Right, well, ok, this time is wasn’t my fault that I didn’t post the winner on time. See, Harry had been caught by the Death Eaters and… well, you can’t expect me to put down the book THEN and go post on the blog. I mean, not when Harry’s in mortal peril!

Yeah, sorry about that.

In spite of my tardiness, the voters have spoken and have chosen another worthy winner. And this week it’s Jeff  Pfaller, @pfallerj not in a tie but a clear win. Go Jeff!

Here’s his entry. Enjoy. And see you again in 2011!

The gray, shadowed horse trotted on the perimeter of my vision like a cloud of fog. My head snapped towards it and the equine specter was gone as if burned away by the sun.

I wiped the salty beads of sweat away from my forehead with a wool sleeve. I’d been searching for the blasted thing for days. Even the hair on the top of my head was sore and worn out from endlessly trudging amongst the starchy pine trees.

“You have to find him, Dad. Please. He’s scared,” I heard my little girl say, and I ground back into motion. I hated to admit it, but I was close to being lost myself. The trees had no order, and clustered around me tightly. All bearing down on me with branches pregnant with sap, liquefied in the Indian summer heat.

There was a crackle, like a heavy branch being snapped in two. I looked up, and the entire forest crystallized in an instant into rows. I could see all the way to the horizon it seemed, the trunks lined up in perfect parallel to each other.

Every direction I looked, there was space. I was at the nexus of the forest.

Down one row, I saw him. His bulbous black eyes regarded me with compassion, and then he lowered his head. “Come,” I could almost hear him beckon.

He was close, and far away at the same time. When my hand finally ran through his stringy mane and down his warm flanks, the forest had randomized again. There was no way out for us, but I knew my daughter’s horse would lead me back home.

I felt my body fill with warmth at the thought of finally reuniting them with each other. Like two childhood friends, they were as inextricably tied to each other as the sunrise was to the morning.

Her horse had been missing the entire time she’d been in the hospital, connected to all manners of plastic tubes and metal machines. The doctors told me that she wouldn’t be strong enough to go for one last ride.

They didn’t know my little girl.