Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feeding the Addiction-EditorUnleashed contest entry

Start voting February 1st. My piece is on page seven. You have to register to vote. My piece is on page seven. You have to register to vote. Sorry I can't seem to do an automatic link. Someday, I'll take a computer class. Ha.

Editor Unleashed contest-time to vote
Okay see it this works for the EditorUnleashed contest. My piece is "Feeding the Addiction"

Time to Vote on EditorsUnleashed

My piece is "Feeding the Addiction" on page seven of the "Why I Write" contest.

GO read and I hope you like it enough to give me some stars. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Foal Watcher

The Foal Watcher

Like a person up from a sick bed for the first time in days, the mare stood on shaking legs. Sweat coated her body even though it was only twelve degrees outside. All that could be seen was two feet coated with a wet, slimy matter.

Sharon stood at her rear. “Come on Spectra, push,” she whispered.

The mare’s stomach muscles tensed. The straining muscles looked like tight steel bands around her sides. The foal did not emerge any further. It was premature and would not live. Sharon knew the manager’s main concern now was saving the mare.

“Get the chains,” Matty Wilson, the birthing expert, turned toward her.

Sharon could see the worry etched between Matty's eyebrows in two deep furrows. She could smell the fear coming from the mare.

Pulling on a shoulder length rubber glove Matty inserted her arm inside the mare and felt.

“The foal’s backwards," she said. "We’ve got to get it out. Spectra can’t take much more. Go get the chains.”

Sharon bit her lip. She knew this was part of being a foal watcher, but it didn’t make it easy. The two years she’d worked at the breeding farm had been like a lesson in growing up. She ran off and returned with two long lengths.

“Thanks.” Matty took the chain and reached once more inside the mare. “No change.”

They looked at each other exchanging sad, worried glances.

Matty wrapped the chain tightly around the foal’s protruding feet.

“Okay, let’s pull on three," she said. "One, two three.”

They strained backwards as if they were playing tug of war. The mare pulled against them. Loud, cracking sounds filled the air as the foal’s bones were stretched in ways nature never intended.

For three minutes they pulled and then slowly the body of the foal emerged. He was dead. The mare’s body visibly relaxed and then she began to move around nickering softly for her foal.
“Get it out of here.”

Sharon knew the sooner they got the dead foal out of the stall, the sooner the mare would forget. Tears stung her eyes. She hated it when something went wrong.

This is the beginning of a book.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Horse Lover

Horse Lover

“Get out of my way.” I shoved Silver Bullet aside and dumped her grain into the bucket. I held the halter and caressed her neck. Time was at a premium, but one had to be careful around horses.

The next thing I knew I was pinned to the side of the stall.

Dawn would arrive in a quarter hour. People would come. This was not my horse and I couldn’t be here when they arrived. But, I was too weak from not eating in three nights to escape.

The mare munched on sweet feed as I struggled. The thousand pound nightmare was not the least bit concerned that I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t move.

How ironic, my wild craving for horses would be the end of me. The other vampires would laugh, I thought, as the sun rose. My tombstone would read, Killed by a Silver Bullet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Hunt-An excerpt from Reflections From the Hot Zone

Dressed for success in a trim beige skirt, white starched shirt and sensible pumps, Sylvia entered the office of McCray, Snyder, Fieldstone, Chang and Mendez. She figured a firm with names like that on the door wouldn’t discriminate against anyone. This would be her sixth interview. At the first five, people were kind, but in the end turned her away. Over the phone they’d all sounded enthused, but when they met in person the job never seemed to fit. At least to them she didn’t fit. She thought any and all of them would be right up her alley.

This firm was for movers and shakers. Her spirits rose. She could move and shake with the best of them. Then her spirits fell. Her interview wasn’t with one of the politically inclusive names on the door, but, with a plain Mr. Jones, sitting behind a plain wood desk, looking plain bored.

“It’s a filing clerk position for God’s sake. Surely, I’m qualified for that?” Sylvia felt sweat break out under her arms.

