Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Dark Horse

This is my attempt at Flash Fiction. I had submitted this entry at Kala Ghoda Festival.
Theme: Black Horse

With fear and hope I walked into the grandstand. I glanced at the track and the past races flashed in front of my eyes. It had all started with having fun with friends by betting on horses. How I had followed tips and sheer luck had made be wealthy. How my confidence had increased race after race, and how I would boast of myself in friends. I had just started riding the horse of greed!

How fun became an obsession, I realized only the day before when I bet everything and lost all. And there I was; all gloomy at the Junior Champion Stakes that day!

The thin pocket pinched me!

I touched the only money left in my pocket - five hundred dollars. The thought of losing it made me feel sick. If only greed hadn’t gripped me at the highest the day before, I would have been beaming with winning attitude again.

With trembling hands I placed the bet at the course bookmaker window, “Win on Reaffirmed”.
There was something about Reaffirmed that I bet on him again inspite of his betrayal the day before. My heart was pumping hard. Once again my fate was in the hands of the same stallion.

The race started. First Samurai was leading and Reaffirmed was at five. It looked tough for Reaffirmed to win. Reaffirmed tried hard and managed at third position. In the last lap, it was unbelievable to see First Samurai and Reaffirmed neck-to-neck. Both crossed the finishing line together. Both thought, he won the race!
First Samurai was declared the winner by jury. Reaffirmed lost.
I was pondering, my heart asking me questions, “Was it a sheer luck? was it the fraction (100$ for every 2$) I bet for? Didn’t I choose the Wrong Horse?

© Sweta Gupta

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