Perseverance

Submitted into Contest #138 in response to: End your story with someone saying: “What a day.”... view prompt

115 comments

Inspirational Happy

“What a sunny day! Let’s go on a walk.”

The hairs on Mike’s neck stood up, delighted by this thought. His soft contentment radiated into the surroundings, making his dog’s bright eyes light upon a full-beam tail in a propeller spin.

Bouncer had been with Mike for a decade. Having each other made them determined to add meaning to their lives. They knew each other like the back of their hand; they were family. Bouncer kept Mike going in his challenging times, as she was his anchor for innocence and kept him persevering during his many hardships.

Mike walked along the path with Bouncer by his side.

Seconds later, Bouncer leaped through the trees with a stick in her mouth. Her big brown eyes and her gold tail swished like she got all her birthday wishes at once. She knew what she wanted. She wanted the slimy stick thrown down the path, not once but repeatedly, until Mike was huffing and puffing. This would be his last walk. Mike could never refuse Bouncer. She was too cute. So, he curled his fingers around the stick and felt the cool dampness. As his arms wheeled back, he lost all balance and fell right into the mud.

The pungent smell of the mud infiltrated his nostrils and caused him to suffocate in agony. Mud oozed down his leg as he could feel it dripping under his trousers. The grit and traces of small pebbles grazed his skin and burned his leg, making it a furious red. Mike could see the infestation crawling around in the mud, decaying his skin. He needed to leave.

Bouncer wailed as she got covered in mud and it submerged the stick in her mouth into the dirt. The incessant barking made Mike insane, so he hurried out of the mud and tried to console Bouncer. Mike condemned himself to see Bouncer like this. It inflicted him with agony.

It was no use.

She was barking relentlessly, and he had nothing else to do apart from trying to get her to quieten down. As people passed by, they all looked at her reluctantly. Everyone on the path was looking at Mike and Bouncer. It had become clear that they were the centre of the show.

Why was everyone so horrible?

Embarrassment was temporary. Mike walked on as if nothing had changed. Bouncer ran forward and encouraged Mike to keep going on the path.

Bouncer found another stick that was thin and slimy. She ran after the stick that Mike had hurdled. Mike will be yearning for these moments when Bouncer leaves him. The ambiance had the echo of laughing kids all in one car eating ice cream. One kid tossed a half-eaten ice cream onto Mike’s face.

The day had gotten worse.

It was a three scoop and toppings galore. It filled up his vision and made his eyes burn. The cold froze his nose and dripped down his neck, sending a wave of sweetness into his mouth. The chocolate taste merged with the mud and grime from before creating a peculiar concoction of ash and ice cream. As the ice cream melted away in the sun. It collected all the waste and mud, bringing it to the tip of his mouth, seeping into it. Mike hated ice cream.

Since a young boy, Mike loathed every flavour of ice cream. He wasn’t a conventional kid and longed to fit in by sharing similar desires to other children. However, it didn’t work out but he still had Bouncer.

The ice cream hugged his face as if it were to make it a permanent home. Mike couldn’t do anything to get rid of it. For the time being, Mike’s face was home to chocolate ice cream. His heart palpitated off beat, creating a jocund vibe, warming up the cold on his face and keeping his core warm. He felt rejuvenated and, for some strange reason, Mike wanted to carry on.

Ice cream was Bouncer’s favourite. The sickly-sweet taste reminded him of her brindled coat. Her loyal and loving nature caused tears to stream down Mike’s face like a river escaping a dam. He couldn’t hold his sorrows in and needed to let go.

Happiness came from within into a creation. It was gentle as it flowed flamboyantly, one moment at a time, guiding Mike’s passions and persuading him to never give up. Bouncer was his happiness. Mike could never say no to Bouncer.

It was now or never because tomorrow he was getting surgery. Today could be his last day with Bouncer. So, he had to make every moment count. Tomorrow, Bouncer will go to a new home and will have a new family. He wished for her contentment wherever she went and hoped that she wouldn’t forget him.

