In my compendium of short and short-short stories, EMOTIONS: Not your Mama’s ABC’s, I pick different selections which are a totally new genre in that my stories elicit maximum emotional impact using an economy of words.
One example is the very first story in the book titled My Furry Friend.
My Furry Friend
He was, without a doubt, the very best friend I ever had. Only 2.7 pounds on the day I bought him, his first taste of cool, yummy milk was taken from a 1oz. sauce ramekin. He was tiny. On the way home from the breeder’s house and the warmth and security of his dwindling family, I kept saying the name that came to me as I saw him scooting through the back yard with his brother and sister, the last two remaining pups from the litter.
Five-week old Scooter used all the warmth and energy in his body to make the climb up my chest to a nice warm neck just above. Once there, he curled up in a tight little ball and settled in for the ride to his new home.
“Hello there small and furry friend,” I cooed. “Hello Scooter!” He responded by letting out a small puff of air from his black Jujube of a nose.
The love affair was on.
Scooter went everywhere with me. We would hit the beach in the morning; avoiding crowds and allowing Scooter free reign on this whole stretch of Pacific surf for as far as he could see. Puppy paradise. Once East Beach started filling up with the usual assortment of tourists, bums, and millionaires, we would make our way home.
Feed Scooter. Check. Beer. Check. Joint. Check….
Ready for our next adventure…..
Scooter was starting to get a little pouch of a belly from being spoiled rotten, so he propped his rotund little body up on the couch arm, staring longingly at his hopeful destination. I leaned down, cupped his little butt in my hand and gently placed him on his favorite Moo Cow Blankee. It was soft, warm, and Cassie had bought it for him on his first birthday.
That made two girls that had left me in the last four months. Wonder what their problems were?
Scooter didn’t care about Cassie. Or Lisa. Or Sarah. Or Shannon. He knew without a doubt, his Dad would take care of him. On that he could always depend. As we made our way up the 101 north to Goleta, I saw a small stretch of smooth beach and not a parked car in sight. Since this alone was a rarity, I pulled over. Scooter, his head just clearing the bottom of the window, yelped as his stubby tail started wiggling uncontrollably. As I eased my ’65 Impala to a stop, the whining and excitement mounted as Scooter pawed at the armrest to get out.
“Go get ‘em boy!” I shouted. From the floorboard he leapt and landed with a small oomph. Off to the surf he bounded with the exuberance and innocence all puppies possess. We spent the next three hours by ourselves, playing in the water. After some swimming, fetch, and just plain rolling around in the sand, I glanced at my watch.
“Oh shit. We’re running late,” I said out loud. “Let’s go Scooter. Band practice.”
Six more months passed by and the reason I knew that calculation is because two more women had come and gone. But there was my little buddy Scooter with his soulful brown eyes that danced and almost made him look like he was laughing. He jumped on the couch beside me and then sort of eased his way onto my lap. As I began scratching the back of his neck, his rear right leg started kicking involuntarily.
“Kick start! Kick start!” Scooter rolled over on his back and let out a puppy-sigh that signaled the onset of sleep. I lay my head back on the cool black leather upholstery.
Off we drifted….
God has truly blessed us with animals such as cats and dogs. The problem is they just don’t live long enough. I don’t imagine I will ever be without a dog. I absolutely love them. They are the most loyal and appreciative of beings and cute beyond words.
I bristled and twitched, awakened by a little pink tongue eagerly wetting my right cheek. Someone was hungry as indicated by the Stubby Tail Food Dance.
Scooter barked at the intruder as I opened the pantry door. I instinctively ducked as I saw a shadow looming, but my head exploded and darkness descended.
I was out cold for over an hour. As the din subsided, an insufferable pounding forced my eyes shut. I stumbled to my feet and ran to the open back door.
“Scooter!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. I could feel dried blood crack on my skin as I shouted. My little buddy was nowhere in sight. Blindly, I rushed through the dark to find him. At that single, solitary moment, all I could think about was my puppy’s safety. I crossed the street into a neighborhood foreign to me, and as my eyes adjusted to the night, my heart jumped.
“Scooter!” I shouted in glee as I approached my little boy.
As I gazed skyward, one single, solitary thought screamed in my head and has every day from that day forward: I will never rest until I find the cold-hearted bastard that slit the throat of my furry little friend, leaving him to die here cold, alone, and afraid, in a strange, dark place.