Response to Parisindy's challenge: Harper + Suffocating/ Difficulty Breathing

"Come on Boss, it will be fun," Harper whined. "Come on, come on, come on, pleeease."

"I'm sorry to break it to you Harper, but straddling some furry beast isn't exactly my idea of fun."

"Well you didn't seem to object when that horrible hairy guy was coming on to you the other night..." Harper wiggled his eyebrows suggestively.

"That was before I saw his back hair creeping up out of his shirt. And that's besides the point. I know I've said I'm happy for anything that can keep my feets off a planet, but this doesn't count. Why would you want to do this anyway?"

"Come on Boss, you've seen all the old movies too. You know how cool this is. Charging across the prairie. Riding into the sunset. It will be fun. Please?"

"Sorry mister. Those puppy eyes are not getting me on a horse. But you go. I'll stay here and watch the show..."

Harper threw Beka a disappointed look. Granted, leaving a lady behind was part of the whole riding-into-the-sunset thing, but it would have been much more fun doing this together with Beka.

He walked over to the horse that was waiting for him. Gee, it was really quite a bit bigger up close. He peeked towards the saddle and swallowed. Well, no turning back now. Especially not with Beka watching him.

He lifted his left foot and tried to get it into the stirrup. Tried again. And after a few fateless attempts, and decidedly ignoring the giggles behind his back, he even succeded. And now, gracefully swinging his right leg over the back of the horse... Harper clung on to the saddle horn for dear life trying to climb up on the beast. The horse patiently endured his struggle until Harper accidently kicked it on the side, and it instead started walking off.

A burst of laughter broke out behind his back, but Harper was too busy trying to save his life to deal with that. Finally, by sheer force of will he managed to pull himself up in the saddle. He even managed to get the horse to stop by pulling hard on the reins.

"See, I could do it." Harper beamed down on Beka now that he was safely in the saddle.

"I saw." Beka's eyes were glittering with laughter, but she quickly took a couple of steps away when the horse swung its head towards her. "So, now what?"

"Now," Harper proclaimed. "Now, comes the charging part."

With a fair immitation of a war cry he dug his heals into the sides of the horse to get it charging.

Next thing he knew he was not charging across the prairie, but instead sailing through the air, gracefully making a beautiful curve and landing on his back some distance away from a bucking, snorting horse.

"Well that was impressive. Are you okay?"

Harper could hear Beka running towards him.

*wheeze* *wheeze* *wheeze*

He tried to reply, but he couldn't get a word out. His lungs were desperately screaming for air, yet somehow he seemed unable to breathe.

*wheeze* *wheeze* *wheeze*

He tried to breath in, the deep wonderful breath his body was craving, yet all he managed were little gulps of air.

"Harper, are you okay?" Beka sounded worried now.

*wheeze* *wheeze* *wheeze*

Tiny tantalizing bits of air instead of the huge deep breath he needed.


"I... I... I..." he managed to nod between gasping for air.

"It's okay Haper. Just lay back and relax. You'll breath normally in a minute."

Slowly, little by little his breathing was getting back to normal.

"So, you know what they say," Beka continued once Harper had recovered.

"What?" Harper asked grumpily trying to figure out if arms and legs were still functioning normally.

"That the only thing to do if you fall off is to get straight back in the saddle."

"Boss, I'm hurt. Do you want me dead?"

"But I thought you wanted to charge across the prairies, ride into the sunset..." Beka teased.

"Hey, I get to charge through space chased by Nietzscheans and god's know what on a daily basis, and I've ridden spaceships into suns and black holes and what not. There's no need to risk my life just to do it on the back of some furry nag."

By Tarandus

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