into my bedroom, an accusing look on her face.
“Billy, you take Brutus out yet?”
“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.”
“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
“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.
“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.”
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
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."
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Labels: Fiction Indie Ink