I've been pretty busy this semester. Any sort of creative writing, for the most part, has taken a back seat to all the lab reports and other scientific writings I've had to do. However, for my last elective, I took an online mythology class. Yes, more writing, I know, but for one assignment, I had to write a fairy tale that incorporated ten different aspects of mythology such as an aetological tale, heiros gamos, and so on. This essentially forced me to be creative, not that I minded, though it really stilted some of my writing because I at least had to lightly incorporate some elements into the story. I'm curious what you guys think of it as a story, a fairy tale. As a warning, though, it does become a bit violent as one continues, so sensitive people should take a bit of warning. (Yes, it was inspired slightly by MLP and MtG, but not more than the equines and the names) Equinni: The tale of the horse Once upon a time, there was a land of three types of creatures called Equinni—pegasi, unicorns, and horses. The pegasi had great wide wings that carried them swiftly across the lands. The unicorns possessed long, spiraling horns on their heads that allowed them to tap into the magic in the world around them flowing like water. The horses, having neither wings nor horn, had the gifts of great strength, speed, and endurance. They lived in harmony in their homeland, prancing across the sky and land, having no need for food or drink, living forever to experience the wonders of sky, plain, forest, and meadow. When it was time to introduce another to their land, even though they were both male and female, young Equinni weren’t made like conventional beings. One of each type of Equinni (pegasus, unicorn, and horse) would bring forth an element to forge into a new being, instantly adult. At the intersection of an open meadow, a river, and loamy earth, a roan pegasus, a bay unicorn, and a chestnut horse met to make a new Equinni. After greeting each other, they set to fetch their elements. The roan pegasus, Tamia, flew high above the meadow and fetched a piece of cumulus, gingerly clutching it in jaws of determined set. The bay unicorn, Garrik, formed water from the flowing stream into a globule in her golden magic, circling it around to help form a sphere. The chestnut horse, Yace, dug a small pit in the loamy earth, placing a small stone in the center. Once the three had rejoined, Tamia covered the stone with the cloud, while Garrik covered the stone and cloud with the water from the stream. Now came the second half of the ritual, where each Equinni would add a portion of themselves to the pool, imbuing it with life. However, as they turned around to pluck a feather, or spark the pool, or drop in a hoof chipping, they didn’t notice a small hare scampering out, hiding in the tall grass to watch. Seeing the pegasus drop a soft, reddish feather in the pool, the hare had to have it for herself. Running past Garrik, knocking into the unicorn’s hoof and startling the Equinni while the pool was being sparked, the hare grabbed the feather before it was ruined by the water. Unfortunately, Garrik’s magic missed, but everyone was unaware. Yace was the only one whose offering landed successfully, having a hoof chip drop into the center of the pool, settling on top of the cloud. Once it settled, the pool glowed with a brilliant light and began to expand outside of its borders. The light grew and formed into a shape of a brindle horse stepping out of the pit from where it had been created. By the new horse’s three creators, the new horse had been dubbed Zianos. Now to be taught the ways of the horse, Yace mentored the new Zianos, but the young brindle-colored fellow always seemed melancholy, staring at the pegasi soaring in the sky and the unicorns manipulating the magics of the world to perform great feats. Yace noticed this unhappiness, but unsure of how to console the other horse, tried to reiterate what made horses special, such as the strength to shatter boulders and haul mountains, or to race across the plains to best any pegasus in ground travel, or even have a great edge when it came to sparring due to their physical advantages. The chestnut horse eventually came to the end of the time of mentoring, and Zianos was left to independently forge a destiny. Every day, the showy wings and horns of the pegasi and unicorns taunted the young brindle. It demonstrated everything that wasn’t possible, there would be no flight, no magic for Zianos, just running and hauling and demolishing. Equinni society was about learning one’s place, helping one another, and to be happy where one was—there was only one hard and fast rule set by their god: Do not wish for what you cannot attain. But Zianos wanted a horn and wings! Wings to soar with the pegasi and a horn to weave magic with the unicorns combined with his strength would be the best combination around, but only one was capable of possessing all three attributes—their god Romadi Dai, ruler of sky, water, and earth, along with all things in them. It was blasphemous thought, but apparently another being sensed this, the same hare who stole the feather and disrupted Garrik’s magic. The hare introduced itself as Facaden, a seemingly normal animal imbued with the mind of an Equinni. Facaden said there was a secret to gaining the abilities of unicorn and pegasus, and that was to consume them, just like thoughts of their abilities consumed Zianos. Uncertain of what the hare meant at first, the brindle horse asked what the small furry creature meant by ‘consume.’ Once revealed that what Facaden meant is for Zianos to kill and eat three other Equinni, one of each type, preferably those who created him to make him the strongest, Zianos was shocked. Was it worth depriving others of their lives to further one’s own? What would be achieved would be what the horse had always dreamt of, being able to do everything every other Equinni could. Driven by a goal, Zianos agreed to the task, receiving the blessing of the hare, with the burning desire tp soon be quenched. Approaching the pegasus of the parental group in the guise of a friendly meal, the pair sat down to converse. While they had no need for food or drink, it was often used as an enhancement to social situations, something to practice making, critique, and enjoy. Tamia was delicately maneuvering bits of plant materials in her dish to a more personally pleasing arrangement, unaware of the sprinkled seeds of Strychnos on her dish, ingesting more and more of them as the meal progressed. Tamia’s body felt a strange twitch building, growing, leading to convulsions leaving the pegasus contorting painfully in strangled screams. The desired wings were useless as they were thrashing out of control—that is, until Zianos pinned the pegasus back down using them, snapping the delicate bone into shards piercing muscle and skin. Tamia screeched, catching a glimpse of bone press into the skin above around the grinding hooves. With a demonstration of great strength, Zianos jerked, spreading his legs, stretching the connection between wings and body, slowly tearing them off. The skin stretched and tore with slow pops at the beginning of holes, growing along with Tamia’s screams, screams at helplessness, screams at painful convulsions, screams at losing what made a pegasus a pegasus. After bloody tears had fully encircled Tamia’s wings, the muscles tore string by string, followed by the ‘pop’ of destroyed, slightly iridescent tendons. Rearing up with an impassioned whinny, Zianos crushed the bones barely connecting the wings to body, separating them. At this point, the screams died to a whimper, shock from not only the pain but the realization Tamia lost what special trait was possessed. Staring impassionately into the parental pegasus’s eyes, Zianos casually tossed the wings aside, the blood already starting to dry on the roan feathers. With another great stomp, the horse crushed the pegasus’s skull, feeling the crack of bone, the shatter of teeth, the liquid expression of eyeball beneath thick, heavy hooves. Tamia’s head was now white, red, and roan crumb-filled paste. Knowing there was no turning back now, Zianos took a bite of Tamia’s tenderized neck, chewing and swallowing bite after bite as wings sprouted on the brindle’s back. Garrik was known for being an active fellow, enjoying physical competitions despite a svelte physique. Zianos challenged the bay to a contest, to see who could haul piles of unwieldy, uneven granite stones, a contest of not only strength but planning and skill. The pegasus/horse being covered the fresh wings with a cloak, unwilling to let a parent see a new abomination. While the two were selecting and weighing stones, Zianos saw an opportunity. Hefting a particularly large one in a hoof, Zianos started to ask a question to gain the unicorns attention. When the bay’s head was turned to the abomination, Zianos tossed the stone at the unicorn’s horn, shattering it from its base. Garrik howled, dropping and rolling over in reflex to further protect the damaged skull. While the unicorn was downed, Zianos quickly dashed behind the pile and bucked it down, the heavy stones rolling to crush the unicorn. Hard granite shattered legs, crushed organs, and entrapped the unicorn. With every impact, Garrik’s wailing grew—that is, until his throat was crushed. Abraded by the rough surfaces of the stones, suffocating, and unable to move, Zianos saw his opportunity to strike. Quickly fetching the broken horn, the winged horse examined it mockingly as Garrik grew lighter and lighter headed. Aiming it above the sunken chest of the dying unicorn, Zianos laughed. All that had been flaunted, this was one step closer to the goal of power! Using the spirals of the horn, Zianos slowly drove it into the chest of the unicorn, feeling it penetrate damaged skin, breaking it, widening the gap created. The macerated muscle was easily punctured, and the crushed bones of Garrik’s ribcage posed little issue as what was left of the ribs was haphazardly pushed aside by the drill of the horn. At the heart, the abominable horse paused to glare at what had once been a proud unicorn. This crushed, whimpering mass was hardly awake to savor this experience, so why waste time? With a final thrust, the heart of the unicorn was pierced. With a flick of the makeshift drill, it was torn out of the gaping wound on the unicorn’s chest, still