In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it. My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations. It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!
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By Alex Seise
The woman behind the counter at the DMV looked like a horse.
It was mean, and Daria knew it was wrong to think that way. But it was true, however unfortunate. Her face was long and narrow, her eyes large and wide-set in her thin skull and her mane of long, blond hair was swept back in a tight, tall ponytail. She mouthed words as she worked, and her cheeks fluttered like a whinnying mare. The large, buck teeth jammed into her jaw did nothing for her appearance.
The woman behind the tall, chest-height counter abruptly stopped typing, looked up at Daria, and said, “I know what you’re thinking.”
“Excuse me?” She thought it had to do with the driver’s license renewal she was processing.
“You think I look like a horse.”
“What! No! I didn’t say that.”
“But you thought it. And it’s okay.”
The woman leaned in close to the glass partition. Daria’s face was shocked into a state of mortification, and she stared at the woman without blinking.
“Are you,” the woman looked down at the name on the license paperwork, “Daria, are you a hippophile?”
“A hippophile. You know, a lover of horses.”
“I, uh, I guess?”
“Good. Well, here you are.” The woman smiled sweetly before sliding the paperwork under the divider, and Daria stood stunned. What had just happened?
Daria started to walk away, then she stopped and returned to the counter. The woman had turned around to file something in a drawer, and Daria was horrified to see that where there should have been two human legs below her torso was instead the body of a fine thoroughbred horse. The centaur’s golden tail flicked back and forth.
The woman spun around, clumsily knocking papers off the desk with her blonde hind quarters, and faced Daria, smiling.
“Oh,” she said mischievously, “You didn’t know?”
“No! Wha-what are you?” Daria stuttered.