I turn and Yal-hune is gone. Disappeared. I am alone. I call out for her and no response. I try to reach her with my mind and it's suddenly as if any access to her mind was completely blocked.
I don't know what's going on, but I don't like it. I hear branches cracking under hooves in the distance and think it maybe Yal-hune. I dig my heels in and urge this magnificent beast on, it races and goes exactly where I lead it. In but a moment I see a woman upon a horse. She is very beautiful, but she is not Yal-hune. She has raven black hair, it is severely pulled up from her face and she possesses thick expressive brows over amber hued eyes. There is a softness and a delicacy to her, in her skin and the way her features come together. Before she sees me she seems very kind and gentle. Her lips are full and plump and well shaped. As I come within earshot, she turns to me. Her eyes look at me and then avert away quickly. It may be my imagination, but her manner almost betrays disdain and even contempt of me, though concealed and controlled by breeding and practiced protocol.
She definitely knows me, but I don't know her. At least this me...the time traveler that now inhabits this parallel time-stream's doppelganger of me.
"Excuse me, you haven't seen anyone ride past here would you? A lady in a gown?"
"Nay, I have not seen such."
"I've lost my companion and I am concerned for her."
"Methinks you are rather forgetful of your companions and you lose them with a frightful speed. Have no fear, your concern for her will likely vanish as hastily as did your lady."
She spurs her horse onwards into a run. If words could chill, my body would be frozen. She acted as if I should know her and I suspect this version of me has done her a great injustice of some sort at some time. I really hate that. Nothing is more frustrating than when a woman gives you the cold shoulder and you have not a clue as to why. It hurts even more when you see in their face and eyes that they are extremely pained and hurt. One's own ignorance of the problem seems a contemptible burden. I hate seeing women hurt. When they are beautiful, kind looking creatures and the hurt is of my own doing it is all the more painful.
I urge my horse to catch up and it takes off without hesitation. In a moment. I am in pursuit through a forest rich and deep. Light and shadows fall through the branches overhead and crimson and yellow leaves catch and reflect the light. Her horse is fast, but this beast is faster still and I see this lady is no stranger to horses or horsemanship. She rides as well as any woman I've ever seen.
She turns and looks back at me as I close - fear and hatred in her eyes.
The look paralyzes me and I rein in my horse. In but a brief moment I am stopped, my horse breathing hard through his nostrils and I watch as she grows quickly smaller in the distance.
What sort of monster am I in this time period? What did I do to her? To others?
Why did Yal-hune leave me? Why is everything turning to manure around me? How could these things I wanted so much - be such a depressing nightmare all of a sudden?