The three of us rode down the road to Oordport: myself, the lovely Megara Fennec, and my valiant steed Hysteria, which is to say my horse. Night had fallen, and while one could caution that it is a very good idea not to set out from one city to another in the dead of night, but to take a room at an inn and start instead the next day, I have seldom been one to follow a good idea. It was a day and a half ride from Antriador to Oordport and I wanted to make it there and back within three days. My play was no doubt in difficulty without a lead actress, though she did have an understudy, and I wanted to put things right, and maybe even settle with Myolaena Maetar before Ellwood Cyrene returned from Auksavl in five days.
“So what gave you the idea to act in my play?” I asked the lovely young woman who was pressed up against my back. “Other than hearing that my actress had been turned into a tree, I mean.”
“I read a review of The Ideal Magic in the local broadsheet.”
“Really? What did it say?”
“Come on girl, and tell me. We writers are a thick-skinned lot.”
“It said that your play was made of big words on small matters.”
“What a most excellent review,” said I.
“It is a terrible review.”
“No, it is a wonderful review. Big words on small matters. Why, that is exactly how I write.”
We rode all through the night. Hysteria having been well fed and watered the previous day was more than happy to clop along at a leisurely pace. After a while our conversation lagged however and I dozed off in my saddle. You might wonder that this is possible—falling asleep and sleeping while riding. I do it all the time. In fact, it is probably my single best equestrian skill, which is to say thing I can do on a horse. Unknown to me at the time was that Miss Fennec had dozed off as well. While no doubt far less skilled than me at horsemanship, she was pressed against me so tightly and had her arms wrapped around me so well, that she didn’t fall off either. Neither of us even knew we were asleep until we were awakened by a shout.
“Stop knave, and prepare to meet your maker!”