Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.
The zebra lay on its side. The taunt skin of the belly heaved and deflated with a rhythm, with a cadence all its own. The black nostrils of the beast puffed dust into miniature fogs while the thick, wet skin around them grew larger, then shrank. Its mouth was open just a crack, showing slivers of white teeth, suggesting a pink tongue. The black lashes springing from eyelids showed the effects of the dust: the gloss lost to a thin hail of particles. The thick trunk of the neck was tensed, displaying a smooth definition of muscle beneath short hair, a lumpy canvas of undefined musculature. The chest's characteristic stripe was less dusty than the eyelashes, though still with a patina of dullness. The back showed thicker tufts of fur along the regimented spine. The two front hooves were flecked with mud from a watering hole. The tail, as it lazily switched flies off, created miniature waterfalls of dust in the thin air – unsupported, ephemeral cascades of light brown looking, rolling, building like smoke but down to the ground instead of rising to the sky. Flies buzzed anyway, of course, as they always do. Their clear wings purred in the wind, their helmet eyes scoping good places to land, the hair on their abdomen exhibiting the dulling effect of the dust. Instead of circling, they seemed to make squares in the air, but when more than one got airborne, their squares intertwined, embedded themselves in each other like Olympic rings and, when one strayed too close to another's path, a double helix of buzzing rose, the pitch of their wings, perhaps their tempers, flaring.