“I’m sure you are. It’s just…” The man paused, looked around. “It’s a lot of bending up and down, lifting heavy law books. We’re looking for someone not quite so…” He seemed to catch himself. “I know at my age, and we look to be in the same generation,” he smiled, “the knees don’t work as well as they used to.” He abruptly shut her folder. “Anyway, we feel you’re over qualified. Sorry, it was nice meeting you.” He rose to his feet and held out his hand.

Sylvia stood up, shook his hand, walked numbly out of the room. Then she stopped. Her chest burned. The heat climbed. What was she doing? Pivoting on one sensible shoe, she marched back into his office. Shut the door.

“Mr. Jones?”

The man looked up. “Yes?”

“Before you turn me down, I think there’s a few things you should know. First, I really need a job.” Sylvia’s voice rustled like silk sheets. She ran a hand over her hip and then up her side.

Mr. Jones rose, in more ways than one, Sylvia was pleased to see. She quirked a finger. “Come here.” He moved around the desk. She sidled past him and sat in his chair. When he started toward her she shook her head. “Don’t move. I promise you’ll never forget what’s coming next.” Her tongue darted out, moistened her lips.

The man was practically panting. He began to tug at his tie.

Sylvia smiled. “I’ve had a chance to think about what you said, and I want you to know I’m disappointed.”

The man began to stutter. “But, but, I may have an opening…”

Sylvia raised a hand. “Oh, not about the job. The bending up and down, knees not working quite as well as they used to. I just wanted you to know I’m disappointed that you’re having those kind of problems. I’m afraid you’re under-qualified for what I have in mind. We may be from the same generation, but you’re way too far over the hill for me.” She sighed an, stood up. As she brushed past him, she felt him wilt.

Sylvia walked down the long marble hall and through the door into the late afternoon light. That interview went well she thought.

Friday, January 08, 2010

A Puppy in Need--A true story

One cold day, a foxhunt turned into a rescue mission for one very needy puppy. The history of this puppy’s life before this day is unknown. Abandoned and left to fend for himself, no one knows his owner’s reasoning for not taking him to a shelter or trying to find him a home. This is his story.
On the day in question, a Whipper-in (a person who helps with the hounds on a hunt) alerted the huntsman that a young, ribs showing, black and white puppy was hiding in a pile of trash near a busy road. The puppy appeared to be lost and in need of care. The huntsman, being a true foxhunter and dog lover, immediately asked the road whips to check on the situation.
Two drove to the site. One watched over the puppy, coaxing him out of the bushes with a breakfast bar, while the other raced home to get a crate, some water and dog kibble. Through skilled handling by these two people the puppy regained a bit of trust in humans and even managed to wag his tail. He allowed himself to be gently nestled in the crate. Once there, the road whip rushed him to the local vet for treatment.
Found to be severely dehydrated, starving and in need of extensive medical care, the doctors did what they could to stabilize him and then asked what should be done. The road whip and the huntsman’s natural instinct was to give him the chance he deserved and they accepted responsibility for the puppy’s hospital care.
This is not unusual behavior for foxhunters. Foxhunters are known to be caretakers of the land and its’ animals. They treat the wild as wild, respect the natural survival skills of wild creatures and work hard to preserve the open country and habitats of all animals. They also accept the responsibility of caring for domesticated creatures. Most foxhunters have an ark’s worth of adopted, rescued, and retired pets. The huntsman, being the epitome of a foxhunter, even volunteered to adopt this puppy when and if he became well enough to go to a forever home.
This puppy could have been ignored and left to suffer the lonely fate his previous owner had chosen for him. He needed so little, a gentle hand, food to fill a tummy, water, and he responded with trust and love when offered a helping hand by the hunt members. He showed he appreciated everything with a grateful wag and a gentle lick of his tongue.
Unfortunately, we will never know what a fine dog he might have become. Because of a road whip, a huntsman, a vet and others, this puppy, who suffered so much in his short life, knew the love of caring humans as he left this world. This is the end of his story but if this one small puppy could talk, I think he would say thank you to people like those who help one in need. He would tell us we are lucky to have people like them in our community. The puppy died two days after his rescue.

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