A Quiet Morning

Farm Road
Farm Road is a rutted dirt track that obviously sees quite a lot of use. Nearer the town, it twists through overgrown shrubbery and the remains of driveways, and at the other end it is a long winding way through grassy hills. At this end, it loops gently between two rising hills, and passes between two gateposts neatly constructed of stones and mortar. A tree with fernlike leaves shades the right-hand post, and each post has a round bronze plaque set in among the stones. There is no trace of a gate. In the distance, you can see higher hills, furred with forests, but as yet there is no sign of a farm, only the rolling green hills. (there are views here)
Present: Thundersnow, Ruth

Sunshine wanders slowly up the track from the Farm, a mostly empty teacup held in both hands.

The horse earns a dark-eyed glance, a corner of a wide mouth quirked up as Ruth looks to the creature, then out along the forest's edge. "'lo," she murmurs, a rusty alto. Can't say I know you, she adds, in a quieter tongue. Her eyes for the stallion, she hasn't quite seen Sunshine yet.

Sunshine leans against one of the empty gateposts at the Farm entrance, taking a sip of her tea. She looks up the road, then along it back towards Town.

The bay's ears flick as he catches Sunshine's approach from the other direction, although he doesn't turn his head in her direction. He considers Ruth for a little longer before replying in a similar language, Traveler. He then goes back to working on his meal, turning a little to reach a rogue clump of bluegrass.

Ruth carries the scent of the wood with her, pinesap and dark earth, dew and the dust of the road. Her smile grows a little warmer, her chin lifts as her gaze follows the road down to where Sunshine leans against a gatepost. She glances at the stallion. "Mm-hm. Farm?"

Sunshine acknowledges Ruth with a slight nod, but seems in no hurry to leave her comfortable leaning post, or her quiet contemplation of the early morning.

The cloudy sky teases with a suggestion of rain.
The air is still.

Rather than continue to be rude and ignore the women, the horse walks a little further in Ruth's direction--still munching on the grass. No, much further, he tells her. The Burning Desert and the Sunset Crater. He swipes at a fly absently with his tail. I am called Thundersnow.

Ruth draws a brow up. "Didn't ask so much, but now I know." Her toes grip the earth as she stops, finally, casts a curious sidelong glance at the stallion. "Here visiting the Farm, or passing on?" A hand draws up, tugs through her curly hair, she squints. "Farm's where I'm going. I'm Ruth."

Sunshine sips most of her tea, then shakes the last drops out onto the ground next to the gatepost. She wraps the teacup in a rag and then tucks it into one of her many pockets. That accomplished, she glances back towards the other woman and the horse.

Thundersnow steps closer to Ruth now, sniffing at her experimentally. He has that expression common to many horses who suspect a human has some wonderful goody on them that is always kept around for the sole purpose of appeasing their equine friends. Farm? Whose farm is it? He turns his head now and regards Sunshine. Hers?

Ruth is watching the horse now, her head canted, her smile warmer still now. She doesn't give her ground up, looks like she may have grown from that spot. "Could be," she says. She snorts, quiet, flares her nostrils out. Thoroughly equine in tone, even through a human throat.

Sunshine meets the stallion's gaze thoughtfully, though it's reasonably clear that she isn't following the horse's half of the conversation at all. She seems mildly amused by Ruth's snort.

This elegant and sturdy horse stands only just over 15 hands, and must have at least some Arabian lineage with his slightly arched neck and clean lines. His chest and forehead are too wide for a pureblood Arab, however, and he's also larger than those horses (if smaller overall), with a broader body and less curviture in his back. His markings are a little dark for a classic bay, but similar: the majority of his hair is a dark black-brown, with light regions of true brown on his fetlocks and face. Large, expressive eyes and trim ears are offset by a black forelock that parts away from his mane cleanly. His tail almost reaches the ground and is well kept as well, with only a few sticks and knots tangling it. Unshod hooves are a contradiction to the otherwise well-groomed form, and he bears no brand of claiming nor the marks typical of a horse broken to the saddle.

Disappointed at the distinct lack of anything so wonderful as an apple, the bay steps a little to the side and turns completely so he can face Sunshine. His head dips down for a moment to grab another clump of grass. I know her, Thundersnow explains to Ruth. But, I met her a very long time ago.

Ruth tilts her head towards the stallion. "So you do." A hand slips down into a baggy pocket, draws out a bit of carrot, dried apple slices. "Now I can't go and tell outlandish stories about her." She pops one slice of apple into her mouth, but the carrot she slips towards the horse, on a hand held open, flat.

Sunshine's eyebrows rise slightly. "About whom?" she asks quietly. One of her hands disappears into one of her myriad pockets, but doesn't yet reappear, with or without treats.

Ruth grins at Sunshine, a flash of white against her skin. She answers in the horse's fashion, a whicker, amused.

With a faint whinney of thanks, Thundersnow snaps up the carrot and makes rather short work of it, crunching thoughtfully. I don't think she remembers me anyways. Wild stories wouldn't mean quite so much. He leans his head a little in Sunshine's direction now, sniffing at her thoughtfully.

Sunshine smells of a wild variety of things. Peppermint tea, apples, carrots, fresh tomatoes, wild thyme, rosemary, rich earth and leaf mold, poisonous mushrooms, a faint hint of metal, old cloth, and sweat. She withdraws her hand from its pocket, opening it slowly to reveal a very small, but ripe and whole apple.

Ruth brushes bits of carrot from her hands, glances towards the gate and the farm beyond. "'lo, Sunshine." She glances back at the horse. "'lo again to you, too. Think I'll have to be on my way. Got something for someone," she adds, at the end, vague. She slips past the healer, strides off towards the Farm, is swiftly gone from view.

Thundersnow stiffens a little with tension and leans forward as if he wants to take the apple--or at least inspect it--but Ruth's exit down the road seems to end any calm he felt in the presense of the two women. With snort and a flattening of his ears, he shies away, wheeling around in a tight turn and cantering off over the hill.

Sunshine glances after Ruth, then studies the stallion, shaking her head as he leaves without eating her apple. She tucks it back into her pocket and heads towards the Farm, following Ruth at a much more sedate pace.