Archive for August 1st, 2011

1st August
written by amber

Horse Pucky

“Horse pucky,” the grizzled old cowboy spat out. “Young Solomon wouldn’t take your eyepatch thingamadingy.”

“Ipad,” Irene corrected him. “And I didn’t say he took it, I just said he was awfully curious about it when he saw it in my room the other day.”

Which was more or less saying that she thought he took it, Irene admitted to herself. At this remote Arizona ranch, Solomon was the dog’s body, an illegal immigrant who served as wrangler, dishwasher and chambermaid. Percy and Mabel, the owners, assured her that they paid him well, but Irene was sure he sent the bulk of his pay cheque home. Solomon had shown her the worn and wrinkled photo of his family – wistful wife and three pretty daughters.

Irene hated to accuse him, but besides Percy and Mabel the only ‘suspects’ were the other guests – wealthy Howard who had an ipad of his own plus many other electronic toys, or ethereal Virginia, wealthy as well but visiting the ranch for a personal retreat away from all things modern and stressful.

“I don’t want to make trouble for anyone,” she told Percy. “I just need to have it returned to me. It’s not mine, I borrowed it for this trip.” Borrowed it to finish the project, for which she’d already been paid, which was eight months past her deadline. Her employer was comping her Ranch ‘holiday.’ He’d told her to relax, ride horses, enjoy the scenery, and get a handle on the project.

Her secret goal was to stop having the nightmares. Last night’s one had been a horrible marathon of running across the desert, trying to escape a giant ipad’s pursuit, ending with a mortal struggle at the top of a cliff. She’d woken, panting and weeping, after nearly going over the edge herself when she pushed the damn thing down to destruction. It had seemed so real.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Thanks to Ron Plishka for suggesting this first line.