Dog Days

 Momma burst into my bedroom, an accusing look on her face.  “Billy, you take Brutus out yet?” 


“Mmmph.”


“Billy, when we got that dog, you promised me you was gonna’ take care of him.”  Momma began enumerating my sins upon her fingertips.  “You was gonna’ feed him.  You was gonna’ walk him.  You was gonna’ pick up his doo from the yard.” 


I rolled onto my stomach; returned to my video game.


“You mark my words, child.  You gonna’ come back as a dog in your next life.  Then you'll see what it's like.”


“Catholics don’t believe in reincarnation, Momma.  You’re going to go to hell.”







Momma’s voice softened.  “I ain’t going nonesuch place, Billy.  I was just fooling with you.”


I grinned.  Momma didn’t like talk of hell and sin. 


“I’ll tell you one thing, though, that dog’s going to pee right on my brand new-carpet and then you’ll see me angry.”
“After I finish this game.”


Momma grunted.  “You don’t start taking care of that dog, Billy, I swear I’ll take him to the pound.  Let someone responsible take care of him.”


“You can’t take Brutus to the pound, Momma.  No one in their right mind would adopt that crazy dog.  He’d just…They’d give him the needle, Momma.” 


“Wouldn’t be my fault, now, would it?”  Momma nodded and crossed her arms.


I rose from the bed and went to the garage for the leash.  Brutus skittered into the kitchen and began whirling around in circles.  He barked twice and continued spinning. 


Momma laughed.  “Looks like he’s tap-dancing out a message in Morse code on them yellow tiles.  When’d you feed him last, anyhow?  He’s acting hungry, too.”  Momma crossed the kitchen to Brutus’s water bowl.  “That poor dog.  Nothing to drink, neither.  Billy, it's the middle of summer, what are you thinking?”


I snapped the leash on his collar and headed out.  Despite the dark, it was still hot outside.  I yanked on Brutus’s collar to speed him along down the sidewalk.


When I returned, Momma was sitting on the living room couch, a pile of mending beside her, the eleven o’clock news on low in the background.  “Night, Momma.”


She glanced up, pulling the needle through the fabric of the shirt on her lap.  “Good night, son.  See you tomorrow.”


* * *


“Brutus!”  Momma’s voice was livid.  She shook her finger at the mess on the floor.  “I told that boy you was gonna’ pee on my new rug.”  She looked around the house.  “Now where did that boy get to, anyway?  Billy?  Billy!”  She shook her head.  “I got me a lazy son, is what I got, Brutus.”  She snapped a leash to the collar around my neck and gave a tug.  “I’m taking you to the pound.  See if I care if you get the needle.”


I braced my front legs. 


Momma pulled.  "Oh, no you don't."  Momma dragged me across the yellow tiles and out the front door.  She hauled me into the front seat of her Chevette.  She backed out of the driveway and slowly drove to the pound, determined tears streaming down her cheeks the whole time. 


And as hard as I tried to tell Momma it was me; it was Billy who sat beside her, my words came out as a series of of strangled and desperate barks.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Billy Flynn challenged me with "You wake and find yourself transformed into an animal. Close your eyes and listen to Blitzen Trapper's "Furr" if you're needing a little inspiration http://www.spin.com/audio/download/33803/03+Furr.mp3" and I challenged Tara Roberts with "You're the janitor at the local school. Tell me what you think about when you clean up after the kids."

This post was also linked here:

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Dog Days

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dog Days

 Momma burst into my bedroom, an accusing look on her face.  “Billy, you take Brutus out yet?” 


“Mmmph.”


“Billy, when we got that dog, you promised me you was gonna’ take care of him.”  Momma began enumerating my sins upon her fingertips.  “You was gonna’ feed him.  You was gonna’ walk him.  You was gonna’ pick up his doo from the yard.” 


I rolled onto my stomach; returned to my video game.


“You mark my words, child.  You gonna’ come back as a dog in your next life.  Then you'll see what it's like.”


“Catholics don’t believe in reincarnation, Momma.  You’re going to go to hell.”







Momma’s voice softened.  “I ain’t going nonesuch place, Billy.  I was just fooling with you.”


I grinned.  Momma didn’t like talk of hell and sin. 


