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I dreamt of a man. A man like a centaur. On a horse half naked. A young man, his skin smooth and pale, a polished gleaming fit. He rode his horse hard. The creature rearing up at the edge of the cliff. A mythic scene. He wheeled and turned and again rode him hard at it. Rode him over it. I saw the horse’s four legs flail as the man soared above him. Then whump and splat I heard the crack of head on stone. The horse just bounced and broke. I know?!? But it was a dream and so all made perfect sense. Or non sense. The man’s head rolled off somewhere and the rest of him ricocheted into the river. Along with the horse. The current took them. And rapidly they disappeared.

Then the dream was over and I woke up. I don’t know what it meant. Except maybe, that shock and surprise, although closely related are not the same. You can still be shocked by something completely unsurprising, by something expected even . . . and that you cannot prepare for pain, the surprise of it.

Flash Fiction by Sile Mannion

Published in Autumn 2017


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