Here's another pre-Apocalypse short story that I'm reposting. And I just this moment realized that it's named after Renie.
The weirdest part of this one is that it's somewhat based on a true story.
© 2008 Rick Hutchins
Because I am old, you think I've lost my mind; but I remember when there was magic in the world.
In my prime, I worked at the smitty in the township and attempted to court the lovely Abigail. With long red locks and green eyes, her fair skin peppered with sweet brown freckles, she was a vision of loveliness. But she entertained no gentlemen callers. Since the consumption took her parents, she lived alone on her tiny farmstead.
Alone with her calico cat, whom she loved very much.
On one hot and dry summer day, Farmer Braddock stopped by the smitty and mentioned that Abigail's cat had moved into his stable with his horses and would not leave. He had sent for Abigail.
Hoping to endear myself to her with my assistance, I hurried over the hill to the Braddock Farmstead; I stopped at the East window of the stable when I heard voices.
"Please come home," I heard Abigail say.
"I can't," replied a masculine voice. "I am becoming a horse."
I peered inside the window. The cool, dark stable was empty of horses, which were all in the field. But Abigail was there, facing a stall where her cat stood in the dust and strewn hay. The cat stood proudly, his muscles bunched, straining to be taller and larger.
"But you are a cat," said Abigail.
"It was a mistake that I was born a cat," said the animal. "In my heart, I am a horse. I must become what I truly am."
Abigail turned away in tears and departed through the stable doors.
"Don't cry!" called out the cat. "When my transformation is complete, I will sweep you upon my back and we will ride like the wind!"
For the next month, I courted Abigail with songs and gifts to ease her sorrow, but she would be neither wooed nor comforted.
Then, on the dusk of a late summer day, as I walked through the hills outside the township, I heard a sound above me. There on the blue ridge stood the figure of a mighty calico horse, on his back the form of a pale nude rider with long, flowing hair that flamed like the sunset. The horse reared up on his hind legs with a sound like throaty laughter and they were gone on the cool night breeze.
Abigail was never seen again.
Yes, I still remember when there was magic in the world; but she took it with her when she left.
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