Horse Riding is a scary story about a man who has to travel on horseback along the dark country roads at night when he comes across a little girl by the side of the road.
I’m just a poor farmer. I raise cattle. My wife Mary and I live in an old-fashioned cottage about an hour by horse from the nearest town. It’s the same cottage where I was born and raised. The road outside our house is just a dirt path, formed over the years by the passage of animals and carts.
I have bad scars on my back and whenever anyone asks me what happened, I always tell them that I fell off my horse, but Mary knows what really happened.
Two months ago, I had to go into town to buy some supplies for the farm. Mary doesn’t like it if I am on the road late at night. She is always afraid I will be attacked and robbed. As she always says, we have more to fear from the living than the dead.
However, two of our cows were sick and we could not afford to have them die, so I had to go. I took the horse out of the stables and began to saddle her up.
“It’s too late for you to go out alone,” my wife said. “I’m afraid. I have a bad feeling about tonight. Please, wait until tomorrow.”
I ignored her warnings because it was an emergency. The animals needed their medicine. I took a flashlight with me to light my way and set out on the road.
Went I reached town, it was already growing dark. I bought the medicine we needed at the market and then turned to go home. The black curtain of night had fallen across the fields and the stars were twinkling in the sky. In the darkness, the horse could see better than I could, so I just bowed down my head and let him trot along.
I was riding at a good pace and I was almost half-way home, but when I reached the curve where the road crosses the river, something strange caught my attention. It looked like the silhouette of a little girl, but in the darkness, I couldn’t be sure.
Of course, I wondered what a little girl could be doing out in the middle of nowhere so late at night. Was she lost? Was she hurt? I couldn’t just leave her there. What if she had been bitten by a snake? In these remote rural areas, terrible things could happen to you and nobody would ever hear your cries for help…
I turned the horse around and switched on my flashlight.
There was a little girl by the side of the road. She must have been about seven years old at most. She was dressed all in white and her face was hidden by her long brown hair. I couldn’t see her feet, but I thought maybe they were obscured by the grass.
“Are you alright?” I asked. “What happened?”
She didn’t answer.
“Are you lost?” I asked.
She just nodded without saying a word.
“Do you live nearby?” I asked.
Again, she just nodded her head.
“If you want, I can take you to my house and in the morning we can go looking for your parents,” I said. “You do not want to be left all alone out here. It’s not safe…”
I had not even finished speaking when I felt her climb onto the saddle behind me. She grabbed my waist in a strong grip. Of course, I thought she must be terrified so I said nothing more and resumed riding towards home.
All of a sudden, it felt as if the temperature had dropped. I noticed that something was not right. The horse began to slow down and even though I tried to spur him on, the pace grew slower and slower.
“Don’t be scared,” I told the girl. “We’re almost there.”
Then, I heard her voice for the first time. Even today, that voice echoes in my dreams and nightmares. It did not sound like a child. It dd not even sound human.
“You’re not going anywhere,” she said. “Your fate is to go with me.”
Struck by her words, I looked back over my shoulder. I could not see her face, but I saw her legs… Her legs were so long that they dragged on the ground. That was what kept slowing the horse down.
I quickly realized that the cold I felt was not normal. I was shaking, my hands were blue, but my back was very hot. There was a smell of sulfur in the air and it would not go away. I muttered a prayer under my breath.
Suddenly, she spoke again. “Pray all you you want, but you are going with me.”
I said many prayers, all of the ones I had heard in church when I was a child. The horse was trotting slower and slower and he had almost come to a stop. Every time I finished a prayer, she laughed and just said, “That as may be, but you are going with me.”
At that moment, I remembered my grandmother. She always had a little prayer she recited when someone was sick or dying. I remembered her words from so long ago. I was still young when she died. It wasn’t the type of prayer you hear at church, it was something much older.
I recited my grandmother’s prayer and I waited to hear the girl’s laughter, but it never came. There was only an eerie silence.
She was gone. I couldn’t feel her hands on my back anymore, but it hurt. The horse felt lighter and began to walk a little faster, but I could hear by his breathing that he was exhausted.
When I got home I got off the horse, tied him to the post and yelled for my wife, Mary. She came running out and I kissed her and told her what had happened to me. Both of us were petrified. She took me inside the cottage and looked at my back. I had burn marks all over my skin, but she said they were not fresh. It seemed as if I had been burned long ago and only the scars remained.
We slept only a few hours that night, and in the morning when I went outside, I found my horse lying dead on the ground. His hind legs were burned and charred and the smell of sulfur still lingered in the air.