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A Big Black Horse

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Saddle up to ride these stories that feature a big black horse!

Writers responded to the prompt, and what follows is a collection of perspectives in 99-word stories arranged like literary anthropology.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

Horses Run at Midnight by Liz Husebye Hartmann

“We’ll start you on Maisie. See how you do.” Her father smiled at her, one hand on the saddle, the other held out in invitation.  

Josie swallowed, took a deep breath, and nodded. She could easily hop onto Maisie’s back — nowhere near as high as the jump to Thunder’s back — with no need for a hand up. She and Thunder exchanged longing glances over the stall door, keeping him locked away.

Maisie nickered, brushing soft lips across stable floor, searching for scraps of straw.

Best she comply for now; Father wouldn’t approve of their clandestine, Thunderous midnight rides.

🥕🥕🥕

The Stallion by C. E. Ayr

I hate when he calls me ‘the black horse’.
I’m a thoroughbred stallion, a champion.
He is an insensitive brute.
I wonder what she ever saw in him.
She is gentle, caring, loving.
I worship her.
This morning I didn’t run well.
Maybe a touch of hay fever?
He’s not amused, he shouts at me.
But when he raises his whip, she tries to stop him.
And he strikes her.
She retaliates by whacking him over the head with one of those tools.
I think he’s going to get up and hurt her.
So I make sure he doesn’t.

🥕🥕🥕

For The Love of Greek Tragedy by Artimis Ash

There are no true words to describe my love of the one walking away back turned toward me. A winter affair, doomed to end when Spring came. My siblings had willed it. I’d argued, cried, lost.

Six months my hands wandered the length of his muscled body. Caressing his long silky hair shadowing his face, darker than night. Nuzzling my nose in his neck. Six months I’d ridden him daily, his strength bucking between my porcelain legs.

Now I stand on the shore of the river watching Demeter lead my stallion away, my chariot dead by the river Styx.

🥕🥕🥕

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby by Fiery Females

The knight on a white horse came riding through the wind and swept her to an unknown place….

The dream always ended at this point, as she wondered where.

Nights are less scary now. The horse is a Big Black one, not white, and the rider is fully in control of directions and destination.

She sleeps in peace and occasionally peeks at the rider’s face.

The mirror is always a lovely place to look in….

The knight on the white horse is trailing behind, wondering if he can keep up with her dreams.

You’ve come a long way, Baby!

🥕🥕🥕

Out to Grass by Ellen Best

The crop snapped his flank,

the pop spurred him on,

His acclaimed turn-of-foot

would deliver his swansong.
A snort a twitch

The winning post Past

At the final stroke

This race would be his last.
Put out to grass

Racing finished

Time to shine gone

No friends to race

Or bowls of mash

No roar of the crowd or

heads to clash.
In this meadow

🥕🥕🥕

And The Winner Is by Myrna Migala

One day not too long ago, a black horse was galloping through the forest.
Stopping suddenly because he heard a cherry tree speaking to its neighbor, the apple tree. “My fruit is much sweeter than yours,”

“You think so,” said the apple tree! The apple tree continued, “have you not heard it was the luscious allure of the apple that resulted in the fall of mankind.”

“That is just a fairy tale,” said the cherry tree.

“Is it?” The apple tree came back with an assertive voice.

The horse voiced, “even if a tale, the author chooses the apple.”

🥕🥕🥕

Destination by Lindsey McPherson

“Hey! Amigos, the border is open, they’re not stopping us”.

The amigos, sized up the border from behind the cherry tree. “Hey, what’s the story?’

One replies “We are waiting for our onward destination!”

“See, we can cross!” They trot through the one-way gate.

“You, black horse, you’re a beauty, you’re going to Hollywood. Palomino, you’re strong, you’re going to Texas. White mane, over there with that family, you’re going to California.”

“What about me, I want Hollywood too?”

Rancher replied, “You’re a pigmy horse, a reject!”.

“So where am I going?”

”France! They prefer small steaks”.

🥕🥕🥕

Elusive by Ann Edall-Robson

Around the dying campfire
old timers’s voices talk…

About the full moon
dancing through the clouds
and the vision of the big black horse
running hard across that ridge

Mares fleeing silhouettes
galloping towards the trees
the black horse nipping
at them, up there on that ridge

And when the moon sets
brining daybreak to its life
the ground is scarred with
hoof prints across that ridge

The stories of the elusive herd
be they truth or be they myth
does a big black horse still run free
up there on that ridge

…chasing wild horses
along that ridge

🥕🥕🥕

Racing the Horse by Nancy Brady

It was the autumnal equinox, and the maple leaves had already begun to turn a bright red.