impaled. With great fervor, Zianos took bloody bites of the tenderized heart, consuming it as a spiral grew out of the abomination’s skull, marking two thirds of the journey complete. With such a long, new, horn, Zianos’s cloak could no longer accommodate it. Why is this new form something to be ashamed of? The article of clothing was shucked aside, forgotten as the horned, winged horse sought out his horse parent, Yace. Taking to the sky for the first time, the experience of total control and total freedom of this new terrain was exhilarating. The feel of each feather’s minor adjustment to wind flow, the heat of the sun on a feathered back, the cool of the air on a furred stomach, the whistle of the jetstream in the ears…it was heaven. Eventually, the abomination spotted Yace from above. Falling back to land behind the chestnut horse, horn alight to use the world’s magic to soften the noise of landing, Yace was quietly stalked. The feeling of an extension of one’s head tingling with an almost pleasurable sensation was completely alien, yet completely natural. Reaching out with a glow of magic, Zianos clutched Yace’s shoulder and forcefully confronted the horse. As one would expect, Yace looked horrified at the state of what had been the horse’s offspring. Stating that what had been done was necessary to forge the brindle’s own destiny; Zianos slowly enveloped the horse in magic, levitating the parent. The horse protested, trying to change the child’s mind, but Zianos would hear none of it. Taking a tendril of magic, it was shoved violently down the horse’s mouth, breaking several teeth, splattering the ground with the shards. Zianos forced it further down the horse’s esophagus, slowly expanding it as it burrowed. The horse could be seen bulging, ribcage audibly cracking as the chest cavity expanded. Pitiful whimpers came from the filled mouth of the horse, restrained by magic’s immoveable force. Eventually, the tendril reached the stomach, suddenly expanding to the point of bursting Yace’s abdominal cavity. At that point, the abomination grew impatient, simply ripping the horse limb from limb and letting the entrails flop to the ground. Taking a foreleg of the formerly alive horse’s, Zianos started taking large sloppy bites, gaining the strength of the horse parent. It wasn’t long after Zianos’s ‘ascension’ that the other Equinni noticed. Though too polite to say anything, it certainly did disturb the peace. A mere day after the gain of a horn, wings, and even greater strength, the hare approached Zianos once more. Facaden applauded Zianos for accomplishing this goal, asking if the abomination wanted more power. More power? Was that even possible? Zianos just murdered all three parents, and this hare wanted more dead? Was it worth it? Before the winged, horned horse could answer, Romadi Dai appeared in a flash, temporarily blinding the two. This Equinni could barely be called that, as this god had elements more fantastical than just the wings and a horn this god possessed. Clad in heavy golden armor that exposed only a face of continually shifting color and shape, this being was disorienting to look upon with this ethereal glow emanating from everywhere around this godly Equinni. With a glare alone, it seemed Romadi Dai was able to force the hare, slowly and painfully shifting its shape into another. After the sudden cracking and remodeling of bones, skin, and organs, this hare was reshaped into another Equinni-like form, but this was shadowy, the kind one sees only out of the corner of one’s eye. The edges of this new Equinni were continually shifting, unable to settle on a defined outline. Stating that enough had been seen of Facaden’s attempts at ‘bettering’ the Equinni, Romadi Dai was about to sentence the trickster to one thousand years as a mute hare, unable to change. Facaden objected, though, saying this was the only way that balance could be reasserted. Romadi Dai was too benevolent to the people, disturbing the balance of good and evil. If too much good was present, a great evil had to emerge to counteract that. What could be more evil than a violation of society’s only hard-and-fast rule with a bastardization of what it meant to be Equinni? Unfortunately, Romadi Dai understood Facaden’s point. Prior attempts at balancing good and evil had failed. If balancing the extremes couldn’t work, then neutrality was the only option. Enveloping all three Equinni in magic, Romadi Dai set upon casting the spell that would solve all of these issues. With a blast that spread across the land, the three were sacrificed in a spell. Wings, horns, and strength were all torn away from the Equinni, rendering them like horses. Their speech and their intelligence were stripped, making sure they would never make another immoral decision. They were rendered either male or female, incapable of the miraculous births that they once could perform. Conception and birth were risky and deadly. Their immortality was destroyed because of this, needing to eat and drink to sustain themselves, needing to have sex to pass on parts of themselves to survive in the future. They became what we humans would call normal, ordinary horses, never again to possess wonderful powers.