This was written when I was 15.
Lightning flashes, parting the night sky in a jagged line. In the instant light two stallions, eyes wild, manes flying, rear with hooves flailing in every direction seeking, striking, crashing down.
Thunder starts as a low rumble and rolls across the plains getting louder as it goes, finally fading away in the distance. Another flash, this one longer, reveals the silhouette of a large herd huddled against the mighty storm, young and old alike.
Only the fighting stallions are apart, alone in the night, left to battle. As the thunder roars and the storm continues so do the combatants. They rear and plunge, kick and bite. They are ruthless in their anger. One is the master of the herd, father to all the young and ready to fight 'til the death to protect what is his. His rival is a wandering stallion who has found the herd he would have for his own. They both know only one will see the light of the next day. Each fight to be that one. Their shrill cries of pain and rage pierce the darkness as the lightning only to be carried away on the wind and drowned by the groan of thunder. The mares pay no heed, the foals stir only slightly. They know the strongest will survive and they will be better off with the victor.
It is late and the battle drags on. The stallions are both hurt and bleeding. The wanderer, a striking red-bay of five years, young and bold, suffers the least. The herd stallion, a sleek black of nine years, older and wiser in his ways, more knowledgeable in the harsh life of a mustang; yet he is not stronger than the challenging bay, his energy is dwindling.
The bay rears, standing, waiting for his opponent to rise. The black follows as the bay knew he would. The bay reels quickly, landing square and plunges, teeth bared, for the black's unprotected belly. He bites hard, not caring where, and holds on until the black, in great shock and pain brings his front hooves to the ground with a jolt. The thunder claps louder and louder, the lightning creeps closer and closer. The foals become restless and whinny in fear and anticipation. The mares calm their young with smoothing milk and low murmurs.
The black has a deep gash in his right side. Bleeding and worn he tries to stand his ground. He won't last much longer. The bay knows seizes the opportunity and rears, towering above the older stallion with a savage look in his rolling eyes. He lets forth a shrill cry holding all the pain and rage within.
The black tries with all his depleted strength to kick at his opponent. He knows he'll never again see his favorite mare or her colt. He won't feel the wind caressing his mane and tail as he stands on the hill watching his herd graze in the spring grasses as the year's foals play on spindly legs. He knows this.
The bay stands as if suspended in time, strong and mighty before his foe. With ears flat against his head, teeth bared and sharp hooves ready he is silhouetted against the moon and flashing lighting. His coat is red, the color of blood lost. The bay strikes with all his might, crashing down upon the black's broad back. The black stumbles, loosing his balance. The thunder moans. Lightning parts the sky. The black lets loose a slitting shriek. He falls with a dull thud to the wet ground. The bay rises and strikes his fallen enemy again and again. The black is still.
Lighting flashes, this time at a distance. The low, retreating roll of thunder can be heard. The rain has ceased. The bay, victorious, rears in victory and flails with triumphant hooves glistening red. He gracefully returns to earth and walks, bristled, to the black's body to snort his approval at the lack of life.
The bay canters to the herd. The storm has ceased. The sun is creeping over the horizon. The herd begins to graze. The bay trots into the midst of the dripping band of nomads, snuffling each mare with her baby. They sniff noses in turn, greeting their new master. They return to their business of eating and tending to the foals. The bay takes his new position on the hill overlooking his new herd, his coat still flecked with blood. He rolls in the sweet wet grass to sooth his cuts and rid himself of the clinging remnants of battle. He rises and shakes a fine mist of water into the air. The brilliant red of his coat gleams in the morning sun. The deep charcoal of his name shimmers silver, covered with soft beads of dew. He rears once more in delight, the colors of the sunrise behind him. The mares of his herd watch. As he glances over his mares something to the side catches his eye There, playing in the tall spring grass, apart from his mother is a young colt. The colt is black.