What’s the Chance?

“Black’s not moving-” he cried.

“It’s okay baby, I’ll fix it,” she said. She’d chosen Black. She should’ve seen the signs.

Never again. No more shortcuts.

She’d tried other horses, same dark fur, tall, friendly, but he always knew.

Her team arrived, collected Black and she returned to work, tireless and determined.

If anyone could solve it, she would.

A year on, Black’s fatal allergy to her son’s DNA finally revealed itself.

She watched Black nuzzle him. He hesitated, eyed her, then embraced Black fiercely, grinning through tears.

Regrown, genetics rewritten, memories transferred, Black never had to leave again.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


September 16: Flash Fiction Challenge « Carrot Ranch
In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about a Big Black Horse. It can be a horse, a metaphor or an interpretation of KT Tunstall’s “Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree.” Go where the prompt leads!

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28 thoughts on “What’s the Chance?

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    1. You’d be right there Norah, we’re not far off this being reality. The possibilities are endless! And I’m sure we’ll be questioning every change along the way to ensure it all remains within moral bounds. Humans are getting better at that – imagining the future, paranoia around abuse of power, pushing back and questioning everything. I’m excited for the good that’s coming.

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    1. So many beautiful ways to remember. A few months ago we had our oldest fur baby’s ashes woven into a black and gold glass sculpture and into a set of three shaped glass comfort stones (pink, purple and blue – one for each of the kids). I wonder what other ways humans will use to remember their pets in the decades and centuries to come.

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      1. I’ve not heard of ashes in comfort stones. Neat idea. I was visiting an older home in Wisconsin that had a unique art piece. Flowers… only it wasn’t flowers – it was human hair! Apparently during some wars men wore bracelets or watchbands made of hair from their ‘gals’ as well.

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        1. Oh wow, that’s fascinating! I can’t even begin to picture that. I’ll have to look it up. Must’ve been one talented artist to turn the hair so convincingly into flowers. We were offered a clipping of our old boy’s fur but that was a touch too close to home. The comfort stones/blown glass pieces are a beautiful testament to his elegance and his talent for teaching us how to love and appreciate each day as it is.

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          1. Reminds me of wig makers… weaving single strands of hair into that special mat. I knew folks who had synthetic wigs (some very well made too).

            At least three times I’ve donate hair to different charity places that make wigs for those in need. Some don’t take grey or white hair… but some do. I have thin hair so not much of a contribution on ‘pony tail’ of even eight inches. But I suppose every strand helps. :D

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          2. That’s so wonderful of you. I’ve considered it in the past, but for unfortunately different reason. I hoped I could avoid dealing with my hair in the process, and have an unarguable excuse for getting rid of it, during that dreaded period when almost all of us females hate almost everything about how we look. I’m grateful I’ve grown through that though, and I’m growing my hair out now (it used to be super short) and I adore the length. I’ve known a few people with synthetic wigs also, and they are phenomenally made. I can’t imagine losing my hair without choice or having something drastic happen to it. It’d be a heartbreaking experience even with all the beautiful wig options available now. Hair is such a huge influence on how we see each other and present ourselves and thus see ourselves. It’s fascinating how many layers there are beneath seemingly mundane aspects of society.

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          3. We had a relative who shaved his head in support for a friend with cancer. His hair never grew back right – so now he’s a bald guy… Other men who have spot – sometimes get plugs. And of course there’s the comb over and toupee’s… some not really worn very well at all – those ‘rugs’. In some faiths both the men and women cover their hair so only their spouse can see it. And some require your head to be covered with a wig. So many odd traditions with hair. Like British barristers (lawyers) who used to have to wear those horrid white wigs. I think I read in the paper that most don’t have to do that any more.

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          4. My dad was going bald for a long time, his hair thinned out a lot on top and he wore a sparse comb-over to try and disguise it (unsuccessfully). Now that I’m grown, have become a parent and am seen as an adult while I still feel much the same as I did when I was a kid (I wonder if that ever dissipates), I have sadness for my dad, in that he felt pressured to look a certain way and that those he did it for, only ever spoke ill of his efforts. That his hair was such a small but vital part of who he was, and he chose not to change it with money because he prioritised his family over himself, but in doing so, fell short of others’ expectations. I see his internal child struggling with something he never learned to cope through before the end.

            It’s mind blowing to think that hair could have such an impact. The innumerable pathways we’ve arrived from, to craft so many different beliefs and values for just one part of ourselves. The complexities of cultures built up over the centuries is almost too much to comprehend in a single lifetime.

            I wonder who in our western society would be required to wear those barrister wigs now though. Probably just those in the court’s higher offices? Surely it’s losing its power/value/meaning, outside of ceremonious occasions.

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          5. Do barristers still wear wigs 2020?
            Today, both judges and barristers wear wigs, but each has their own style. Courtroom wigs are white, often handcrafted out of horsehair, and can cost thousands of pounds.
            More here:
            https://www.urbo.com/content/this-is-why-british-lawyers-still-wear-wigs-and-robes-in-court/

            I can understand the robes… maybe? But the wigs… not so much.

            It is a trial or at least was a trial to have to deal with dress codes. Some in private schools still do.

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          6. So there have been changes. The expectations have partially eased for their dresscode. I can imagine finding it bizarre to have to spend thousands on several kinds of outdated outfits for work. But I guess there are many others who do it less conspicuously, in the form of basic suits and shoes and hair care and everything else that goes with the upper class professional look. And wow, horsehair? It does make sense that judges and barristers prefer to keep their identities less obvious, but isn’t their name available to public via case records?

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