On his way home, Aloysius noticed a big black horse cantering in a field. He wanted to run alongside the horse, but he was too slow until one red leaf fell.

Stepping on it, Aloysius suddenly sped up. More red leaves fell from the maple trees onto Aloysius’s path; he ran faster and faster until he caught up to the horse.

The horse began to gallop in response to Aloysius’s speed. Joyfully running together, the horse and cat raced around the field.

🥕🥕🥕

Weed by Simon

I’m high, on a cherry tree

could not explicit, this exceptional feeling

questioning! a way to forestall emotions

My emotions, It’s rolling it’s subsiding

Fallen from the tree, I felt no pain

I was on a Big black horse, vain.

It is stealing me from reality, that’s not vain!

Wherein this journey ends? the map says to keep going.

Am still High? I need no end, Must I get more high?

Feels right, weeds don’t hurt

Feels right, feelings don’t hurt

Feels right, to feel okay

Get high, don’t sigh,

🥕🥕🥕

Feeney’s Nightmare by Bill Engleson

Long after the dream ended, Feeney was troubled by it. Dream or nightmare, it was unusual. Sile had given him a middle-of-the-night shake, put her nose to his, said “You’re shouting.”
“Shouting what?” he had muttered. “I don’t shout.”
“No,” she had smiled, “you’re usually a quiet one when you’re dead to the world. Not this time, bucko.”
“So, what was I yelling?”
“Crikey, what was it? Mostly incoherent is what it was…no, it was…Mickey Mouse.”
“Really?”
“Or maybe Pig Pack Porous…?”
”That’s gobbledygook.”
“Okay. Maybe… Big Black Horse?”
“Mice! Pigs! Horses!”
“Maybe Tic Tac Dough?”
“Go to sleep.”

🥕🥕🥕

Nightmare by Kerry E.B. Black

She comes every night with heavy tread. I cower beneath my covers, reduced to a pleading child. It doesn’t deter this manifestation. She looms, breathing heavy snorts of derision. Although I dread it, I know my part.

I climb through my consciousness and mount the beast, this collection of fears made flesh, shadow turned solid. She’ll rear and stomp while I cling, helpless.

Soon she’ll paw the carpet with impatient hooves.

She’ll never suspect I’ve been learning in the afternoons. Tonight I grip a surprise – a bridle.

It’s time I control my evenings.

I hear her heavy tread approach.

🥕🥕🥕

Beauty on the Battlefield by Anne Goodwin

“This devil’s yours, Sambo. Kraut won’t see you coming in the dark.”

The stallion had a malicious glint in its eyes, but the glint in the captain’s was meaner. Walter had never ridden before; Beauty had never seen action. But they’d learn; they had to: hesitant horses were dinner; the deserter’s fate was worse.

Patience paid off. Walter soothed Beauty’s nerves on the battlefield; Beauty eased Walter’s yearning for home. Gassed, shell-shocked and wounded, Walter returned to St Kitts to die. He left his medal with Beauty in Flanders. It belonged to the horse as much as to him.

🥕🥕🥕

Medicine Horse by D. Avery

A shadow softened the sharp rays that pinned him to the sunbaked ground. He opened his eyes to see the soft nostrils that blew a cooling caress; saw an unshod hoof of the big black horse that nudged him until he struggled onto its back.

‘What big black horse?’ the townsfolk asked.

Recovered, he would avenge himself against the men who’d left him to die. But their horses, still saddled, a boot hanging in a stirrup, clattered into town ahead of the big black horse.

‘What big black horse?’, the townsfolk asked, for there was no sign of it.

🥕🥕🥕

Black Horse by Joanne Fisher

Jess and Cindy went out riding. It had been several weeks since Cindy’s miscarriage, and the gloom was still around her. Jess watched her anxiously. As they rode, a big black horse suddenly appeared in front of them. It was black as a storm cloud and it’s hoofbeats sounded like thunder. Instinctively Cindy chased it, with Jess following behind. Then the black horse disappeared, and Cindy brought her horse to a halt. Once Jess caught up with her, she found Cindy motionless and staring into space.

“What was that?” Jess asked.

“Some sort of phantom,” Cindy replied, feeling uneasy.

🥕🥕🥕

The Headless Blacksmith by Gloria

The blacksmith was hanged on a tree that once stood tall and strong. Now, its branches hang low, weeping for him; an innocent man. Guilty only of seeking to castigate the cretin who violated his wife; the influential man who smoked cigars and drank fine whiskey.

