Whinny if You Love Me: A Love Story
by Andrew Kaye
Illustration by Suedo Nimh
The setting sun turned the sky into a stunning mix of raspberry red, orangey orange, and lemony yellow—the full Trix spectrum. Valentina D’arknesse sat on a picnic table outside the Highmoreland High School racetrack, ignoring nature’s splendor. She pulled a sweater over her perky breasts, and then she pulled out a mirror to fix her makeup. She regarded her almond-shaped eyes—a rare and incredibly striking mismatch of violet and emerald green—and her pouty lips and her button nose. She knew what she looked like, of course, but she firmly believed there was always room for improvement, no matter how slight. She fixed what little makeup her natural beauty required, tidied up her raven tresses, and sighed a heartsick sigh into the sugarsweet sunset, which had by now melted into the vaginal shades of a grocery store sherbet.
Suddenly, Valentina was alerted to the sound of beating wings. Braden Champion, the most popular boy in school, captain of the varsity basketball team, and the only vampire pegasus in Highmoreland High, descended from the ice-creamy womb of the sky and touched down into the grass. Valentina’s heart skipped several beats, narrowly avoiding a cardiac arrest. She’d been totally crushing over Braden since she first set her mismatched eyes on him. He was beautiful: black all over from hooves to wingtips, except for his mane, which was impossibly blacker, like the void of space itself.
His muzzle peeled back into a smile, waning sunlight glinting off his fangs. “I saw you race today,” he whinnied.
“You… saw me?” uttered Valentina.
“Yes,” Braden declared. He shook his mane, and Valentina swore she saw starlight sparkle in his follicles. She caught the heady scent of Mane n’ Tail shampoo and the subtler aroma of his expensive cologne. “You were magnificent.”
Valentina’s hearts skipped another beat or three.
“I appreciate the fine art of running quickly in circles and jumping over things,” he articulated. “You’re good. Maybe too good. I know how that feels,” he continued. “People think I’m too good to play basketball. They say me being able to fly is an unfair advantage over the other players, despite the obvious difficulty I have dribbling the ball with my hooves, or my crippling vampirism. Do your teammates feel the same about you? Do they think it unfair that your long, shapely legs give you an unfair advantage, despite the beauty that you also obviously have?”
“Not that I know of,” Valentina verbalized while a blush reddened her porcelain-colored cheeks. “They… they do whisper about me. I’m sure of it.”
“Ha!” Braden brayed. “I’m sure they do as well. Females can be cruel.”
Braden paused, and Valentina paused also. The sky became darker orange and purple.
“Valentina,” Braden pronounced. “Would you… would you like to go out with me? To dinner? And a movie? I should have asked you years ago, but I’ve only had the courage to ask now.”
“You want to go out with me?” Valentina stated. She couldn’t believe her luck. It was like a dream come true, except it was actually happening! “Of course, Braden Champion! I would love to go out with you!”
“I would love to go out with you too,” he replied.
He bowed his head, snorting happily. Then he cantered away as the sky turned more purplish.
As he left the field where they had been talking—unfurling his wings now, and flying—Valentina saw a mark on his backside, a slightly less-black patch against his healthy black coat. It looked… it looked like a trophy surrounded by holly leaves.
Valentina gasped at the sight of what she had just seen. Shaking, Valentina pulled up the sleeve of her sweater, where her ancestral birthmark glared at her in darkish pink flesh: a trophy surrounded by holly leaves. “It can’t be,” she whispered quietly. “We’re… we’re related!”
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