Bouncer came back with the stick poking out of her mouth. She was out of breath from all the fetching, but it was getting dark and they needed to get home. As they walked on the path, they were both silent as they came onto the last path leading home.

Path closed

Bafflement penetrated Mike’s mind when he read this. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see it: a fallen tree. Its branches spread along the path, blocking every route, it scattered its leaves like fallen angels. In the summer, they used to marvel at the leaves and blooms, but now all they could see was the collapsed branches of the tree. The other trees protected the fallen one so that nothing could tear it apart. Mike would never take Bouncer that way, they wouldn’t make it at all. The fragments of twigs and the body of the tree would make it impossible to walk through.

I need to persevere.

Mike looked at Bouncer’s innocent face and remembered taking her from the dog shelter. Bouncer gave Mike hope; which was something that he could never repay in a hundred lifetimes. Bouncer was a pure soul, God-given, a beauty that deserves cherishing.

They could take another route, but it would take much longer. It was a horrible, cramped route with mud and walls caving in. They had no choice and had to go down this route. The fact that Mike thought this would be a normal walk with Bouncer made him laugh.

This path was both heavy and shallow. The interwoven twigs and leaves worsened their rough journey. The mud and ice cream made an uncanny face pack. This path brought up exciting emotions, immediately contradicted by the mud in his trousers. This was a day that he would never forget.

Bouncer stopped and shook herself, spraying Mike with more mud because apparently, he needed more. His forehead was damp with sweat from all the torment throughout the day. Mike found it hard to contemplate the day. He could never have imagined going on a walk and ending up like this.

Nearly there now.

Bouncers’ limbs seemed to shake; Mike had never considered how Bouncer was feeling. How could he have been so inconsiderate? Bouncer runs up to him and wraps her paws around his legs. Mike bent against the will of his joints and gets down to eye level, promising Bouncer she will be okay. Mike was expecting a poke in the face, but he got a little whimper with Bouncer shivering from all the mud in her fur.

Whilst walking back towards the hospital, Mike knew that this day would never come again. He hoped Bouncer would feel pleased with her life, even without him. He might not even see Bouncer tomorrow, but he made the most of today and that is all that matters.

“What a day.”

March 19, 2022 17:45

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115 comments

Dhwani Jain
12:23 Jul 10, 2022

How are you?

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Palak Shah
18:14 Jul 11, 2022

heyyy I am alright. How about you?

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Dhwani Jain
08:46 Jul 12, 2022

Coolio

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05:12 Jun 01, 2022

heya palak <3

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Palak Shah
12:50 Jun 02, 2022

hiya Skye how ya doing?

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05:58 Jun 04, 2022

am better ty <333 hru?

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Palak Shah
10:01 Jun 05, 2022

i'm alright :))

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Dhwani Jain
12:02 May 29, 2022

Hey! I have a new story up (Serle's Saga) and I would love your review on it, please. Thanks a ton!

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Palak Shah
15:34 May 29, 2022

Yes will do :))

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Dhwani Jain
15:40 May 29, 2022

Thanks!

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Dhwani Jain
18:23 May 26, 2022

Hey! Where are you? Why has Reedsy been so boring lately? (copy-pasting this to a lot of people as I'm BoReD)

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Palak Shah
18:32 May 27, 2022

Heyyyyyy I haven't been active much as I have exams so I am just preparing for them. How are you doing?

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Dhwani Jain
10:55 May 28, 2022

Hiiiiii Oo, exams are waaaaaaaaaaay behind here. Vacations have started! I'm doin' good

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Palak Shah
11:59 May 28, 2022

I hope you are enjoying yourself, I wish my exams were finished lol :))

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Dhwani Jain
13:00 May 28, 2022

Kinda....yeah

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Palak Shah
13:34 May 28, 2022

Doing anything... good?

