A neigh. A kick. Death.
The nightmare had haunted Paloma from an early age. She was sure it was an omen of a horrible, inescapable fate and so she had made a habit of avoiding horses. No mean feat on the Argentinian plains, where the animals roamed freely and could sneak up on you unexpectedly.
But she made it through and, at age 21, started a new life in a New York high-rise, a place as far removed from horses as she could imagine. Settling into her apartment, for the first time since she could remember Paloma was not afraid of her nightmare anymore.
The TV news had just started when the door bell rang. Convinced it was the pizza she had ordered, Paloma opened the door only to find a tall hooded man in front of her. He pushed through the open door, ripping her top to shreds, then forcing her onto the living room floor, his hand on her throat to prevent her from screaming.
Paloma struggled to escape from her attacker’s grasp, continually kicking and hitting at him, until he momentarily loosened his grip and she was able to wriggle herself from under his heavy body. She grabbed the first thing she could find, a heavy wooden ornament, and pummelled the invader in the face.
He now lay squirming on the floor, bleeding from his temple, down but by no means out. That’s when Paloma started kicking him. Kicking him square in the face, as hard as she could. Kicking, kicking, kicking till the pool of blood was an ocean and the attacker moved no more.
On the TV the news had reached the sports bulletin.
“Derby day today in Kentucky,” the reporter said, as this year’s winner neighed loudly beside him.
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