It's that time of the week again. Time to flash.
This week I am using this prompt. I love horse racing and so do Tom and Ben.
When most people think of men and sports they think of football, baseball, hockey, or basketball. Tom and Ben liked baseball and football a lot, but their favorite sport was the sport of kings—horse racing. Not many of their friends, and certainly very few of Tom’s fellow firefighters, knew of their interest in horse racing. They weren’t ashamed of it, but it just didn’t come up in conversation. The other guys at the firehouse, and at Ben’s real estate office, were always talking about the more popular sports.
They went to the track as often as they could. Ben was the one who loved horse racing; he’d grown up not far from the track. He and his parents would go to the track several times during the racing season. He introduced the game to Tom, and converted him into a horse race enthusiast.
“Come on number eight, come on, come on!” Tom screamed at the top of his lungs as two horses, leading the pack, came thundering down the home stretch. It was the last race of the day, and he and Ben had won a few races, including the previous race. If this horse came in, they’d win the late double and collect at least five hundred dollars.
They were standing right near the finish line; both leaned over the rail, screaming.
“Come on, Love Train!” Ben shouted.
“The horse’s name.” Ben was the one who helped pick the horses and placed the bets. So Tom didn’t pay as much attention to the names as to the number the horse wore.
“Love Train, win for us, Daddy needs a new pair of shoes,” Tom yelled.
“You did NOT just say that,” Ben said, and they both laughed. The thunder of the horses grew louder. Two of the front runners, eight and two, were neck and neck. Two was on the inside and eight was on the outside, struggling to keep up.
Some taps from the whip and number eight, aka Love Train, kicked it into high gear and ran the race of his life. At the finish it was too close to call, a photo finish.
“Please hold all tickets, ladies and gentlemen, as the stewards look over the photos.”
The tote board in the center of the track showed eight and two’s numbers, and the word photo blinked next to them. The crowd was noisy, and everyone impatiently waited for the final results to be posted.
Tom and Ben hung close together, holding their breaths. “Yes!” Ben screamed.
“Yay, we won!” Tom yelled as they saw the order of finish and the word final. Eight then two followed by seven—win, place, and show. They hugged and went to the ticket window to get their winnings, all five hundred and forty two dollars and twelve cents worth.
“Now this has been a good day,” Tom said as he and Ben made their way out to the parking lot.
“Aren’t you glad I introduced you to horse racing?” Ben asked him.
“Yeah, honey, I am. I had a lot of fun.”
“Yeah, and we won some moolah.”
“More importantly, I got to have fun with my fella,” Tom said.
Ben’s heart swelled up; he had plans for them when they got home.
“Oh my gawd!” Tom stopped in his tracks when he saw the car. All four tires on Ben’s car were flat and the words ‘Fags Die’ were spray painted on the hood.
“Tom, oh my car!” Ben had worked very hard to buy that Audi. True, it was a used car he’d gotten from Car Max, but it still cost a pretty penny. He loved that car.
Tom didn’t waste any time calling 911 and taking photos of the damage.
The police called in the anti-bias division. The detectives took their statements and had the car towed in for a good going over.
Tom called his friend Joe, from the firehouse, to give them a ride home.
“Who would do this, Tom?” Ben was on the verge of tears.
“I don’t know, Ben.” He held Ben close. They filled Joe in on what happened when he picked them up.
“I’m scared, Tom,” Ben said as he and Tom sat in their living room.
“I’m glad we got that alarms system last month. We’ll have to be careful until this scumbag is caught.”
From an old beat up Ford Taurus parked across the street from Tom and Ben’s home, a man smiled wickedly. On the passenger seat next to him was a pamphlet from the Westboro Baptist Church.
My fellow flashers