15 January 2013

The last tanga

The musty smell hits me as soon as my foot steps over the threshold. The horse barn is no larger than my kitchen. Its floor is made up of irregular slabs of cool stone from indigenous quarries and worn smooth with years of being trod underfoot. Its walls are of an indistinct shape and colour, lined with old and thread-bare tapestry. Holes peep out shyly from between the swells and folds. The entire space is lit up with a single bulb bravely trying to throw its weak light to the ends of the room. Even so, several nooks and crannies still manage to elude its flickering yellow glow to remain concealed in...

Read the full article in the January 2013 issue of Equus


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1000 words
Nonfiction/Real fiction

US publication


Words from the Wise

"I just read some of your other stories online, which I enjoyed very much. Although we realize you don't have a lot of experience with horses, we would appreciate working with you again, should you have something in this vein."
Laurie Bonner
Senior Editor

"I very much like (this). I'm interested in it. It is a sophisticated piece of prose, beautifully and honestly written wtih vivid, detailed descriptions, and many wonderful lines. Some of my favourites are:

  • There is a faint buzzing as a small swarm of bugs gather around under the bulb and attempt to put an end to their lives.
  • A fresh bunch of lemon and chillies hangs from the doorway. This is our Indian version of the mistletoe, except that it is used to ward off spirits and keep out the evil eye.
  • She is brown, with long tail hair cut into a stylish taper and long mane that is adorned with beads and plaits.
  • Although she does not appear to be overly well-fed, her bearing is proud, as though she senses that this is her swan song.
  • She will not get distracted by police whistles or shrill bicycle bells, nor will sharp motorcycle horns or shrieking ambulance sirens disturb her.
  • Then she will be discovered lying dead in a ditch by the roadside, flies buzzing around her carcass, dogs sniffing and mooching about in packs.
It is an excellent piece. The qualities that make it outstanding... the keen eye for accurate and telling detail, the sense of honesty, and the attention to diction. (I like stories) that are more literary and have fresh and interesting details, like the ones I pointed to--especially that bit about the lemon and chillies hanging from the doorway--an Indian version of mistletoe. That was lovely! I looked at your articles on Writing World and I liked them a lot."
Pearl Luke
Page Forty-Seven

"I enjoyed reading your story"
Emily Trahair

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