mystic horse

copyright Douglas M. Macilroy

“This stallion,” said Grandpa, a twinkle in his eye, “will bewitch those Nightmares and keep you safe.”  The charm was bone white; whittled from the wood of a skeleton tree.

“Nightmares are part of growing to Witch-hood,” huffed Grandma, but she let me keep it.

That night I clasped it tight and when sleep finally came my stallion appeared, and I wound my fingers through its mane, and rested my head against its sturdy shoulder, and knew peace.

The night Grandpa died, my stallion came again; a white knight upon his back.

That night  I knew Grandpa was gone for good.



This story was written for the Friday Fictioneers. See the other stories here on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ site.

26 thoughts on “Nightmares

  1. Trudy,
    I enjoyed this right up until the last line, which struck me as weaker than the rest. I guess I was hoping for something more profound to happen that night – that Grampa was dead was a bit too obvious. Based on the rest of your writing, I thought you could have done more with those last few words. Hopefully you read this as constructive 🙂

    • Fair point, Denmother, I’ll have a read through later and see if I agree, then maybe revise. Thank you for taking the time to comment 🙂

  2. I think this is a lovely witchy tale – the relationship between the child and her grandfather works really well. I don’t agree that the ending was weak – after all you only have 100 words to play with so you can’t introduce something new at this point. I think your way rounds the story up nicely.

    • Thanks for that, nice to hear someone happy with the original line, (though I still may change it). 🙂

  3. I didn’t think it was so much weak as superfluous really. But I still enjoyed the story and thought you did well with it.

    • Thank you Sandra, just deleting the line is a possibility, as you say. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I guess I kind of wanted something more too, but I certainly have no idea what would fit. You have a strong story that begs for a big finish.

    • Hi Joe, you’re in good company with this comment, and I’m happy to get this kind of feedback. Lovely to hear you think it’s a strong story, thanks!

  5. Well done! This brought tears to my eyes. I’d also drop that last line and either be done with it or add something about the nightmares have ended. Really enjoyed this.

    • Oh, thank you Beth, that’s lovely. And I really appreciate the feedback on that last line too.

    • Thanks, I’ll settle for ‘brilliant’, and you didn’t even mention that last line!

  6. I think the story is beautiful. If you want to take heed to the above comments, you could just revise to say “That night I knew Grandpa would always be here.” but as I said I think it’s great the way it is. Have a great weekend.

    • A good suggestion for a revision there, thank you. It’s really helpful to get feedback like this, so thanks for the comment.

  7. Hi Rochelle, there is a bit of a theme here isn’t there? With a fairly even split over Keep it/Trash it/Revise it. I’ll probably do a rewrite over the weekend. Thanks for commenting.

  8. I’m going to keep out of the last line debate – up to you what you do. I thought it was a great story. I particularly liked ‘The charm was bone white; whittled from the wood of a skeleton tree’.

  9. I want to hear more, like there’s so much more going on that readers will learn about later. I also liked the last line as is. It seems like it adds your own writing style into the story, which I love.

    • That’s nice to hear, and this is a much bigger story in my notebooks, so I guess that comes through. Thanks for stopping by!

  10. I must admit I like Janet’s suggestion. I would go one further and say that those 9 words could be used at the very beginning, perhaps to introduce her nightmares and or trouble sleeping. Or in the interest of time, leave it just as it is. Another Friday will be here before you know it.

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