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The Walk
The Walk
Published by DarkView
01-12-2017
The Walk

His feet rustled soft on the still moist leaves that the mid-day shower had left on the path. The yellow retriever ran ahead and bounded off when some noise or smell attracted its attention.

Why he had agreed to care for the dog, he didn't know. His ancient neighbor had broken her hip in the shower, and her daughter had practically shoved the animal inside his house when he opened the door. It was five in the morning when the accident occurred--god knows why the elderly insist on getting up obscenely early--and he was too groggy to fully understand the hysterical woman at his door. He must have nodded or given some other sign of aquiescence, because he was soon left wondering why a dog was in his living room.

Deciding he didn't care, he went back to bed and was awoken two hours later by the phone on the nightstand. The woman--Mildred's daughter she now clarified--apologizing profusely about the dog but not offering to come get it. When would Mildred be back? (suppose she dies?) Unknown. But please take care of Tommy. Again, she gave him no time to respond properly, citing a meeting she must get to, and hung up. The dog was sitting at the side of the bed as he put the phone back, panting. He covered his eyes with his hand and let out a very long sigh.

The Retriever rushed out into the long-grassed field out of the small wooded area they were in, startling some pigeons that flapped high and away. He followed and saw the familiar signs of the poor men that sometimes ate and slept under a big birch tree: half-burned logs and ash, empty cans and bottles in paper bags, some rotten fruit. The dog came over with something in its mouth, set it down near the remains of the fire, and began nosing through some of the cans. He walked over and saw it was the eyeless plastic face of a child's toy doll. It was smudged with dirt and he stared at it a long time as it seemed to float among the detritus, until the dog surprised him by brushing against his leg and dropping something else next to the doll's face--a revolver.

He stared at that a while too, then reached down to pick it up. As he examined its long, silver barrel and wood grip, he saw there were no signs of age on it. In fact, it looked polished. He pushed the cylinder out to look in the chamber, seeing that one of the holes held a bullet. During his examination of the weapon, Tommy the Retriever sat looking up at him expectantly, as if waiting to receive a command. He put the cylinder back in place and lowered his hand, not dropping the revolver, and looked up at the sky.

There was too much of it and it was too damn blue. That was the worst part; it wasn't really there, just illusion like most things. He turned in a full circle, not noticing that the dog had taken off down the path back the way they came. Not a cloud as far as he could see, just that goddam blue. He didn't look back down and felt the gun heavy but didn't drop it. Not now.
4 Thanks From:
Druidic (01-13-2017), miguel1984 (01-13-2017), Mr. Veech (01-12-2017), Zaharoff (05-02-2017)
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