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A Dog's Dream

A Short Story

Advancing towards me with that evil grin, a look of death in his eye; “Scott!!” My owner screams in my defense, but her words don’t do anything. He grabs me, lifting me off the ground. I can’t fight it. He walks over to the railing and hovers me over it. All I see looking down is the far away asphalt where I will die if he lets go.

“Sydney, I am doing you a fucking favor. This is a crappy dog and you will thank me later. This is for you.” His dark voice is strained. His short, dark hair is falling onto his forehead, pasted there with sweat. His hands feel rough against my fur.

Until I don’t feel his hands anymore.

In my last moments, I think back to how this all started; when I was bored, staring out the window in Sydney’s room. It shared an amazing view of a blue, clear sky this morning. The tiny black animal with wings that made a sound like Sydney’s alarm clock flew around my house, which made my eyes dance, following them around my neighborhood; the big two to three floor houses with huge navy green leaves on the trees. The middle of the cul de sac had the same trees that frame the box Sydney takes me to when she grabs a bunch of letters. The street was full of colorful and different cars, which made me remember all the exciting times I’ve ridden in one with the window down, the cold breeze rushing on my face and the smell of fresh air invading into my nostrils. And how I always saw Sydney looking at me in her side windows outside of the car, smiling at me, admiring how cute my face is with my black nose, eyes, mouth, and chest, even though the rest of my fur is blonde. She always told me she loved that about me. One of the black animals flew past the window and I found myself growing jealous of it; free outside, doing whatever they want, and of the teenage males playing with a ball and throwing it in a hoop high up in the air in their long, gravel-filled walkway up to their house, laughing and sweating, having so much fun.

Until I hit the ground. I feel all of the bones in my twenty-five pound body break, making me ache all over. I want to bark for help but I can’t move my jaw. My legs nor my head will move; I am paralyzed. I feel a warm liquid oozing out of my body, making my blond fur tinted with red, and I know this is close to the end. I see my owner looking at me from her balcony, and I see rain falling down from where she is. It isn’t rain, though, it is her tears, falling onto my tiny body like when I would try to comfort her. But I couldn’t even feel it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Scott run towards me. Scooping me up into his arms, he smiles up at Sydney. I can’t help the tiny whimper that comes out of my mouth as he jostles my broken body, shifting my shattered bones. I close my eyes. I can’t let my last memories be of this scene. This morning, I was running out of the house to get some action and I got some. The smell of maple leaves fell off a tree from a neighboring yard, which invaded my nose, and I had to stop to savor it. It was amazing. It reminded me of when Sydney used to be happy, waking up early in the morning to make bacon and pancakes with maple syrup. All the smells were overwhelming, and I couldn’t help but wonder if I was ever going to have that again with Sydney.

I stood there in a trance, when I heard a ball bounce on the ground every couple of seconds. I twisted my head to face the teenagers. I didn’t even realize I was running towards them until they noticed me getting closer by smiling at me. I heard my tags ramming into each other, creating a ringing sound every time they touched, making my presence known.

That same sound of my collar tags rang in my ears, making me come out of my head and back into the nightmare I am witnessing. Sydney stares at me while Scott takes me away to his car. She wasn’t deciding to run down from that balcony and try to save me. I don’t know if that was because she knows, on some level, I won’t be able to be saved, or she is choosing to ignore me like she has been for a while. She hasn’t been giving me walks, she hasn’t been giving me any treats, she doesn’t even pet me anymore. Come to think of it, this all started when Scott became angry at her around a month ago when he got accused of cheating. I have no idea what that is, but since Sydney didn’t have a smile on her face, I’m pretty sure it isn’t a good thing.

She used to dress in a tank top and shorts, with headphones in her ears while she listened to catchy music with words about love while giving me a walk. I was so happy, and so was she. This was the start of her being with Scott, when I only met him once and I liked him because she made him happy. I could see it on her face. But lately, she comes home, not even bothering to look at me. She makes herself some type of dinner in the tiny kitchen that only fits about two bodies at a time; usually she just pops frozen food into this small grey machine with a bunch of buttons on the side of it. It makes a loud sound and beeps even louder and stops after four dings. Then she gets dressed in her soft pajamas; the ones I love to cuddle with her in, and she goes to bed. In these moments, her eyes leak water like the faucet dripping when it isn’t turned off all the way. I try to comfort her, and I feel those droplets on my face, licking them up instinctively; they taste salty but I don’t care. She still wasn’t paying any attention to me, though. I don’t know why I thought she would come to my rescue if she hasn’t been paying attention to me, lately.

