Riding Fire - Prologue

The world of racing. A true world unto itself, not just a figure of a speech. It was a culture found within cultures, spread all over the physical world, and twice a year, it became its own society, its own government, its own being, all concentrated in one little place graced with the honor of being the racing venue for that season.

It was an obsession that gripped the soul, corrupting some and saving others. Owning a prize Rapidash could bring about an avarice that only death could cure; tending to a gentle ponyta could soothe the soul. Racing was a thrill, a wonderfully dangerous thrill, and people did everything they could to be a part of it. Owners got lucky. Breeding or buying the perfect Rapidash took skill, but luck, luck was the key. Good trainers were hard to find, gentle but firm souls that Rapidash trusted, obeyed, and learned from. Jockeys were rare. Jockeys, like Rapidash, were bred and trained; short, light individuals with an affinity for adrenaline but just enough purity to not be burned. Lads and lasses were people that could have been trainers, could have been jockeys, but fell short, and went for the only way they could still be close to those magnigicent beasts.

And then the spectators, that wild mob of people that helped the sport to thrive as it did.

It was beatiful; it was horrible. It was Rapidash Racing.


She stood as tall as she could, hands clasped behind her back to give an air of prefessionalism. Her jeans were clean and ironed, her t-shirt, brand-new, and her sneakers, spotless. A gentle, "can-do" smile was fixed on her full but not pouty lips, and together with her wavy, dark hair, they drew attention away from the way her eyes darted around anxiously and the nervous tic in her left eyebrow. She answered every question in a crisp, clear voice, faltering only a few times when she was not quite sure what the best possible answer would be. Little fault could be found in her overall manner, and she had planned it so. She wanted this job. No, she needed this job.

She crossed her fingers when the tall woman with the dark blonde hair in the crisp buisiness suit went over to her boss. A flutter of hope rose in her chest when the woman turned and pointed at her, and she almost squeaked with joy. And when the woman walked over to her with her boss, it took all her self-control to resist grinning and hugging who she hoped was her new temporary employer.


"Yes sir?" No overt enthusiasm crept into her tone, only a desire to serve and please.

"Ms. Eve Tristen has decided to employ you for this racing season. I trust you will do a good job." He smiled, but it was not kindly, it was the way one smiled politely when talking to a servant.

"Of course sir." She turned to look at the woman, noticing that her eyes were brown, but not a soft brown, not at all. Yet she did not look cruel, and that was all that mattered to Amity. "When would you like me to start, ma'am?"

Ms. Tristen looked at Amity, almost as if she had not heard the question. Then she pulled a small planner out of her purse, and she opened it, looking for something. "Tomorrow would be perfect," she said, sounding exactly like the business woman she appeared to be.

"I look forward to working with your Rapidash." Amity bowed her head a little, eyes fixed on the floor, a guesture she had been taught and that was now instinctual when talking to a superior.

And then her boss and her new employer nodded and walked off, probably disscussing her wages and her accomodation for this season. Amity was only a lass, a stablehand. It was her place to be concerned about the rapidash; it was not her place to be concerned about herself.


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