Posted by: Laurel | July 19, 2009

A Tasteless Place


I ran, stumbling through the alleyways lit only by floodlamps here and there in the night. The air was thick with humidity and sickness. I wanted to go home.
Where was this place? What the…?
A hungry dog trotted into the fading light. Hopeless and diseased, the animal begged after me, whimpering with pain. It did not seem to be injured, yet would not cease it’s pleas. I reached to it’s fur and touched the creature’s coat. Not a soft one but coarse. What I expected. Sorrow was all through this night, even through the bastard’s coat.
“C’mon, boy, this way”, I called when I had walked some steps away, “Let’s go.” So we walked, the dog and I, through the gloom to a place I called home. The dog followed silently beside me and I was content.
Within reach I had my sheath for protection, in it a blade. A very sharp blade at that. I had worked on it all night when the air would provide me no comfort. I sharpened that metal until it shone even in the gloom. So tonight we came to the entrance. My dog and I. Yes, my dog. Tonight at least, he was mine.
We found that place where I kept all that I had, all that I owned. My guest shivered and sat on some pieces of cloth that could be called rugs. Carpeting! That was it!
Dog sat then lay down. I looked at his mangy fur. “Come here”, I demanded. Dog came.
I pulled a small comb out of the valise that Mama had loved, before the accident. The accident was why I was here, but that did not matter any more.
Dog stood in that place near the valise, eyeballing me. I laughed at his bravery. In this world on this night, there was much to be said for fearlessness and dog had his fair share. “Eye away, you runt, you little shit”, “I guess it’s balls you got, lots of ’em, too”, “Let me take those out of your fur!”. He submitted as if there were nothing better to do, which there wasn’t.
I began.
I combed that dog’s coat until it shone. Well at least it would have shone had there been any sun, but there was no sun, not here in this place we called home.

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