Friday, August 25, 2006

Entry #36

A Dark Horse Runs at Night
by Myron Berdahl


Standing at his bedside, she watches the old man's life slip away.

"It's okay, Grandpa.", she says, holding back tears.

She wonders what he is thinking, as he stares out the window into the dark of night.



"Hey Johnny, where you going?"

Before I could answer, my mate was being guided into a tavern by one of the local whores. These self-indulgent port calls were sucking the life out of me. I needed to get away.

I had been walking for what seemed like hours, and the dark of night was upon me. The ominous cloud cover made it difficult to find my way, and I felt utterly alone. Where was I? And, that's when it happened.

The moon broke through the cloud cover. The grassy field and clump of trees beyond were swaying in the wind. And, out in the middle of it all stood a black mare staring back at me.

She lifts up her front legs and kicks them into the wind. She shakes her head back, and lets out a bellowing neigh. She gallops effortlessly across the field, and disappears into the night. The moon is gone. I can still hear her gallop and call out in the darkness that surrounds me.




Looking into my granddaughter's loving eyes; I want to tell her all about it. I smile and mouth the words, "I love you". I close my eyes and listen for the sound of beating hoofs and the whipping wind.

15 comments:

Joni said...

Beautifully written. I'll admit, I had to read it a few times before I understood. Great flashback. Has a stong, noble feel.

Jim said...

Interesting the last thoughts of a dying man.

robert rohloff said...

Very well constructed piece of writing.

anne frasier said...

i really like that the personification of death is something positive for the grandfather. it gives this piece added strength. nice, myron!

anne frasier said...

oops -- forgot to add that i love the title.

k lawson gilbert said...

This story had a lovely soft feel to it. The last paragraph is compelling. Imaginative and creative work.

Bonnie Cehovet said...

I enjoyed the story very much, but I felt that the transitions between granddaughter to grandfather, and grandfather's past to grandfather's present needed a bit of fine tuning.

Robert Ball said...

A beautiful way for grandfather to go on to the great beyond. The peace and even joy at facing the end of a long life. Nice story.

linda said...

A story of death, but not sad. I like the way you worked this.

Bhaswati said...

This is such a charming piece to read. I like the grandfather's calm, stoic vision as he approaches death.

The Wandering Author said...

The black horse is a beautiful image. And I had no problem following the transitions. I think you did very well.

Jer said...

Excellent work. Peaceful and powerful at the same time.

Diana said...

I love the sense at the end that there is always more to share in life, and that though there isn't time, there's acceptance and contentment with his life. Very powerful.

Suzanne Smith Karg said...

Myron, I found this powerfully touching. Excellent POV!

jason evans said...

The description of the horse was really powerful. The last line was very strong too. High marks for technical use of language.