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Tom loved to watch his father work. He would sit for hours, the smells of lacquer and glue filling his nostrils, and watch Benjamin patiently scrape away cracked paint and re-carve and repair the animals' broken limbs. His dad would tell him that he was the luckiest veterinarian in the world: his patients never complained and they never made a mess on the floor.

But the present that Benjamin created for Tom was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Tom was sure that his dad had worked on it in secret, late at night, because he had never laid eyes on it in the shop before his birthday. To create the gift, Tom's father had hollowed out the insides of a regal wooden stallion and replaced them with a sturdy bicycle frame. The pedals emerged from beneath the horse's belly and the wheels lay between its galloping legs. Benjamin had also nailed short posts, painted to look like outstretched ears, to each side of the horse's head, which served as handlebars. The animal's body had been re-carved, sanded, painted light blue and finished with twelve coats of the best lacquer, which made it almost glow in the dark. Tom adored his present, which he called the "Bicycle Horse," and had been riding it nonstop every day for almost a week. He kept it in his room next to his bed because he could not bear to be away from it.

The horse was indeed a masterpiece but there was one feature that stood out above all the rest: its eyes. They were painted deep green and flecked with chips of hazel and aqua, and they were so lifelike that they seemed to look back at you.

Tom's gaze fell upon those eyes now: so active, so lifelike, they almost appeared soft and moist. As the minutes passed, he stared into the horse's eyes, and the harder he looked the softer they appeared. They seemed to be pulling him in, away from himself and towards something larger and more important. As he continued to stare, the eyes grew softer and more wet, rounder and more and more alive until, suddenly, they blinked.

Tom sat bolt upright in his chair and vigorously shook his head from side to side. Had he seen what he thought he'd seen or had he drifted off to sleep and dreamed the whole thing? He clenched his hands into fists and rubbed his eye sockets hard, and then he looked up, refocused on the horse?s eyes and stared. A moment later, the horse winked at him and he practically fell out of his chair. His mouth dropped open and he gasped for breath: the horse was alive!

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Greg Loumeau ||    External Homepage · 

Greg is a web comic artist. He enjoys creating funny web comics for the Internet. It makes him happy to do humorous comics about fish. Webcomics are great, fun, and some of the best comics out there! ... full profile