Van at the Dogwood Tree

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There was a strange knock on my door one afternoon in late spring. Strange only because my family and I lived in a secluded neighborhood behind a nursing home run by nuns; and we weren't very social, so visits from anyone were rare.

My father answered the door, and there were two tall, stern-faced men dressed in sterile white while standing on the other side. One of the men asked if they could come in. My father laughed and let them through. It wasn't a very inviting laugh. It was the kind of laugh he usually let out whenever he was trying to hide something.

I remember asking why, but in response, my father wagged his finger, shook his head at me, and pointed down the hallway - a silent command I obeyed. I ran to the hall, just out of the line of their sight, and pressed up against the wall, and peered over the edge every so often. The two men sat on the couch, their backs against the newly installed bay window. A bright, white light bled over them, casting a large, almost ominous shadow over their figures. My father sat straight across from them on a futon, hunched over, his hands folded and hanging off his knees.

I couldn't make out the words the three exchanged, but they seemed to be arguing. My father had his voice slightly raised, but the two other men kept monotone and poignant. My mother eventually caught on to the commotion and exited the master bedroom. She walked right passed me as if I wasn't there and joined my father.

After a time that fight like forever, my father got up and led one of the men through the kitchen and into the backyard while the other left to go through the front door. I felt frightened at the moment and I didn't realize or fully understand why. My mother walked up to the kitchen entrance and leaned against the post, and showed little to no concern at all. She usually didn't.

My fears were confirmed when the first man reentered the kitchen, dragging in my dog, Spike, by his worn, leather collar. Spike was an unusually large boxer, and the man struggled greatly against the man's grip. I stayed in the hall, planted there by pure horror, unable to speak or even cry for him. Not even a moment later, the second man returned with a large cage. The two men then helped each other to get my dog into that cage. Spike began to whimper. He looked at me through the metal wires and kept my gaze as men carried him away.

As the two men walked out the door, I immediately ran to the couch in front of the bay window and watched as the men approach the van parked in front of our dogwood tree. Tears began to well up in my eyes as one opened the back door as the other heaved the cage up and into the van, and as quickly as I felt them leave my front door, they drove off, away with my beloved dog.

My mother appeared beside me and looked out the window as I slumped deep into the couch. "He's gone now," she said simply and walked away.

"I didn't even get to say good bye," I muttered, not knowing what else to do. I flipped myself and let my head off the edge of the couch and began to cry.





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LadyJulia said...
Jan. 7, 2012 at 12:37 am
This is so sad. I am suchhhhhh an animal lover and that would just break my heart.
 
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