From Sarah Selecky: Write a scene that involves a horseshoe.
"Here. It's for you." I held out my gift, praying she wouldn't see how my hand shook. I was the strong one. I didn't betray my emotions, and my body wasn't supposed to, either.
"What is it?" my sister asked, not reaching for my proffered gift.
Did she really not know what it was? My arm faltered and bent. "It's a horseshoe."
Steph rolled her eyes. "I know it's a horseshoe. But why are you giving it to me?"
"For luck." It turned out to be more of a question. I hadn't thought she would reject my present. I was trying to make amends, after all. This was my step forward in healing our relationship. Did she not want to be close, as we were when children? Because that was what I wanted. No, I wanted something more. I no longer wanted to be just sisters, thrown together by some biological happenstance. I wanted to be friends. Good friends. Best friends. The kind that have inside jokes and call each other because we burnt the toast and suggest running out for hot chocolate. The kind that just showed up and knew they would always be welcomed. The kind that couldn't go more than a few hours without texting and receiving a text in return.
"No, Noel. What am I supposed to do with it? Why would I want a horseshoe?"
She didn't understand. Any of it. She never had.
I shrugged and lowered my arm. "I just thought it was kind of neat. You know, for your wall."
She sighed, a long breath that spoke of exasperation. "The wall is for things that are foreign, strange, that draw you in and make you wonder. It really isn't the place for a dirty old horseshoe."
My fingers tightened around the iron half-circle. "No. Of course not. I'm sorry."
"No biggie. Thanks anyway."
I stepped off the porch, heading to the car. It was a stupid gift, really. She was right. It belonged in the dumpster.
I clicked the remote to unlock the driver door.
"Yeah?" I answered, looking back to the door where she stood, leaning against the door frame. Hope sprung in my chest like the first daffodil of spring.
"Thanks for stopping by."
A frost came and killed the daffodil. "Sure," I said. "No problem. Glad you were home." I got in my car and drove away.