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Sarah Desouza
20:00 Apr 24, 2022

A story of love between a man and man's best friend. But it had a sad twist. It was pretty engaging and had me reading till the end...just between us...will bouncer be okay?

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Palak Shah
19:37 Apr 25, 2022

Thank you for reading Sarah, I really appreciate it :)) Just between you and me, yes bouncer will be alright.

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Dhwani Jain
15:47 Apr 13, 2022

You know Sapphire? We have a collab coming up on my blog at 04:06 p.m. IST tomorrow (April 14). Do check it out, here's the link (https://djdhwanijain.wordpress.com/)

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Palak Shah
10:31 Apr 16, 2022

Yes will do :))

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Palak Shah
10:33 Apr 16, 2022

I loved reading your conversation with Sapphire and it was nice to get her insight into being an Indian. Thanks for the recommendation :))

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Dhwani Jain
10:21 Apr 17, 2022

Thanks a ton for reading, glad you liked it. I'd appreciate if you post a comment on the blog

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Palak Shah
09:18 Apr 18, 2022

Yes I will try to :))

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Dhwani Jain
09:19 Apr 18, 2022

Thanks

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Palak Shah
09:20 Apr 18, 2022

I have posted a comment on it but I am not sure if it has come through.

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Dhwani Jain
10:11 Apr 17, 2022

Thank you

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Yuk Yuk
15:54 Apr 12, 2022

I've been having issues posting this comment 😫 So I rewrite Nice work. I love what you did with descriptions. It got sad at the end. It's sad that Bouncer only sees as any other stressful dirty day. But it could be the last day with Mike. How does one loathe every flavour of ice cream... Did he taste every flavour of ice cream.

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Palak Shah
19:59 Apr 12, 2022

Thank you for reading. Well, I just wanted to hyperbolize the utter hatred for ice cream and how horrible it was to have it in his face.

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Dhwani Jain
10:34 Apr 09, 2022

How are you doing?

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Palak Shah
11:45 Apr 09, 2022

I am good hbu?

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Dhwani Jain
11:59 Apr 09, 2022

I am great, Palak! Anything new in your life, lately?

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Palak Shah
09:56 Apr 11, 2022

No, not really, I have my exams coming up soon so just preparing for them. hbu?

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Cookie Carla🍪
20:17 Mar 29, 2022

I loved your imagery in the story I feel like it adds more "spice" to the story. You have a way with emotions and i like the way you build it up. You did a really good job with this story and i loved reading it!!

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Palak Shah
14:41 Apr 01, 2022

Thank you so much :))

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Cookie Carla🍪
14:19 Apr 08, 2022

Ofcc <333

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Palak Shah
15:38 Apr 08, 2022

:)

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Kat Sencen
23:21 Mar 26, 2022

This was a beautiful, sweet story, but also kind of sad at the same time. You played with emotions really well, and the inner feelings of the protagonist. There were some really great descriptions in there, too. The only critique I have is that there are some spelling errors and tense changes. Also it seems kind of unrealistic for a kid to waste perfectly good ice cream like that... Anyway, this was really good! I look forward to reading more of your stories (:

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Palak Shah
19:23 Mar 27, 2022

Thank you Kat for all your wonderful feedback :))

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Dhwani Jain
13:41 Mar 24, 2022

OK. So I finally read it (sorry for the delay). Here are my thoughts: 1. It was a nice, sweet story 2. It left me thinking 3. It touched me 4. It left me with unanswered questions (one of which you answered in a previous comment) So, overall, it was beautiful, but I didn't really 'get' it as much as I could relate to your other work. Maybe that was the intention behind it, to make the reader think. Anyways, that's what I have to say.

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Palak Shah
21:09 Mar 24, 2022

I think as it was quite detached I could do more with it and say a lot more about my characters. Thank you for this wonderful feedback I really appreciate it :))

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Dhwani Jain
10:26 Mar 26, 2022

Yeah Welcome! How have you been? Also, I am on instagram, if you want to follow me for updates regarding my blog.

