Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Currying the Horse, a story

Thank you to Wilderness House Literary Review for publishing this excerpt of my novel manuscript Tangle Creek
Iris reached for the curry comb. When John handed it to her their hands grazed at the sides of their palms, causing Iris to shiver in ripples along her spine as the horse had. Goosebumps raised up on her arms where her cardigan sleeves were pushed back. 
She took the comb. John covered her hand with his, stepping behind and encircling her, not near enough for contact, a distanced embrace just close enough to warm the air between them, an insulating layer in the space of their separate lives. Reach, sweep, brush. The barn door was open. A crisp breeze traveled through the alleyway, freshening the stall. It brought to Iris’ lips a taste of the nearness of spring beyond winter’s im- mediacy. She panted from exertion. 
“Gently over his shoulders and hips,” John said softly. Iris felt sweat moisten her neck and bead on her forehead. John pulled back from her. She moved from the horse’s off-side to his right side, intent on the sweep- ing motion, willing herself to work out the tug she felt in her heart, the ache in her belly. She could forget herself in this task. She could clean and tend and wear herself out this way. 

Read the full story here

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