Sandra Brockenbaugh jerked hard on Cinnamon's bridle. The young sorrel jerked back, tossing his mane, and Sandra slapped her riding crop sharp against his flank. The horse snorted and jerked again
"Behave!" Sandra admonished.
She slapped her crop against his flank again, and again he jerked and snorted. Fighting, the two made their way to the stables. He stamped and shifted as she pulled off his saddle and tack. When she got him into the stable proper, door closed and bolted, he kicked the door.
"Wretched beast!" Sandra shouted. She kicked the door in return then turned and marched out of the building without brushing, feeding, or watering the willful animal.
When she came back that evening, determined to break the hardheaded animal, the sky was just darkening, the summer evening cool after the blistering heat. She was determined to get a workout in before it was too dark for it. Cinnamon was dozing when she entered, but she woke him with a slap of the crop. He snorted his disapproval. Though he was still half dozing, he managed to make saddling him difficult. When she got him out of the stable she mounted so as to maintain better control and prodded the horse to the ring. They weren't even halfway there when Cinnamon took the bit in his teeth and ran. Sandra gasped and gripped with her knees. She sawed at the reins but it did her no good. She whipped the horse, but he continued to run where he willed. And where he willed was right into the forest surrounding the boarding grounds where the Brockenbaughs (and other local, wealthy families) kept their horses.
Sandra ducked low over Cinnamon's neck and held on for dear life as the fool-headed creature weaved through trees, branches whistling near overhead. At first, she yelled for the horse to stop, the reins now completely without effect, but after a while, she just clung to his back, her hands twined within his mane.
When, finally, Cinnamon began to slow, Sandra unclenched her muscles, cracked open her eyes and unbent. What she saw around her stunned her into wide-eyed shock. The summery field of grass covered hills was unremarkable other than that she was under the impression that this land was covered in trees from the ranch to the interstate. It was the creatures standing, rolling, and running about the field that caught her attention. They were horses. Sort of. Horses that came in colors no horse had ever been. One was bright, grass green with dark blond mane and tail and silvery hooves. Another was deep reddish-purple with blue mane and tail lightening to white at its tips. Another was bubblegum pink with one blue eye and one green eye. Some of the horses were six-legged rather than four. Some had two or even three tails.
"That's impossible," Sandra whispered.
And the more she looked around, the more "impossible" she found. As if brightly colored horses, and six-legged horses, and three-tailed horses weren't enough, there were horses with human torsos (embarrassingly bare) and horses with long horns jutting from their foreheads in a variety of shapes and colors. A shadow passed over her, and Sandra looked up to find a flock of winged horses soaring not far overhead.
"Pegasus," she said quietly, trying out the word for the first time since childhood. "Sleipnir. Unicorn. Cen..."
"Centaur," said Cinnamon.
Sandra squeaked. The horse she rode, sometime when she'd not been looking, had sprouted a man's torso where his neck and head should have been. Her arms, which had once been twined in his mane, were firmly wrapped about his torso, just under his bare chest. His abdomen was well-muscled and hard. Sandra squeaked again and released her hold, nearly losing her seat.
Cinnamon laughed. "I suggest you hold on, human. I'm going to gallop again."
And gallop he did. Sandra squeezed with her knees and wrapped her arms around his waist. He leaned forward as he ran, drawing her hard against him. Up over one hill only to plunge down another, up and down, up and down. If Sandra hadn't been certain that she was losing her mind, she would have found it to be a lovely ride.
Presently, they came to a shady grove, and Cinnamon stopped.
"Untack me, human."
It took Sandra several moments before she realized he was talking to her. "Um. What?"
"Dismount and untack me. I'll not appear before the Queen in a saddle."
"Oh." Still in a daze, Sandra swung her leg over Cinnamon's rump and slid off his back. She set about removing his tack in the automatic manner of a familiar task. Without thinking about it, she immediately took up the curry brush and brushed his coat, which was in sore need of the treatment. Cinnamon grunted and shivered in delight. He leaned into her and she slapped at him playfully.
