Show: Turn Back Time Mini EventStable: Lakewood FarmHorse: Lakewood's Faerie PromiseMother:
Djinn | Egyptian Arabian | v. Dark rose-hued bay
This is my second entry for this show, since a few people were asking if they could do more than one, and the idea of drawing Mossy as a baby always appealed to me. But then I got started, and suddenly Mossy's mum was this fully-formed character in my head already and now I'm dying, because I kinda really wanna keep her.
Djinn is a variant of the word 'Genie', used in Islam texts and Arabic. She still competes under the name 'Djinni in a Bottle'. The story below sheds some more light on Djinn and Mossy for those interested
Here's also hoping you guys think this constitutes a simple background
It took a bit of work, but there's not much there and it was a lot of fun to do. I've never tried a wheat field before, but I wanted something different to a meadow.
The rain hadn't let up all day.
Twitch had caught a lift up to the Farm early that morning with her mum, rather than ride through the downpour on her moped. The others were already hiding in the Den at the back of the barn, thinking up a long list of things to do that would not involve going outside. But despite the light-hearted protest, they had all gotten on with their chores, trudging around in long raincoats and high welly boots.
Twitch was sitting on a straw bale outside Mossy's stable in the warm and dry barn as the clock hit three in the afternoon.
Chess and Austin had both headed down to the Temple with Toeki and Aphie for a fun school and jump session. Becca had left for the Farmhouse shortly after, shielding a pile of paperwork in the front of her raincoat, to get some of it filed and organised. That left Alec skipping out and tidying up the beds while Twitch hung fresh haynets and updated all their information boards. They could hear the rain hammering down around them, and the rich smell of meadow hay filled the aisle. Alec had switched on the radio at lunch time, and country music washed through the barn, leaving them with an isolated but cosy atmosphere.
"Does she still have a bank at the back?" Alec asked from inside Mossy's stable.
Twitch looked around the open door. He was standing in the centre of the neatly made shavings bed, his forearm resting on the fork he was using. He had only recently returned from fixing up Kiwi's trailer in the Circle and his dark hair was still damp, his t-shirt clinging lightly to his shoulders. Twitch shook herself. More and more she found herself just looking at him, and it was starting to bother her. They were friends now, and she shouldn't be objectifying him.
"Yes," she answered, sitting up straight again so Alec was out of sight and looking back at Mossy's board in her lap. "She's still spoiled and she likes sleeping against it."
There was a muffled thump and then Alec's voice rose, tinted with humour. "I can see why. Its really comfy."
Twitch looked around again, twisting on the straw bale so she could comfortably see into the stable.
Alec had laid himself out on the top of the bank of shavings. Twitch shook her head, unable to contain a smile. "You have a bed; leave hers alone. Hey, is she still being turned out with a lightweight, or are we using her quilted rug now?"
Alec sat up, shavings clinging to his back. "Lightweight," he said. "That's what she's in now. I think Chess said that she'll start going out with her fleece underneath now, though."
Twitch nodded, lowering her head over the board again, this time uncapping the white board marker in her hand. Under the section titled 'Rug', she wrote:
Lightweight T/O w/ green fleece. Blue fleece nights.
"Her blue fleece is in the Den," Alec said, his voice right above Twitch's head. She lifted her face to look at him. "Becca took a lot of the fleeces down to Creaky Tree at the end of last week to get them cleaned up for autumn."
"I'll fetch it," Twitch said, but she had barely set aside Mossy's chart and stood when Alec's hands slid over her shoulders and gently pressed her back onto the straw bale.
"Stay," he said, smiling. "I'll go."
Twitch curled her legs under herself again, smiling absently as Alec made his way up the barn.
The music on the radio finished, and a new song started up as Kismet - their snowshoe cat - made her way down the aisle. She was bone dry and looked quite happy about it; she hadn't stepped a foot outside of the barn all day. She spotted Twitch and trotted over, leapt lightly onto the bale and curled up with her warm weight pressing into Twitch's hip. She started purring without being stroked.
Twitch looked away from the cat and towards the Den. Only Alec ever called her that, and she'd become strangely okay with it in the last couple of months. He was holding Mossy's blue fleece over his arm as he walked towards her, but he was holding a corner of it in his opposite hand, his brow furrowed.
