lisadour were secure.

This was a pure realm, largely untouched by Other, and it had remained as such since the beginning of time. Like the Pegasus before him, protecting the flora and fauna was his sole responsibility. After all, he was the most powerful, the most magical, and the most beautiful creature in the realm.

The shimmering glow of the border came into view and Pegasus banked to follow its curved edge. Out here there was much less flora; the ferns and grasses slowly melted away to rich red rock. Small snakes and lizards startled as his shadow briefly hooded their coveted sun. He huffed a displeased breath, these creatures never did seem to care to watch him as others did.

He completed his circuit of the border in lazy up-and-down arcs, enjoying the simple pleasure of unhurried flight. All was well until near the end, he spotted a black patch, very unnatural in color. He took a light dive toward the area to investigate and as he moved closer, Pegasus noticed a wrongness in the air. He pulled up abruptly to hover some distance away, snorting in distaste from the aberrant scent clogging his nose. That does not belong, he thought.

He did not want to near the diseased land, but it was his job to be curious. So, landing a few feet away, Pegasus sidled as close as he dared to the foul area. He did not want to tarnish his own handsomeness with whatever loathsome matter was before him. Taking a shallow breath, the rot punctured his nose and it reeked of Other; selfishness, pride, and greed colored the smell.

Spots like this would creep up from time to time in Lisadour. Not because of his lack of protection, it was just simply a time in Other when things were worse than usual. In a day or two, the land would naturally heal the spot and all would be normal. With a nod and a snort of satisfaction, he took off toward his favorite place to rest, the thick overhanging branches of the oaks by Mirall Lake. He would return in a few days to make sure all was well.


Upon his next flight, Pegasus circled above Mirall Lake, lazily admiring his own reflection before angling toward the area where he had seen the dark patch. He fully expected the diseased spot to be almost healed, if not completely gone. To his horror the patch had grown. This is really not good, he thought. Gliding to the ground, Pegasus again crept up to the edge of the blight. An acrid smell once again filled his nose, sending his sinuses into a sneezing fit. Still, he thought, the goodness of Lisadour will heal this like all the other spots of darkness. Just to be sure he stamped his foot and glittery golden magic flowed from his hoof before seeping into the brittle ground. The color of the patch lightened ever so slightly. Satisfied, he took to the air.

The fact that the rotten piece of land had consumed even more was concerning. He’d never seen anything like it. What would happen if it spread to the whole of Lisadour? He shuttered, faltering in his flight path at the thought of the damage the rot could do. He loved this place, and to see it ruined by such things as selfishness, greed, and pride would be unbearable. After a few moments of consideration, Pegasus put his faith in the lands ability to heal. With the addition of his own magic, how could the blight not be healed soon? All would return to normal and he would not need to resort to extreme measures.


The next morning, as soon as the sun had risen, to ensure his magic had taken hold, Pegasus flew to the blighted area he had been monitoring. Nearing the space, he reared back in surprise as he saw the rot had crept further into the borders of Lisadour, corrupting all of the beauty in its path. How can this be? He wondered.

Overnight, the blackness had spread to a quarter of the realm. Even from this distance, he could see dozens of animals scurrying—frightened—away from the blackened area. This was getting out of hand, and observation was no longer enough; what he needed now was answers. Circling back to Mirall Lake, he decided he would look at Other. What he saw there would solve the mystery of this sudden plague upon the realm. He vowed to get to the bottom of what was destroying his beloved Lisadour.

Upon nearing the lake, Pegasus noticed several fauna crowded along the shore. Quiet and nervous chatter greeted his ears. The first small animal to spot his coming raised his voice, enticing additional shouts from the congregated animals, each one of them clamoring for his undivided attention. All variety of creature had gathered, even many of the deep wood creatures not yet affected by the blight hugged the shore. News had spread fast despite his attempt to keep the sickly rot at bay.

He landed with a graceful glide into the water, folding his glossy wings tight to his sides before swimming closer to the assembly. He floated in the calm surface just far enough away that those speaking did not have to shout.

“What are you going to do about our home?” questioned a dusty rabbit.

“I can’t sun bathe on my favorite rock,” croaked a small green lizard.

“My beloved patch of flowers is all but gone,” complained a field mouse perched on the head of a fox.

Pegasus listened quietly as the animals took their turns lodging questions, complaints, and concerns. He waited patiently until all talking had ceased. “Friends, I do not know what is the cause of this cancer upon our realm, but rest assured I will do whatever I can to fix the issue. This will not continue for much longer. Badger,” Pegasus said pinning his gaze to the stout stripped animal, “I wish to speak with you.”

Without waiting for a response, Pegasus expanded his glorious wings and lifted his sleek body into the dusk sky, flying high above Mirall Lake and away from the enraged demands spawned by his insufficient answer; waiting until the Badger was truly alone.


After a time, all of the creatures dispersed, leaving the Badger standing alone on the shore. The stocky animal was sure to be grumpy at the lengthy wait, but as the oldest creature in Lisadour he was the only animal with whom Pegasus was willing to discuss the problem at hand. Badger had seen three generations of his ancestors protect Lisadour. He really was the only animal to provide wisdom in this moment.

“You kept me waiting long enough,” Badger grumbled.

“I apologize, but this is a serious matter and you are the only one with a level head,” Pegasus replied.

“True enough. Well, speak your mind then.”

“I have glanced at Other and it is not good. She is at the heart of the destruction plaguing our home.”

“Humph,” Badger said. “Figures She would be the one to cause this ruckus. Can’t ever get over a grudge my pappy always said.”

“My magic has done nothing. This will keep spreading. What other options do I have?”

The Badger scratched at the ground. “There is only one solution, Pegasus.”

Pegasus was silent, for he had a feeling that he knew what Badger would say, and hearing the words were not the confirmation he wanted. It was a solution that had touched his mind earlier but he had dismissed it knowing what it would do to him.

“You must sacrifice,” Badger said quietly.

“No! There has to be another way.”

“There is not.”

“But what of my beauty? My magic? My flight?”

“It’s just a body, Pegasus. Rainbows may be around for only a short time, but their impression is lasting,” Badger replied.

Pegasus looked away from the old creature. He would be reborn, his kind always was, but could he really sacrifice what he loved so much about this realm and of himself? “I will think upon what you have said.”

Leaping, Pegasus took flight with the burning eyes of Badger tracking him.


The horse looked at his reflection in a murky puddle. His dull black coat was mottled with patches of grey and white. The muscles in his back spasmed and itched as if something should have been there but was not. His heart was heavy with the feeling that he had once been something more—something grand—but recollection perched just outside his understanding.

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