"You like that, boy?"
"Indeed I do, girl." Sandra gave a shiver of her own. How could it be that, only moments ago, Cinnamon had been a regular horse she was about to put through his paces, and now... But had it been only moments? How long had they galloped over the hills? How long had they galloped through the forest? It seemed to be nearing midday in this bucolic field.
"What the hell is going on?" Sandra wondered aloud.
"You are brushing me. A task you've been neglecting lately."
"Yes. I mean, where are we? Why are you a centaur?"
Cinnamon laughed. "This is my true nature, human."
Sandra stopped in her brushing to regard her favorite horse, now centaur. His hair, both the shaggy mane atop his head and the light patches at his chest and arm pits, were still sorrel red, but brighter, like a new penny. His eyes were earth brown, as was his skin. He appeared to be no older than her, about fifteen, though she knew he was a spirited one-year-old horse... back in the real world anyway.
"And why have you brought me here?" she demanded, putting her fists on her hips. She was feeling her old confidence and irritation return. Her riding crop, she realized, was still tucked in her belt.
"I've brought you to meet the Queen. So, if you're done brushing me, which I take from your tone that you are, you should disrobe and we'll go see her."
"Disrobe?" Sandra blushed. "I do not think so, horse." She pulled her crop from her belt as though drawing a rapier for a duel. "You are going to take me home, right now."
Cinnamon was quick. He snatched the crop from her hand so fast her hand stung. "Look around, human. Is anyone here wearing clothes?"
Sandra looked. Even the female centaurs were completely unclad, their breasts, in a wide variety of skin colors and tones, bare to the world.
"I will not," Sandra declared. "And I've no wish to see this Queen."
Cinnamon laughed and shrugged. "Fine then. Don't come with me. I'm sure you can find your way back on your own."
A thrill of fear traveled up her spin to her shoulders at that. She was trapped in this insane land of brightly colored talking horses and fairytales. Without Cinnamon, she'd never get back to the real world.
"Fine," she said. "Fine. Just... I can't go naked. I just can't." Sandra felt tears beginning to well in her eyes. "Please."
The sorrel centaur crossed his arms and smirked. "You humans and your silly customs." He shook his head. "Fine, I won't forcibly disrobe you, but I can't promise the Queen won't."
Sandra had no response to that, so she trailed behind the centaur, fretting over what kind of monster this Queen must be. She imagined all sorts of monstrous creatures: rows upon rows of sharp teeth, horned and scaled countenance, sharp hooked claws and beak and...
But when they reached the base of a gentle slope and Cinnamon said, in a tone of reverence, "There she is," Sandra found herself breathless.
She was an eight-legged unicorn with three tails and a pair of expansive wings which she stretched wide at their approach. Her coat was a luminescent white. Her tails and mane were gold. Her feathers shimmered in a subtle imitation of a rainbow. Her eyes were like the sun. She was beautiful. Cinnamon bowed before her, and Sandra followed suit.
The Queen whickered gently, but in her mind, Sandra heard a voice, a voice of music and steel, kindness and sternness.
"You've brought me a clothed human," said the Queen. "She is uncomfortable in her natural skin?"
"It is the way of humans," Cinnamon replied. "As I'm sure you know."
"Indeed. And while that is fine in her world, here I will allow no such foolishness." The Queen inhaled, her chest swelled, and then she sang, a single, high, sweet note that made Sandra tingle all over. And when the note faded, Sandra's clothes were gone, she was bare to the world, and she blushed furiously.
"I can see why you want her," the Queen said. "She is pretty, strong, and willful. But she's lacking a certain... kindness. She," and the Queen's voice suddenly turned to steel, "She misuses that riding crop."
Cinnamon nodded. "Yes, Queen. I hope to break her of that habit."
Sandra shivered as the Queen of Equines and Cinnamon spoke about her. She didn't like where the conversation had gone. Cinnamon "wanted" her? He hoped to "break" her of that habit? Though she had to admit, if only to herself, that she had been overly hard on him lately.