Although, since she was yelling at Scott, telling him to let me go, she still could care about me. I can’t blame her, though, for not wanting to come down and fight Scott. He is a scary guy. When he caught me today after I ran out of the house, he looked like he was about to kill me.

I came nose to nose with Scott. His face was hard to forget since he had a tattoo on his cheek of a dragon twirled up, with fire coming out of the mouth facing this guy's mouth. I didn’t know what he was thinking when he got it, because it looked pretty damn stupid. His eyes were what I was concentrating on, though. They showed a deep darkness that I had never seen before, and I knew I was in trouble.

He brought me back to the house with a slam of the back door behind us and stared at me in the eyes. 

“You are a bad dog! You are not allowed to get out! I swear to god, if you do that again, I will kill you!” 

My ears fell down, slumped over my face; I was mad and I was sad. I never wanted to disobey my owner and I felt really bad that I did. I just wanted some fun, and I didn’t want to keep feeling neglected for once. But I was stupid. I don’t deserve my owner. I was a terrible dog. I slumped down, avoiding eye contact with Scott.

“Go to your bed! Now!” He shouted. I slowly walked away and went to the soft, small, round bed, made just for me. I circled around to get comfortable and laid down, thinking about how I was a terrible dog and I should have never ran away.

My body aches as Scott throws me into the back of his car without a care in the world if I get hurt any more than I already am. I hear a snap once I hit the back seat of his car. I know it is my body, but I do not want to know where it came from. I just want to be happy again. I want to be let go. I know for sure this guy is not taking me to someone who can help, so why can’t he just help me pass? I need to be set free because I do not know how much more I can take. Scott starts talking to me. 

“How are you, little buddy?” His voice now calm and he actually seems concerned, but I know it’s a trick. “Sydney is no longer going to be there for you. You are now mine. That’ll teach Sydney for changing the locks on her house. It’ll teach her not to leave me.”

“How the hell did you get back into my house?” I heard the familiar voice I love. It was still soft, like usual, but she was being loud, so I could tell she was not that happy. I started wagging my tail and ran to where I heard the voices, not realizing at the time that I was still being stupid.

“I saw that damn dog out of your house and I didn’t see your car. I wanted to help! I know you wouldn’t want him to leave!” Scott screamed back. His nose was flared and I could see the darkness in his eyes that I observed before. His height was making my neck hurt, but I couldn’t leave. I needed to protect my owner. She was a couple inches shorter than him, even with her black curly afro lifting up off her head a couple centimeters. Her hair was bouncing on her shoulders as she raised her voice at this guy.

“I can handle him by myself. I don’t want you in my house. I don’t want you in my life. Leave me the fuck alone!” She pointed to the front door. Her flawless skin was popping because of veins in her forehead and her neck. Her nose was just like his; flared. Her jaw was set and locked. She was so angry.

“Fine. You know what? I will leave. You get what you want.” He turned, then, to look at me. I didn’t know what he was planning, but I knew it was not going to be good for anyone in this room. Not even him.

I started to back away. My owner tried to force him out by grabbing his arm and pulling him, but he didn’t take it. He pushed her off and hit her in the face, making a loud smack noise that made me leap high into the air. His gross hands reached down to grab me, but I turned my head and snapped my mouth down on his skin, taking a huge part of it into my mouth. The taste of his blood was rushing down my throat as I ran up the stairs and into my owner's room. The door to the balcony was open, so I decided to hide behind the door, hoping I would not be found.

“NO! Stop. Just fucking leave! Why are you trying to hurt Apollo? He has nothing to do with our problems! You are the one that made this relationship fail, so why don’t you stop trying to make me get a restraining order against you and just leave!” I heard them getting closer; their footsteps came into my room. My heart was beating so fast I thought it might break through my body. I couldn’t believe what was happening.

Scott walked out onto the patio, looking at me with an evil grin, exposing his perfect, straight teeth, making me want to yelp. His hand was gushing with blood, which I couldn’t be happier about. He deserved that.

I don’t deserve what he did to me. I got wrapped up in his craziness. I just wanted to have fun and have action. I feel my heartbeat slowing down as my eyelids become heavy. The car rocks me like a baby as Scott moves from lane to lane, which makes things a lot calmer for me, no matter what just happened. He keeps mumbling to himself about Sydney’s crying and choking on her words. He seemed pleased at her distress. A smile appeared on my tiny face, remembering how great my life was with Sydney, even though it was bad the last couple of months. She may feel sad about this, but I am now free. I had a great life. I just hope she knows that I am wearing the smile she gave me.

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