Image posted with the permission of the artist. More of Alisha Houtchens's work can be viewed and purchased on her Etsy store.
As it is freezing cold, I inch closer and closer to the fire to get warm. But my muscles tense as it crackles and spits. The flames form the face of a horse - a once wild beast that we have domesticated, dominated, put to our own use. Horses were the companions of history's greatest conquerors. Depictions of their muscular form can be found in every art museum. The Houyhnhnms, or "perfection of nature" from Gulliver's Travels take the form of these noble creatures.
If I get too close in the wrong way to a horse, I'm liable to be kicked, just as I could be burned by this fire. If I get kicked, it will be my own fault, for I, unlike him, have made the decision to be here.
A light in the darkness is always welcome.