Lachlan sat on the cold sand and watched the calm waves lapse over one another. The evening was brisk and a light breeze blew in from his right side bringing a welcome salty scent. The beach was almost empty as the last sunlight began to fade to darkness.
He looked over his shoulder back to the house. Lachlan had rented the coastal property to focus on getting back to normal again. His drug abuse had caused him to withdraw from his family and friends and he knew it was time to change. The secluded nature of the beach house has enticed Lachlan as he forced himself to deal with his thoughts and emotions.
Pulling his black hood over his head, Lachlan watched as the last people on the beach headed back home. The man pushed the woman in a playful manner as their dog ran around them. They were almost silhouetted in the evenings light, their happiness radiant. Lachlan followed their route until they left the beach.
He returned his attention to the sea. The blue of the water had dissolved into darkness. Lachlan decided to head back to the house. As he turned to pick up his bag a white light captured his attention. A flashlight? No, it couldn’t be. It had come from the direction of the sea. Lachlan stood up and searched the waterline as he placed his rucksack over his shoulder. He shrugged it off and attempted to turn away.
Curious, he turned back around. Lachlan sank down into the sand and looked around. He was the only one on the beach. His eyes were drawn to a movement in the water. It’s light contrasted with the black water.
The object seemed to appear and disappear with the breaking of the waves. Rising up as the wave took momentum. Lachlan watched in awe, ignorant to the rest of his surroundings. He couldn’t make out distinct features only it’s shimmering silver colour.
Lachlan studied the object, trying to discover more. After a few moments he realising it wasn’t alone. This one was larger and closer. A creature of some sort.
The two swam around one another in a sort of greeting. He edged closer to the water and as he did he realised what they were: horses. Lachlan could barely tear his eyes away. It wasn’t until he questioned how and why they were there until he looked away. He scanned the beach. Perhaps a local farmer had taken the horses to the water? But then how would they be so far out?
Lachlan moved forward, intrigued. As he did so, he began to notice more and more horses. They seemed to be materialising from the waves. Lachlan’s eyes widened in wonder.
The horses swam around one another, communicating. Lachlan mesmerised by this performance, watched as five horses took to the middle and formed a line. They faced out towards the beach. Lachlan couldn’t put his finger on it but these five were more than the others. Bigger. More mysterious. Powerful.
The rest of the team of horses took their place behind the five. The waves began to gain force and the wind battered Lachlan’s face. The horses began forward.
Lachlan was captivated by the situation. His body was frozen in place, his mind trying to seize every detail.
They proceeded onwards towards the beach, the waves accelerating their path. As they came into better focus Lachlan could see their whole body was the same shade of silver all over including their mane. By the time they had galloped to the shallows he could see that only their hoofs differed in colour.
Though the lighting was not ideal, Lachlan decided to take a picture on his phone. He wanted to remember the transcendent feeling the experience had given him. A feeling he’d only ever felt when he was high.
Lachlan reached into his bag to retrieve his phone, the first movement he’d made. As he was looking down setting up his camera Lachlan became aware that the wind had stopped. Lachlan looked up to take his picture. Only a metre in front of him stood the five horses.
Lachlan’s adrenaline was pumping. Now that they were closer he could see their eyes. They were black, surrounded by a deep red and seemed to contain more than just animalistic intelligence. One of the five on the flank stamped their hoof and grunted producing mist in the air. The others began to get agitated, all focused on Lachlan.
He nervously lifted his phone, eager to remember this moment. That was when an enormous force sent the phone flying out of his hand. Lachlan eyes followed the phone and then back to the horses. The middle of the five stood almost on top of him. He edged backwards up the beach, unable to turn away and run. His hand caught a ditch and hindered his momentum. Looking behind him Lachlan attempted to navigate the fastest route to the house. When he turned back around the last thing Lachlan saw was a black hoof headed towards him and then darkness.