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Palak Shah
17:58 Mar 26, 2022

I am good. Hbu? Let me know your username and I will follow you :))

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Dhwani Jain
14:22 Mar 28, 2022

Awesome! I am DHWANI JAIN only. You wil see posts related to my blog on my profile.

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Palak Shah
14:41 Apr 01, 2022

Okay I will follow you :))

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Francis Daisy
20:59 Mar 22, 2022

Great lines! "... her gold tail swished like she got all her birthday wishes at once." "ice cream hugged his face as if it were to make it a permanent home" "This path was both heavy and shallow." Your story was both a fun read, and a heavy read. Well done!

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Palak Shah
21:55 Mar 22, 2022

Thank you so much Francis for reading this :))

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Francis Daisy
21:59 Mar 22, 2022

Quite welcome!

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Craig Westmore
01:09 Mar 22, 2022

Good story, Palak. I liked your descriptions of all the mess - mud and ice cream together made me feel slimy. I would put the reason they are going for a last walk much sooner in the story. It was touching to find out. I also loved the name of the dog!

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Palak Shah
17:21 Mar 22, 2022

Thank you so much Craig for this wonderful feedback :))

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Zelda C. Thorne
09:18 Mar 21, 2022

This was so sweet and sad. I liked the way you wrote it. I was just left with one thought/question : Why can't he keep the dog after his surgery? Can't a friend look after his dog until he's better? Regardless, I really liked it and thought it was well written. Well done!

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Palak Shah
17:13 Mar 21, 2022

Thank you for reading my story :)) I have portrayed MIke in such a way that he only has his dog as his sole companion and his surgery is going to be quite life-changing and Bouncer shouldn't be with him as it will be too much to take care of.

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Dhwani Jain
13:37 Mar 24, 2022

Thank you for clearing that out, I had the same question in my mind.

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Daniel R. Hayes
06:25 Mar 21, 2022

This was a fantastic read!! You did a great job writing this and I thought it was really well done. Thanks for recommending it, I enjoyed it :)

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Palak Shah
17:14 Mar 21, 2022

Thank you Daniel :))

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Pratik Bhandari
11:15 Mar 20, 2022

Amazingly written !

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Palak Shah
15:29 Mar 20, 2022

Thank you :))

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10:46 Mar 20, 2022

A touching story. It had some unanswered questions...why would children throw ice cream at him, that would be a really mean thing to do to a stranger. Why would he feel the ground was filled with infestations?

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Palak Shah
15:30 Mar 20, 2022

I don't actually have a backstory to that one. The ground had dirt and maggots in it so that's why it was infested. Thank you for reading my story :))

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21:27 Mar 20, 2022

LOL...

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Palak Shah
17:15 Mar 21, 2022

:)))))))))))

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Philip Ebuluofor
10:15 Mar 20, 2022

For sure fine work. Well rendered. I don't usually includes animals often in my stories. I need to look that way soon.

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Palak Shah
15:31 Mar 20, 2022

Thank you for reading this :))

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Philip Ebuluofor
06:19 Mar 21, 2022

Sure.

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Kendall Defoe
01:18 Mar 20, 2022

Well told and well said...and I suddenly want ice cream. ;)

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Palak Shah
15:35 Mar 20, 2022

Ahhhhh same. I love chocolate ice cream :)) Thank you for reading :))

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Kendall Defoe
15:03 Mar 21, 2022

Chocolate Mint is my favorite!

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Palak Shah
17:22 Mar 22, 2022

Oooooooo that's nice :))

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23:11 Mar 19, 2022

Nice work, Palak! I liked how Mike overcame all of his problems and persevered as the title suggests :)

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Palak Shah
15:36 Mar 20, 2022

Thanks Jasey :))

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23:10 Mar 20, 2022

Ofc <3

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