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O for Orange light reflected from its eyes: #atozchallenge fiction

Today’s story starter (at the beginning of the story in bold) comes from Jocelyn Rish and to go with it I chose this picture by Joseph W. Richardson.
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Orange light reflected from its eyes as it paced towards me, unhurried, its hooves clacking on the ice on the pavement. So this is how I would die, five minutes past midnight into Christmas, on an empty road as I walked back home, after a day spent gallivanting in disguise.

Christmas always gave me that creepy feeling, as if everyone were making merry and eating, pretending for all their worth as if nothing were wrong, when they knew the world was about to end. And today it would end for me, notwithstanding my own years of training as a warrior, the many sermons I had attended in both school and church, a púca with its black horse-body and its clarion clear voice would mark my end.

So boy, are you ready? it said, whinnying and stomping the ground, clanging the chains about its neck, its orange eyes now a pale gold, its breath a mist of spoiled blackberries.

Trying to stand tall with my body that was no longer that of a boy, not yet of a man, I said, No one is ever ready. The gas light above my head dimmed and flashed.


Will you fight or submit, Brian Boru?said the púca, grinning through its horse teeth.

What will be, will be, but if its is all the same to you, I’ll fight.

And the rest, as they say, is history.

A to Z Stories of Life and Death

If you liked this story you might like some of the stories I wrote for my A to Z last year

As a co-host, I end with A to Z Challenge  reminders:
1. Turn off your word verification. It helps no one. You may moderate comments for a while if you’re unsure.
2. In your comment id, link only to your AZ blog, NOT your profile which may have five other blogs.

3. Leave a link to you when you comment.
4. Comment when you visit blogs. Start visiting with the blog below you on the linky list.
5. Make it easy for people to follow your blog and follow you on social media.
Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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