Pictures #3 – Probably not a barn.
A quiet space, maybe a barn, maybe somewhere else. A horse, large, black, and and strong, at rest, eyes closed. On his back a cat curled up, eyes mostly closed in contentment, purring. A scene that is familiar to anyone who’s had horses and barn cats, very likely; warm and quiet and calm, companions at peace with each other and the world.
Shift a little. In the half-light the horse’s eyes are open… and you see suddenly that they’re glowing red, now and then flashing gold. Nothing else has changed about the scene, but you recognize this, somewhere in your mind, in recesses of memory and myth. The old tales start coming to mind, and you shiver uneasily and wonder where, and when, you really are.
Shift a little. The horse’s eyes are closed, but the cat’s are open and she is looking directly at you. Somehow her gaze is more unnerving than the previous shift. There is a sensation of movement in the shadows at the edges of the picture, but when you look more closely there’s nothing except the cat. Watching.
Shift a little. Both horse and cat are awake. Do you want to be the focus of their attention? Think carefully. Examine your conscience.
Where are they looking? What has their attention?
Is it safe?
Is it you?