Ken Olson

This Horse & Cowboy Thing

While lacking the weight of a legitimate short story, this tiny tale stays inexplicably with me. I’ve forgotten the details of war stories worth telling, while this horse and cowboy thing refuses to ride off into the sunset:

“You could have an emotional reaction,” the young cowboy said.

“It’s not my horse,” I assured him. “I’m taking care of this for my ex.”

“Okay,” he said, and put a Colt revolver behind the gelding’s ear. The seventeen-hand horse fell in a twisted heap and rolled over on one side. I dropped to a knee.

The cowboy grabbed a six-pack from his pickup. We sat on the grave’s displaced mound of moist earth, drinking beer to the chatter of song sparrows until a roar from the cowboy’s backhoe shattered the quiet.

Ken Olson lives in the Pacific Northwest. His haiku poetry has been selected for the ‘Red Moon Anthology’ four times, the 2019 Special Issue of ‘Right Hand Pointing,’ and featured in Ion Codrescu’s new book, ‘The Wanderer Brush.’ In 2019 Ken published stories in Crack the Spine, Sky Island Journal, and Silver Needle Press. In 2020 the inaugural edition of the Centifictionist, Wild Roof Journal, and The Closed Eye Open.