Wednesday 14 December 2022

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 274

This week's picture prompt seems to trace only to Alamy stock photos, along with Zuma press, not particular individual named as the photographer. However, the picture does appear on websites about abandoned things and this place is called Ponyhenge and is in Massachusetts in the US. As its name suggests, Ponyhenge is a collection of plastic ponies and rocking horses sitting in a field about 14 miles west of Boston. The first ponies started appearing sometime around 2010; over the years, the collection has grown exponentially and will frequently rearrange into circles and rows. How did the first pony appear? Who adds and organizes the collection? Do the ponies come alive when we're asleep? No one seems knows. It’s Ponyhenge nightmare!

Thus a dark tale is required. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

A circle of different coloured rocking horses in a green grass field all facing inwards.

Haunted Horses

‘I’ll take you there.’

‘No, I’ll take you there.’

‘No, I will.’

‘Pick me, I’m faster.’

The young boy spun inside the circle of rocking horses as each called out to him wanting him to pick them to take him on a ride. He couldn’t make out the destination though, it sounded like Bambi. He’d seen what they had done to Bambi and didn’t want to go there at all. But they kept on calling out to him.

‘I’m the smoothest, you’ll love me.’

‘No, I’m much smoother, my joints don’t squeak.’

‘I’m the youngest here; you’ll find me the best yet.’

Then they started rocking to prove their point, each of them pushing forward and back, harder and harder, until they started rocking in unison, the momentum making them shuffle along the ground, sliding on the wet grass, getting closer and closer to the boy.

He was frozen in terror as he watched their wooden nostrils flare and their chanting words echo round the circle:

‘Ride me! Ride me! Ride me!’

He didn’t want to ride any of them; he just wanted to go home where he would be safe with his mum and dad. Why had they encouraged him to come here? Why did they want him to be scared? Why did they want him to be trampled by rocking horses? What had he done wrong?

He started to cry hysterically, calling for his mum. He knew she wouldn’t come – she couldn’t hear him from their home which was more than a mile down the road. He’d come here alone after his dad had told him about this place, and suggested he check it out.

The horses stopped chanting when his tears had started, but they continued to rock. Then the boy noticed that this had slowed too, some had even stopped. And once he fell silent he could hear shuffling as they moved back to their original positions.

He took the opportunity and ran for his life, sprinting back to his bicycle which he’d left on the ground by the gate, and ran with it, jumping on while it was moving, not daring to look back, just wanting to get the hell out of there.

That night he didn’t tell his parents about his visit; he didn’t think they’d believe him, instead he lay awake in his bed trying to block out the sounds of their whispered chants coming through his bedroom window trying to entice him back.


  1. Like I said on Twitter. Stonehenge. I could not resist this story.


  2. Alex stood in the middle of the field, staring at the strange configuration of old, abandoned, secondhand rocking horses. "What is this?" she asked Jayce.
    Jayce cracked his fingers, red and raw, poking from the tips of his fingerless gloves and pushed his beanie back. "It's a magic circle. Took me the better part of three years to find all these beauties."
    Alex looked at the rocking horses again. "A magic... circle?"
    "Yep. Childhood, you see. Strong nostalgia. Horses for journeys. Assembled in a circle, like a carousel. Now... we light the fire in the middle and you sing the song and that should activate the portal."
    Alex considered the implications of a bonfire on a high fire danger day. Somehow, she was fairly certain that Jayce was not considering that at all.
    "Where would the portal take us?"
    "Back to your childhood."
    "What? When I was last here? When I was 8?"
    "No. Your other childhood. When you were fae. Or one of them, at least. Anyway, we could find out why you're cursed and who did it..."
    "I'm cursed?"
    Jayce looked at her like she was a little bit crazy.
    "Yes. How else do you end up being a mortal child with no memory of her fae heritage?"
    "Right." Alex shrugged. "What song?"
    Jayce laughed. "I knew you would go with it."
    Alex shook her head, not quite disbelievingly. After all, stranger things had happened.

    "What song?" she asked again.

    1. This is such an intriguing premise. Thanks for joining.