The headless blacksmith rides the dark lanes on his big black horse. With no need for sight nor light, he circles the weeping tree before galloping into the night, hunting for the dissolute rich man—who has long since perished under the hooves of the black stallion. The blacksmith rides on; doesn’t rest.

🥕🥕🥕

The Big Black Horse by Duane L Herrmann

My little sister wanted a horse. We had an empty barn and pastures. She promised to take care of it. She begged. Our father bought one and brought it home.

“It’s so big!” My sister gasped, gazing at the giant, black beast.

“Here,” said dad, handing her the brush.

Fearfully, she approached the animal, touched the brush to its side. The skin reacted by rippling and the horse swung its tail in her face. She screamed, dropped the brush, ran out to safety and never approached it again. It took our father a month to sell it.

🥕🥕🥕

A Wild Ride by Charli Mills

Clods of dirt flew. A big black horse thundered through the apricot orchard, a small child perched bareback, her knees drawn up to his withers, tiny hands grasping long mane. A woman in a kerchief ran, bellowing like a calf separated from its mother. Saucy, the Australian Shepherd with one blue eye, zipped past the woman and caught up to the horse, nipping at his hind hooves. The dog turned the horse around at the one lone cherry tree planted at the orchard’s edge. He trotted smooth as butter back to the barn. The woman wheezed. The child grinned.

🥕🥕🥕

Fair Play by D. Avery

“These aren’t like Lucienne’s team of Morgans.”

“No, they’re not Hope.”

“And they’re not like the horses we saw at the pull this morning.”

“They most certainly are not. These are fancy riding horses.”

Hope studied the high stepping horses in their fancy tack. “That one Daddy. The big black horse.”

“She’s a beauty, alright. And big. Are you sure?”

“Yes Daddy.”

“Do you want help getting on?”

“I can do it Daddy.” Stepping into the high stirrup and swinging herself into the saddle, Hope rode round and round while her father watched from the edge of the carousel.

🥕🥕🥕

The Big Black Horse by Norah Colvin

The riders considered the available horses. Fergal chose the big black, Valentina the silver. They mounted their steeds and entered the arena. Fergal cantered to one end and

Valentina the other. They steadied their mounts and faced each other.

“Let the contest begin! Charge!”

The contestants galloped towards each other.

Nearing the centre of the arena, Fergal’s black steed balked, tossing him off. Valentina wheeled her horse around, dismounted and raced to Fergal’s side.

“You okay, Fergal?”

“It’s only a scratch.”

“I’ll get a plaster from Miss.”

“It’s okay. Let’s go again. Can I have silver this time?”

“Okay.”

🥕🥕🥕

What’s the Chance by Rebecca Glaessner

“Black’s not moving-” he cried.

“It’s okay baby, I’ll fix it,” she said. She’d chosen Black. She should’ve seen the signs.

Never again. No more shortcuts.

She’d tried other horses, same dark fur, tall, friendly, but he always knew.

Her team arrived, collected Black and she returned to work, tireless and determined.

If anyone could solve it, she would.

A year on, Black’s fatal allergy to her son’s DNA finally revealed itself.

She watched Black nuzzle him. He hesitated, eyed her, then embraced Black fiercely, grinning through tears.

Regrown, genetics rewritten, memories transferred, Black never had to leave again.

🥕🥕🥕

Escape by Connor Dickinson

1984.
Blackened Coal Miners defeated. Watched by latchkey kid.
I, chained with a rusty key around scrawny neck on pebble-dashed council estate. Sick of the one, stingy Weetabix or watered-down milk.
However, cleaner mum magicked fifty pence for electric meter.
Du du, darra du duuu . . . .
Thirty minutes of a long dull week, I became galloping Black Beauty blurring our 1980s, boxy plastic TV screen. My monochrome coat magicked to colour within a year, defying wood-veneer-surround.
A glossy stallion not delinquent-dobbin: thorough-bred, not horseshit.
Unbridled, not poverty confined.
Clothes fuzzed like static TV.

My field vision became green.

🥕🥕🥕

The Magic of a Silly Brown Pup by Sue Spitulnik

When Michael started whistling the tune to “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree,” Jester went into action. He raced from his master to the door and back several times while Michael donned his prosthetic legs. Once outside, Michael sang his own words to the catchy tune. “You’re a too tall mutt with floppy long ears. You walk in the trees with me. Woo-hoo. Woo-hoo. My chair stays home, where many think it should be. Woo-hoo. You’re as much to me as any big black horse could be. Woo-hoo. My silly brown pup runs along with me. Woo-hoo. Woo-hoo.”

