By the sound of his hooves plodding towards me, I recognized the old horse. He thumped closer and closer until finally—the odors of blackened earth and tobacco and wet horse gathering into a swelling warmth—Troy stood over me. At first I was frightened. In the rain and lightning, his scarred side looked raw and somehow bloody. He stomped his front hooves. He could easily kick me, as Cleo had feared he might. But he only shook his mane, then lowered his head towards mine.

In that other storm, lightning-struck he’d lain half-dead in Jesse’s pen. I’d gone to him. Now he had come to me. “Troy.” My teeth were chattering. “Good boy.”

How did he do it? Escape the pasture the way he did? He had powers, but not from the Devil as Cleo thought. Like Pegasus, he had wings. And he’d come, even in the storm, with his wings and his third eye, to help me. To save me. I began to feel forgiven. I pulled myself to my knees and reached up, feeling for Troy’s mane. “Let me—just—hang on.”