"Hmm..." the Queen mused.
And it seemed the world held its breath on her musing. Sandra found herself nervous. What would the Queen decide? How would it affect her? She was more nervous about the Queen's decision than she was embarrassed by her sudden nakedness.
Eventually, the Queen said, "I am inclined to grant your request, centaur, but am worried about granting a human the gift when she is so careless with the power she does have. You'll have to make it clear to her that misbehavior of that nature will not be tolerated."
"How can I do that, my Queen?"
"It's quite simple really. You'll need to spank her."
Sandra's eyes went wide, but her vision went blurry; she felt the urge to flee but her knees went weak; she wanted to protest, but her throat went dry.
Cinnamon grinned. "Yes, my Queen."
Sandra broke into a dead sprint. She didn't think she had the ability to run, but somehow her body did what she wanted without her brain having to get itself under control first. Unfortunately, a human cannot outrun a horse, no matter how terrified she is. Cinnamon caught up to her easily and grabbed her about the waist in his thick, muscular arms. With a casual toss, he put her over his shoulder so that she was looking down his back, his human back, to his broad, sorrel-furred horse back. She put her hands down on his back to prevent her falling off his shoulder, though he would never have allowed that to happen. He had strong hold of her about her thighs. And so, with her bottom so prominently displayed over his shoulder, he slapped it sharply. Sandra squealed like a little girl and bucked hard, but the centaur was strong and held her with little effort.
Cinnamon took his charge back to the Queen's hill where the magnificent equine waited for him. As he walked, he continued spanking his girl: quick, sharp spanks that pulled yelps and induced squirming. The Queen watched all this with tolerant patience.
Sandra counted ten spanks before Cinnamon lifted her from his shoulder and set her on her feet. He kept a hand around her upper arm so she could not run, and looked at the Queen, his cheeks flushed, his heart racing, his hand tingling. Sandra jerked under his hand and he tightened his hold. "Will that do, my Queen?"
"That's up to you, young centaur."
Sandra bristled. She'd been transported to a place filled with creatures that shouldn't exist, magically divested of her clothes, and spanked ten times on her bare butt. To suggest that it might be appropriate to prolong the humiliation was ridiculous.
"Cinnamon," she said in her most authoritative tone. "Don't you dare!"
But Cinnamon grinned at her. "I think you've given quite enough orders lately, Sandra."
Sandra held her arms out in protest, as though she might hold him at bay, but that turned out to be a bad idea as it only allowed him to easily grasp her wrists. It was a matter of a short struggle for him to again hike the girl over his shoulder, putting her bare bottom in easy spanking range.
"No! Cinnamon, please, I'm sorry I was so impatient with you."
He slapped her bottom, but not as hard as he had before. Though it stung, it was not a punishment sting, more like a playful slap.
"And?" Cinnamon demanded.
"And?" Sandra asked, confused.
Cinnamon slapped her bum again, eliciting a squeal and quick thinking.
"And I'm sorry I've been yelling at you. I… I've been unfair."
He slapped her bottom, almost gently. "And?"
"And… uh… I'm sorry I haven't brushed you properly."
The centaur laughed and patted her bottom softly. He bent and set her on her feet again.
"I think that will do, my Queen."
"Are you sure?" the Queen neighed. "You don't want to use that riding crop on her as she used it on you?"
Sandra went cold, but Cinnamon put a protective arm around her. "Misusing the crop on Sandra just because she misused it on me would not be justice, it would just be further cruelty. Besides, her willfulness is what I most like about her. I don't want to break her."
The Queen nodded her acknowledgement. "Well said, young centaur. I will grant your boon, but remember, you must receive an answer before night's end."
