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The carcass of a black Labrador retriever was lying pitifully in the middle of the street with it's paws limp an its side. It's fur was damp with rain. Stacey’s heart became heavy at the sight of the poor creature dead on the street. Daniel drove around the dog to spare the three of them from the crack of bones and squishing of flesh.
"I used to have a dog like that. Named him Major after my father's military rank," Andrew said taking a breath between sentences.
"What happened to him?" Stacey asked trying to start a conversation to make her forget about their predicament.
"Died of natural causes, he lived a full life." She nodded in understanding. Stacey once found an injured stray Rottweiler puppy while coming home from school. She brought the puppy to her house and nursed it back to health. Her father was not excited over there being a new mouth to feed. Stacey had been afraid that her dad would force her to get rid of the dog. He allowed her to keep him as long as he wasn't a nuisance and barked at night.
Stacey was concerned about that. She could read in her fathers bloodshot eyes that he was counting on the puppy to make noise for an excuse to throw him out once and for all. The puppy seemed to know that in order to have a home he had to be as silent as a mouse, because he never so much as barked once in the night. She named the puppy Whisper, because of his mysterious silence. He was the only dog in the neighborhood that didn't bark during unnecessary times.
The puppy had bonded with her faster than its injuries healed. Her father forbade her to feed it anything but left over food scraps. When he one day caught her feeding the puppy dog food he threw a fit. It took him a while to convince him that one of the few friends she had gave her the food. She hadn't spent a penny on the dog food.
As the days went by Whisper seemed to grow bigger every day. Stacey greeted the animal when she returned home from school. The joy she felt from her new companion was short lived. On a weekend during the springtime Stacey was playing a game of catch with the now medium sized Rottweiler. Stacey had heard a familiar sputtering engine coming fast down the road, but was having so much fun that she had thought little of it.
Whisper had run onto the cracked concrete driveway and was wagging his tail enthusiastically waiting for Stacey to throw the squashy red ball to him. A rusted gray metal beast rammed into her best friend before the ball even reached where he had been happily dancing around. She had screamed the moment the truck threw her dog against the side of her house.
Whisper had been lying on his side against the wall. Stacey had croutched down next to him and stoked the side of his head. Whisper had turned to look at her and whimpered. Stacey had whispered, "This was how I met you remember. I'm going to help you through this again." But, deep down inside she knew it was only a matter of time.
Whisper had strained to push his head toward Stacey and licked her hand. Then he locked eyes with her until the moment he died and his only reflected her saddened face. The hand that the dog had licked was covered in blood that had flowed from the dogs mouth. She wiped it on the ground, and then she cried while her dads drunk friend laughed.
She could still hear his cackling words, "That's driveway kill for you girl!" The man didn't stop there he told her dad about what had happened. He could have cared less about the dog. Her father had ordered her to dispose of the dogs body and clean up any mess that may be on the side of the house. She did but only beacuse she didn't want any scavengers to feed on Whispers body.
She buried him in a spot with the greenest grass in the entire lawn. A happy spring day ended for Stacey and times she considered dark and depressing came. Stacey closed her eyes. Back then she had no idea what dark times really were. Today she was living it.
Through the trucks windshield she saw the clouds blacken before her yes. Another storm was coming.