We are celebrating the fourth year anniversary of Frdiay Flash (#FridayFlash) via a blog hop over at FFDO. The idea is to write a piece of flash fiction of 400 words or less which deals with a 4th year anniversay, link back to the hop (just click on the little green guy), and enter your story in the Blog Hop Collector for a chance to win a one year membership to Duotrope, one of the best market guides for writers you can find. I am taking myself out of the running for the prizes, but did want to participate with my own little tale. The hop is open until the end of the month, so it is not too late to enter !

We also have a prize for readers, so leave a comment on this story and you could win (again, click on the green guy for details).

The Setting Sun

I stomp my feet again, impatient, raising small clouds of reddish dust which drift lazily away. The nearby trough is nearly dry, forcing me to stretch my neck to barely wet my tongue. From inside the saloon I can hear Randy Garnet’s brash voice and guttural laugh over the general din. From the sound of it, he has plenty to drink. Typical of Randy, to leave me tied this way – the bastard never did think of anyone but himself.

Drink up, Randy, the more the better.

This year I’m a horse.

I have no say in the matter. Each year, on the anniversary of my lynching, I come back.

Last year I was a rattlesnake, coiled up under the front steps of Garland Foster’s ranch house. The year before, a mad dog. My first year back I was jaybird. Never would have guessed a jaybird could be so deadly. Spooked Warren Henderson’s horse good. The rock under his skull did the rest.

One by one I’ve hunted them down.

I hear chairs scrape inside, and Randy’s name called out by several of his compañeros. His voice is louder, and though I can only understand a handful of the words, I know he is leaving – coming to me. I paw the ground in excitement, raising more dust.

Randy stumbles through the doors, eliciting a peel of laughter from within, steadies himself, gets his bearings. His eyes meet mine and I nicker, stomp my right foot, nod my head as if in greeting. Unused to such a warm response he studies me as if trying to work something out. Then he lets a long stream of tobacco laden spit fly, right into the watering trough.

I’m really going to enjoy this.

Randy shambles down the one step and fumbles with my lead. Once unhitched he steps to my side and firmly plants his left foot in the stirrup. I move with an unholy instinct, throwing him off balance, wedging his foot between the stirrup and my side. He lets out a yelp as I lower my head and run for the setting sun, dragging him behind.

Randy Garnet is the last one. Maybe now I can finally find rest.



© 2013 by J. M. Strother, all rights reserved.

  14 Responses to “Hopping Right Along…”

  1. Oh, well done! Just because you’re dead doesn’t mean you can’t get revenge!

  2. Oh I love it Jon! Super voice, and you built the suspense and revealed the twist at just the right time. I think the best line is “I’m really going to enjoy this.”

    Thank You Very Much for creating the Friday Flash community! Being a part of this for the past four years has meant a lot to me, in more ways than one. Happy Anniversary!

  3. This was a clever concept and well executed!

  4. “This year I’m a horse.”

    Say what??

    I loved this. The above coming early in the piece was a real attention-getter. You unfolded the rest perfectly and then the final “…I lower my head and run for the setting sun…” I bet he really is enjoying this.

    Nicely done, Jon. A reminder of how well you write.

    Congrats, again, on the four year anniversary.

  5. Love this! Unique concept well executed.

  6. Maybe now indeed he can find some rest. I loved that he appear each year as a different creature.

    Happy 4th Anniversary Jon!

  7. Fantastic! I kind-of thought horse as soon as you said trough but the reveal of who the horse was blew me away. LOVED this piece!

  8. Who doesn’t enjoy a deadly bit of revenge? Nicely done.

  9. I really enjoyed it, too. LOL I never would have guessed a jaybird could be so deadly either.

  10. That was so awesome I can’t even find words for it. Loved it.

  11. Jon, this one rocks. At first, I was thinking an animal POV story, which I still would have read because I respect you, but then you grabbed me with who the horse really is…the jaybird line was fantastic too. LOVED THIS.

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