Besides the rest of the discovered world?
Wed Sep 20, 2017 02:09

They were now off the subject that led down a road toward him talking about his fratricidal family, and on a road that meant he got to talk about his horses. Good. “It’s the same principle as normal horseback riding,” Nolan told Myffi. “Just with winged horses, you can go up and down and upside-down. And you gotta hold on tighter when you’re flying.” Then in case she believed him he added, “Just kidding, we have seatbelt charms now.” They had always had seatbelt charms but it was funnier to add the now.

The motion was different between riding and flying, too. Even a smooth gallop didn’t feel the same way that wing muscles working did. The saddles were also different, so the horses had a full range of motion with their wings. It was mostly a Western saddle, but shaped differently, and you had to use magic to affix the saddle and stuff if you wanted to do loops and rolls, or else the stirrups would flop around all over and that would be bad, seatbelt charm or no.

“Yeah, we’ve got seven stallions and thirty-three mares on a hundred and seven acres.” There’d be foals starting in May, too. Nolan would miss the first few being born, but helping with equine delivery wasn’t his favorite thing in the entire world. The ranch hands could do that part without him, please. “Plus my mother and father and I have our own horses.” Marilla had two mares: one for normal riding around the ranch (Tumbleweed, palomino) and one she did dressage shows with (Aqua Fortis, white-winged blue roan). These days Sylvanus usually rode a Granian stallion, Drag (Outpaced Dragons); his old chestnut Sooner (Sooner Than You) was thirty-two and pretty much retired, but he was still up for a good trail ride every now and then.

Nolan’s horse was a black-winged buckskin gelding named Quint. It was short for Quintaped because together they had five legs. Quint was the only gelding on the ranch, since they’d gotten him specifically for Nolan to ride. He was also Nolan’s favorite person-and-or-animal on Earth, and Nolan was still trying to figure out how he was gonna deal with not being able to ride him. He’d taken Quint out six days a week pretty much every week since they’d gotten Quint, and he was not feeling okay about having a ranch hand do that for him instead. One of the benefits of Nolan riding Quint was that he was used to the prosthetic and how the weight distributed. It’d mess things up if someone else rode him. But someone else had to ride him; it wasn’t fair to Quint if he couldn’t be ridden just because Nolan wasn’t home.

Before he’d had to come to RMI, his family was talking about training another horse for Nolan. He had picked out Eclipse, a black and white Paint. Quint was always going to be Nolan’s real horse, but Eclipse was better at long-distance flights and she looked really cool because her wings had the pinto coloration too. But that was obviously not happening now so whatever.

“Yeah, the Aquilas are,” Nolan paused. Nice and helpful weren’t the exact words he would use. “Pretty interesting.” There were only a few guys in Aquila and zero other guys in Nolan’s year, the year above, or the year below. There was a seventh-year guy who had filled Nolan’s wardrobe with a couple hundred Infinitely Bouncy Balls so when he opened it they all spilled out and just. kept. bouncing. But then the guy had popped out of the wardrobe too, introduced himself cheerfully as Ethan Addams, and told Nolan what spell to use to collect them all, so overall Ethan kinda broke even in terms of first impressions. Nolan hadn’t really met anyone else yet except a girl with white hair who had started off friendly but then ended up kind of interrogating him. He was pretty sure he didn’t like her but he couldn’t tell, which was about as weird as it sounded.

“Thank you, Myffi, that’s real kind of you.” Nolan couldn’t think of anything he needed right now that Myffi could do, but he appreciated the sentiment. It was sweet. He felt like it would be polite to take her up on the offer and ask something, though. “Well, uh, okay—you could tell me more about RMI. What’s your favorite thing to do around here? I’ve been hearing a lot about this Pearl Street place, anything fun there?”

  • Apparently Myffi had been ambiguous. She’s meant to ask Nolan about why he’d come to RMI, not whether he habitually rode a broomstick. It was totally useful information to have about a person of... more
    • Besides the rest of the discovered world? - Nolan, Wed Sep 20 02:09
      • The undiscovered parts might be better - Myffi, Wed Sep 20 14:22
        “That’s a lot of horses,” Myffi understated. She couldn’t even imagine how big this ranch was, but forty horses was a lot of horses, especially for ones with wings, because, well, they were bigger.... more
        • We’ll have to be explorers - Nolan, Fri Sep 22 09:58
          “Nah, we just use boundary spells. They go up about five miles above the ranch. So the horses can fly around all they want in the borders but the air gets, like, thicker if they try to leave without... more
          • I'm in - Myffi, Sun Sep 24 11:41
            Myffi was relieved to discovered that winged horses didn't need their wings clipped to stay in a ranch. She'd never considered boundary charms, but then she'd never had a reason to. You had to be... more
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