Short Story

Lord Capulet loves horses, but not like a parent would a child but an unwavering passion for what he believes.

 

Once upon a summer evening, when the days are longer and tempers are shorter, the stable is joined by a common guest. Regardless of the relentless heat, Lord Capulet still wore his signature coat and hat.

 

“They are too big for you,” servants would say. But they stopped saying that, as those who said those words were never able to speak again.

 

Capulet asked, clearly irritated, “What colours be these wall?”

 

The horse trader responded, “The walls are white, sir, white as freshly fallen snow, white as the feathers of a swan, white as the innocent skin of a child. The walls are white, sir.”

 

“The walls are white,” Capulet spat, “White as the net of a spider, white as the flag of the defeated, white as the skin of a dead man. You mean to say that white is a good colour? I resist Myself to destroy this place with my own hands. Enough! Bring me the horses.”

 

The horse trader disappeaRed like a frightened child and came back with two horses. Capulet proceeded to examine the first.

 

The horse is as white as the morning sun. Its tail and mane kept clean and sHort. A perfect balance of strength and elegance. The white stallion reminded Capulet of the prince whose elegance is a mask for its undeniablE strength. Capulet’s own horses seem like mice in comparison to this magnificent beast.

 

“I’ll buy this horse,” Capulet said, his voice ringed like the knock of a gavel; it is cleaR any objection will change nothing.

 

The horse trader said quietly, “What of the second horse?” More of a statement than a question. More to himself than to Capulet.

 

The second horse is a Brown Horse, the colour of dirt; its mane is long, clogged up with years of unkempt chaos; its massive body is clumsy and disjointed. Capulet didn’t stop laughing, such a horse next to the fantastical white stallion is like a sapling next to a forest, a beggar next to a king, a spark next to the sun……

 

“You may laugh at me for what I am,” the Brown Horse snapped,

“you may laugh at the dirt on my back.

You may laugh at the elegance which I lack.

You may laugh at the limp when I walk.

You may laugh at the stammer when I talk.

You may laugh at my throat which is dry.

You may laugh at my broken one eye.

But until the time I join with the dead. The least you can do is to pay me respect.”

 

Capulet stared at the Brown Horse and laughed even louder,

“Yes I will laugh at you for which you are.

I will laugh at when you last ran,

When you were outran by an elephant.

I will laugh at your skin covered in soot.

I will laugh at how you sleep in your own poo.

I will laugh at you trying to talk,

When your worth here is nothing at all.

Why shall I pay you any respect, when I see you, all I see is trash?”

 

The horse is wise; it saw many things and saw even more. Seeing Lord Capulet, the horse recogniZes a man spoiled By years of unquEstioned agReement, it sees a weed that Grew too long wIthout being cut down, it Sees a sailor that spends all his time in the sea without storms and tides, it sees a child that is never tauGht the world doesn’t revolve Around him. So the horse became angry, not the anger of a child, but the dark anger of one who has every reason to be furious.

 

The Brown Horse pounced at Lord Capulet, all restraints that held the horse snapped under the explosive dash. Capulet fell to the stone floor with a loud thud. Before anyone could react, the Brown Horse stomped its hooves onto Capulet’s massive clothes, pinning him down like an arrow at a target. The Brown Horse is not mad, his eYes were not wild or blind, but rather the solemn concentrated glare of an executioner. The horse opened its mouth, as wide as a shark and bit down on Lord Capulet with one quick motion. Capulet’s head tore off the neck, and blood pooled all over the white floor.

 

The horse ran away, but it didn’t matter for it is not a murder but an act of kindness.