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A Little Different Kind of Short Story to Share

I want to occasionally share some of my writings with my followers.  This is from Twisted Vine: An Anthology and in my 99 cents romantic Kindle booklet, The Gift of Oneself.  It is one of my favorites.  It would be interesting to learn how you interpret it and if you like it.  Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts.  I really don’t bite back.The_Gift_of_Oneself_Cover_for_Kindle

Final Front


It wasn’t always like this. Or was it?

These thoughts invaded me, foreign in my mind yet known to me, as I came into a new consciousness in a different world than I’d previously known.

The light was pure and the same all around me as I looked down upon the pristine whiteness of my own beautiful body. It lay flat out on its side, my magnificent tail spread as strands of pure silk, long and flowing, my thick mane flung above my head and neck.

In my gaze from above I beheld my form, once so well known to me, but now with legs outstretched, bent slightly at the knees, hocks and lower joints. My strength, once so pervasive, was replaced with this lightness I now felt and could have never imagined.

I stared from above, confused. But I seemed also reclined in this dormant state in the midst of the sleeping grasses and wildflowers. There I lay between the golden leafed branches within our ancient apple orchard.

How did this happen?

A thought, as before, came from somewhere inside me, yet was not truly my own as I wondered at my surroundings. All was familiar, yet as foreign as the thought invading my new awareness.

Golden leaves grabbed by a strange breeze drifted from the trees to swirl about the body I once filled to gently touch it. They left random fingerprints of gold. My sight focused on this picture within the center of an encircling blurred vision as I drew closer. There was a sparkle of light reflecting in the dark lens of my unseeing eye, as I noted the white lashes were unmoving.

From this sad end my gaze rose to clear view taking in a curious object at the end of the long narrow lane between the wide rows of grouped trees. A pull toward it didn’t fill me with the fright I once would have known, for there lay my mistress, as prone as I, on her back.

As I, also she, lay with bent limbs at the elbow and knee, her head turned to its side, her long yellow hair spread among the blades poking through the curling tips. Her gaze was steady, unblinking, but with the same glint of light I’d seen in my own.

Don’t leave me. I can change this outcome.

The message again flowed through me as time turned back to reveal our steps to this fate. Sound replayed backward garbling words shouted as I watched this memory in wonder. Time’s back flow sped our backward steps to the source of this tragedy.

The strap to my leather halter rose from where it lay as if a spark of life had entered. It put itself back into the hand once gripping its loops, as I arose without struggle to stand again. The fall I never felt, pushing the air from my lungs, was reversed so I once again stood proud and bold. I watched from outside of myself, held by the strength of another as this memory unfolded.

Flashes of two times and places interchanged as the sameness of the events revealed one event could happen again. I remembered with the thoughts of those who had lived both.

And I again heard my names called in two similar voices, only the language spoken differing.

Neopolito! Sovereign!

Two of each figure, interchangeable, flashing between one time to the other, retraced our steps.

First I was Neopolito, stallion of the old guard, an ancient breed, then Sovereign, new world created, tall with flying strides. The first born black, as I recalled my youth, prancing around my white-coated dam with the springiness and lightheartedness of the carefree. The second, bright chestnut, I pranced just the same, feeling free to buck and rear on my elongated young legs.

A former mistress also now stood with the countenance of a Spanish beauty— dark flowing locks and smooth olive complexion with a piercing look often expressed by her violet eyes. Interchanged within the flow of time was my mistress of pale beauty, appearing fragile, yet strong, as a solid crystal figurine.

Manuel held my lead, his dark features glum with the heavy pistol hanging from his gentle hand. Then Carlton’s handled me, his face angry with a pistol also in his hand. We both walked from the spot where I had laid, striding backwards after we’d turned in unison to return in our back stepping to where we had come from.

There was a cart to which I would be strapped to escape with my dark mistress and her Manuel, back and forth replaced in my sight with the white truck and trailer I would load into for Carlton’s escape with my fair lady.

Faster the time sped back as another man, twice told, the same yet different, released his hold in reverse on our ladies. Their backward sounding screams were more eerie than when forward they’d sent a shiver of fear through both of my selves. This time my anxiousness of misunderstanding was replaced with the calm trust always held for those who cared for me as this back flow in time erased the coming memory of fear, the bitter man reversing his steps.

Garbled words from all three, both times making six, filled an exchange apparently harsh, angry and pleading in nature. The angry man flowed back with time to his concealment site. The ladies were handed leads returned in awkward replayed gestures from secret lovers who would now stand watching our reversed approach in the misty dawn.

I proceeded back in both forms, as times overlapped, at a long trot as the ladies held both the leather leads and locks of long mane. Her steps were carried by my strength as she matched me stride for stride, hanging from the lock wrapped around her tiny hand in both time scenes.

Then I remembered, reaching a turning point for both scenes where events would again move forward with time. An ending I sensed I now knew gave wonder as I perceived from my new outside view.

She’d come quietly, speaking softly, so I answered with a low nicker. She placed my halter on my head, in unison with both times, after I bent down as two for both of her. I was led from the security of my stable to questionable futures.

Both my forms and both my ladies, raced from their separate stables—one near the stone castle and the other beside a formidable house.

We flew together around fences, through gates and over meadows to the orchard. Upon approach of our destination, we saw the man we trusted as he stood waiting and watching.

A quick embrace, our rush to escape was again halted by the angry man bursting from his concealment with his pistol. Harsh bitter words were again exchanged, followed by pleading.

The lover, being the servant of the man, was humbled to obedience. He was given the pistol with an order as our mistress was held screaming.

I was led by Manuel with this new anxiety as her voicing of fear and anguish quickened my steps. When we turned to face my sobbing lady, the angry man now gleeful, I felt nothing of my death, the gleeful man now laughing maniacally when my Spanish mistress screamed. But a new memory held me living as Carlton raised the pistol to my ear, but turned to fire instead toward the master he denied.

I jumped as both shots rang out, echoing their duel song in a different key of like instruments. In the former time I was deaf to the two other shots of the musket, but in this other time the short popping of a different kind of weapon resounded only once, and it was not into my ear.

* * *

There I lay in my pristine whiteness, my ethereal view rising from the scene as time sped up to remove my glory in exchange for scattered bones. From my heightened visage I saw the other forms also changed. My mistress fading within her brocade vest and loose black breeches at the end of the narrow aisle of trees, struck in error with a faulty shot when Manuel aimed at their accuser. Slowly I awakened to another form, near mine, which once housed Manuel, pistol still in hand. He’d taken his own life in despair. Both became as I in our destitute forms but our spirits rose to become renewed as others in this, a later time and place.

We can change this outcome.

I recognized the thought coming from my first mistress calling to Carlton through the ether of time.

Another trial of sameness was provided for choice and betterment, my only purpose as a pawn, beloved by two and hated with perverse jealousy by one. This was the time when a bullet never entered my ear, but flew, instead, to the temple of the manic pretender who held my sobbing mistress, looking over her distorted sad features with glee.

Barely clear of her own ear the impact and physical reactions knocked her prone on her back to the vision I’d previously beheld, the two times overlapping for an instant as in my first viewing.

“Savannah!” Carlton yelled, leading me, Sovereign, back to her side. She rose with his aid and we traveled far.

* * *

In a former time an old man mourned the loss of his daughter and her favorite horse, both killed by a jealous servant. But in this time a pistol was found in the hands of the estate owner in his orchard, apparent suicide after his daughter disappeared, escaping his brutal hand against the love he’d forbade.

Her prized stallion was also missing.