She had heard it countless times in her life -- From its softest incarnation of her hooves landing on frosted grass, to the sound of a tree splitting in half from a wayward bolt of lightning.
The sound of satisfying hay between her teeth to sate a hunger.
The sound of hoof steps in the snow.
It carried delight and fear. As the fire crackled below her she heard it over and over, trees succumbing to weakened foundations as they crumbled in the flames accompanied with a roaring cacophony of crackling flames and popping wood.
The earth below seemed to crackle and erupt with flames, its strong solidarity shattering like the hollow bones of a fragile bird.
It was all she could hear, her ears seemed muffled and her body was numb. Only heat around her in a suffocating cloud like thick warm cotton, her ears, her body, all covered in this soft foggy overbearingly hot atmosphere and rending the muffled deafening silence prefaced only by the soft roar of the flames below was that sound.
Bone splitting, shattering. "Your legs are too thin," Came back the words of the mayor. "You need to build up your muscles, you can't take a hard landing with your legs." If only…
If only… it lanced through her body and she felt the tears of pain escape her eyes, but she couldn't feel anything; not yet, but she knew.
If only she had heeded the warnings, tried harder to be safer but what did it matter now.
It spelled her destruction, split her pride in two, her body shuddered with the shock, it was as if her whole body had shattered with it. Splitting and cracking like a broken porcelain doll connecting to a concrete floor in slow motion. If only…. it had been her legs….
She lay on the ground amidst the ash of the denigrating forest, the fire still blazed around her, roared like a thousand lions as she lay there, her body battered and broken, laying there in the ash tears running down her face in rivers that evaporated in the overbearing heat. Her right wing draped like a mangled tent bent backward over her side.
In the muffled cotton heat she could hear Harmony coming toward her. Time for fighting was over and Airbrush closed her eyes.