Writing Prompt: Day 20

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Day 20 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with the line, “Even canned goods go bad eventually.”

Erin: Even canned goods go bad eventually. They turn sour. If you let them in at that point, they will hurt you. I think people are the same. Most of us are produce. Once you buy us you have a short period of time before we go bad. The best people are frozen or canned. Lenard was canned. For so many years of my life he was there for me. He would always be there in an emergency.

I didn’t know his expiration date until it was passed. I think I had been avoiding looking at the passed day. When I opened him up, I knew he was gone. He wouldn’t nurture me anymore, he would make me sick. He would ruin any other food he touched. He already ruined her. She could have him, and they could rot together.

I wasn’t shattered by this realization though. I knew he was human. No one was truly non-perishable. Even the most kind, loyal people were just slowly spoiling. The only way to avoid seeing it was to chew them up and swallow them before you got to see the damage.

Shannon: “Even canned goods go bad eventually,” my dad shook his head.

“No,” I argued. “Hugo can race again. He can win. I know it. I feel it,” I pet my horse’s neck. “We can’t sell him,” I begged.

“You’ve grown attached to him,” my father pitied me. “I told you not to do that. We couldn’t have any horses if we made decisions off of feelings,” he scolded. “Say goodbye now. It will be easier. I’ll be sending him off in the morning,” he advised with an emotionless face.

I started leading Hugo to the stall, but I could read it in his eyes: he needed another lap around the track. He was born to run, and since the first time we raced together I knew I was born to ride him. We were a partnership, one so smooth we had our own language.

I hopped onto his back immediately, since we were both still geared up. I never had to push him to race, and over time I’d learned to let him talk control. He was the best horse we ever had, and my first winner. I cued him to run after a minute of taking in the starting line with him. As the wind was rushing across my face, I held on tight to the reins. If he could run any faster we’d be flying. One bad race, and we were supposed to give this up? My dad was wrong. He slowed down after the first lap, as he was trained to do. “You’re not going anywhere buddy,” I whisper, leaning forward to hug his neck.

This could go many ways. This is what we went with, what would be your story?

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