Changing Horses


Once upon a time there were two china horses. They were both grey with white noses and socks. One of them was calm, with ribs showing through her coat. The other was laughing hysterically. I bought them because a Feng Shui book said it was lucky to have a pair of horses as ornaments. For a while I considered them as representative of my sister and me. I was the skinny one, she was the cheerful one.
A few years later I dropped them both. They were changed and chipped. By then my sister was thin and I was the one scoffing chocolate and desperately cracking jokes to cheer her up.
About a year ago, I threw them both out. They no longer resembled either of us. I suppose they never did.
When my sister was married, in a good job and earning a high salary and I was a struggling single parent on benefits, she asked me to a family lunch party. Over drinks her husband boasted about all the important people they knew and all the exciting projects my sister was involved in. The contrast between their life and mine suddenly got to me and I dissolved into tears.
A while later I wrote a story about two sisters. It was partly inspired by Martin Amis’ novel Success about two brothers whose paths switched. One went from success to failure and the other went from failure to success.
Now I am studying for a PhD and my sister is in 24 hour care.
Sometimes I wonder if two china horses and a short story can really influence the future?

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