The Significance of Horses in the Dreams of Young Girls

Rosie Garland

While Sister Mary Bernadette is teaching biology, your classmates doodle horses in their notebooks. At lunchtime, they describe the scent of straw that fills their dreams, the warm snuffle of horse-breath at their throats. All night they ride trit-trot round walled gardens; spend hour after hour combing manes until they shine like silk.

You have nightmares torn around the edges. You lie, tell them you dream of horses too. You know how to be convincing. If you dreamed of a horse you would swing your leg over its back, jab your heel into its flank and gallop far, far away.

This story won Second Prize in the March 2021 Monthly Micro Fiction Competition.

About the author: Writer and singer with post-punk band The March Violets, Rosie’s award-winning work has been published internationally. New poetry collection ‘What Girls do the Dark’ (Nine Arches Press) is out now. In 2019, Val McDermid named her one of the UK’s most compelling LGBT+ writers.