Pony Tale

Back-story Intro, written by the player of Lyra Trescothick, Pixie changeling and WPC

Pony Tale

First day, new job.

Should never have ridden the pony into town. There’s nowhere to park them.

There was this grassy place, down by the water. By the canal, field next to a pub – I left her grazing. Telling her to stay put. Guess I was in a rush – should have checked around a bit more, maybe…

Anyway, back around lunchtime, you’ve got it, no sign. Not no sign. Pony was gone, but you could see which way. Tracks in the grass, thick deep black gouges – strands of horse hair in the hedge. Chunks of horse flesh actually, once you realised what that was. Splinters of bone – and stuff – on the edge of the towpath. And by Joan, the stink. Sewage doesn’t come close.

Of all the days to be out of dust. Out of dust and still on duty. Lucky I can move – back to the station, quicker than you can say Lyra Trescothick. Two old granddads they’ve stuck me with – that’s what you get when you’re sent to Birmingham. I got the techier one to do me a search. Chemist, I told him, called Al – put Al plus chemist… it brings up a place out in Moseley. Nipping out for a bit, I told the granddads, didn’t say a bit of what.

Al the chemist wasn’t there, but he had an apprentice. Bit mousy, bit booky. Orange hair. Seemed pretty clued up. I said I needed dust, she offered me three different kinds. I said pink. She said we’re out of pink. But I can stir some up, if you can wait. For a while.

You’d rather Al himself, wouldn’t you. We’ve all heard stories about apprentices… but I needed it today. Tomorrow would be too late. I said I’d wait.

Eventually I said I’d come back later. I’m working here, I can’t hang around all day.

Fair enough, it was ready for me when I went back. What did I need it for, she asked. I need it, I said, to see what took my pony. I left her –

– by the canal, she said. Umhum, I said.

She made good pink dust, Beaker, I’ll give her that. Too good – I’ll be dreaming it for weeks. Rats. The size of boys, and not particularly small ones. Fur all matted and mottled, slick and slimy with mud, and then with blood; black twitching eyes. Claws like steel hooks, ripping at my pony, catching her, by her muscles, her tendons, in her legs and her neck, pulling her, rigid and screaming… and their tails, all the time writhing, winding, like whips, or tentacles… they hauled her right into the water. It frothed and churned, pink and grey. Until it was still, and they towed her away, under the bridge, down into the murk.

I described it to Beaker, the basics of it at least. I left out the intestines, and the bit with the evil teeth biting into her eyeball.

There’s a pub right there, she said. We should go and get a drink.

She wasn’t even my pony, I said.

Don’t take it too hard, she said. Other times, it’s children.

Pony Tale

Dresden Files in Birmingham UK MickH666