Tag Archives: horse

284. A neigh. A kick. Death.

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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Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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134. The majority of the continent

The majority of the continent now lay behind them, seven months after they’d set out on their travels. Their voyage had brought them from sandy coastlines to treacherous jungles. From the rugged mountains that now watched them from a distance to the barren plain that separated them from their destination.

Hjalmar did not look forward to reaching the ocean. The voyage had made him weary, edgy and he was a cantankerous person at the best of times anyway. He would not remember the gorgeous landscapes or the strange fauna. He’d remember the hardships, the pain, the isolation.

If there was one thing he would recall fondly however, it would be his horse Predbjorn. His companionship had gotten Hjalmar though the worst patches of the voyage. Each time he had wanted to throw in the towel – and those had been numerous – Predbjorn had spurred him on with a friendly nod of the nose against his back or a well-time neigh. Hjalmar, who’d grown up on a vast farm, was as fond of Predbjorn as he had been of any animal he’d encountered in his lifetime.

Perhaps it was because they had suffered together. Weathered blizzards side by side. Cheated death when eye to eye with a poisonous snake. They had protected one another from peril without hesitation, without reservations. From the start they both knew they would have to be able to rely blindly on each other. They still did.

The refracted sunlight on the ocean waves was now greeting them. As they approached the waterline, the backlit silhouette of the woman with the check came into focus and Hjalmar begrudgingly got off his horse. He was about to commit the worst betrayal of his life.

Hjalmar would never forgive himself.

But the worst thing was that Predbjorn probably would.

 

cover

Did you enjoy this story? Then why not try the 101 stories in 300 words or less in YOU’RE GETTING SLEEPY, THE HYPNOTIST’S APPRENTICE YAWNED.

Available at the Createspace Store, at amazon.com, amazon.co.uk or any other Amazon store in your territory.  E-book is also available.

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