Welcome again to Friday Fictioneers, where writers across the world come together to share stories inspired by a single photo prompt offered via Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ lovely website, Addicted to Purple.
Today’s photo by Doug MacIlroy… well, if you know me well, you’ll understand why it filled me with a gentle whirlwind of emotion. If you are intimately connected to me and to the story you know will follow, I suggest either stop reading now or proceed with tissues. If you do not know me well, just know that “it’s okay.” I smiled as I wrote this – and cried a little, also – and I hope you will, too.
Copyright –Douglas M. MacIlroy
“You killed my sister.”
“Broke your arm, too.” Grass falls from his mouth as he speaks. The crack of bone resounds in my memory, followed by my delirious songs and my sister’s soothing words. He whinnies. “What a ride, though.”
“Yeah.” I smile, sure that in his mind, as in mine, we again gallop across a wide pasture, trying to catch Michele and Ducky.
“About that other thing,” he says.
“Yeah, I know,” I say. “No one’s to blame.”
“Here.” He lifts the hose with his teeth.
I put it to my lips, and something deeper than water enters my soul.
The truth behind the story:
First of all, I never had this conversation with a horse, at least not face to face. The reality is that after my sister’s funeral, I never again saw the horse whose hoof had ended her life. Silhouette, by my family’s wishes and her friends’ quiet arrangement, was sent to a horse retirement farm, where I assume he lived a long, happy, wild, and free life.
But it is true that something deeper than water entered my soul when I accepted the grief that was thrust upon me that October day, when I realized that loss was a part of my experience, that I was Other People. So I can say without hesitation that the conversation above could have happened, even though it never did.
That is, of course, if horses could talk… 😉
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