Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Writing Prompt Four: Enough already

Back to the writing prompts. Sheesh, they're bloody difficult! Again, I'm not entirely happy with what I've done with it but I've been sittting on it for two weeks and then just decided to write and get on to the next one so, here goes:

When he’d retired early, at 46, Bob had made a deal with Debra. After being married for 21 years and working hard for all of those, he’d done extremely well and retired with enough money for them to live very comfortably and do all the things they’d always wanted to do. They would now have the time to fully appreciate their farm in the Winelands.

Debra was worried about having him home full-time, she’d got used to only having to deal with him in the evenings when he got home (usually late) from the office. Over weekends he played golf which suited her perfectly due to its long hours. Now he’d be home morning to night.

Bob had always loved horses and had learnt to ride at an early age growing up on a farm in the Natal Midlands. He’d always wanted one of his own. Debra thought it was a yearning of his to be one of the horsey crowd, he had always been a snob. Regardless of its roots, she’d always stopped him from buying a horse because she knew she’d land up looking after the bloody thing and she was mortally frightened of horses.

He’d retired though so they made the deal: he’d buy the horse and she’d get a hot air balloon and lessons on how to fly it. Seriously, it was all she’d longed for and she loved it.

That was five years ago. Debra is now a seasoned hot air balloonist and Bob… well, he rides every now and again, and leaves his sweaty, smelly, riding shoes just inside the front door, every. single. time he rides, despite Debra’s first asking nicely, then not-so-nicely for him not to. Despite her irrational fear of horses she hates how cruelly he treats the poor thing.

She hasn’t got used to him being around all the time, especially because he treats her as, she assumes, he used to treat his secretary at work and as he treats the poor horse – not very well. In fact, he is being mean to her too.

Debra is seriously thinking of leaving him, despite their being together for 26 years now and actually thinks she doesn’t really like him at all.

"I'm going away with Nigel and Mike for Christmas, we're leaving the day after tomorrow" Bob said, walking into the kitchen as she opened the pot to stir the soup she'd made for supper. She looked up at him, surprised by this sudden announcement, a week before Christmas. "Oh. What about the horse? The groom is already on holiday."

"Oh, you can give him his food, surely? It's Summer, he'll be fine for a week outside. You can just chuck his food over the fence." Debra shuddered, her dislike rising in her throat like bile, making her feel quite queasy. As much as he'd been particularly unpleasant, she'd never quite expected this degree of neglect for anything she felt. At the same time she grinned slightly at the thought of being free of him for a whole, blissful, week.

Mistaking her grin for agreement Bob smiled back saying "Oh good, you're fine with it then? That soup smells revolting, I'm going down to the pub. See you later." She mumbled and watched his ample shape leave through the back door. The last iota of her tolerance slipped out of the door with him as he slammed it behind him.

It was easy enough to do, she used Google, searched "Painless death for horses". She did hours of research, finally coming up with a plan. On day one of his trip with Nigel and Mike she first put the entire contents of Bob's sleeping pills in with the horse's food, mixed with poison she'd bought at the hardware store (who knew?) She hoped Bob was having trouble sleeping, what with his sleeping pills having been swapped with plain old aspirin.

She felt terrible watching the horse get drowsy and then lie down and then it was still. "Sleep tight, may your next place be a more peaceful one." Four days later she went back down to the field and was pleased to see that the horse, now well on its way to rotten in the hot Summer heat, had not moved. She was relieved that she hadn't caused any extra suffering.

The soil was hard and dry around the horse's body but she persevered with her shovel, digging a trench right around it's body, the stench almost unbearable. Scattering the wild flower seeds into the trenches she said a little prayer and covered them, hoping they'd bloom.

Debra brushed the sand from her blouse, took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse, and stepped into the hot-air balloon.

Prompt 4: Write a story that ends with the following sentence: Debra brushed the sand from her blouse, took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse, and stepped into the hot-air balloon.


Angela said...

Who ever invented that last sentence????

Kristin said...

Wow. Great job! I'm impressed, as always.

allie. said...

The person who made up that last sentence as a prompt has a weird sense of humour or a very wide mean streak!

allie. said...

I left off the important bit - I enjoyed your story!
Clever girl!

family Affairs said...

With all her worldly possessions??? Lovely - very gripping - almost Raold Dahl esque!! Lx

Shiny said...

Geli - exactly! That's why I struggled so!

Kristen - thank you, I thought it was a bit iffy.

Allie! Yay! I've missed you!

L - thank you, that means a lot


Shiny said...

P.S. I figure she just took the credit card and her favourite t-shirt!