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From Last To First and 'Memories'!

It's a Fluke came last in his race in September. (See my September 14 post for more information!). We gave him lots of time off and the Banach Stables gave him loads of TLC and it paid off! There's a link to his most recent (winning) race below, as well as a short clip of him enjoying some carrots we gave him when we visited the barn a couple of days later with goodies for the barn staff.

And here's another story I wrote for an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting. The words I had to use in my story were tortoise, aloof, memory, toenails, created, burro, hay, nudge.

What would you have written?


He moved like a tortoise does in cold weather—slow and deliberate. No one knew how old he was, or where he’d come from. He’d just turned up in town one sunny day, rented an apartment above the hardware store, and spent time at the bar across the street. Otherwise, he’d plod down the main road towards the cemetery, or ride his bike slowly along the lakeshore path. People said he hardly talked at all, and most agreed that he was aloof—impossible to get to know.

That summer, I had a college assignment for an introductory psychology course. It had to be about memory. It was a vague assignment and I had been at a loss until I saw the man leave the bar and cross the street to the door that opened onto the stairs to his apartment. His short grey hair ruffled in the breeze.

I dodged a couple of cars and rushed to his side. As I approached, I noticed that his shirt was clean, pressed, and crisp white. His khaki shorts looked as if they’d been tailored especially for him, and his toenails were manicured, clean, short, and even.

He looked at me with curiosity and questioning in his green eyes.

I garbled my words, rushing to get out why I’d run over to talk with him. Despite my fumbles, he nodded and beckoned me to follow. We ascended the dark staircase. He unlocked a battered door at the top and switched on bright, strategically placed lighting.

I gasped.

The walls were covered by paintings. I stood stock still while my eyes soaked in the magic. Each masterpiece was created with artistic talent and immense sensitivity, yet the subjects of the paintings were pretty mundane—such as a burro laden with sheaves of hay, standing by a tent.

I don’t know how long I’d been motionless but the man gave me a nudge and handed me a glass of water. I thanked him as he gestured to me to sit down.

“Now, young man, what you see on these walls represents my memories. Memories of a wonderful and exciting life on archaeological expeditions. My wife was the artist. She captured where we went, all around the world, including South America and parts of Africa. As far as memory, for your project, the paintings are my stimuli, reminding me of the places, what we did, what we found, and how we lived.”

“So, why are you here?”

“It’s as good a place as any.”

“I don’t buy that. There must be a reason.”

“Bit brazen, aren’t you? That’s okay. I’m here because my wife’s buried in the cemetery. She was born here, and wanted to be buried here.”

“What happened?”

“I miss her every day.”

“You can’t forget what happened, can you?”

“I must not forget. She died because she was on a dig with me. She was absorbed in her painting, and she didn’t see the venomous snake. It was a black mamba. Deadly. We couldn’t save her. That’s the unfinished painting there.”

“Perhaps you should give the paintings to a gallery and make a fresh start.”

“No, I’d feel as if my heart and soul were being torn out of me. I don’t want to forget.”

And I will always remember that afternoon.

I got an A for my assignment.

Vicky Earle Copyright 2023

From Last To First

You will see that It's a Fluke must run further at the beginning because he's in the outside post.

It's a Fluke's team did a great job: the trainer, barn staff including the groom, exercise rider, hot walker, and jockey!!

And here's the handsome star eating some carrots!

Thank you for reading my post!

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1 Comment

Oct 27, 2023

Lovely story and congratulations to Fluke! 👏

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