Gaze in wonder upon the ridiculousness that is my sort of attempt at romantic fiction. I wrote it for a ‘zine some friends and I do occasionally.
The Raging Stallion
by Christopher Scott Ringler
Meredith was sunning herself by the pond when she first saw the stallion and until then she had been having a terrible morning. Her step-father had gotten coarse with her for ignoring her day’s piano practice and he was terribly cross at her for daring to wear black stockings on a Thursday. He would never understand her. NEVER! She had reluctantly sat down at the piano to pretend she was going to play but was only waiting for her step-daddy to leave the house. When he had finally gone off to speak to the gentlemen that worked for him and lived in the quaint little house step-daddy had made for them near the chicken coop she had snuck off to get some much needed relaxation. It was ten of the clock and she was already worn out. First she had to wake up. Then she had to get dressed for breakfast. Then there was breakfast. Then there was after-breakfast tea. Then she had to wash up and get dressed for the afternoon. Then she had to walk all the way down to the water and she was ready for her mid-day nap.
Oh, it was all so very tiring.
The young woman of thirty leaned back on an arm and fanned herself as the sun slowly rose higher. Meredith dipped her toes into the cool water of the pond and closed her eyes and dreamed of a life away from her terrible step-father and his cruelty. It wasn’t fair. Why did her wonderfully handsome and rich father and terribly charming but average looking mother have to die in that tragic cheese wheel accident? It just wasn’t fair. Now she was stuck with her step-father, a lowly bank executive with only three horses and two homes. Meredith let out a long sigh and kicked the water. If only someone would come save her from this terrible life. Frustrated with the world she closed her eyes and hoped she could get a nap to salvage the day. She was just starting to doze off when one of the fish in the pond nibbled her toe. She giggled and kicked her feet but a moment later felt the nibble again. She kicked her feet once more but again came the nibble and this time she didn’t laugh – she didn’t laugh because the pond didn’t have any fish!
Meredith opened her eyes.
Kneeling before her was a beautiful man with broad shoulders, a well-tanned chest, and more muscles than she could count. The man, whose long dark mane ran down to the middle of his back, had Meredith’s delicate foot in his hands and her toes in his mouth. Meredith closed her eyes and purred. The man gently let go of her foot and backed away, still on all fours.
“My dear lady, you have caught me at my most primal. My deepest apologies.” The man stood slowly up and flexed his well oiled muscles as he did, the reflection of the sun glancing off of his muscles forcing Meredith to half-close her eyes and for a moment, just a moment as he stood before her with the horses in their pen not far beyond him she fancied he was a mighty centaur come to ride her…
“M’lady?” The man interrupted.
“Oh, yes, yes. Well then, who are you, good sir? And what brings you to my farm?”
“I was employed by your step-father to work his horses every day. He felt they were getting lazy and needed a good work out every day.”
Meredith bit her lip.
“Oh? Do tell…what was your name again?”
“Roderick. Roderick Goebbler.”
“Ohhh…that’s exotic. You must be from the land…down under…”
“Not exactly, m’lady. I am from Prussia.”
“Ohh…that’s, uh…that’s, that’s swarthy! Tell me more.” Meredith kicked her feet in the water and leaned forward to show off her more than ample bosom.
“Well, I am the son of a farmer and my father was a seamstress. I lost my mother and father when I was very young and it was terribly sad. They were killed when a crazed cheese maker having an affair with both of them killed them because he could have neither. After they died I worked as an artist’s model until the day when I had the money to escape from the older women and rich men and the favor I curried. I was tired of being just a pretty body, I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to be a man. That is why I came here to work with horse flesh. I can break a beast in no time. Once I am atop an animal it doesn’t take long for it to stop bucking and to just let me lead it where I want it to go.”
While Roderick was speaking the heat of the day suddenly overcame Meredith and her body felt very much like it was on fire and she began to swoon and she let out a low moan. Had it not been for the horse master’s strong hands catching her head may have fallen into the thick, soft grass.
“My lady, Mark, are you OK? You were swooning. Perhaps it is the sun. Let me take you into the stables and lay you on the soft hay. Perhaps I can rub your shoulders. Or rub your feet. Or I can grab you a beer and tell you all about last night’s game. Would you like that? Mark? Mark? Ma…”
“…rk! Have you grown deaf as well as ugly over the years?”
Mark frowned opened his eyes from his day dream and squinted. It was bright out, despite the cloud cover. He looked down at his feet and Nipsy was licking them so he kicked out and the Pomeranian let out a sharp bark and jumped away, moved close again and let out another bark then wandered off to crap in the sand box that had come with the place. Mark looked around and saw no horses, no stable, and the smell he thought had been hibiscus was the overpowering scent of doggie doo as Mipsy the poodle left a new pile atop his hand as it rested in the thick, weed-choked grass. Mark swore and shook his hand to get the droppings off and then dipped it into the kiddie pool before letting out a long sigh and standing up so he could exit it.
“Mark, for crissakes, are you even out there? Come on, yer beer’s warm and dinner’s on.”
“Yeah, yeah, I am comin’. Just fell asleep.”
“Seems like all you do is sleep. Be nice if you did some work around here. Maybe got out of your boxers once in a while, yanno?”
“Look, I work thirty-two hours a week, you only work seventeen. Maybe you should…” Now he’d done it. Oops.
“Oh, you’re right. I should definitely want to clean toilets all week long and clean trash cans and then come home and clean up after you and cook for you. You’re right. Totally legit.” David waited until Mark came into the kitchen to turn away and did so as dramatically as possible.
“I mean, I, I am sorry, man. Really. I mean it. Come on. “ Mark smiled. Forcing it.
“Fiiiiiine! Come on, dinner is ready. I made that meatloaf you like.” David smiled.
“Ooooo, Micro-Dinners? I love that stuff. Yum. Thanks. Hey, where’s Amy? I thought she said she’d be back by now?”
“Well, I don’t know. Said she would be back but you know women. There’s a reason I stopped dating and it’s because women are just so, well, you know, they’re so girly. Oh well, yer lady will be back when she’s back. Until then grab your dinner and beer and we’ll watch some Wheel.”
“Oooo, I love the Wheel. Why didn’t I marry you David?” Mark joked, giving a soft punch into his childhood friend’s ribs.
“I will never know, I am a catch, that’s for sure. Hey, what’s on your hand?”
“Eh, frosting. Come on, let’s go eat.”
The two men wandered off into the living room of the small house laughing while Roderick waited patiently for Meredith to return later that night.