Once through the automatic doors, he glanced over at the mechanical horse by the pop machine, the kind that bounced, took quarters, and plunked out calliope music. It’d been there since he was a boy, as if it’d escaped from a nearby carousel. He longed for the days when his daughter’s needs were simple, when she’d plead for one more gumball, one more video game, one more turn—on a ride, within his reach—like this one. If only he could strap her onto this horse’s saddle, weathered just so by the wind and rain, grab the reins, and gallop away.
By Susan Triemert
Larry J. Maltin says
Such overwhelming sadness.
I read two stories here but no closure for either one. Pick one story and tell the whole story to us do NOT assume that we can read your mind.
Travis Cravey says
Or you could shove it.
I read one beautiful story!
Cheryl Pappas says
It takes a good reader to fill in the blanks in a great flash like this one.
H. Grieco says
You don’t get to play critic and then not sign your name. Consider deleting your comment.
I loved this piece!
The very best stories can be left open-ended. Clever readers appreciate these endings the most 🙂 Well done, Susan, beautifully poignant.
To b. You’re just not smart enough to figure it out. Try again. This is a perfect micro fiction and so moving.
This is such a touching story–thanks so much for sharing your wonderful and lovely words, and I look forward to reading more of your writing!
Absolutely stunning story, Susan. This one will stay with me a long time.
I love this. Very moving and clear yet resonant with mystery. I find it hard to imagine how anyone can convey so much in so few words. Beautiful work! The story leaves me satisfied and yet still caring about the characters after just a glimpse into their lives.
Lindsey Heatherly says
This is a poignant flash, perfectly encompassing the duality of grief and love within a parent’s heart. The bittersweet taste of nostalgia transcends time and space, revealed within the desperation and release of control, as a parent observes the changes and growth within their own child. Beautifully written, Susan. This one will linger with me always.
Jo Goren says
Lovely and thoughtful glimpse of character(s). The language choices are careful and evocative. Time is immeasurable between the moment of “once through” and “he longed for,” and leaves so much for us to fill in–such trust in your reader is hard to come by.
Gorgeous piece—evocative, efficient, makes my heart ache—exactly what I want from a piece of flash. Excellent work Susan!