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Winston

This is my submission to the Speak Easy writing challenge #162

WINSTON

Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes. I’ve tried time and again to weed out the memory from my mind, but to no avail. It’s been twelve years since then, and every time I think about it, I go back to the summer I was sixteen and my mother was scolding me for the umpteenth time about-

 

 

“Don’t you think it’s time to throw that thing away?”

“Mom! Don’t call him a ‘thing’.” I protested indignantly. “Winston is my baby!”

“He was, when you were a baby yourself.” She countered.

“No, he still is!” I insisted.

“Stacy.” My mother sighed impatiently. “Fourteen years you’ve fed that rocking horse, petted it, talked to it, even cuddled with it, for goodness sake! Isn’t that enough?”

“Of course it’s not! Winston’s my best friend. Please let me keep him, just a few days, please?” I begged.

My mother sighed again. “Fine, just for a while.”

 I patted Winston’s head lovingly. I had had him since I was two, and he still looked brand new. His stuffed coat shone a warm brown and his glass eyes were so realistic he almost looked alive. I knew I was being childish, keeping Winston like this, but I was strangely attached to him. I wouldn’t even let Matt, my younger brother, play with him when he was a child.

 I wasn’t throwing him away.

I could have sworn I heard a snort of satisfaction, but I just laughed at my imagination and forgot about it.

 

The next Friday, I came home from school and Winston was missing.

“Mom!” I shrieked. “Mom! What have you done with Winston?”

She spoke calmly.“ Oh, I sold it off to a nice man in the next block. He’s got a little boy at home and couldn’t afford a new rocking horse, you see.” She beamed at me as if it was the best thing in the world.

“I don’t believe this!” I wailed again. She winced. “Lower your voice, Stacy! Winston is gone, and that’s final.”

I spent the next few days in a blue funk until Mr.Hanover, Winston’s new owner, came to return him. He apologized and asked for a refund- a series of accidents had occurred with his family after he brought Winston home, and he felt that poor Winston might have been unlucky for them. Well, his loss! I was just happy to have Winston back. This time I thought I saw a glint in his eyes. Yeah, right. And I’m Wonder Woman. I thought dryly.

I was shaken awake at three in the morning by a hysterical Matt. “Stace.”He sobbed. “Mom’s dead…God…she’s dead.”

The police said that she had been hacked to death with repetitive blows to her face and chest. Investigations were fruitless. The incident faded out of the news and we were left alone to move on with our lives.

 

A few months passed. I was on my bed reading about a painting by Albrecht Dürer, when my brother barged in to borrow a pen. “What did I tell you about knocking?” I grouched. Ignoring my question totally, he pointed at Winston. “You still have this worthless thing? How can you even look at it without remembering Mom?”

“What!” I exclaimed.

“Maybe that Hanover guy was right.” He went on. “Maybe this thing is unlucky.” Matt kicked Winston aggressively and stormed out.

I shook my head. Winston was a toy horse, how could he kill anyone? Except…Winston’s head was the perfect weapon to bludgeon someone…..

But I didn’t question it seriously until the mystery killer claimed both my father and my brother at one go, while I was away for a sleepover. The bloodstains on the floor showed that Matt had been dragged back and forth until he was dead. There were teeth and hoof marks on both of them. Winston had been found standing over their bodies, bathed in their blood. The police figured it was some kind of sick joke.

But I had realized the horrific truth and I knew what to do. The night I was placed under police protection, I lit a match and flung it on my childhood friend Winston. It was over now. Winston would never hurt anyone again.

 

 

I’m jolted back to the present by happy squeals. My daughter Hailey comes running in.

“Mommy, look what Daddy got me!”

I smile and let her take me to see her new gift.

My heart stops.

“Mommy, it’s a horsie!”

It’s Winston.

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Here are the rules:

  • Your post must be dated May 18, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Until the day I die, I’ll never forget those glassy, unblinking eyes.
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • The speakeasy is for submissions written specifically for the grid. Please don’t submit an entry if you intend to showcase it to another blog link-up. Such posts are deleted without notice.
  • Please don’t post long explanations before your post. We want your writing to be the star of the show. If you need to clarify anything, feel free to do so at the end.
  • Albrecht_Dürer_Oswolt_Krel

 

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