In which Atrocious makes a friend.
Atrocious Lex – Part Three
Atrocious sped across the countryside, her dirty blond locks streaming behind her in the wind she and her mount made. When she had first mounted the beast, she had done so only with the intention of making a quick escape, but with every powerful stride, the mare was endearing herself to Atrocious more and more.
“Maybe I’ll keep you!” She shouted over the sound of the thundering hoof-beats. The mare’s excited whinny and rapidly twitching ears were enough to convince Atrocious that the mare was in agreement with her plan.
Keeping the horse meant doing two things, naming it, for everything needed a name, and removing the quarter sheet proudly emblazoned with the Imperial Fleur de Lis. That was something of a dead giveaway and would be the thing most likely to get her thrown into a dungeon.
At the first available opportunity, Atrocious rode the mare off the main road and up into a wooded glen, where she dismounted and began stripping the horse of her shiny trappings, including saddle and bridle. Every piece of leather on the animal seemed to have been stamped with the Imperial symbol.
“I’m surprised they didn’t stamp you… oh bugger.” As Atrocious removed the quarter sheet from the back of the mare, she saw the Imperial brand marked clear as day, emblazoned on the horse’s hindquarters. “Bastards burned your ass,” she sighed.
After pondering the problem for some time, Atrocious determined the only way to successfully camouflage her new mount was going to be to find a new saddle, bridle and quarter blanket. Such a thing was much more easily said than done in the middle of the woods. At the bare minimum she was going to need a blanket to cover the Imperial mark. Such an item might be purloined at one of the farmsteads or small villages that dotted the landscape.
“Let’s go find you something less ostentatious,” Atrocious said to the mare. She took hold of the base of the mare’s mane and launched herself into the air with a mighty leap. The idea was to leap onto the horse’s back, but it failed rather abruptly when her momentum took her right over the mare and dumped her on the other side of the horse.
A more skittish animal might have taken considerable offense to being vaulted over, but the mare was entirely unconcerned by the impromptu display of reckless and unsuccessful gymnastics, she was more interested in grazing on the delicate blades of grass plentiful in the glade.
“Oi, I could have been hurt,” Atrocious complained. She stood up and gave the horse a reproving nudge in the ribs. The mare replied with a snort of indifference and continued feeding.