Tonight We Ride (Flash)

I wrote this a while ago, I just changed it and submitted to an online Flash Contest at

Tonight We Ride

By SueAnn Porter



Back then, most folks rode their horses in the daytime, but the nights belonged to me–until the night that I fell off my horse. It started out as any other night, but then my horse sped up like Secretariat.

My legs straddled the horse and I desperately grabbed the animal’s neck with both hands as I bobbed up and down awkwardly. Something was missing: there were no reins to hold onto. Pain encroached upon my hips and thighs. My arms stretched from the horse’s mane, as I attempted to gain control of the animal’s motions. My chest slammed against its neck as I struggled to hold on.

I ricocheted up; then back down into the saddle. I heard people scream in the distance, as we all rode around the circle faster.  I wanted to help them but I passed through the sounds of their screams hanging in the air. I hung tightly to the horse’s thick neck, my neck buried in its mane, my chin upon its ear.

Strange music mocked me as I rode. Suddenly the horse stopped. The last thing I saw as I flew from the horse to the ground below was the carousel operator’s toothless grin.

Dreaming: special instruction or pizza dream?

Pizza-1Sid Roth coined the phrase “pizza dream” to describe a dream that is very vivid, the cause of which is eating too much pizza right before bed.

Last night I had one of those dreams. I’m going to write it out, as much as I remember, to see if it makes sense at all. If you have any ideas, well that’s what the comment section is for.

There are many theories on dream interpretation: biblical and secular. There is also the personal.

*As usual any names are changed to protect the innocent and camouflage the guilty.

So last nights’ dream goes like this:

I was in Chicago. (I live in Upstate NY and have only been in Chicago to change flights at O’Hare.) An ex-coworker *Dwight was there in the crowd, and he was a celebrity; everyone there thought he was special.

I kept trying to leave Chicago and get back to New York, but there were tricks, deceptions, and obstacles. (Just like life.) There was a big industrial elevator that I was on with a friend. The operator was making the elevator move up and down, but it never went all the way to the top until two important people from Chicago got on, and then it went to the top. They easily got off the elevator and went on their way, but my nameless/faceless friend and I had to struggle to go over a fence to get to the same walkway.

Back in the crowd, there was a difficult song that the leader wanted us to sing. It involved singing up and down scales quickly, and the lyrics were complicated. Many of us were unable to sing the song and wanted to leave the area, but we couldn’t get through the crowd to leave.

There was a large rock/cement block with an inscription on it. We were all down by the river and up above was a small town; the crowd had all grown up together and it was a happy community–except for me and my nameless/faceless friend, and for a while I wished I had grown up there.

Later I was at a bar (I’m not a big drinker; an occasional beer on a hot August day, and a shot of Bailey’s at Christmas) and I was drinking a large rum and coke. It cost $15, which I paid, but before I finished it, the female bartender wanted three more dollars. I left a sip in the bottom of the drink and gave it back to the male bartender and said, “Here’s your $3 worth.”

They then made a snide remark about my NY accent.

I was trying to leave again–trying to go through hallways and down stairs to get to a train to leave. *Matthew was there (a kid I grew up with) and was trying to be “affectionate” but I was in NO way interested and fought him off. He finally gave up.

At one point I was inside a tent with a few unknown people and a Native Canadian who thought it was warm enough inside the tent, even though it was cold and windy, he was comfortable with his one blanket. The wind was blowing in through the bottom of the tent, we were sitting on snow, I was freezing, but he kept saying it was warm enough.

Then a man who lived in Chicago showed us his office. The floor of his office was a lawn, with brick paver stones, which he had taken from his backyard and brought into his office.

THEN I woke up.

Any ideas?










While you are walking through fire, you don’t stop and ask for a pen and notebook.

I don’t want to hear any more advice that starts with, “you need to write everyday.” Since we still live in an imperfect world, there are days that I don’t write more than a sentence or two.

I consider it a good day if I end it still breathing, with a pillow under my head.

Sometimes life throws us various tornados: people, places, or things, (nouns?!) weather, illness, car repairs and fill-in-the-blank.  When encountering NounTornados ( you heard it here first) breathing takes priority over writing.

And yet, see here, I managed to write a few words for public Consumption . Yay me.

I just wanted to go home


Flying into Washington DC was a cakewalk. Flying home was another story. In fact, it took two days to get home. I wonder if this is what they felt like on the Oregon Trail?

Upon entering the airport, I had to talk to a woman with an upside-down cross tattooed to her forehead, who spoke very limited English. Now, as you know, I am not a Rocket Scientist, but–and excuse my lack of political correctness here– but 1) I’m offended, but who cares, I’m a Christian so I don’t count, and 2) she would be more likely to blow up a plane than I would. She mumbled something and pointed to the Kiosk area.

