A Very Special Sneak Peek

So, Super Sporty 8: The Attack of the Pegasi is finished.

I've read through it twice, read it out loud to make sure it flows correctly, and been given the stamp of approval by my editor. And now all I have to do is draw the pictures, fix the last few typos, format it for Kindle, read it through again, and make a cover.

Okay, so I'm not exactly finished. But I'm getting there. And to celebrate, I thought I'd share the first chapter with you. Tell me what you think in the comments!

* * * * * * *
Sporty the superhero gazed across the plaza and took a sip of her latte. It was a beautiful sunny Saturday in downtown Horsecitty. Horses of all shapes and sizes sauntered to and fro along the sidewalks, enjoying the fresh summer breeze that wafted along the boulevards. The birds perched on the trees and buildings, chirping and whistling happily. The sky was clear blue and cloudless. Sporty, sitting at a table outside Mary Ann's Cafe, was the most relaxed she'd been in a long time.

Sitting across the table from her, her best friend, Harley, wasn't looking quite so relaxed.

“Sporty, look at this!” Harley said, shoving her phone under Sporty's nose. “There!  Do you believe me now?”

Sporty squinted at the proffered screen. It showed a blurry picture of an evening sky, with a dark splodge in the corner. Harley was jabbing her free hoof at the splodge with an excited enthusiasm.

“What's this, again, Harley?” asked Sporty lazily. “I must confess, I've not really been listening.”

“What do you mean, you've not been listening?!” cried Harley. “This is the greatest discovery since we were first visited by aliens! I've been talking about it all morning!”

“I think I lost you somewhere around the part where you said your cousin saw something weird in her bathroom,” said Sporty.

Harley snorted in annoyance. “Well, what do you see here?” she demanded, pointing again at the dark splodge on her smartphone's screen.

“I see … a shadowy hazy thing,” said Sporty. She licked some foam off the top of her coffee.

“No-oo!” cried Harley. “Don't you see? There are the legs, and that's the tail, and that's a wing right there. Now do you see?”

“Not really,” said Sporty.

“It's a PEGASUS!” cried Harley, causing some of Mary Ann's other customers to turn and stare at her. “A real live pegasus! And all this time, everyone thought they were just a myth!”

“It,” corrected Sporty.

“What?” said Harley.

“It was just a myth,” said Sporty, slurping her drink. “Pegasus is a name, not a species. More specifically, Pegasus is a character in Greek mythology.”

“Oh. Well … it still could be one of them,” Harley insisted.

Sporty smiled, sipped, and shook her head.

Harley was flipping through some more pictures now. “Anyway, there have been other sightings. Look, here's one over the Empire State Building. And here's one in Kentucky. And here's a pair of them flying across the Mojave Desert. See, I told you there was more than one...”.

“Harley, none of it's real,” Sporty interrupted. “I mean, just look at that desert picture. It's a fuzzy blur and another fuzzy blur. Either they're mirages, or the horse taking the picture accidentally got their hoof in the way of the shot. Or they faked it on the computer somehow. There are dozens of plausible explanations, and not one of them involves the Pegasus actually being real.”

Harley frowned. “Oh, come on! It's completely plausible,” she said. “A few years ago, you'd have thought I was crazy if I said that aliens were real, and obviously they are. I mean, we've met them; we've fought them; we've jailed them. I even have one as a pet, so you can't say aliens aren't real any more. How can you be so sure that pegasuses aren't ...” she stopped in mid-sentence and her frown took on a thoughtful expression. “Hey, Sporty, what's the plural of 'pegasus'? Is it pegasuses or pegasi?”

“There is no plural,” said Sporty. “Like I told you, in Greek mythology, there was only one Pegasus.”

“Okay … but supposing there was more than one,” pursued Harley. “What would it be?”

“Well, if you take 'Pegasus' as a proper noun, then 'Pegasuses' is the right thing to say,” said Sporty. “But if you use the word 'pegasus' as a common noun, then I guess that, because it's a Greek word...”.

“Wait, wait, wait,” said Harley, putting one hoof up. “You're getting all grammar-sy and lecture-sy on me. Can't you just explain it in plain English?”

Sporty sighed. “Never mind. Just say 'pegasi'.”

“Why?” asked Harley.

“Because it sounds better,” said Sporty.

“Fair enough,” said Harley. “Okay, where was I? Oh, yes.” She cleared her throat. “How can you say that pegasi aren't real?”

“Because I don't believe in hoaxes,” said Sporty. “But I'm not going to get into an argument over something this silly. It's Saturday.” Sporty looked over at the table next to theirs. Mary Ann, a white Shetland pony with a long, luxuriant mane, was just clearing away the remains of someone's brunch. “Hey, Mary Ann, would you be so kind as to rustle us up some carrot cake, please?”

Mary Ann turned around, and gazed at Sporty from under her snowy forelock. “Sure thing, Sporty,” she said, balancing several pieces of crockery on her little hooves. “With or without raisins?”

“With, please,” said Sporty.

“Got it. Be back in two ticks.” Mary Ann started to waddle towards the door of her cafe.

All of a sudden, there was a commotion in the center of the plaza. About twenty horses were looking up and pointing at the sky, and some were taking pictures with their camera phones.

Mary Ann looked up, and dropped all her plates. “Good heavens!” she cried. “It's true!”

Sporty looked up. She blinked. She believed.

There, silhouetted against the blue, was a winged horse.


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