Eowyn’s heart beat in rhythm with the cadence of Marachar’s hooves as they kicked up dirt beneath them.
Her breath came quick and hard and hazy in the cold evening air.
Her flaxen curls flew out wildly behind her and the hem of her dress whipped around her ankles.
The pounding hooves behind her sounded like thunder in her Elven ears.
She glanced over her shoulder and saw the Tachat warrior close behind her, gaining on her with every bound.
She must deliver her message.
Sending up a silent prayer for deliverance, she urged on Marachar. She leaned down even further over his neck, her fingers intertwined in the soft strands of his mane and grasping tightly.
The cold air thrashed across her face.
She saw an opening in the trees and veered to the left.
She was on the Cliffs of Roan, racing toward the sheer precipice that dropped into the ocean.
Her heart swelled and she spurred Marachar even harder. In a heartbeat, the ground was gone and they were diving off the cliff.
Marachar spread his huge black wings and caught the current of the breeze.
Eowyn glanced behind her.
She saw the Tachat and his wingless mount plummeting in a wild freefall from the precipice and finally plunging with an immense splash into the frothy sea, never to rise.
Eowyn faced the twilit horizon and inhaled a deep breath of the cool sea air.
The rush of the wind and the flapping of Marachar’s wings sounded in her ears.
A roar. A hiss. A breath of fire.
There it was. To her right.
The Tachat general must have sent his dragon after her, to clean up the mess should his warrior fail.
Eowyn drew her sword and brought Marachar around to face the beast.
“I’ve got no time for you,” she murmured as her sword flashed in the fading light.
© Whitney L. Schwartz