"What is it?" she asked, setting aside the board once more.
Alec dropped onto the very end of the bale next to her. Kismet lifted a head to give him an imperial stare from Twitch's other side but Alec ignored her, holding out the corner of the fleece. "This is hers, right?"
Twitch frowned. It definitely looked like it. Soft, sky blue and threaded with almost silvery strands. The inside was downy and clearly freshly washed. "Yes, why?"
"This," Alec said, turning over the corner he was holding.
Twitch took the edge from him. It took her just a second to understand what he was saying.
There, stitched into the very seam of the fleece were a line of hand embroidered words. They would face out to the world, roughly along Mossy's shoulder when the fleece was worn.
For Djinn. You were the only wish we wanted.
Twitch smiled at it. She had been told the story when she'd stumbled across the message, and she guessed it was now her turn to tell Alec.
"Its hers," she assured him. "How many stables do you have left?"
"She's the last, why?" Alec was looking down at her, clearly a little puzzled.
"Put the tools away, I'll meet you in the Den."
Twitch stood and grabbed the haynet that had been waiting patiently by the open door and slipped into the stable to hang it. She heard Alec moving away to prop the tools against the wall - that was easier for now than going across the farmyard. She scribbled down the last of Mossy's details and stuck her chart back on her board, then scooped up Kismet and headed for the Den.
Both her and Alec's raincoats were hung on the far wall, dripping into two buckets. The window was firmly closed and raindrops chased each other down the panes. Despite how wet it was, it was not truly cold, so the heater was off and the room was warm.
Twitch set the cat onto the sofa, where she promptly curled up again. She headed for the filing cabinet and pulled open one of the drawers, digging for an old brown envelope, marked with Mossy's name and a four leaf clover stamp.
"Ready to share?"
Twitch glanced behind her, still rifling through all kinds of paperwork. Alec had his arms folded and was leaning easily against the wall partition. He'd pulled on a hoodie and his hair looked as though it were finally drying.
Twitch found the envelope and tugged it out. "Yes," she said. She turned to the desk and poured the contents across it.
"So, you know how Mossy came to be here," she continued. "Chess' friend, Cole, owned her and kind of outgrew her among other things, so he thought she'd get more attention at the Farm. So Mossy was sort of gifted to Chess. And you probably know that Cole brought her up at his parent's riding stable. He backed her and trained her."
Alec crossed over to her, gently sifting through the envelope's contents with the tips of his fingers. He took a breath, then gathered them all up, and turned to sit on the sofa. Twitch hesitated before dropping down next to him.
"Okay, so where does the rug come in?"
Twitch smiled. "It belonged to Mossy's mum. Djinn is her mum's name. And you know - Djinn; Genie; the whole three wishes deal?"
Alec chuckled. He was flicking through the items in his hands; photographs of Cole riding Mossy, of her in an unfamiliar stable and around a strange yard. But there were other things, too - a lock of ebony hair, a tiny Aladdin's lamp on a fine chain and a photo of a beautiful horse in a very familiar blue fleece.
"That's Djinn," Twitch offered quietly, leaning over Alec's shoulder to see the small picture.
The mare was elegant in build, her coat very dark but tinted with red, Her mane and tail were both unusually long and she had a striking white mark on her face; it shot up the middle of her nose and curved out to one side, forming a loop around her nostril; the faint shape of a genie lamp with a puff of smoke forming a quirky star between her eyes.
"This is Mossy's mum?" Alec checked, glancing at her.
Twitch didn't dare look at him so close. She bit her lip and nodded.
"She was imported from Saudi Arabia as a four year old," she said, wanting to fill the quiet. "She was a true desert bred Arabian. She doesn't like the winter too much here and the fleece was one of the first things bought for her. Cole's mum bought Djinn and competed on her. After she had Mossy, they slowly brought her back into work. She's nearly sixteen and still going strong. When Cole let Mossy go, he sent her with this rug to help ease the transition. He needn't have worried; Mossy's as laid back as they come, but she and Djinn were close, even after she was weaned."
"What's Djinn like?" Alec asked.
