The rooster’s craggy call bumped into Taryn’s dreams, jostling her awake. Her first instinct was to bury her head beneath the pillows and go back to sleep. She was having a perfectly delightful dream about horses. The steed she rode was large and powerful, and she rode with abandon, racing across grassy fields and meadows covered in daisies. She could all but feel the wind in her hair, rendering it a tangled mess at her nape. The rooster was an intrusion, startling the horses in her dream world. Their graceful gait faltered, and Taryn fell from her mount, only to be trampled by the galloping mob behind her.
She pried one eyelid open at a time, fearful of the injuries she would find. Her bleary eyes settled on the white clouds, floating there on the horizon. She concentrated on focusing, until she could determine those weren’t clouds, at all. They were the lacy curtains in her room, and that grassy horizon yonder was the standard green shade beneath them. There were no horses.
Taryn rolled onto her back and groaned aloud. Why, then, did she ache all over?
The memory of the day before came back quickly. This city girl wasn’t accustomed to working in the gardens. Bending and picking, hoeing and weeding, called upon seldom-used muscles. They all screamed at her now, as she reluctantly dragged herself from the covers.
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