Mr. Porter and I arrived at the airport ten minutes too late to check-in our luggage, according to the Kiosk.The human clerk, after she spent five minutes updating her Facebook status (I’m guessing, as she was smiling at the computer and few things at work are smile worthy, in my experience) informed us that we cannot go home on the 12:30 flight, and the 4:00 flight is booked, but our luggage will be going on the 4:00 flight. But we can go on the 10:10 pm flight.

So why can’t we go on the 12:30?

No, that’s not the way we do it.

Note: If the reason we cannot go ahead of our luggage is for terrorist reasons, why would flying on the 10:10 pm make any difference?   We would still not be on the same flight as our luggage.


We were handed plane tickets with our names, time: 10:10 pm, and seat assignments. We were informed we would be on the 10:10 flight. But oh, she’ll put us on stand-by for the 4:00, just in case.

Since we had several hours to kill, Mr. Porter suggested that we get something to read. I bought a book, “You are a Badass–How to stop doubting your greatness and start living an awesome life.” Yes, yes, the irony. Oh, and I also purchased a bottle of water.

I stepped about ten steps over to go through security. “Hey you can’t take this in there with you, the water.”

“What? I just bought it.” (Yes, ten feet away. At the airport.)

“Do you have time? You could take it over there and drink it.”  Okay, I’m a thirsty gal. So I started chugging it and….

ice cream headache.

I threw the bottle into either the recycle or the garbage, I honestly don’t know which one, and I apologize to my tree hugging friends,  but I had an ice cream headache.

I got through security, it’s all a blur but we made it.

We went to Gate “C” per our tickets and sat down. I started reading about how great and awesome I am as the clock slowly ticked away. Mr. Porter booted up (do they still say that?) the PC and checked his email several hundred times.

We watched the 4:00 flight leave, sighing that well, at least our luggage is going home.

After more waiting, it was finally time to board the 10:10. (There used to be a NYC talk radio station called 1010 WINS. I assure you, we didn’t win anything.) We lined up with the other passengers.

I scanned my ticket across the scanner and….BEEP. A red light flashed, “customer unknown.”


Mr. Porter experienced the same.

“Step out of line, you’re not in the computer, you can’t get on the plane.” The door to enter the plane slammed.

(Matthew 25 anyone?)

By now, I am at the end of my patience, my kindness, my will to live, but on the bright side, at least the ice cream headache was gone.

“How can this happen? I was a computer programmer for 25 years. How do I have a ticket with my name, flight and seat number and I’m not in the system?” (Not that they care that I was a programmer, but just so you know, I’m not a mushroom either.)

We were escorted back to the desk, where a woman informed us that according to the computer, our names were called for the 4:00 flight, but since we did not answer we were deleted from the system.

“No one called us. We didn’t hear anything. We were here the whole time.”

“Well, it says on the computer that they called you and you didn’t answer so they deleted you. You’ll just have to stay over and fly out on the 12:30 pm tomorrow.”

Huh? Just stay over? No big deal? Or as Mr. Porter likes to say, “Like I care?”

She took another dig at us. “Just think of it as an adventure.”  I don’t know what held me back, maybe it was Mr. Porter, maybe it was a legion of angels, maybe someone mistook me for a tree. But I did not jump across the desk and choke her.

Enter Joe. A human; a caring human being who actually works for the airline. He apologized for our troubles, gave us two $10 vouchers to buy snacks, and suggested that we take a plane to another city close to where we live. He also gave us a voucher to get a discount on a hotel room in said city. (We chose Syracuse.) He gave us new tickets and assured us that we would indeed be on a plane that night. God Bless Joe.

As we were boarding the plane, I noticed many people handing off their luggage to the side, where a worker grabbed it, put it on a conveyor belt, and put it into the baggage compartment on the plane. WHY WERE WE NEVER TOLD OF THIS OPTION? We had checked in our luggage at the desk for $25 each. Rip off.

We flew to Syracuse, got a hotel room at 2 am, woke up at 6:30, inhaled coffee and cinnamon buns. We then rented a car and drove in a blizzard 6 hours to get home. And when I say “we”, Mr. Porter did the driving actually. God Bless Mr. Porter. Yes, the great April blizzard of 2016 had some spectacular timing for us.

So we drove to the airport to pick up our luggage, dropped off the rental car, and dug my car out from under the snow in the lot. We then had to pick up Mr. Porter’s car, which was at the repair shop. Then, finally, we picked up Bailey.

These three mammals were never so glad to be home.



#flying #luggage