Twitch sank into the sofa, half realising she was still leaning against him. "You watch her and its like a part of her is still out in the desert somewhere. Sometimes she looks like she's miles away, but when she's here, she's really here. She's full of life and she'll try her heart out if she thinks you deserve it. You can see pieces of Mossy in her but she isn't as easy."
"She kind of reminds me of Poe," Alec murmured.
"Me, too," Twitch agreed. "I think Chess has mentioned that, too. Djinn's darker, but they are similar - its like Mossy skipped the genes."
Alec flipped to the last picture and stopped. Twitch smiled down at it.
A golden wheat field filled the photograph, and in the foreground, was Djinn, walking placidly ahead of a tiny golden filly.
"Mossy," Twitch confirmed, before she was asked. "She was barely a month old, I think."
Almost abruptly, the radio music cut off, only to switch again.
Twitch sat up, and Alec turned to look at her. His eyes were dark and quiet, and for a second it seemed like he might say something, then he swallowed.
"Thanks. For sharing the story," he said.
Twitch shrugged, carefully putting all the things back in the envelope. Before she could speak, there was a loud booming noise, and the rain was suddenly much louder.
Twitch and Alec shared a glance, before moving to the entranceway. Hurrying down the barn were Austin and Chess, both in their raincoats, both soaked, and both tugging along a trotting horse.
Aphie and Toeki were dark with water and still warm, if the steam rising off their backs was any indication.
Chess shed her raincoat outside Aphie's stable and turned to smile at them. "You two had a good time trapped in here by yourselves?"
"Very," said Alec, faint suggestion in his tone. Twitch tried not to smile; she'd grown far too used to him to blush like she used to.
"Is everything done?" Austin asked; having already lifted off Toeki's saddle.
Alec stepped forward to take it. He disappeared into the tack room as Twitch nodded. "Yes. Its just these two and we're good for the night."
"Were you waiting long?" Chess asked as she divested Aphie of her side saddle.
"No," Alec answered, rejoining them, only to head off again with a new armful of tack. "Ryan was explaining about Djinn."
Chess' green eyes lit up. "Djinn? Aww, she's a lovely horse. We realld should get Cole up here with her the next time Dice comes to see Poe. Did you show him the envelope?"
"I did," Twitch said, stepping forward to help Chess put Aphie's fleece on. Alec appeared again and set about helping Austin.
Within ten minutes the horses were settled and tearing at their haynets, and the four of them were kitted up for the trek through the rain to the farmhouse.
"We'll be back within half an hour to bring the others in, and we can switch Aphie and Toeki's rugs over then," Chess said as they closed up the barn. "Then that should be it for the night. What are you doing tomorrow, Twitch?"
"I'm up here all day. No classes."
"Want to stay? We'll order a pizza and laugh at him as he comes out to deliver."
Going home was a far less appealing option than holing up in the spare room for the night and sitting around the fireplace with the others eating pizza, Twitch thought, as they all jogged up the path to the Courtyard. "I'm in."
Sorry for the long story. Its been raining here all day and I think I was inspired
Also, I don't know how many of you are following the Alec/Twitch story, but hopefully you enjoyed this, and there's plans for some more on that front soon ^^.
This has taken some work to get right. I haven't been doing fine linearts for a while (prefering to experiment with more rough styles) but I felt that fine lines would convey how dainty both Mossy and Djinn are in build, so that was fun. Getting their colours right was a bit of an experiment, too, since I wanted Mossy to have a bit of foal pangare, but not be too pale that her markings were lost - hopefully I succeeded. As for Djinn, I see her as very dark in colour, but still with a kind of reddish/rose hue, and getting both was a bit tricky.
The background was a riot. I just threw colours on and built them up into something workable. The sky is still not a strong point, and the cloud streaks aren't great, but I was really happy with the wheat and the track they're walking on. On the whole, I really like this, so I hope it goes down well with you guys.
Time - a number of hours in a couple of chunks.
Refs: This for Djinn - fav.me/d1babjd
and this for Mossy - fav.me/dx98x6
Art, characters and story copyright to *Tattered-Dreams
Do not take, copy, edit, redistribute or manipulate.