The Horse: Mild HorrorMature

"He needs a good bit of work!"

Remarked Tom as Kayla lead the white, or 'grey' gelding into an unoccupied stall of the larger stable.

"Yes, I think I'll wash and brush him first, but his mane is very uneven, I'll sort it out with the pulling comb. Seems almost cruel though."

Kayla told him, picking up the grooming-kit.

About half an hour later, the gelding was brushed to perfection, the residue of mud washed and brushed from his coat, which Kayla now noticed was actually appaloosa. The brown-black spots had been lost under the layer of dirt and dust. She sighed as she hunted through the grooming-kit for a pulling comb.

The comb seemed almost evil-looking, with slightly rusted, thin, pointed silver teeth. The horse seemed to sense that what was coming was going to hurt, as Kayla ran the comb down a strand of his white mane, turning it until the hairs were completely wrapped around the teeth of the comb. Then she pulled.

The strand of the horse's mane parted from his neck painfully. His ears were flat against his skull, he was obviously angry. Kayla clipped a lead-rope onto his head-collar and tethered him closer to the wall, so that his head-movement was more restricted.

As she pulled more uneven hairs, something strange happened. Blood was leaking from a rapidly-elongating cut, running from the horse's withers to his forelock. But this blood wasn't crimson. It was jet-black, running in glossy, ink-like streams down his neck.

"Tom!"

She screamed. Tom came into the stable, standing looking in the door of the stall, until he spotted the blood.

"Fucking hell! What did you do to him?"

"Nothing! I was pulling his mane like normal! Why the hell is his blood black?"

"I don't know! Quick, get me a brush and a cloth!"

Tom began brushing the horse. Loose hairs were swept off as normal. Kayla tried to stem the flow of blood, until the cloth was soaked black, like a rag in tar. As tom kept brushing the drying blood from the horse's coat, he noticed that more hairs were coming off than what was normal. The horse's coat was thinning, until scabbed, bleeding flesh appeared, all the appaloosa-white coat gone.

The two stable-workers were screaming now, running to get out of the stable. But the bolt on the door was stuck.

"Oh God! Look!"

Tom pointed to the horse's flank, slightly below the withers, there were two patches of rust-coloured bone showing. Scaly, red-black, bat-like wings were beginning to grow. The horse's eyes flooded with black and crimson, the eyes of something evil. Its ribcage was clearly outlined below skin that consisted mainly of scabbed, scarred, paper-thin flesh. Its snowy mane and tail deepened to black, its hooves turning to a colour like tarnished metal.

The bolt on the door was still stuck, there was no way out.

 

The End

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