Here is a short story I wrote last week. I hope you like it, and please leave a comment and tell me what you think!
"It was almost dawn. Will breathed heavily as his hands fumbled for the bridle in the dark. Ah! There it was.
‘Shhh......” He comforted Pippin as he slid the bridle over her long, brown neck; she began to whinny.
“Shhh...it’s just me.. the-re’s a girl.” His voice was barely a whisper, he couldn’t risk waking the stable boy who was no doubt sleeping right above him. Will rubbed her shoulder and said nothing. Time was running out. His heart beat faster by the minute.
Will led Pippin out of the stable and down an old alleyway. The town was still asleep and the steady clip-clop-clop of her hooves echoed throughout the streets.
Pippin trusted Will - they had played together in the pastures ever since she was a young foal. Now that she was fully grown, the old farmer had sold her to the Mayor. She had been overworked and beaten, and now Will, who was young and earnest, had come to free her.
Out in the fields, a rooster crowed. The sun was rising. The stable boy would soon be awake and realize Pippin was missing. He would inform the Mayor of the disappearance, who in turn would arouse the cops.
Will quickened his pace. His grasp on the reins tightened. Just a few more steps and around the corner, and the old dirt road that led out of the town would be in view.
The rooster crowed for the second time that morning. Smoke was starting to ascend out of the baker’s chimney, and farmers began heading out to their fields. The fishermen were coming ashore, and before long, children were out playing in the streets. The stable boy would be up and Pippin’s escape would have been discovered.
Will swung himself up onto Pippin’s bare back as they reached the end of the town, and together they swiftly sped down the old dirt road. How wonderful it felt to be riding Pippin again! He tossed his head back and let the early morning breeze rush through him.
A sudden clip-clop-clop caught his attention: he turned his head and what he saw neither pleased nor surprised him. Several cops were on his tail.
“Yee-hah!” Will dug his heels into Pippin’s sides and together they sped down the old road. Excitement surged through him, pumping through his veins.They rounded the bend and the woods came into view. The cops were catching up. Faster and faster they ran, until they made it to the forest. The tall oaks closed in around them and for a heartbeat Will thought they had lost the cops, but alas! Round the bend they came and would be upon him any minute.
In a moment of despair, Will realized it was Pippin’s freedom or his. Without hesitation he descended the horse and, with one last glance into her sparkling eyes, slapped and sent her scooting off into the thickets. She was free.
Will instantly turned his attention to his own fate. One by one the cops surrounded him. He was trapped, and he knew it. With great despair, he turned his head, hoping to get one last glimpse of his treasured horse. But she was gone.
Will woke up, screaming. The pain from his fresh wounds surged through his body, and memories from the past haunted him as if they happened yesterday. Then he remembered his attempt to escape...fifty lashes... salt on his wounds... He couldn’t remember anything after the salt. He guessed he had fallen unconscious.
There was a stomping of boots outside and the door flew open.
The Warden’s words were like a dog’s bark, short and stubborn.
“Speak up boy! Cat got yer tongue??”
“N-n-noo s-s-irr, I... er...” Will could barely raise his voice above a whisper. The pain was too great. He sunk back into his bed and before he knew it, fell unconscious again.
Once again Will was haunted by the past. Images flickered in his mind, refusing to leave him alone.
“Order! Order! Order in the court!” Three times the Judge tapped his hammer on the desk.
“Who brings charges against this man??”
A short, fat, stumpy old man stood up. He was an ugly man, his face covered in wrinkles and scorn. He was the Mayor.
“And what is your charge against him?”
The Mayor looked at Will. For a moment, Will thought he saw pity in his eyes, but it vanished like a lightning bolt.
“And are there any witnesses?”
A small boy of about ten stood up. “I saw him! I saw him take the horse! He walked right out of the stable and down the street. I saw him!”
Curse him! Will silently thought. He looked around the room and saw the police officers. The Mayor. The boy. He had no chance of getting away, no excuses, and he knew it.
“I hereby sentence...”
A commotion arose above the court. The judge was old and weary and barely had the strength to sentence Will.
“Order! Order! I hereby sentence William A. Reed to imprisonment for life, for horse theft. Order! Order!”
Will’s eyes flickered open. Sweat ran down his cheeks as he gasped for air. The pain was still insufferable; his back was covered in scars and so was his heart. I can’t carry on like this, he thought.
As the days rolled by, Will’s wounds began to heal. Presently, the Warden came back to fetch him.
“Aye, ye ready to go back to work?” he snapped.
The Warden struck Will across the face.
"I said, are ye ready to go back to work?"
"I said, are ye ready to go back to work?"
“Y-yes sir - sir.”
The Warden fastened irons around Will’s hands and pushed him outside.
As he took a breath of fresh air, he looked up to the sky and let the warmth of the sun sink into his skin. How wonderful it felt!
“Oi, enough o’ that! Keep moving!”
The Warden dragged Will out to the fields to begin his days work. He unlocked the irons, barked a few quick orders, then left.
“Hey mate.” Will turned to see his friend George working beside him. “You all right?”
“Yeh, I’m all right” he acknowledged.
There was no expression in his words. No happiness, no sadness, no nothing. They were just words, empty words.
As the day wore on, Will slaved away at his work. The sun grew hotter and began to sink into his wounds, and with it the hope of the future disappeared. "