She must have passed out because she awoke to being carried, like a baby, cradled in powerful arms. She looked up at Joe’s face and he seemed different. His craggy face was the same, but his hair seemed to have grown – or maybe he’d had it pulled back before and now it was loose. Either way, it was down past his shoulders.
“You’re awake. Good,” he said and stopped.
She squirmed a little as he put her down on a moss-covered log. She expected her pants to get wet, not that she could tell from the feeling (or lack of) in her legs, but the moss appeared to be dry. She looked at Joe and her heart stopped for a moment. She gasped. “Joe” was no longer entirely human – if he’d been human to begin with – now he was some sort of man and horse thing.
He knowingly put out his hands and then spun around slowly, showing off his backside and long tail.
“I’m a horseman.”
She didn’t know what to say to that.
“You know – one of the four horsemen? The Book of Revelations?”
She took a deep breath and tried to calm her rushing heart. She closed her eyes.
“I’ve lost my mind. I’ve lost my mind and I’m hallucinating, and you, Joe, are just a figment of my imagination.”
When she opened her eyes, everything remained.
She was sitting on a mossy log in a forest of mossy trees with a centaur named Joe. There was no sign of her wheelchair, or the park, or of Pocatello.
Joe knelt before her, which was a feat for horse legs, bringing his face closer to her level.
“You are not crazy. This isn’t an illusion.”
“Why am I here?” She asked slowly. She felt the moss, she smelled the horse and the forest, she heard a bird in the distance.
“To save the world of course.”