Vin, Unauthorized

by Hilary Fox

Author's Note: This takes place concurrent to the events of Mercury Jones, and is yet another story in the Parables sequence (I guess that's what I'll call it.) I'm ghost-writing this for Peso, who told me this story while Vin was doing something else in another fic I'm writing - hence the 'unauthorized.'

So we're riding along today, like we always do- it's way too hot, we've been riding way too long, and I really, really want to be back in my stall where it's nice and cool. It doesn't help that the horse next to me is kicking up all kinds of dust, and it's getting in my nose- I really hate it how Vin makes me go next to Chris's horse. That horse is a pain in the ass, let me tell you, and besides, I like to be out front.

Suddenly, there's this huge BANG! It's one of them big, long metal thinamajigs- rifles! that's right- Vin likes so much that's gone off, and man alive! They make a powerful loud noise, and I have sensitive ears, so it hurts whenever some idiot fires those one of those things. I reckon this one hurt Vin more, though, because one second he was on my back and the next he wasn't.

It always scares me whenever that happens, but I know better than to run away like some dumb horses do. Where's their loyalty, anyhow? Right in their feed buckets, that's where, but I'm not like that. I halt immediately, and I can hear the others behind me sliding and crashing around, trying not to run over Vin. As the dust settles, I can see Vin lying there, a big, bright spot of blood growing on his chest. I can smell it from here, and boy, do I hate that smell.

Chris is pretty upset- I want to go and stand over Vin to look out for him, but I know that Chris won't take to that very kindly. He's almost as protective of Vin as I am. For a while there, I got pretty jealous- me n' Vin have been best friends for a long time, but I guess a human needs another human for a friend, 'specially a guy like Vin. Really, he's a friendly guy, once you get to know him- it's the getting to know him that's the tough part. He's told me an awful lot when it's just the two of us out on the trail, and I know it makes him feel better to just talk about things, even if he thinks I can't understand them.

I do, and sometimes I'd like to tell him that.

Nathan's fixing Vin up, and I know Vin'll be okay if Nathan's looking out for him. I wish Nathan could be either a farrier or a hostler, because the two guys at the livery just bang around like they ain't never seen a horse before- the hostler just kind of scrapes at me with the currycomb and that drives me crazy- I have delicate skin, believe it or not.

Oh, wait... Sorry. Where was I? Oh, yeah.

So Nathan finishes up, but he doesn't look very happy- none of them do. All the other guys are upset, shifting around and tossing their heads, switching their tails back and forth. The men mount up, but I can tell Vin's not going to get on me anytime soon. Instead, Josiah picks him up and takes him over to Chris, who pulls him into his arms.

Ezra takes my reins. Chaucer kind of gives me this look and says, "I'm sure it'll be okay", even though I can tell he wants to say it fancier and is keeping it plain for my sake. I'm not one for fancy words, myself, so I'm glad he decided to keep it short.

Horses have really good side vision, you know- we can see almost 360 degrees, I think (I'm not too good with numbers.) Out of the corner of my left eye, I can see Vin's blood on the side of the road. There seems to be an awful lot of it, more than I would've given him credit for. As we walk home, that spot gets smaller and smaller, but it's still there.

I want to be next to Vin. I swear I won't misbehave- I'll just walk nice and quiet-like next to Chris and not nip or anything. Ezra's not buyin' it though, so I have to settle for picking through all these different scents to find Vin's- I can always tell it's him 'cause he's the only one out of all of 'em that smells like buffalo.

Still wish I could see him.

I hope he'll be okay.


Comments to:

Continues in Parables