The beast neighs, piercing the thick evening air
With his cry of protest.
A flash of light in his eyes.
Against the black of night.
A hoof paws the powdery Alabama ground
Kicking up a mushroom cloud of dust.
The metallic taste of blood in his mouth
From the tug of the bit.
He pitches his neatly groomed mane
Tossing it like a ship on stormy seas.
He snorts, nostrils flared
Rage surging through his veins
Like a flash-flood of fury.
Sharp in his side
Blood trickling down
As a body hits the split rail fence.
Like a dry twig underfoot.
Peeking its innocent face out
Through a black forest of clouds.
It bathes the field in light
Empty except the crumpled body in the corner
And hoof prints
Walking straight through the fence.
Darkness oozes into the empty stable
Pooling in the corners
Saturating the dirt floor
Darting its shadowy hand
Into the vacant stall.
A board nailed to the post
Placed by the townsfolk
Etched with the word
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