(The ending, I guess–maybe? to something that never began. I was going to have some long-winded back-story about Ed and the mare, but never bothered. I did learn that mares were used in battle by early Middle Eastern tribes so, you know, the more you know. Thanks for taking a look.)
“This old gray mare just ain’t what she used to be…” Ed said to himself
“She ain’t what she used to be.” He repeated, defense against any last-second thoughts.
“She used to be one of a kind.”
Ed bit his left cheek and looked down at the Kentucky blue. He could hear himself breathing fast, his gun rising to sight. He looked back up at the old gray mare: beat up, disheveled, with a rope draped around her neck. His aim true, Ed ended the gray mare out there on the field that day. The echo slammed into his ears, pulsed into his brain, and rattled him to his core. He pursed his lips, stood for a moment in silence, then pulled the corpse to the road.
Ed called his sons to help load it into his truck; Earl Jr. and Greg eventually arrived–but before hoisting it into the truck, Earl Jr. gave it a few swift kicks, “just’a make sure it’s dead”, he shrugged.