Artesius sighed and stretched, feeling like he’d just woken after a fine night’s sleep. He stood and looked around the room. He appeared to be in one stall out of many in a large barn. The hay bedding was soft, plush and sweet smelling. A tray sat perched on one wall. On it were a glass of water, a still-warm bowl of oatmeal and several carrot sticks.

He snatched a carrot stick and, crunching on it, tried to open the stall door. He was only mildly surprised when he found the stall locked. “Hello,” he called over the wall.

“Finally awake, are you?” another voice replied. “You’ve been out for three days.”

“Three days?” Artesius shrilled. “What do they want with us – wait, are you a centaur too?”

“Or am I one of your captors,” the voice replied. “I wonder.”

Artesius gasped and settled into the soft sweet hay. The carrot dropped to the floor forgotten. For a moment, he sat, panting and in shock. Then he covered his face with his hands and began sobbing softly.

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