As much as I disliked Tessie, seeing the pained tears well in her eyes moved me. Her thin, pale lips flexed downward into a deep frown and began to quiver erratically sending a rippley twitch through her meaty, age-spotted jowls.
Tessie’s eyes widened expressively as she slowly edged closer, her plain blue track pants swishing softly. With a sustained effort, she stooped heavily to the floor and pressed her palms to her erstwhile companion. Her lips parted and a soft sad sigh escaped as she scooped her love into one hand and caressed tenderly with the other. When she finally looked up at me the question in her crystal-blue eyes was clear. Why?
“I didn’t mean to...” I stammered “It was an... He was right behind me and I was... I’d printed...Tessie—I’m so sorry.” And truly I was. I can’t remember the last time I was so sorry.
She looked scornfully into my eyes, and I knew she didn’t believe me. She was certain I’d murdered her dog because I didn’t like her. An electric pause sparked between us for a long moment as we both stared down at the lifeless clump in her cupped hands. The poor thing’s head lolled awkwardly between the thumb and forefinger of her left hand, its scrubby pink tongue jutting obscenely.
But it wasn't personal; it wasn't about Tessie at all. Her dog was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, a little Yorkshire Terrier puppy with a pink ribbon in its hair, its head cocked playfully to one side, just when I needed a cheap emotional release.
Opening: Matthew Heaggans.....Continuation: Anon.