Chihuahua Fur

Submitted by James Offenhartz to Contest #23 in response to: Write a short story about someone experiencing their first winter.... view prompt



We’re in a car on a highway and I don’t know where we’re going. What I do know is as we drive there are less trees with big leaves and coconuts and more trees with no leaves. I never knew there were trees without leaves. But, maybe all these trees are dead. We’re in a car and going in mostly one direction. There are big signs in the middle above us and I don’t care about those. What I do care about are the different shade of gray (everything is gray) signs on the right side of the highway. If I see one of those signs and I whine, my owner usually will pull over at something she calls a rest stop where there are other dogs and I can go potty outside.  

But the places we’re stopping at are different than the places we stopped at earlier. In some places there are clear hard things hanging from the sides of roofs. Sometimes they drip water and my master, her name is Clarisse, lets me lap up the water. I do a number one and number 2 and I get really excited until Clarisse gives me a bone treat. It’s feeling a little bit colder though. The grass where I go potty is even cold. I didn’t think grass could be cold. But, we get back in the car and Clarisse tells me she’ll turn the heater on. I’ve never heard of a heater, but it feels nice. Hot air, probably saved from home, comes through the openings at the front of the car.

We continue to drive in the same direction. Then, some strange things start happening. Like after night, I start to see very small white pebbles flying onto the windshield, but Clarisse doesn’t seem concerned. She smiles and puts on the windshield wipers which I always thought were just for rain. But after an hour, this stuff really starts coming down. I can barely see anything out the window. So, she decides to pull over and turn something she calls the emergency lights on. I’m so confused. Please Clarisse, keep the warm air from Florida coming. As we wait, something else weird happens. Hard clear things start growing on the windshield. Maybe they’re insects or an animal, so I bark at them, but Clarisse hushes me and turns a knob. After fifteen minutes, whatever it is disappears.  

We keep driving and I see a light gray sign so I moan and Clarisse pulls over. The van slides for a moment and we’re both scared. I wish we had stayed in Florida, but she gains control of the car and pulls into a parking spot. There’s no grass here. This cold white stuff has eaten all the grass. I also can’t get a firm paw down since this white stuff is slippery. I go potty as best I can but I’m shivering, cold, and miserable. I wish we could turn and go back to nice warm Florida, but I’m not driving.

I see another sign and have to go but the white stuff is everywhere and I know it’s eaten all the grass here too, so I stay silent.  Clarisse has to go potty though, so she pulls over, leaves me in the car, goes in the building, and comes back for me. When she shuts off the engine, the air from Florida stops coming. I’m not sure why. But Clarisse walks me and it’s miserable. She goes back and puts on a coat and something called gloves. She puts a coat on me and I don’t resist, even though I hate clothes. She says we’ll be at our destination in five hours. I just hope this isn’t where we’re going to stay forever. Please Clarisse, let this visit be short.  Very short. I miss Florida already.    



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