Something Unexpected

I sat down to write today’s post and at first couldn’t think about what to say. My story is running in the back of my mind and the characters are pushing to get out.

I thought about telling you about the story, but I need to get it written first.

As I was searching for inspiration, I went to the FB page of Sheri-Lynn Marean, an author I do newsletter swaps with. Then I saw something unexpected. She had pictures of horses, and street signs warning people to share the road with horses. I see that all the time with bikes, but that was the first time I saw it for horses. Suddenly, several thoughts fought for dominance in my mind.

I live in Austin, Texas. When I say Texas, you may think wide open spaces, pastures, cattle, ranchers an the like. There are parts of Texas like that. However, I live in Austin. It is a big city with paved streets, sidewalks, coffee shops and all the normal things you would expect. However, twice I have been in the middle of the city and startled to hear the clip-clop of horse hooves. One time I was standing at the end of the driveway in a area full of houses, and along comes this guy in baggy jeans riding a horse. His thin black braids bounced against his back as the horse moved down the street. He stopped at the corner, just like a car, then continued on.

I had to wonder where he came from, and where he was going. This was in the middle of a residential area, and there weren’t any places where you would keep a horse near-by. Very unexpected.

Another time I was driving on a side-road. It was paved, and near a residential area. Up ahead were three people on horses. One of the horses was moving from side to side, clearly unhappy. I decided to treat it just like a deer, and stopped. Now, with a deer, I would expect it to quickly meander off the road. With a horse and rider, I figured I’d either wait for them to tell me it was okay to go on, or be ready to call 911 (the horse was bucking and such, and I was afraid the rider would be thrown).

Happily, the rider got the horse under control and they waved me on. As I drove by, I wondered about them. What caused the horse to act up? Where were they from? Where were they going? I didn’t see any trucks with horse trailers, so did they live in the area?

Just when you think you have it all figured out, something unexpected comes along.

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