Friday, October 17, 2008

Fiction - The Horses

I'm going to try to do something a little different with my blog once in awhile. Instead of writing about my life and observations, I'm going to dabble in fiction a bit so I can practice. Here is the first passage that I wrote today on the ferry:

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The surging horses weave a tapestry of sorrel, black and dappled gray. The dew from gold grass darkens their forelegs as specks of sweat glisten on their necks. They run as one, moving together, dodging the small creek that splits the meadow in two ragged pieces. The bordering trees are the loom these horses use in their playful dance, as the tapestry comes together, then moves apart as they buck and nip.

This is the only place the woman finds solace, and she walks quietly with a camera draped around her neck. One misstep, one tumbling rock will alert the wild horses to her presence. She crouches in dirty jeans and a plaid shirt by a tree, camera poised on a tiny tripod. Click, click. The exposure set at 9 seconds. The horses are blurry, blending together in a sea of color. The mountains and trees static in the distance. She only dabbles in photography; it’s something in her life she can actually control. Exposure, F-stop, all complex and most of her photos turn out poorly.

The woman in the cowboy hat sits for a long time beneath that tree. The horses are calm now, grazing in the mountain meadow. She loves the black mare with the wild mane and crooked blaze down her face. It reminds her of the time she used to be wild and free, too.

She wants to get closer to the herd, away from the shadow of the trees, so she can capture the look in this mare’s eyes. The hill is steep and she picks her way around rocks and bushes. Suddenly, she trips, sending rocks cascading, bumping into each other, echoing loudly like gunshots.

Heads pop up below. Nostrils flare. Eyes roll wildly, and with a steady rumble the horses pick up speed and are once again a work of art. They run faster, away from her, away from the meadow and the loom of trees. The woman is once again alone, but she doesn’t mind. Her camera swings low in her hand.

5 comments:

Emily said...

I love this Kristin. Makes me miss riding horses, and reminds me of that story you wrote back in high school.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

The most WONDERFUL power of the written word-- and in this case-- your fiction-- is that it transports us.

I am a 50-year old man, but for a few moments I can vicariously live though a young woman observing the beauty of powerful animals in the wild.

I hope you'll keep your excerpts coming. Is it part of a larger work? Also, I wonder if you've ever thought about short stories? There's a pretty good market for them out there in literary journals. You won't make any money doing that-- but you can sure rack up the publishing credits.

You obviously love to write and I am so glad you're sharing it with us. It's a brave thing to do. Writing is very personal. When I share mine-- I always feel like I'm putting one of my *babies* out there for the world to see. It's kind of scary. This is just delicious to read. Deep thanks.

- A - C - said...

Beautifully written. is this woman you?
Looking forward to the next passage.
A.

P.S. 9 seconds exposure for horses? hmmm... I should give it a try ;-)

Kristin said...

Eric - Thanks for the wonderful comments. That story wasn't really part of a larger work, but it could be. It just came out of my brain for no reason at all when I was sitting on the ferry. And I'd love to tap into more short stories, I don't really care about money, so I should go for the journals.

AC - The woman in the story isn't me, although she shares my love for horses and lack of experience with manual photography. You are right, with horses, 9 seconds is an eternity and *poof* they'd be gone before my shot :) That's why the character's photos turn out badly most of the time, like mine.

Sue said...

Dang, Kristin! You are a great writer! That just 'came out of your head'? I couldn't come up with that if I had five hours in front of a computer without Sweet Pea! Well done. I agree with Eric, you should try short stories!