“I’ll tell you one thing, though, that dog’s going to pee right on my brand new-carpet and then you’ll see me angry.”
“After I finish this game.”


Momma grunted.  “You don’t start taking care of that dog, Billy, I swear I’ll take him to the pound.  Let someone responsible take care of him.”


“You can’t take Brutus to the pound, Momma.  No one in their right mind would adopt that crazy dog.  He’d just…They’d give him the needle, Momma.” 


“Wouldn’t be my fault, now, would it?”  Momma nodded and crossed her arms.


I rose from the bed and went to the garage for the leash.  Brutus skittered into the kitchen and began whirling around in circles.  He barked twice and continued spinning. 


Momma laughed.  “Looks like he’s tap-dancing out a message in Morse code on them yellow tiles.  When’d you feed him last, anyhow?  He’s acting hungry, too.”  Momma crossed the kitchen to Brutus’s water bowl.  “That poor dog.  Nothing to drink, neither.  Billy, it's the middle of summer, what are you thinking?”


I snapped the leash on his collar and headed out.  Despite the dark, it was still hot outside.  I yanked on Brutus’s collar to speed him along down the sidewalk.


When I returned, Momma was sitting on the living room couch, a pile of mending beside her, the eleven o’clock news on low in the background.  “Night, Momma.”


She glanced up, pulling the needle through the fabric of the shirt on her lap.  “Good night, son.  See you tomorrow.”


* * *


“Brutus!”  Momma’s voice was livid.  She shook her finger at the mess on the floor.  “I told that boy you was gonna’ pee on my new rug.”  She looked around the house.  “Now where did that boy get to, anyway?  Billy?  Billy!”  She shook her head.  “I got me a lazy son, is what I got, Brutus.”  She snapped a leash to the collar around my neck and gave a tug.  “I’m taking you to the pound.  See if I care if you get the needle.”


I braced my front legs. 


Momma pulled.  "Oh, no you don't."  Momma dragged me across the yellow tiles and out the front door.  She hauled me into the front seat of her Chevette.  She backed out of the driveway and slowly drove to the pound, determined tears streaming down her cheeks the whole time. 


And as hard as I tried to tell Momma it was me; it was Billy who sat beside her, my words came out as a series of of strangled and desperate barks.


For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Billy Flynn challenged me with "You wake and find yourself transformed into an animal. Close your eyes and listen to Blitzen Trapper's "Furr" if you're needing a little inspiration http://www.spin.com/audio/download/33803/03+Furr.mp3" and I challenged Tara Roberts with "You're the janitor at the local school. Tell me what you think about when you clean up after the kids."

This post was also linked here:

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49 Comments:

At February 26, 2012 at 4:57 PM , Anonymous TLanceB said...

Amazing transformation. I mean yeah, the last line reveals a lot, but I was so into the mannerisms, speech, and blocking. Well done, K. I mean, just so well done.

 
At February 26, 2012 at 7:33 PM , Anonymous Cindy Brown said...

That was good!

 
At February 27, 2012 at 2:39 AM , Anonymous Elizabeth Young said...

Wow, this has an interesting twist. I don't know how you manage to write such good stories in response to such crazy challenges, but you always do. Well done!

 
At February 27, 2012 at 5:31 AM , Anonymous Tara R. said...

I think I need to take my dog for a walk today. Wonderful treatment of your prompt.

 
At February 27, 2012 at 9:38 AM , Anonymous Novemberraindrop said...

This was a good read. I like the diction you used for Momma, it makes her come to life. But poor Brutus, did he ever get a bowl of water? :-)

 
At February 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous jaum said...

Tough challange... Good read and your signature "Kicker" last Line. I felt Billies pain... and fear... and frustration. I'm going to listen closer to our dog...Else I may end up on the wrong end of a needle.

 
At February 27, 2012 at 7:27 PM , Anonymous jesterqueen1 said...

Oh holy moly! The foreshadowing was all there, but I didn't see it coming. The dialect was perfect, and my sense of horror couldn't have been greater. Kafka would be proud.

 
At February 27, 2012 at 10:05 PM , Anonymous billy_flynn said...

Great job with the prompt Kelly! Your dialect was very good, I always know because I find myself reading the words out loud so I can hear how they sound, love the twist!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 4:56 AM , Anonymous Mayor Gia said...

Yikes! Creepy twist! Nice job, I didn't see it coming..

