Friday Fictioneers – A Tale of Conquest

21 03 2013

Hi folks, back again for another stab at making a worthwhile contribution to the melange of prose that is the Friday Fictioneers. 100 words or thereabouts based on a photo prompt, all ably organised by the indefatigable Rochelle.

(c) Doug MacIlroy

A Tale of Conquest

Ask any elite performer – retirement sucks.

When you’re forced out at the top of your game, you inevitably feel unfulfilled. Regardless of fame, there’s always the sense of never having finished your career if you miss out on The Big One. When I stood there and watched as my three brothers galloped away into the distance, it was just gut-wrenching. But what’s a horse to do?

So here I stand, brilliant white coat faded to grey, dreaming of what might have been.

Oh, by the way, my original name was Conquest, but you might know me better as Pestilence.

= = = = = = = = = = =

Authors Note: According to Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s excellent book Good Omens, Pestilence was forced into retirement in 1936 after the invention of penicillin, and was replaced by Pollution.




19 responses

21 03 2013

Your turn to go for the apocalyptic slant this week! Nice one – original take on the prompt.

21 03 2013
Anne Orchard

Got to read that book again! Glad you trotted him out from retirement today.

21 03 2013

😆 I like the way you gave voice of the pale horse. So far only you and I went this route I thought more would have.

21 03 2013

I’m glad you had the addendum, but I liked the story even without it.


22 03 2013
Jan Brown

Enjoyed this very much — including the author’s note!

22 03 2013

enjoyed your take on the prompt.

22 03 2013

Very interesting. I just became a Gaiman follower on Twitter today. I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve yet to read any of his work. Is there a short fiction piece of his you would recommend I start with?

22 03 2013

I’m ashamed to say that that I haven’t read any either apart from Good Omens which I loved. Not sure about short fiction, but the novel Neverwhere comes highly recommended and is on my reading list.

25 03 2013

I’m a big Neil Gaiman fan, but if you haven’t time to read Neverwhere at the moment, you can catch it as a 6 part radio play on the BBC iplayer, with a rather starry cast including James McAvoy and Benedict Cumbernatch 🙂

25 03 2013

I mean Cumberbatch! But even the spell check on my phone can’t cope with that name.

22 03 2013

You would sneak in with that particular reference…:-)

22 03 2013
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Dear Pete,
A good ride. I didn’t see that end coming.
Me? Indefatigable? Nay! Whinny! By early evening, I’m sinking into the west.

22 03 2013

Interesting the way your story developed–good ending.

22 03 2013

I loved the twist. 🙂

22 03 2013
Joe Owens

Ah the pale horse, I see. I guess I am just a little slow on the uptake today.

24 03 2013

Well THAT was an interesting take, and I learned something new. Thanks.

24 03 2013
Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

Yes that pale horse is making appearances. And your postscript is excellent.

25 03 2013

Great story, and as I’ve read lots of Neil Gaiman but no Terry Pratchett, your explanation was interesting too. ( I think Pestilence might be making a comeback if the recent predictions on antibiotic resistance come to pass!)

26 03 2013
David Stewart

Poor horse. He just wanted a little apocalypse action. Nice take on the prompt.

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