The Haunted Horse of Wales
The stories I have shared thus far have been of my school years and childhood, but as you may have guessed, I eventually did grow up and graduate high school. Soon after that most of my friends were off at college, while I had begun my new and somewhat strange job as an ID camera assembler. This had gone on for a few months as we headed into fall.
Then, however, my parents had a treat for me. They were in Great Britain and agreed to fly me out. It proved fun taking an international flight by myself and nothing amazed me more than the fact they let a scruffy eighteen year old through customs, without even checking my bag. Damn, I should have brought something, I remember thinking. Maybe I looked more innocent than I thought.
So there I was in London with my parents. I won’t go into all the fun we had there, but of course we went to the Tower of London, where one of my Walsh ancestor died while trying to escape from a tower using bed linens. They had broken and he plunged to his death on the rocks below. A funny moment did occur when I saw a sign that said, ‘stand next to the giant’s armor.’ I stood there and it looked like it would have fit my big frame perfectly and my mom has a hilarious picture of a little kid looking up at me in awe. Piccadilly circus was next and I bought some cool punky spikes and a few David Bowie cassettes.
Next, they asked me what I wanted to do and naturally that was going to the Griffiths homeland of Wales and checking out the ancient castles. So we threw in a David Bowie tape and rushed across the green British countryside. This was great fun for me and I loved hiking around the crumbling structures and exploring their secret rooms and passages. In one old church, I found and small underground tunnel, which I followed for a hundred feet until, it became too flooded for me to continue.
Finally we made it to Chepstow. We entered our bed and breakfast and for a while I laid in my room reading Robert E Howard’s first novel in the Conan stories, which fit in with my surroundings extremely well.
After a while, I got antsy. I was in a foreign town in the land of my ancestors. I had to go and check out the scene. Besides the drinking age here was only eighteen, something that I certainly could not enjoy in the states.
So donning my jean jacket, I headed out into the chill night. Now if it was today, I most likely would have headed to a pub, but for some reason I avoided that, at least at first. Instead, I wondered around the town, like a tall shadow watching people. I even hung out behind a grocery store in the thin strip of woods. Yeah, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, I guess.
So after a while, I figured that maybe I should try to dare a bar. I had never been in a pub before, let alone one in another country, so I felt nervous. As I headed back into the dark wet streets, a light fog spread over the town. Everything was oddly deserted and the fog grew thicker. Surrounded by the ancient buildings, I felt like I had gone back in time or entered some creepy horror movie, so naturally I thought that was super cool.
Then I heard it. Clip, clop, clip clop. That the hell was that, I wondered? Clip, clop, clip clop. It was growing closer. Clip, clop, clip clop. I looked around; there was no one on the street. Clip, clop, clip clop.
Then I saw it. Out of the mists coming strait at me was a wild-eyed black horse. Clip, clop, clip clop, clip, clop, clip clop. I could see the whites of his rolling eyes as it gazed at me. The blood froze in my veins and I felt like I couldn’t move. As it drew nearer, the black beast stared strait at me. It was only then that I saw that it had a saddle on, but no rider.
What had happened to its rider?
Was this a ghost horse?
Had it killed it rider?
I took a step back and the thing passed slowly by, the echoing of its hoofs fading into the distance. This was enough for me and I fled back to my room. The next day we continued on our journey and my mother took some great pictures of me at the castle. I also discovered that my parents had brought me to Britain, in order to help convince me to start college, which I promised I would do the upcoming year.
I however, never forgot that lonely night in the fog and sometimes still wonder, what happened to the rider of the great black steed?