Friday, June 24, 2011

#FridayFlash 56 - Home

Slightly different style of Flash this week, drawn as much from memory as imagination and with a much younger MC than I generally try to write. Did it work? Let me know what you think!

Please note that all characters and events in this work - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional >;-P

Thanks for reading!

Alana was grounded. Again. And this time it really wasn't fair! All she'd done was mention that it was Jessi's turn to do the dishes and ask why she should have to do them. Jessi would certainly never have to do her chores. But now she still had to do the stupid dishes for her stupid sister AND had no access to her phone or computer for a week! How was she supposed to do her homework? Did they *want* her to fail? Probably. Then they could ground her for that too.

She finished the chore and fled the house, slamming the door as she went. They'd hate that, but she knew by the time she got home it'd be forgotten. Hopping on her bike she peddled furiously to the one place that was hers; the one place her siblings and parents never interfered. The barn.

Alana ditched her bike and went into the barn, the smell taking the edge off her temper as quickly as it would've made her younger brother cringe and whine. The horses were all outside, and the barn was spotless - her coach was insanely picky about that. It's just a barn after all. But the girls all knew things just went much better when you smiled and did it the way she wanted.

She quickly cut through the barn and, grabbing a halter and lead line, headed out to the paddock; she could hear a lesson going on in the distance, but that wasn't why she was there. As she approached the gate she called her pony's name. He looked up from his grazing, nickered, and trotted away from the herd towards her. 'At least somebody loves me', she thought as she fed him his carrot and wrapped her arms around his neck.

They'd told her she'd have to sell him -- she was growing too tall and needed a bigger horse. But how could she sell her best friend? She buried her head in his neck and wiped the tears with his mane. He turned his head around and nudged her shoulder with his muzzle as if to tell her it'd all be ok.

Haltering him, Alana led him out of the paddock, closing the gate behind her. She contemplated hopping on him bareback and riding him back to the barn. It'd be fun. And he'd let her do it. She knew he would. But she had no helmet. And her coach just *might* kill her if she found out. Or worse, kick her out! And she would find out. There was no doubt about that. So she dutifully led her pony back the way she'd been trained.

She groomed and tacked up quickly. Usually a task she enjoyed and spent endless hours doing, today she just wanted, needed, to get out. And he understood – picking up on her mood and fussing in the cross ties instead of standing quietly as he’d been trained to. As quickly as possible she and her pony were back outside, dressed and ready to go. She vaulted into the saddle, a move she was quite proud of, and turned away from the lesson still going on in the background. Still mad at her parents and devastated that they’d even consider *mentioning* selling her beloved Prince, she turned and headed out to the field. He started to dance underneath her, picking up on her distress and knowing a calm walk through the woods wasn’t going to be the answer for either one of them.

They picked up a power trot, the pony straining at the bit, eager to go faster. She started to relax as she smiled at his antics. “Not yet Prince,” she told him out loud, “you have to warm up first.” They trotted two laps around the conditioning trail; she laughed out loud when he used a squirrel racing up a tree as an excuse to bolt. “Not yet,” she repeated as she checked him. Half way through the third lap she let him roll into a canter, and by the time they hit the start of the fourth he was flying.

Her heart pounding she raced with her pony; they flew around the track – he stretching as fast as possible, she leaning low to his neck, loving every minute of it. The only sound was his hooves crinkling the grass as they hit, and his breath matching his stride. She couldn’t see – the wind was too sharp in her eyes. But she trusted him completely. And so they flew.

Eventually, after what seemed a lifetime and only a split second all at once, she knew he’d gone far enough and sat up to slow him down to a more reasonable pace. They trotted for a little while down some of the side paths, just enjoying being together. When they got to the pond, she hopped off and let him have a drink and a graze, enjoying just being with him.

She had all but forgotten what had sent her fleeing to the barn in the first place, and knew deep in her heart her parents would never really make her sell him. They could be totally horrid and always favoured her sister, but that was a line not even they would cross. She picked a dandelion and fed it to her pony who accepted it with quiet grace before she remounted to head home.

The ride back was quieter than the trip out, but the grin from the wild gallop remained on her face as they sedately strolled back, reins on the buckle, Prince a calm old school pony once more. Back at the barn, carefully controlled chaos reigned, as the lesson had finished so the students were all gossiping and reliving their lesson while untacking and bathing their horses. “Have a good ride?” one of the girls asked Alana as she and Prince joined them. And as easily as that, she was welcomed home.

OneWord: Failed

All I could think was what would happen if I failed. How had it come to the point that I, simple little average me, was the only thing standing between us and total annihilation? I wasn't trained for this. I wasn't trained for anything. But now, if I failed, we would all pay. I took a deep breath, and started...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

OneWord: History

As I fell asleep on my history textbook, my mind numbed by details, I was taken back to a time before the books were written -- a time when there was still a chance either side could win.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

OnewWord: Intense

She stared intensely at the screen, having no idea what to write. Her entire future depended on her answering this one question correctly, but all she could think was "why would anybody care?" The question was ridiculous, and she knew it. But to write that would ensure she'd never get the job.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

OneWord: Corner

I met him at the corner of walk and don't walk, while trying to decide whether to walk. It was one of those days -- anything that could've gone wrong had. I certainly wasn't in any position to meet or acknowledge the person who could change my life. But there he was, helping me retrieve the small mountain of stuff I accidentally deposited in the puddle by his feet as I tripped off the curb. And I was so frustrated and so frazzled I could barely bring myself to civilly meet his eye and mutter a thanks. But when I did, the look I received had such warmth and grace it faded the petty challenges of the day into nothing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

OneWord: Painted

The painted pony raised his head and looked alertly towards me. Deeming me of no interest, he returned to grazing in the lush pasture while my mind transported me back to childhood. How I had painted markings on all the otherwise boring horse toys and dreamed of the day I'd be able to ride my very own paint horse, bareback, through the fields. And now it looked as though that day might be nearly here.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

OneWord: Plaid

I stared at the plaid kilt, fascinated, before realizing how very rude I was being and belatedly lifting my eyes to the amused Scotsman's face. I blushed bright red, a curse I've been haunted by forever, causing him to give in to laughter. Not my best first impression.