With Halloween right around the corner, people are looking for new and exciting ways to be scared for what many call “a great day to observe scary media.” Below is the first, and by default best and scariest, horse-oriented horror story of our time.
Swish, swish, swish. Content as can be, you stand with your brothers divided only by a low wall of hard, cool oak. You are relaxed and ready to go: Tomorrow you will show the world that a championship jumper can fall and rise again, a tsunami of the stables. A sheep chortles somewhere in the distance. Maybe he is remembering a funny sheep joke (of which you know many for the purpose of this story). At the edge of your vision you spot a fly drifting lazily towards you. How buzz-are, you muse. A gentle breeze tickles your side, and you roll your head to the left to get a better look at the glowing orb peeking through the barn window. The fly continues to buzz; you feel it land somewhere near your right temple. Swish.
And then, without warning, your knees buckle. Unable to whinny, you collapse to the dusty floor. Equine mind racing like Sea Biscuit, horse heart pounding like the hooves of Sea Biscuit, you wonder: What in the name of the Horse God Horseti (the Horse God of Justice) is happening? This and many thoughts besides stampede through your mind, and your eyes flick to the carrot that you were munching on only moments prior. Am I to be poisoned on the eve of my great redemption? Your eyes well up at the thought of missing your grand jumping show. You can barely see your many Eric Lamaze posters, plastered around your now wooden prison, through the thick film of horse tears.
“The whole barn is simply a-buzz with word of your big day,” a voice coos. Is that Buzz Aldrin, famed non-equestrian? You feel a tickle between your eyes. You can’t help but smile despite yourself; you love when people tickle between your eyes. Quit horsing around, this isn’t horse college. Slowly, your eyes begin to close. The buzzing, getting louder now between your two huge, brown eyes, lulls you into a trance as you feel your legs unlock. Like a young Bambi in your favourite deer movie, Bambi, you rise clumsily to your pristine horse hooves.
Without realizing what has happened, you are at the barnyard door. Eyes-half open, you glance downwards to see hooves covered in a red, sticky mixture. This must be what it felt like to be in War Horse, you think, as you remember your favourite movie about a war horse with warm nostalgia. The longer that you admire your well-manicured hooves, however, the louder the buzzing becomes. You swish your tail in annoyance as more flies land on your horse face. You feel Buzz Aldrin, the fly from before who you mistook for famous space cowboy Buzz Aldrin, vibrating with the intensity of his buzz. “Perhaps you should have tried a buzz cut instead,” the fly whispers into your ear.
In horror, you become aware of an unperturbed silence from all around you. Despite innumerable flies now flocking to your beautiful, shimmering horse coat, you can no longer hear the sheep laughing at their many woolly yarns – nor can you see the moon. Ripped up pieces of Eric Lamaze’s photographs and clumps of horse hair are stuck to your horse legs. As horses are known to do, you rear on your hind legs. The buzzing is now a roar in your very delicate horse ears. You are ablaze with flies, Buzz Aldrin’s high-pitched fly-laugh piercing the cacophony as he circles you. “The barn is simply buzzing with talk of your big day!”
Swish, swish. Waking, you find yourself alone in a hilled paddock. There is a man, who might actually be Buzz Aldrin (of National Geographic fame), sitting opposite you. He smiles. “How long has it been, Horse Jefferson? Two years? Less?” You are confused. Buzz Aldrin continues: “You really don’t remember, do you? You still think that tomorrow is the day of your grand horse redemption?” You swallow. “Horse Jefferson, don’t you wonder what you are trying to redeem yourself for? Don’t you remember the Trampling? You have been reliving the same horse day for nearly two years, and we have let you live on in this delusion for long enough. Unfortunately, if you are not able to accept what you have done, we will need to take action (not unlike the action seen in the classic horse movie, Black Beauty).” Your eyes roll to the sky. There you see a single eye of the Horse mother, glowing and watching over her Herd. You notice a faint buzzing in the back of your mind. Neigh… It cannot be.