She resolved not to cry. Not then. Not ever. No matter what he did. He could be mean as he wanted, smash everything into a million little pieces.
“Mustangs are not orange,” her sister said, wagging her finger at her. It was that blank time between Christmas and New Years and they were on their third straight day of ten below zero. The wind made it too cold to play outside. Avis and her five siblings were stuck inside, running around then gorging on left over ham and Russian teacakes.
“Besides it’s a thoroughbred” she continued. “Can’t you tell the difference? It should be brown with white leggings”.
Her sister waved the box the model came in up in the air as if a whole classroom was listening. Avis longed for a mustang so she painted her thoroughbred orange and called it a mustang.
“Neigggh” she said, trotting by her sister and then her father, neighing especially long and high, alternating between loud clicking sounds. A mistake maybe, neighing to her father. He was an imposing man, given to bouts of darkness.
She was deep into imagining the Rockies and the boy who took her brothers and sister riding when her father grabbed the model out of her hands and threw it toward the garbage can. The mustang landed hard and broke at the neck.
“It’s not a god damn mustang,” he said.
Avis stood quiet until he left. Then she picked the horse up and held it tender, neighing quietly, galloping round and round the house and over the hills and far away. She remembered climbing up the round wooden rails of the corral to get on her horse, remembered the way the boy busted into a gallop as soon as he could, flying through lupine meadow and pine forest, and all of them following after, barely hanging on, grasping at whatever they could – just trying to stay in the saddle.
(from a writing challenge – 300 words and had to include a mustang, a New Year resolution, comfort food, a mountain range, a seventies song, and hope) (its more than 300 words now)