Horseshoe Harry

Horseshoe Harry claimed the distinctive red spot on his face was a birthmark, but those who knew him as a young man - amongst whom I may count myself - beg to differ. 

We remember all too well the prank he tried to play as a 15-year-old, dressing up his neighbour's donkey in a tutu and his Momma's bra. He succeeded in this first part, but when he then tried to climb on the unfortunate animal's back from behind, it gave him such a kick in the kisser that Harry was left scarred for life.

Harry had always had a thing about equine creatures. Perhaps it was because he believed the tale his father told him about his grandmother's lifelong nightmare of being accompanied to church by a stripe-less zebra. An albino, if you will. Perhaps it was the horse posters his sister had all around her room, pictures that made him oddly sweaty and nervous every time he saw them. Or perhaps it was that his very first present - at least the first one he consciously received - was a strange, kneeling horse that looked as if it had three legs instead of four.

Harry lived in an old shack all by himself by the edge of the woods. He would have liked to have married, but most women were repulsed by the big, red welt across his left cheek. As such, it was only the Highway 31 whores he ever got to intimate with, if intimacy is the right term for those frantic fumbles in these ladies' trailer-park trailers.

By day Harry hunted beaver and checked his water-rat traps down by the river. In the evenings after dinner, he sat on his porch dreaming of Sally, the only girl he had ever loved. "Whatever happened to her?" he mused as he sipped his mixture of 10-cent bourbon and light beer.

"Who cares?" he said to no-one in particular, picking up his Poppa's pistol and aiming it at his temple, squeezing the trigger beyond the point of no return.

Two miles down the road, as the moon dipped beyond the horizon, the first reconnaissance ships landed, setting in motion a chain of events that would herald the end of humanity as anyone knew it.

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