The horse prints in the mud troubled him.
It had been hours since Hector left the bar. He was in country on business, but spent every free minute on the drink and hooking up with scandalous women. On his last night in town, he thought a good idea to pay a local 20 bucks to let him ride his horse. It wasn't long before he was lost.
The sun had set and the creatures of the forest began their nightly routine.
The buzz was gone now. He was confident that if he followed the trail, it would eventually lead to help, or at the very least, a road. But confidence withered fast and with every passing hour, he began to lose hope.
The horse prints in the mud meant one or two things. Either there was another rider nearby, or he was travelling in circles.
He looks around. Upon recognizing his surroundings, he growls and curses to himself. Then he hears a voice call out to him.
He turns. His eyes widen. It was a woman, beautiful with long black hair, green eyes, curve body and strong legs. He couldn't take his eyes off her. "will you please help me? I need a ride." "I'm sure you do" he says, licking his lips.
She smiles and he takes her hand and helps her up behind him. "thank you." She wraps her hands around his waist. "you're very sweet, but you should be home with your wife." He laughs. "and who says I'm married sweetheart?" "Monica"
His smile fades. "what? how do you..." She leans in to his ear. "because I can see her in your soul"
He turns around to face her. He yells a horrific cry.
The horse neighs loud and rises onto its two back legs, dropping both bodies, then sprints away.
The forest creatures scatter in fear.
Left behind is Hector, his body twitching with every tug of the woman's teeth ripping into his flesh.
He cries in pain.
You know there are times where I hear a song and I'm instantly reminded of a place or something I did in the past. I was in the Army when this song came out, or this song reminds me of when I fell from the tree. Things like that. These memories, ignited by music, are random. Sometimes the radio plays an old hit and bam, I'm back in the 90s.
But ask me what song reminds me of when we first met, and I won't have one. Not a beat, or lyric, or artist. Not one song reminds me of you. And it's funny telling you this, being that we met in a dance club. You would think I'd have a whole list of songs that reminds me of us, but no.
Truth is, when I first met you, the band was playing, but I didn't hear music. I didn't hear anything. I just stood there, gawking at you. Trying to figure out what to say to catch your attention. My focus was on you and you only.
There's no song that tells the story of when we first met because reality is, I don't need one. I'm reminded everyday I wake up next to you. And if the day ever comes that I lose myself and who I am, I'm comforted in the fact that this memory will never fade.
He woke up dizzy. Everything made him nauseous. The taste of whiskey in his mouth, the smell of his own vomit.
It was cold. All he wanted to do was go home but was too embarrassed.
He was with his wife and kids. A simple shot of whiskey turned into a St Patricks Day drink fest. It wasn't long before he was staggering drunk around the house, expressing his love for his wife. It was cute at first, but then things went downhill.
He began sharing a story from his time at war. A moment in his life he wanted to keep from his wife for fear of what she would think. He cried and shook and relived that moment. His wife told him to stop but he didn't listen.
His girls watched confused. They saw their daddy crying. At that, he stormed out of the house and ran. Ran for what seemed like forever before passing out.
He lay on the open field, staring up at the pink sky. His daughters would marvel at the color of the clouds right now.
He wanted to be with them, with his wife. Wanted to say how sorry he was. Wanted this moment to fade away deep in his mind with the rest of his stories. Wanted to feel anything other than embarrassed and ashamed.
She held her granddaughter tight and stood strong and upright. Sure she was in her early sixties and struggling with arthoritis, but she refused to show signs of weakness.
Her son was weak. He proved it when he left his daughter to be raised by her 63 year old grandmother.
He surprised her because she always taught him the importance of family. But the pressures of fatherhood proved to be too much for him. Maybe if his wife had survived the labor, things would've been different for him. It's a lot easier to raise a child with two parents. Still, it was no excuse. I mean if he thought being a single father was tough, imagine being a sixty year old, arthritic senior raising an eight year old.
That's what concerned her. Not the responsibility of raising a child, it was the physical part. Mentally she was strong, nothing could break her. Her body on the other hand, was wearing down quickly. The last thing this child needed was to become a caregiver.
Her knees began to tremble. She took a deep breath and looked at her granddaughter.
Grandma: come on. Let's go inside. It's time for lunch.
She turned and walked inside, wincing in pain with every step. This is going to be tough she thought. For a second, she doubted she could actually do it.
Little did she know that 20 years from now, her granddaughter would grow up to be one of the most important and influential figures in history.