 
At February 28, 2012 at 6:33 AM , Anonymous Columbibueno said...

So glad that Momma couldn't touch the animal, just the person. A feel good story -- for me!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 7:33 AM , Anonymous Nick Rolynd said...

Nice. Thanks for linking up! Great twist. =)

 
At February 28, 2012 at 7:35 AM , Anonymous Alison@Mama Wants This said...

That was really good, liked how you built it up.

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading, Alison!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:15 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I feel sorry for Momma. Not feel-good for me at all. Thanks for reading.

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Just realized I used your name - Not intended! Thanks for reading and another great prompt.

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:18 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading! I didn't see it coming, either. Yipe!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:20 AM , Anonymous Seasidesmores said...

Somehow it did not surprise me that Billy became the dog. Nicely done though. I would have read more.

 
At February 28, 2012 at 8:57 AM , Anonymous Lenore Diane said...

Very nice! Every child wanting a dog should read this as a warning. :)

 
At February 28, 2012 at 9:06 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Oh no! I'd hate to scare a little kid with this story. Thanks for reading!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 9:06 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading.

 
At February 28, 2012 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous katieross83 said...

I should have probably read this as a child. I may have been more responsible if I had. Great story with a great twist!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 11:15 AM , Anonymous Bottleinfrontofme said...

I have anew puppy in the house. They are a lot of hard work and responsibility. Nice post. ;-)

 
At February 28, 2012 at 11:26 AM , Anonymous Megan Lawing said...

You did AMAZING! Excellent writing! Good job!!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 12:07 PM , Anonymous Steeven said...

I love your dialogue!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Ado said...

I think every kid who wants a puppy should read this. Well done!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 2:20 PM , Anonymous jlweinberg said...

Well written and great story pacing! I enjoyed it :)

 
At February 28, 2012 at 4:43 PM , Anonymous January said...

Loved it. The dialogue...everything. Well done!!!

 
At February 28, 2012 at 7:29 PM , Anonymous Daisy Nguyen said...

Hilarious. I had to read it twice to see that Billy was the dog, but once I got it, HILARIOUS.

 
At February 29, 2012 at 4:00 AM , Anonymous The Lime said...

Aha! I love that song and love this piece. You just really capture this transformation in character and it's simultaneously funny and tragic. Beautiful work -- my favorite so far.

 
At February 29, 2012 at 7:33 AM , Anonymous Stacey Adams said...

My stomach fell when I reached the part where Momma dragged "Billy" across the yellow tiles and out the front door. Well done.

 
At February 29, 2012 at 8:36 AM , Anonymous Leo said...

LOL :D I got to agree with Stacey here! That part was much fun! Beautiful write, Kelly!

 
At February 29, 2012 at 10:08 AM , Anonymous SisterhoodOfTheSensibleMoms said...

Wow. I really enjoyed the ride you took me on. A lot can happen in the space of "***." Ellen

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:13 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Ha! I use *** a lot. And, yes, a lot can happen between. Thanks for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:13 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:14 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks - In our first house, my husband and I had these horrible yellow tiles in the kitchen. I hated them, but they worked well here.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:14 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:14 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:15 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

I'm glad the dialogue worked for you. Thank you for reading.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:15 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading. Poor Billy. But I wonder what happened to Brutus?

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks, Steeven! This one was fun to write.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:16 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thank you for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Tons of work! I keep telling my kids NO MORE PETS. Somehow, that never seems to work out.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 4:17 AM , Anonymous kgwaite said...

Thanks for reading!

 
At March 1, 2012 at 11:37 AM , Anonymous Kim said...

What a surprising turn of events, deftly conveyed.

 
At March 1, 2012 at 5:48 PM , Anonymous Shelley said...

I had a feeling Billy would get a taste of what Momma was trying to warn him about! Great story.

 
At March 4, 2012 at 4:35 AM , Anonymous Nora Peevy said...

How sad. I hate pounds. :( Hopping for Writer's Edge. I have the second part of a short story, The Telling Place up on my blog for the link this week. A great little story about misbehaving children and some unconventional behavioral therapy.

I liked your tone in this one.

-Nora
http://norabpeevy.blogspot.com/2012/03/serial-sunday-telling-place-part-ii.html

 

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