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Photograph in the Closet
Addison stared at her Grandma’s house for the last time. It was moving day. The stairs were too difficult for Grandma to climb now. Taking a deep breath, Addison looked at all of the furniture. “This is going to be so much work!” She thought.
“Grandma? It’s me, Addison,” Addison called.
“Addison! Oh, come here honey, give me a squeeze!” Addison’s grandmother laughed.
“I can’t believe you’re moving Grandma! You have lived here as long as I can remember!”
“I have never lived anywhere else! Anyway, are you ready to help out?”
“Yes. Where should I start?”
“I have a closet in the back hall. I can’t bend over to reach everything. Start there. I’ll make us some hot chocolate.”
Addison stared at the closet. She opened it, and bounced back as hats, blankets, and other things fell out. She began to organize everything into piles.
Addison reached into the closet, and her fingers touched a cold, sharp object. She pulled it out, and it was a picture frame. On it was a creature. “What is this?” It had floppy ears, big eyes, a black nose, a long snout with a big pink tongue lolling out, and curly fur. Addison took the picture out of the frame to get a better look. On the back, it read, “Ruffles, date: February 23, 2036.”
“Here’s your hot chocolate!” Grandma announced and walked to Addison.
“Grandma, what is this creature?” Addison asked, genuinely curious.
“Oh! That was Ruffles. I loved her dearly, oh, I was only a girl!” Grandma gushed.
Addison looked at Grandma. “Yes, but what is it?”
“Oh, sorry. That is a dog.”
“A dog? Forgive my ignorance, Grandma, but what is a dog?”
“A wonderful creature. An animal filled with love. A loyal pet who risks its life for its owner.”
“Wow! Sounds nice. What happened to Ruffles Grandma?”
“Did I ever tell you about the … hard times? Well the president at the time, Dorian, was a little delusional. He felt it was the right thing to do to ban dogs. Poor Ruffles was a victim.”
“President Dorian really, truly believed that dogs were possessed by evil spirits. All dogs he met bit him on the hand. He thought they were out to get him,” Grandma paused.
“Go on Grandma!”
“Yes, sorry. So the president involved the military, any person who owned a dog would be forced to give the dog to them, and the dog would be killed immediately. If you tried to save your dog, well, you would be punished. Addison, did you ever see this?”
Grandma turned her hand over, revealing a long, deep scar. It was purple.
“I tried to save Ruffles. I got my hand slit, and Ruffles was killed right in front of me.”
“How old were you?’
“I was twelve. I loved that dog more than anything. I would have done anything to save her. Unfortunately, that was not enough.”
“So a rebellion started. I tried to help, but I was too young. They were just dogs, but oh, they were loved dearly. Many people were killed, including my parents. My grandmother lived in my house to care for me. And I never saw a dog again.”
Addison looked up. Grandma was crying.
“I kept Ruffles’s picture in my room, but seeing her made it hard to push the memories away. So she’s been in my closet ever since.”
“I’m sorry Grandma,” Addison said awkwardly.
“It’s alright. I found happiness; I learned that death is part of life. And now, I have a family.”
“Don’t sell your house. For Ruffles.
“We’ll see Addison. We’ll see.”