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When Your Horse Comes Last and 'Rum'!

The (very) short story below was written in a ten-minute on-the-spot writing challenge during an Uxbridge, Writers' Circle meeting. The prompt was a picture of an old red and white North American car.

I follow it with the sad tale of our most recent racing adventure!


Anna knew she would stand out. That was the plan. The red and white car shone, almost dazzling her as she walked towards it. It was all hers. She was the first girl in her class to own a car, and perhaps the first to have taken—and passed the first time—her driving test.

It wasn’t a total surprise to her friends because, after all, her father owned a used car dealership. But she planned to correct the misconceptions that the car was used and had been bought for her.

No. She’d paid cash and it was brand spanking new. It was a convertible with leather seats. She got in, her scarf tied securely around her head, her large sunglasses in place, and started the engine. She just had to concoct a believable story about where the money had come from. That was the biggest challenge. The truth could not come out.

It all started because her girlfriend, Martha, and she were talking one night, and Anna revealed to her how much she wanted a car. Martha—after a few drinks—asked her if she’d like to earn some money by partnering with her and her father, Joe. Joe was a rum runner at this time of prohibition in the States, and Martha did most of the driving. She could get over the border from Canada by ‘just batting her eyelids’, as her father would say, and had never been questioned. His business could expand if he had another driver he trusted.

Anna leapt at the opportunity without another thought. The only downside being her parents. They were fundamentalists and didn’t allow an ounce of alcohol in the house.

So, back to Anna’s problem. She needed a plausible story to explain how she was able to buy her new car.

After several long chats with Martha, Anna decided to tell her parents a half-truth: she was acting as a courier for a small company that Martha had set up. It surprised her that they didn’t ask lots of questions. In fact, it disturbed her to think she’d likely bought their silence with the cash she gave them every week.

But she kept on driving.

Vicky Earle Copyright 2023

When Your Horse Comes Last

We all had high hopes for It's a Fluke on September 10.

He looked great and had been training well.

We knew the race could be tough since he would be up against several more experienced horses.

But we thought he stood a good chance.

He didn't wear blinkers as he had in previous races. And you may think that played a role in some of what happened.

(I've included a link to the race below).

The most upsetting thing for It's a Fluke was that, as he came out of the gate, the horses on each side of him veered towards him and he was squeezed.

I don't blame him one little bit for not liking this! (You won't see this clearly on the clip).

Then he was taken to the rail. We think he was intimidated by the horses on his outside (I would be too if I'd just been squished by two of them!).

So, the jockey decided not to urge him on. It's a Fluke didn't want to join in the race and it's not fair to put pressure on a horse in that situation.

Just in case he wasn't feeling well, a veterinarian checked him out as soon as he returned to the barn.

All was fine and he was rather full of beans as he was walked around the shedrow. After all, he hadn't exerted himself!

We're looking forward to his next race. In the meantime, he'll have lots of practice leaving the gate and he'll likely have his blinkers back on!

And he'll get loads of TLC of course! (thanks to Darwin Banach and his team).


Let your friends and family know about the Meg Sheppard Mystery Series (available on Amazon, Blue Heron Books, can be ordered at any bookstore, and now in the Uxbridge Public Library).

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1 commento

15 set 2023

I’m beginning to think you’ve been a master criminal all these years Vicky! 😂

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