Title: Bygone Days
Disclaimer: Like, this is totally not based on a true story or anything. All situations, characters, and events are fictional and any resemblance to specific situations, characters, and events are purely coincidental.
Warnings: It's sad-like, yo.
Summary: A man reminisces about the past.
The grand stands were empty.
The day was overcast and gray.
The sky looked worn and old wrapped in shabby dark clouds, but he felt it was fitting. Such weather was fitting for such a day. He walked beside the once-white rail, running his hands over the chinks in the paint and wondering how long it’d been since anyone had traveled the track. The dirt was thin beneath his feet and unmarked except for the line of shoe prints he left. It had been years since a horse had set foot on this track.
It had been years since a horse had neighed from the stables.
Whistling airily as it went, the wind rushed through the stands and left the echo of its voice trapped under the awning. He continued walking the rail and thinking about things that had long been forgotten by the world outside. And as he walked and thought and thought and walked, into the range of his peripheral vision came a white bulk of metal. He turned towards it to see what it was and stopped in surprise.
The starting gate sat quietly to the side of the track, a rusting artifact of the world that had once inhabited this space. It was like the rest of this place, abandoned and forgotten by the world, as lost as the drowned Atlantis. It was a thing that had faded into memory and would soon even fade out of that. The man closed his eyes and remembered.
The way the ring of the bell sliced through the air and the doors clattered open; the way the glistening, straining bodies burst forward in a blur of vibrant color. The crowd exploded into a sea of noise and life, and over it all, the announcer narrated the race, talking almost as fast as the horses ran. Almost, but not quite because nothing was quite like the speed and stride of a thoroughbred. No roaring motor could send a person to the heights of hope and fear like thundering hooves could. No image could steal the breath out of a spectator’s mouth like the sight of a horse suddenly breaking from the pack could. And the way people cheered when the silks that crossed the finish line bore their colors…
It was incomparable.
And it was gone now. This place was merely an empty shell, a ghost of its former self. Before his eyes, the prancing horses with their high, bobbing tails and their brightly clothed jockeys diminished into the grays around him. Sighing, he took his gaze from the gate and continued his walk. Horse-racing was the sport of kings, was the sport of bygone days.
The man put on his hat and looked up at the sky.
The day was overcast and gray. The heavens began to cry.
The grand stands were empty.