🥕🥕🥕

Horse by Saifun Hassam

Along the rocky shores of Lake Kiefer, one boulder stood out, with its obsidian color and unique contours. Old George called it the Big Black Horse. Sunlight lit up Horse’s dark eyes in his proud, uplifted head.

Old George and Horse became friends decades ago when George and his children came for fishing and camping. He was surprised how quickly the youngsters “adopted” Horse, leaning comfortably on his back. Horse listened to the children confiding secrets, and he kept their secrets.

Old George died at 90. In a powerful earthquake, Horse tumbled as a pebble disappearing into the lake.

🥕🥕🥕

Blizzards Of The Mind by Hugh W. Roberts

Why does Richard’s memory of a big, black horse take him in the wrong direction?

***
“Do you remember the day we first met?”

“Why do you ask?”

“No reason. I’m curious.”

Adrian watched Richard go into deep thought.

“Did it involve a big, black horse?”

“It did, yes!”

You were riding it through a snow-covered field during a blizzard one Christmas. You and that horse stood out so much,” laughed Richard.

Smiling to himself, Adrian closed his eyes and recalled their first meeting. On Brighton beach, he watched Richard riding a big, black horse on the carousel one summer.

The early stages of Alzheimer’s were causing another blizzard in the mind of his husband.

🥕🥕🥕

Steady Gallops by Ruchira Khanna

Being an empty nester has more pros than cons. The house is cleaner than before, with not much on the to-do list. The driving from one class to another is bygone. The constant chattering and the back n fourth arguments are on silent mode.

Over the years, we’ve taught him the values of Life by discriminating right from wrong and emphasized discipline, respect, and hard work.
Now, it’s time to sit back and watch the show.
Hopefully, it’ll be a steady rhythmic ride where the kiddo will learn new things and move forward with steady gallops like a stallion.

🥕🥕🥕

Dreaming of Horsefeathers or Big Medicine? by JulesPaige

Long day began at getting up early to take the grand to school. After that I visited my little free library and dropped off egg cartons and vases for the farmer’s daughter, that has a stand in her aunt’s yard across from the Little Free library. Then together we stopped to visit a friend who was moving. We stopped at a yarn store to use a gift certificate.

We then were meeting another friend for lunch. I saw them. Many horses on the way home… Maybe we could go riding this autumn?

suspended
single summer day
by a nap

🥕🥕🥕

Another Horse Story by FloridaBorne

“Not another story about a big black horse,” the editor of a prestigious publishing company said. “How many does that make this week?”

“Six,” Marsha said, one of the employees he called his lesser editors.

“Does no one have an iota of creativity?”

“All the good writers are self-publishing,” Marsha said. “When you gave your regular authors their walking papers, that’s what they did. Look at the non-fiction best sellers.”

Reviewing a list on Marsha’s computer, he exclaimed, “How to Publish Your Book and Keep Most of Your Profits!?”

“They’re not horsing around,” Marsha said, chuckling at the joke.

🥕🥕🥕

Horse Tails by D. Avery

“A black horse Pal? Seems anonymous.”

“Think ya mean ominous.”

“Did ya catch its name?”

“It didn’t say.”

“An anonymous black horse. Could be a portent.”

“Ev’ry prompt’s important.”

“Well, I’ve called on Logatha LeGume fer this one. She knows horse magic.”

“Logatha knows horse magic?”

“Oui, Pal. Some people read tea leaves, I read horse muffins. Keed, dees ees fresh from da black horse?”

“Yep. How’s it lookin’ Logatha?”

“I see horse tales in da future.”

“Ya kin see that from what’s passed?”

“Really Kid? This is horse puckey!”

“I sense you weel step in eet.”

“Aw, shift!”

🥕🥕🥕


10 Comments

  1. […] Submissions now closed. Read the complete collection here. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norah says:

    What a collection. Each unique. I don’t think I’ve noticed such diversity in responses before. There are usually a few with similar themes or situations.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. A veritable cavalry charge of ebony steeds this week. Pony club ribbons to Liz, CE, Artimis, Lindsey, D., Kerry, Duane, Charli, Norah and Connor.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have to agree with Norah. There is so much variety this week, and all are delightful. I am glad to read them all…the humorous, the serious, and the ones with a twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. SelmaMartin says:

    Sweet collection. Wow. Enjoyed tremendously. Lovely. Thanks.

    Like

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