As fast as the white horse will run, I urge it on, between the branches of an orchard and onto an unfamiliar road. The sprays of white flowers adorning the horse’s traces are torn by the rushing air and begin to snap apart, strewing leaves and petals in my face. The tears that were welling now spill from my eyes and blow across my cheeks. Sobs wrack my chest. I ride the bride’s horse but I am not the bride. Never will I be Harnn’s bride. He wanted me once, but -- like a fool – I let him slip away. I’ve lost him. Never again will I hold his smiling gaze, nor feel his eager touch. I’ve failed as a woman and a Priestess. I’ve lost my chance for marriage and can not return to the Sisterhood. I’ve failed in every way.
I ride and ride and ride, snapping the reins and jabbing my heels into the horse’s side. The animal responds with great bursts of speed, carrying me past groves of trees and lonely fields, snorting with exertion, until, at last, it shakes its head in protest. As I cling to its neck, the horse slows to a cantor, then a walk. We have covered much ground and not seen a house nor farm for many miles. The sun is descending into twilight, tinting the horizon lavender and pink. Even the grass ahead of us seems pink in the dusky light. Blinking tears away, I see that the color is not an illusion. The horse has stopped by a stream to drink, and beyond the ribbon of water the sinking sun illuminates a sprawling meadow of vivid pink flowers. Meadow-Pinx grows here, flowing like a blanket for acres, as far as I can see. The sunset adds a tinge of orange to the pink flowers.
Meadow-Pinx: the flower the Bee and Hearth Sisters warned me of when we found it growing by the Zerran Hall in Varnos. The flower I had first sought to find, to make my poison brew. The High Priestesses cautioned that one or two of the blossoms was enough to sicken a person and slightly more would be lethal. I could not find it when I wished to, but here it grows in great abundance. So beautiful to the eye. And the fragrance is delicious.