Keywords: water, fire, earth, air, spirit
She felt a delicate shiver run down her flanks as her fetlock sank into the waters of the small pool. Looking back to see if anyone was about, she tossed aside her tunic and waded as far as she dared into the mists surrounding the falls.
Lusa closed her eyes and reveled in the feel of spray running down her horns and water swirling along her back. She could lose herself here: the falls thundered like her herd.
Besides, she didn’t have to wear that thrice-damned tunic here.
“I know you’re out there, Raynar. Come on in, the water’s fine.”
Fires swept through the high country devouring everything in their paths. The Jedi endured the fear and pain of the planet but Lusa was nearing the end of her patience. She felt too confined. The forest creatures’ emotions affected her too closely.
They took a week to burn out and another week before the younger students were allowed more than a stones throw from the Praxium. The morning that Masters Skywalker and Solusar declared it safe, Raynar disappeared. He returned later that evening grinning like a shezkat and would only say he was ‘exploring’.
“What did you find?”
It was just before dawn and Lusa waited impatiently for the others to finish their warm up stretches. She pawed the path, wishing that it was grass tickling her nose instead of the pungent mosses. She longed for meadows, longed to run. There were no open spaces nearby that were suitable for running, though.
Her friends took no joy in running. Perhaps this was understandable since they always ran the same well-worn path on this claustrophobic jungle world. She glanced at them curiously. Then again, perhaps it was because they only had two legs to run with.
“You coming, Lusa?”
“Raynar! Where are we going?”
“Remember when you asked if I found anything after the fire? I said I would show you.”
Lusa looked at him skeptically. The fires were only a month or so ago, but already the ashen smell had faded. She flicked her tail and took a deep breath. The air smelled so… green. She sighed contentedly.
She could still detect the sweet smell of decay that was so often overwhelming on Yavin IV, but here it lessened. Ironically, these highlands that had suffered so much now held no trace of death. They were teeming with life.
“Are you ready?”
She nodded and stamped a hoof.
“Are you sure?”
“Okay, okay. I was just checking.”
He stood in front of her, close enough for her to feel the heat of his body and smell his nervousness, and removed her blindfold. Her heart skipped a beat and she suddenly had no more words.
”Raynar!” she whispered.
A sea of new grass spread before her, rippling in the breeze. She tried to swallow past the lump in her throat before dancing around to stare at Raynar.
He smiled and whispered, “Run.”
She kissed him lightly.
Then Lusa ran.