The swan, frantic now, crawled with all of its eight legs digging into the dirt for purchase, across the barren yard of the farm into the red house of horses—the poor barn—where but few of those horses spared were left standing. The landowner’s son had taken a shotgun to everything which managed to catch his eye, and had only stopped this past hour. The swan could still hear the echo of the son’s attack, forever blasting away to fill the limitlessness of that small town sky from which neither angel nor deity had looked down upon them with any fragment of kindness this morning. Up until now the day had seemed to last the greater half of the swan’s life. Huddled against bales of hay were one or two sullen, weary-eyed horses, in between which sat a short girl wearing a dress that was pale yellow at the top, and from the waist down an equally pale green. With her frightened pasty white face popping up from that barely colorful dress, she looked almost entirely made of pastel. The swan skittered and clawed with it’s eight unfettered legs, toward the girl who sat in a slump, blinking emptily. We have lost everything, her thoughts projected when she looked up at the swan. Understanding that, the swan crawled up and down the few huddled, broken horses and spun a cocoon around them using their weary bodies as ballasts. Saving the girl from sight, he ordained her within the new cocoon as the Princess of Fallen Farm, then bit her hand to inject a poison that would sedate her, keeping her from nightmares while the farm continued to die over the rest of the week. There would not be another delivery truck in through here for at least another week. The poison would wear off and she’d wake by then, spared of the further horrors until help could arrive. The swan positioned itself in her lap, huddled too into a small, soft pillow over which the Princess of Fallen Farm rested her head against it and fell into a long sleep.