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Friendship Fiction

The drive home seemed long, longer than it should have been, considering the distance hadn’t changed. With a hand stretched out the window I surf the wind, the hairs on my arm tingle as the cool air slips through my fingers, like faded memories we can no longer hold.

I rolled the window down because she always loved sticking her head out. Mouth open, tongue out enjoying the invisible force as it tussles her fur in a frenzied playful way. I’m just guessing, in truth I do not know why she enjoys it so much. Today she didn’t lift her head, but I wanted to leave it open so the wind would wash over her. Pulling into the driveway I glance at her, sleeping peacefully.


The Autumn Sun warms us as I carry her to the veranda, her favorite spot. From here she would watch and guard over the children as they played in the yard. Across the way are wild berry bushes and trees hugging the banks of the stream that flows past our home. She loves dipping in the cool waters but hates getting wet.


Dried leaves, once full of summer life swirl around as the wind pulls them from the only home they ever knew, tossing them about in a chaotic frenzy. Scattering their husks far across the rapidly changing landscape.

Gently placing her on her bed, I wrap her in a checkered blanket. Her head raises to meet my gaze, dark eyes open, confusion clearly visible yet she knew at once where she was and settles in. I sit beside her, placing my hand upon her head, her pointed ears twitch, and I feel her body relax as I caress her blonde fur. We sit in silence as the sun hovers just above the trees, preparing to settle in for the night. Giant limbs sway and dance against the dimming sky.


“Jason?” Her voice is soft, little more than a whisper.

I glance down, the white streak between her eyes and down her nose shines in the light.


“Yes Kiya, what is it girl?”


“I don’t like that place. I always feel tense when we go.”


“I know, but it was necessary, they were just trying to help you.”


“They are nice , but I feel scared. Is it ok if we don’t go back there?” Her voice quivers as she says this, I can tell she is trying to be brave.


My eyes begin to water. “It’s ok, we won’t be going back there anymore.”


“Thank you.”


She settles back down, moving a little so her head is now on my lap. Her breathing soft, a gentle breeze ruffles her fur, I pull the blanket around her.


“Jason?”

“I thought you were asleep.” Selfishly, I am glad she is awake.


“You know what I would like to do? I would like to run beside you, on that two-wheel thing.”


“The bike?”


“Yeah, I was fast wasn’t I?”


“Like the wind.”


“Yeah, like the wind. I loved running.”


“You sure did. Those were some of the best times.” Leaning back, I close my eyes and remember.


“I’m sorry, I just don’t think I can run like that anymore.”


“Don’t be sorry, I love walking with you just as much.”


“In the morning can we go for a walk? I would like to visit the running water. I like the sound it makes.”


Taking in a deep breath I softly reply. “Anything you want Kiya.”


“Maybe the whole family will come.” There is excitement in her voice.

“I like that idea.”


Her breathing is labored, but her tail swishes with joy.


“I would love that, remember when we all went to the lake? Your little ones were so young, I had to slow down so they could keep up to me.” She lets out a sigh. “They sure grew fast.”


I start to laugh. “I remember you jumping in the trunk of the car as we were packing up to return home. Did you think we were going to leave you there?”


Sheepishly she answers. “No, I was fairly sure you wouldn’t leave me behind, but I didn't want to chance it.”


Still chuckling, she nuzzles her nose under my hand and bumps it up. Her sign that she wishes for more pets. I happily oblige.


“Jason, I was remembering when you brought me home, I was scared but you and Linda were so nice to me. I felt….safe.”

I remember going to the pound with my wife to look at puppies. There was a batch of Collie cross pups. All black and white. As I was playing with them, my wife, Linda, nudged me. Looking up we saw this little blonde ball of fluff peaking out of the cage, once we made eye contact she shot straight towards us. No hesitation, without fear. Linda held her and I knew we were in trouble.

With everything going on in our life we were not prepared for a puppy. After I said. ‘Linda I was thinking about the puppy and realize we have to make the right choice.’ Before I could finish, she blurted out. ‘Me too, we have to get that puppy.’


It was one of the best decisions I didn’t make.


“Kiya, you added ….add so much to our lives.”


When we decided to expand our family, we wondered how Kiya would react to children. But once we introduced her to, first our son, then two years later our daughter, Kiya took to being a guardian immediately. Tolerant to tugging little fingers and awkwardly placed hands onto the face, with a never-ending patience.


She looks into my eyes. “I really love when all of us are together.”


“Me too.”


“We will always be together won’t we?” There is a longing in her voice.


The sun begins it’s descent behind the trees, a red and orange glow fills the sky, basking us in a warming light. At this moment there is only the two of us, the world disappears. An organic scent of drying leaves and earth carry to us on a breeze, I watch her nose twitch as she recognizes the smells.


“Always.” I barely get the word out.


“I don’t know why. Lately I just haven’t been feeling like myself. If I have a good rest I think by tomorrow I’ll be good to go.”


“I’m sure you will be. Would you like anything?”


“Some water please.”


I stroke her fur. She is angled so the view is right in front of her. I think in her mind she sees the children on the grass, running through the sprinklers. She has this instinct to protect.

