Here is another writing "practice". Again, I know that there is no real set-up for the story; it's meant to be just one scene. Those of you who know me personally know that although fictionalized, "some" of the scene is also quite autobiographical! Does it ring true for you too??

She walked into the tack room, finding herself bombarded with long-ago smells and textures that had faded into her distant memory. The musty smell of leather coming from the saddle over there on the wall brought her past rushing back to the forefront of her mind. 

The golden glint of the browband on the bridle caught her eye, and then she spotted her horse's name engraved in the brass name plate which was still hanging over the bridle rack. In fancy calligraphy, the embossed letters spelled out his name: "King".

Then she saw it again, for the first time in years. In the far corner was the framed picture of her riding King. The scene came rushing back to her as if it had happened yesterday....

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She was leaning forward, grabbing for whatever mane her fingers could grasp. She felt the horse round his back into a ball of energy, about to explode any second. She couldn't tell which way he was going to go. She held her breath while she did everything in her power to calm her body, anticipating the moment of explosion that was surely coming. 

Then they were both in the air, front end high, gravity pulling on her backward with all its might. Time slowed as they hovered mid-air in a seemingly weightless bubble. King's front legs flailed wildly as he went even higher, feeling absolutely vertical, momentarily teetering on the edge of no return.

She had been here before. The next moment might end in searing pain, whiplashed neck and a long stay in hospital flat on her back, unmovable and incapacitated.

Not. This. Time.

With renewed motivation, she fought against that insistent gravity, climbing up toward the horse's head and grabbing now with both arms around his neck. Looking down, she found one spot and planted her gaze on that speck of sand. 

"Down there!" It was all she could think.  Still holding tightly to the neck, she leaned in the direction of the sand - sideways and down, and in another blink, she felt a light thud as King's feet hit the sand. He snorted.

She slid off his side, knees weak and wobbly. Her eyes were wide open but she could not see anything in particular. With an audible gasp, she sucked in a lungful of air and gratefully felt the flat ground as it supported her weight underfoot. 

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  1. Yup! You captured the experience. Been there, done that! Except in my case, my memory stops the moment before my horse started bucking — and it’s never come back. But someone caught part of it all on video — I stayed on for the first 3-4 bucks, but he got me off by # 5. Two weeks in hospital, months of convalescence; I still have a permanent disability as a result. But eight months later I was back in the saddle. Because there is no other place to be. 🙂

  2. Oops! I forgot to add that I’ve been there, done that, EXCEPT for staying on that one time! (Up till then, I’d managed to stay on other horses bucking; this was the only time that my guy did this; he’d gotten stung by a wasp, and he freaked out.)

  3. It’s true, it draws you in, something I love about good reads. I got a leeeeetle bit confused about where the reality stopped and started, but I think it’s because of the lack of context. Free standing, however, was great for it’s drawing ability, it wanted me want to ask questions about what was going on. I could even see this piece at the beginning of the book in italics, prefacing the story.