Cinnamon knelt, allowing Sandra to mount without much trouble. Riding bare back while bare-bottomed and well-spanked wasn't particularly comfortable, but Sandra bore it without complaint. She was pretty sure the Queen had been testing Cinnamon with that suggestion of the crop, but even so, just a regular hand on butt, spanking might have gone much worse for her. Spankings she'd received from her parents, not all that long ago, had been rare, but they had been more than ten smacks followed by a few relatively playful swats. The last she'd gotten from her mother had been only a few years ago when her thirteen-year-old self had decided it was a good time to start experimenting with her mother's private vodka stash, and it had been a bare-bottomed affair accentuated with a wooden spoon.
Cinnamon trotted smoothly over the grassy hills, and Sandra took the opportunity to gaze at the fantastic and beautiful creatures that populated the endless meadow of mild summer: brightly colored horses of multiple tails and extra pairs of legs, alicorns and broad wings. It was as though every story involving magical horse-like creatures she'd ever read as a child had all been mashed into one.
Before she knew it, they were breaking through the edge of a forest and she could see the familiar silhouette of the stables in the distance. Suddenly reminded of her nakedness and red bottom, Sandra blushed and looked around fearfully. Fortunately, as Cinnamon, now shaped only like a horse, his sorrel coat a little less shiny, trotted to the stables, there was no one else around.
Sandra quickly filled the feed and water troughs in Cinnamon's stall before breaking out the brushes and giving him a long overdue, thorough brushing. By the time she was finished, his coat was nearly as shiny as it had been in the magical land beyond the forest.
Covered in horse hair, dried sweat, and tingly uncertainty, Sandra made her way to the showers, let hot water pour over her head, and dressed in a spare set of clothes she kept in the small locker room: a (thankfully) loose summer dress and a pair of sandals. She patted Cinnamon's nose as he dozed on her way out.
Sandra walked home while the summer evening lengthened into night, wondering if what she'd experienced had been real or some kind of summer-induced fever dream. But, as she ran her hand over her bottom, the lingering sting convinced her. Her parents were still out when she got home, and she went straight to her room, shucking off her dress and kicking off her sandals before falling into bed and dropping straight to sleep.
From the chaos of dreams, she saw a familiar sorrel creature and pushed her way toward him. In moments she found herself again in that joyous realm. He held his hands out to her and she went, but paused at a thought.
"Have you brought me here to spank me again?"
Cinnamon laughed. "No. Not unless you want me to."
She did not automatically reject the idea, which gave her pause, but she shook away the thought for the moment. "Then why?"
"Because the Queen has granted my boon. Will you run with me?"
It was Sandra's turn to laugh. "I cannot run as fast as you."
"Can't you? Look at yourself, Sandra."
She had changed. Though she was same to the waist (and again bare), she had sprouted a palamino's body, her coat fairly shimmering gold. "I'm a centaur," she said with wonder.
"Indeed. And quite a gorgeous one at that." He reached out and tapped her upon the forehead where jutted a short horn. "I've never seen a centaur with an alicorn before." Sandra spent several moments exploring her new body before Cinnamon asked again, "Will you run with me?"
They ran over grassy hills and through sparse woods, the splashed over rushing creeks and shallow pools, they raced along cliff sides and sandy banks, until finally the rested, nestling together in the shade of a wide willow tree next to a quiet stream.
"This is a dream," Sandra said, out of breath, her body fairly trembling with happy exhaustion.
"It is," Cinnamon confirmed, "but one you can have every night if you like. That is my boon, and that is the question that must be answered before the night is out. You're about to wake, so…"
Sandra smiled. "So what?"
Cinnamon slapped her rump playfully but sharply. "Don't play with me, human."
Sandra slapped his rump in return eliciting a surprised grunt. "I'm a Unitar. Or a Centacorn. Whatever. I'm not a human, not here. But before I answer, tell me, how did I get this shape?"
"You chose it." Cinnamon shrugged. "I don't really know how it works, but your equine shape is determined by what you desire."
"My equine shape. Does that mean I can switch back and forth?"
"You can, but why would you want to be a human here?"
"How else will you spank me?"
Cinnamon grinned. "So that's a yes?"