This was originally posted on Yum Yum Union.
Horses die during full moons. Not exclusively, naturally, but in greater numbers, anatomy rended, ruptured, sleek femurs stacked in a bin – something makes them goes crazy and they batter themselves against fences, or run headlong into oaks, or go trembling into water-graves, lily-pads plastered on eyelids in the morning. For horse executions, unlike those more dramatic keeling-over’s, you find one of the fatter arteries, stick that syringe in real good, and wait. Ma wanted it done with a gunshot, but there were other limping nags about and they scream when they fall (like rabbits in the heather, downed with a feathered shot) and what a whump when those asses hit dirt and how hard for the others to look on at the one culled out. So poison it is. Surgical, and sweet, but it took more than the promised minute, plus little nickering noises of distress, a mare gone mumbling whose legs folded laundry-easy under her at the penultimate moment, no whump, no screech. Similar technique to get wisdom teeth out, if intravenous, but still that same creeping cold that put old Mara out in spring, swaying, slipping in muck, and I could feel it, felt so afraid, felt like my concerns were spooling backward into the medulla oblongata, or an older alligator part — and being unwilling to bend prettily back into the mud I tugged on the needle, and seized, and scattered silver tools across the black and white tiles, surprising Dr. Charleton I’m sure, knocked shit everywhere, anything to be up and on my legs a little longer. Fun fact: a dropped (sharp) scalpel can get an inch into marble, and get you into a heck of a lot of trouble.