Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The horses

Here's another attempt at a one-paragraph short story:

She complains that he is always distracted, always off in his own world, emotionally distant, that he doesn’t understand her anymore, doesn’t really listen, it's as though you're not even here she said. When she told him one night that she wanted a divorce, he worried for weeks afterwards, wondering why she wanted the horse, wondering how they could afford it, how they would feed and groom it, where they would ride it and how often, where it would sleep on the cold nights, whether it would need to be vaccinated, and whether she really wanted the horse, or if the horse signified something deeper, some repressed need, whether perhaps she was unhappy, whether she lacked companionship, whether he was no longer satisfying her, whether she had found someone else or was starting to dream of a new life without him, free and unbridled. They never spoke of the horse again, but from that day on he spent more time with her, went on long rambling walks with her, looked and listened attentively, bought her ice cream in the park, and, once, on her birthday, presented her with a large lavish illustrated book on the history of artistic representations of the horse. She turned the book over in her hands, mystified, and asked him why horses, what did it signify, what did it mean, but he only gave her a small knowing smile, and kissed her brow, and asked if she would like to go out for ice cream.


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