I place the dish of fresh cool water down; She laps at it. “Thank you.” She says, then lays down.


“Jason, We have been together for a long time haven’t we?”


“Not long enough.” I reply. Fourteen years doesn’t seem long, not even close.


Birds sing out their evening calls, wings spread wide as they ride upon currents of air, preparing to settle in. She fidgets, then looks at me, turns away, only to look back. I see nervousness in her eyes as she speaks.


“I do not know why, but I feel I must say something.” There is a hesitation in her voice.

“Go on, you can tell me.”

“It was me.” That is all she says.

“Was you what?” I inquire.

“When you had all those people over that time, It was me that ate that large piece of meat while no one was looking.”

“The turkey?”

“Yeah, it was delicious.”

“Well, I have a surprise for you Kiya, we knew it was you.

“Oh?”

“There was grease all over your face, plus you were the only one in the room.”

"I thought for sure I fooled you. Were you angry?"

“At first yes, but the look on your face was priceless, we had to laugh. Besides we all like pizza.”


I feel her breathing slow as she relaxes. In a far off voice she says. “I am glad I told you. Hmm, would be nice to have that again.”


“I will make you anything you want.”


“ I don’t have an appetite right now, maybe another day.”


“Of course, some other day.” I gently set her on my lap. She always liked pretending she was a lap dog.


“Are you comfortable?” I ask.


“My tummy hurts, not sure why. But I feel ok. I hope you don’t mind if I fall asleep, I’m tired.”


”Not at all, you rest, they will be home soon.”


We sit and listen to the birds, feeling the last of the suns rays peeking through the tree. My hand on her back.


“Jason, I am sorry for peeing in the house lately, I don’t even know I am doing it.”


“Don’t worry about that, it isn’t your fault.” I reassure her.


Like a sleepy child, she manages to say. “The family should be home soon. I want to see them. Maybe we can go for a little walk when they do, I am sure I’ll feel better by then. Did I mention I like when we are all together?”


I remain silent. Realizing I should have given her a brush before we went, I should have done a lot of things before we went. I hold her a little closer to me.


In a soulful voice, she whispers. “It’s getting dark.”

I lean down and kiss her brow.


The dusk sky is vibrant with a final burst of light. It is quiet now, there is only a distant sound of the water flowing. The trees are peaceful and unmoving as the dying wind settles in for the night. A calm envelopes us as another day fades away. I have so much more I want to say but cannot get my words out. Instead, we share in the comfort of being together.


Two friends.


I hear tires rolling down the road and watch our car pull into the driveway. Concerned faces peering through the window.


Smiling I whisper. “Kiya, look who’s home….Kiya?”

There is only silence. I dare a glance, her head on my lap, eyes closed.

I hope she is at peace, running - fast like the wind.


March 06, 2024 17:29

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12 comments

Tom Skye
22:22 Mar 14, 2024

Very moving story. The voice and pacing brought a lot of poignancy. Great stuff. Thanks for sharing

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Jason Basaraba
17:03 Mar 15, 2024

I enjoyed writing this, as I found it therapeutic to write. Thank you very much for the read and comment

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Jack Kimball
21:02 Mar 14, 2024

Hey Jason, Vivid descriptions really work. I like the dog talking, a unique take on the prompt to my knowledge. Buck (if you need to ask it won't make sense) spoke in his head, but not to people. Great job! Welcome to Reedsy. Jack

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Jason Basaraba
16:58 Mar 15, 2024

Thank you, and know I guess I shouldn't ask But I think I will try to find out about Buck.... I am looking forward to reading some of our works

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Jack Kimball
17:35 Mar 15, 2024

Hey Jason, I won't tell you who Buck is, but I will tell you to google 'the dog buck in american literature'. A great read if you haven't already done so. I enjoyed your story! Jack

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Jason Basaraba
18:32 Mar 15, 2024

I absolutely will be doing that, thank you

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Kristi Gott
02:37 Mar 14, 2024

Wow, very vivid and engaging, I got tears reading this since I adore dogs and I could guess what was going to happen. Excellent writing technique in telling this story.

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Jason Basaraba
16:55 Mar 15, 2024

Kristi, I appreciate your kind words it gives me encouragement to continue writing and talking part in the prompts

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Alexis Araneta
02:21 Mar 14, 2024

Jason, what a glorious first entry to Reedsy ! This was such a creative take on the prompt. I love how you gave Kiya words. Lovely descriptions too. Amazing job !

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Jason Basaraba
16:54 Mar 15, 2024

Thank you very much, I believe I will like this platform. There are some talented writers and the stories are compelling. I am anxious to become part of this group

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Jason Basaraba
20:19 Mar 11, 2024

Thank you for your kind words. I am pleased that you enjoyed the story, excepting for the actual communication the stories are all true and fond memories. Enjoy your time with your silver Lab

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Timothy Rennels
15:00 Mar 11, 2024

"Wow, mark of a good writer." I thought as your story pulled a single tear from my eye. "Damn, mark of a great story." There might be something in my eye, but it won't stop. I crawl to lay with my silver Lab and think about your story... Wow. Welcome to Reedsy Jason!

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