Black and White Winter

Written for Flash! Friday vol. 2-46. The prompt is bankruptcy, along with the photo prompt shown.

Title: Mr. Hydrick, county supervisor, and Mr. Melody Tillery examining mouth and teeth of his mare, which has mule colt. Pike County, near Tray, Alabama. Public domain photo by Marion Post Walcott.

All of us at the H-Bar Stables were riding high until that Thursday. Even now, I don’t know how much money the stables lost. Some of the Wall Street suits back east leapt from their office windows. Our accountant was less dramatic, but when the East River swept his car away, all our financial records went with him.

For a while, I tried to keep up appearances: a lot of men work the stables, and most have mouths to feed back home. Every morning, I’d trot Mister Tillery out around the grounds for the usual dog and pony show: grooming, exercise, and such.

As the frigid winter set in, though, I found the cupboard increasingly bare. Water soup and hardtack crumbs only stretch so far. It was a bitter December morning, with the wind blowing through my dark coat, that I knew I had to sacrifice Mister Tillery.

He was a good trainer, but we horses have to eat.


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