• Published 30th Nov 2015
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Analemma - Miller Minus



Once every month, a mare appears on a remote beach, far from her home. She plays, she reads, she sleeps, and she wastes precious, precious time.

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3 – Motives

“Whoa—!”

The fourth time she visited the beach was the funniest by far. Warped herself right into the waves as they were pulling out from shore, she did. They dragged her hooves out from under her right quick – no slow and steady breaths this time – and planted her face in the muck. I laughed harder than I had in years, but credit to her: she picked herself up without much of a fuss.

“Clumsy me.” She chuckled and twisted the water out of her mane with a spell.

I stopped laughing. Not as funny when they’re doing it too. But at least she gave me the gift of her less-than-graceful fall, which I play over and over again in my mind when I’m feeling down, and for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

Anywho.

She was bagless this time, but she kept her jewellery on. The rising sun put a pretty wet sheen on them that nearly burned through my eyes. Those things sure got polished a lot.

She walked out of my sight, and I heard a piece of wood snap and rattle my tree. She meandered back out to the sand with a branch in her magic and sat down.

“Time to get to work,” she muttered.

She didn’t speak much, but when she did, she made my heart flutter. I don’t care if that’s embarrassing to say. Her voice was deep and aged like fine cider, and it managed to speak every word like it was rolling off her tongue.

She scratched three letters side-by-side in the sand. A ‘CG’ paired close together and an ‘H’ all on its own. She tapped the end of the stick against her chin a few times and finished by drawing a question mark to the right of the ‘H’. She drew two lines to separate the three groups and let out a huff like she was about to start a workout.

With a quick look over her shoulder, she took flight up towards a thick, far-hanging branch in the tree next to mine. She perched herself on top of the branch and slumped her stomach into the wood. The only parts of her I could see were her head laying on the branch and her left front leg, dangling in the air beneath her mane.

She was close. Too close. I didn’t really know what she’d do if she found me, but I’d be damned if I was going to find out on purpose. I decided to never make a noise until she buzzed off.

I reckoned there was an intense battle going between the letters in her head, because they started to gain points at her discretion. Every few minutes of silent sitting she would move the stick and scratch a vertical line in the sand (a diagonal one for every fifth) underneath the ‘H’, the ‘CG’, or the question mark.

Well, I say that, but the question mark didn’t score a lot of points. Not a one, actually.

Every so often the stick fell over for an hour or two. She was either catching up on sleep or making a tougher call. Either way, she hushed just enough for me to catch a few winks myself.

Now, I was never very good with numbers, but I could at least tell that – by the end of it – CG had a lot of lines, and H also definitely had a lot of lines. But, CG was definitely ahead by seven. We had a clear winner! Not that I knew what they had won (or what they were). The princess glided down to her scoreboard and tapped her chin a few more times. She hemmed and she hawed and she carried on, and finally she began giving more points. One for H, another for H, and five more for H, all in a row. When they were finally tied up again she shook her head gently and seemingly lost control of the stick, because it tore through the sand and splayed the lines all around her hooves. The only thing that was left behind was the question mark.

I was hoping she would say something. Heart flutters aside, she just looked like she was bottling something in, but then again, didn’t she always look like that?

Either way, she had no words for me, the sun, the sand, or herself. She sighed, she slept, she vanished, and I was alone again.

Business as usual.

For a while I thought I had been sticking around just to see her. I probably just wanted to know what she got up to, right? But a few moments after she left, I made this teeny tiny noise. It wasn’t a whole lot. Nobody probably heard it. But when I made it, I knew there was another reason I was staying.

I coughed.

Not a great sign.