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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

short story

thanks to AT.

a perfect escape

A perfect escape, Buzz thought.

* * *

Sandra was horrified to find the dog dead on the bathroom floor.

As if afraid the beast would spring to life, (despite that his advanced years had long prevented any sudden movement) she cautiously nudged the thing with her foot to confirm the diagnosis.

Any pity Sandra might have had for the dog was dwarfed by her own embarrassment. After all, the dog was not hers; she was merely doing her aunt's family a housesitting favor while they vacationed in Florida.

I'm afraid Henry has died, she said to her aunt on the phone.

Oh no. Oh...but we knew this was coming. I'll tell Jill and Anthony when we return. No need to spoil their holiday.

What should I...uh, what should I do with Henry?

A pause and a sigh could be heard over the line.

There's a pet cremetory on Maple. Take one of the blank checks I left in my desk drawer and have him finished. It's only ten in the morning; I'm sure they'll be open now. No, you better go ahead and do it now. We won't be getting back for six more days.

After finalizing the dog's funerary arrangements with her aunt, Sandra called the pet crematory (Pet Cremations of Tidewater: A Sensible Alternative) to ensure Henry could be dropped off that day.

To Sandra, the thought of a dead animal in her car was revolting. She wasn't the sensitive type. I'll just take the bus, she decided. But how to transport the thing?

This won't do, she thought, tossing aside a cardboard box. She had gone into the garage hoping to find a container both big enough to hold Henry and discreet enough so no one would know a dead dog was inside.

She settled on a stained black luggage bag. With some luck, Henry fit inside quite well, although Sandra found his limbs a bit stiff.

Sandra looked at the bus schedule posted on the refrigerator. She located the bus she needed to get to Maple amongst the rows of alternating blue and light-blue travel bars. The next bus comes at eleven-twelve, she observed. The clock in the kitchen read eleven-and-seven.

Unfortunately for Sandra the nearest bus stop was three blocks away. Wanting to rid herself of the dog as quickly as possible, she hurried to her destination, finding the dog much heavier than he looked, especially when confined within such an awkward package.

However, she made it.

Whatcha got in there? asked the busdriver. Computer parts? He smiled a toothy smile.

Yes, said Sandra, panting, glad for the unexpected cover.

Sandra chose the first seat on the right side of the bus. She gladly released Henry into the aisle seat and herself sat by the window. A man in a red beanie hat looked at her strangely from the seat one back and across.

Oh god, does he know? Sandra thought. She scanned the luggage bag. The outline of a dead dog was not visible. Satisfied that the man couldn't possibly know computer parts were in fact not inside, Sandra turned to the window.

The bus roared into motion. Sandra had a few miles to ride. It was a pretty spring day and Sandra was happy she wouldn't have to care for the dog for six days. The bus stopped at a busy intersection. Sandra closed her eyes and dreamed of what television programs to watch when she returned.

Hey! she heard the busdriver shout.

Sandra looked toward the front of the bus. The busdriver had stood up and was looking out the door. Sandra looked out her window. A man in a red beanie carrying a heavy-looking black luggage bag had just vanished into a thick crowd of indifferent pedestrians.

0 footnotes: