Hearing the door open, I sprinted to the frontline incase of an intruder. She wasn’t supposed to be home until later, but there she was. I was elated to see her, she took off her jacket and hung it up. Something was a little off, she didn’t bother saying ‘hi’ or to acknowledge me whatsoever. She just sat down on the couch, dropping her stuff on the floor. She talked to the voice in the wall and the big screen magically appeared people, a lot of them. I took a seat next to her, resting my head on top of her, she looked tired and in need of a friend. I sat there, enjoying the warmth radiating off of her.

     After awhile I felt wetness seep into my skin, I looked up and saw she was hunched over me and producing a stifling sound. Emotions were literally leaking out of her, producing a warm salty-wetness. It looked like rain was falling from her usual beady eyes, but instead they were red and puffy. I didn’t know exactly how to comfort her or get her to stop, so I held her. I tried to gravitate my happiness to her, but she would only continue her muffled cries for help. 

     The people on the screen didn’t bother to comfort her, as if life kept on going with or without her. Good thing they never came to visit, I would’ve done something that would’ve sent me to the doghouse. But for a while nobody did, not even the girl who smelt like strawberries and cats, I hate cats. Nobody left the house, not for a walk, not even her. All she did was mope around, I was starting to get worried. She looked like one of my old broken chew toys. Soon all you could hear coming from her room was an upbeat tune and to what I’ve come to know, tears.

    Her once neat and nice smelling room looked like a trashcan now. It was starting to smell rotten, like her. I even tried to bathe her and push her into water, hoping that’d help, but that resulted in more crying. For a few days she wouldn’t leave our bed, unless a guy was at the door to give her food in a box or a bag. That was the only social interaction I’ve seen for a while. What happened? I’d love to cuddle with her but the smell was just too overwhelming for the senses.

    One day I caught her almost smiling into a screen, as if it was filled with pain. I went to investigate it and saw strawberries and cats-lady and her. I tried to grab her attention but all she would do is push me off of her. I was starting to get annoyed, all this time she was spending at home had me thrilled at the idea of what we could do together but that can’t happen if she won’t pay any attention to me. Then something came over me, I took a hold of the device in my jaws and bolted, she screamed and scrambled after me. 

    We played chase for a while until she stopped, falling to the ground sad and breathless, I slowly walked towards her, my tail between my legs. Was it something I did? Tears streaked her face. I stood there and dropped the thing in my jaws to the floor, covered in my slobber. I just watched her as she tried to catch the tears into her sleeves but some still managed to slip past. She whispered something incoherent, and moved in to give me a hug, It was a strong, wet hug. Her face was buried into my fur, but I heard her say “Good dog…” mixed with sniffles before she pulled away and patted my head.

    After she stood up from the ground, she started to clean up the mess in her room and fix our bed. I tried to jump up and help her but she’d always pick me up and put me down. After the whole place was clean and no longer smelled rotten she took a bath after giving me one. I was reluctant at first until she bribed me with peanut butter. And after that we went on a walk! It was amazing, I don’t know what snapped her out of her big daze, but I was loving every minute spent together.

     Gradually I started to notice the sadness that was carried behind her eyes, whenever she’d smile it never quite reached her eyes. I’ve tried every possible way to cheer her up but I’d never in all of my life seen her like this before. We were on the couch watching the people on the screen when it suddenly hit me, she’s probably sad because the strawberry and cats-lady hasn’t visited in awhile. I jumped up from the couch and grabbed my leash, dropping it onto her lap. She slightly grinned and paused the people on the screen, got up and leashed me up.

     Once I saw the park I decided to look for strawberries and cats-lady, but she was nowhere to be seen. This was going to be proven a harder task than I had initially thought. Until I saw something else, she looked like strawberries and cats-lady but she smelled of… lavender? But before I could get a good sniff I was being pulled away by the leash. I tried to pull back, but my limited strength failed me.

    I quickly switched sides, causing her to trip, grabbing onto the lavender lady. I smiled triumphantly to myself for the work I’ve just accomplished. They both were deeply engrossed in a conversation, both deeply concentrated on lavender lady’s shirt which had a delicious stain on it. After a couple of minutes, the lavender lady left and we walked back home. We both collapsed onto the bed, tired. She looked more agitated than before, and I couldn’t help but wonder if it was a good or bad thing. Maybe it had to do with a certain lavender lady. 

    Ever since the day in the park, the lavender lady never came by. While I was on the kitchen floor waiting for something to drop to eat, I noticed my person looked nauseated. I would ask what’s wrong but I’d always get a “Be quiet” or “Shhh” I was confused what she meant but I think she got the message. After we ate, she left. She came back later, looking more sick than before, I started to get worried. Once she set her stuff down and laid down in bed, I laid down next to her to make sure she was okay. But every time I’d check on her, she’d push my face away and I couldn’t properly check her temperature, she was becoming very irritating.

    In the morning I woke up to her filling up my bowl and setting a timer on it. She got down and petted my fur over and over before getting up, she patted my head and left. I sat there wondering where she went and when she’d be back. I didn’t like it whenever she went out, it was always so lonely without her here. The sun came and went for a while, I ran out of food and soon to be water. Everytime I slept by the door, waiting for her. She hasn’t come home yet.

    Until one afternoon, strawberries and cats-lady opened the door, which brought me to the question: Where was my human? She put me on my leash and put me in a cage that moved on wheels. It finally stopped, leaving me nauseated. She dragged me out and put me in a bigger room, the various smells left me curious. Until I saw a cat at the top of a tower, purring at me suspiciously. I didn’t like it one bit.

    Strawberries and cats-lady snuck up behind me and grasped my collar, bringing me into another unfamiliar place. That’s when I saw her, my human. She laid sickly on top of a bed. I promptly jumped up to examine her, she reached her hand out as if to pet me but her arm fell limp. I just watched her as she tried that action over and over again, her eyelids growing droopy. I then forced my body under her arm, laying my head on top of her as she fell asleep. I could feel the pain she was in and all I wanted to do was take that away from her, make her happy again. 

    And like that we stayed in place for days, I never left her side.

March 27, 2020 19:37

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Karen McDermott
15:18 Apr 03, 2020

Superb tackling of the prompt. I liked how the dog defined people by their smells, as they probably actually do IRL! I hope if there's ever a sequel the dog and his person are healthy and happy :)


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Shirley Medhurst
11:59 Mar 29, 2020

So poignant and very well-written. Bravo!


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Julia Roberts
18:54 Mar 28, 2020

There's a lot of emotions in this piece that have been conveyed well through the eyes of your character. Though its not clear what exactly happened to the owner, the insight into their life through the eyes of their pet is communicated thoughtfully!


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