The Chief Editor had just emailed a link to Inora. Since Whimsy could no longer pay Inora to travel to wherever the news was, or even afford a foreign correspondence, a large chunk of Inora’s day comprised of recycling news from other sources. It was not the worst part of her job. The worst part was that when she started working, she was in charge of the International page. A year ago, the Board had reduced the number of pages and cancelled the International page altogether and put her in charge of a column in sixth page. She clicked on the link and made a face at the thumbnail picture at the beginning of the article of the correspondent who was covering the story. Then she started reading.
Just outside of Turkey’s south-eastern border, a gathering of seven warring tribe to an agree upon a peace treaty had gone horribly wrong. Present at the meeting was Al-Yeahwell Jove, the strongest warlord and the man leading the peace accord. Along with him were 24 other wise old men from the other tribes.
At some point during the equestrian portion of the proceedings – and here, Inora had to stop reading and remonstrate at the fact that the correspondent did not feel the need to explain in more details why the signing of a peace treaty needed an equestrian portion – a stray lamb, about to be slaughtered for the feast had gotten lose, made a run for it, and spooked the horses. A white horse had panicked and hooved down the leader of the second most powerful tribe, rendering the peace accord moot since it made Al-Yeahwell and his allies powerful enough to complete their conquest of all the other tribes. But as a kick in the face of providence, immediately after, a spooked reddish-brown horse has hooved down the eldest son of the second most powerful tribal chief of Al-Yeahwell’s alliance, which was bound to start a civil war. A black horse had run straight towards where all the food was being prepared and trampled and defecated on everything edible. Facing hunger and possible starvation, a bunch of angry soldiers had surrounded a pale horse and scythed it to death.
The seven tribes are now warring against each other, with all previous talks of peace and alliance forgotten.
Inora looked at her notes: white horse completing conquest, red horse causing war, black horse bringing famine, pale horse put to death. She scrunched her eyebrows. A picture was beginning to form at the back of her mind. So far back that it barely registered.
Her phone broke her concentration. It was her grandfather calling.