Dog and Me

December 27, 2009
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She turned her head, left, then right, warily watching for movement in the stationary cars. One revved its engine, and her breath quickened. She turned around, and ran back up the sidewalk, her feet pounding the pavement. She turned up a crooked pathway, and grabbed the doorknob of the shiny wooden door. It would not turn.

Stuck outside, the noise became overwhelming. A roaring that only she could hear began, and its volume became painful. Ears covered, eyes screwed shut, she sank to the ground, not able to control her legs anymore.

She shouted for someone to help. No one responded, but the noises began to fade away. Things came back into focus. Legs were controllable, and thoughts were possible.

She stood up, dusted herself off, and began her jaunt again. Backpack securely tightened on her shoulders, hat pulled over her ears, and shoes neatly tied, she crossed the street. Her steps were slow, and her eyes darted from car to car. But once on the other side, she began to breathe easier. She quietly opened a gate, leading into a young couple’s front yard.

They had never liked their neighbors, and strictly kept to themselves. Their dog sat tied to a tree everyday.
She reached for the knot holding him from freedom, and fumbled with the thick rope. As it fell to the ground, the occupants of the house turned and glanced out their window. It was the girl who was always staring at their dog. The man got up to shoo her away, to tell her to go home, but then he saw she had untied his makeshift leash. Baffled and angry, he rushed outside, but she was already heading out his front gate, leading his dog. He shouted after her, and picked up his speed.
The girl broke into a clumsy sprint, and the man’s dog loped along with her. As they reached the intersection, the noise level escalated. Her head began pounding again, and her pace slowed. Her legs shook. She shook her head, trying desperately to clear it.
The man stopped, still shouting. He was angered by the theft, but the loss of the dog was only to his gain.
The two passed ran across the street, dodging cars and angry drivers. She began to get dizzy from the screeching in her head, and her black spots started to engulf her vision, but she threw herself forward, and the ever-obedient dog matched her stride.
At one point, the whole world had disappeared, and she walked slowly down an unknown path that led to an uncertain destination. Dog led and human followed.

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