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Writing Fiction - Chapter 14
Here's where Chapter 13 left you.
I’d made us both a quick lunch and then Edgar had retired to his new doggie bed in exhaustion. Oddly, though, I hadn’t been worn out at all.
I fired up the laptop and prepared to work on my blog. And frustratingly I was right back at my struggle with alliteration.
Eager Edgar had sounded a bit like a porn name to me. Not that I knew much about stuff like that. Really. I’m not just saying that. Finally I settled on ‘Everything Edgar’, registered it, and set out to find a new background more appropriate for my little doggie friend.
And, now, the story continues...
Finding a canine background turned out to be a lot easier than the struggle I’d to find one for ‘mylifeinsideanoyster’. When I previewed my selection, I was so happy with the way it looked, I let out a little squeal of happiness. Edgar came running into the kitchen immediately. I picked him up and showed him the screen. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t impressed, but since my blog was going to be about him I figured he should see it, too.
Then we grabbed the new leash and a poo pick-up bag and headed outdoors for a celebratory walk.
It had been a really beautiful day. Walking around the block, I was surprised to see how many people stopped to talk to Edgar. And when they had talked to Edgar, they also talked to me. “What a sweet little guy,” people commented. “Awwww…” others said when they passed by. Two people walking less cute dogs stopped, and while the dogs sniffed each other, we talked about the weather, winter coming and training dogs. I was totally, completely, wonderfully anonymous. They knew nothing of my story. They had absolutely no clue how messed up I was. The only opinion they had was about my dog poo pick-up bags. Apparently I could just use the plastic bag from your groceries for the same purpose! Who knew!
For the first time in a long while, as I walked back in the kitchen door, I felt almost happy. So happy, in fact, after I put the tea kettle on, I picked up the phone to call my daughter and tell her the news.
She picked up on the second ring and sounded like she was getting a cold. I was so excited about Edgar, I forgotten to fuss over her. I rambled on and on about the vet’s office and how surprised I was that Edgar was actually a ‘real’ dog.
Jessie seemed surprised when I called him a ‘real’ dog. “Mom,” she’d said in a stuffy, little voice, “Of course, he’s a real dog. Did you think he was a cat wearing a disguise or something?” I thought to myself she was really being a little smarty pants, but I went on to quickly explain that Edgar was a Cairn Terrier and the vet had thought he might even be a show dog. I started to tell her about the poo pick-up bags when she interrupted me, “Did Edgar have a micro-chip then, Mom?”
I told her the vet had been really surprised Edgar wasn’t chipped, and I started to tell her about changing the “mylifeinsideanoyster” blog to one called “Everything Edgar” when she interrupted, yet again.
Why hadn’t my husband taught that girl better manners before he went on his ‘eternal road trip’?
What she asked me next, though, chilled me to the bone. “Mom? He didn’t have a collar or a tag or anything on, did he?”
With a little shiver I remembered the metal disk I’d found in his fur when I’d bathed him. I couldn’t quite recall what I’d done with it.
We continued our phone conversation for a few more minutes and then I walked over to the kitchen cabinet and knocked loudly on it. Edgar cooperated with the deception by barking loudly. “Jessie, I have to go, someone’s at the door! I’ll call you back!”
Then I trudged up the stairs to my bathroom slowly. Edgar bounced all around my feet. So much for dogs sensing their owners worries.
It only took me a moment to find the little metal disk on the edge of the tub. Reluctantly, I picked it up and held it between my fingers. The metal was cold. At the top of the small disk, a little wire loop was still threaded through a drilled hole.
Yes, this was an official dog tag. How it had gotten off a dog collar and stuck in Edgar’s fur was beyond me, but then I remembered how scruffy, dirty and unkempt my little friend had been when I found him.
I rubbed my thumb over the disk and could feel the roughness of words engraved onto one side. Reaching slowly to the top of my head, I realized my reading glasses were missing. I quickly patted the front of my shirt to see if I’d hung them on the ‘V” of my blouse.
It is difficult for me to admit this, but I am forever losing my reading glasses. I have about thirty-seven pairs of them and can never find a single pair when I need them.
I decided, in this instance, to take this as a cosmic sign that I wasn’t supposed to read Edgar’s tag. I quickly tossed it into the bathroom trash can and then threw a few Kleenex tissues on top. Out of sight, out of mind, right?
Even though I went back downstairs and tried to work on Edgar’s blog I couldn’t get that little disk of cold metal out of my head.
Edgar wasn’t interested in another walk, so I tried watching some mindless TV. The weird thing was that everything on TV was about dogs! I’m not kidding you. There was a crazy guy with platinum blonde spiky hair on a cooking show making “Killer Chili Dogs”! The commercials all had dogs in them. Even Little House on the Prairie, you know… Michael Landon, pioneer courage … had dogs running all over the pioneer prairies. When I scrolled past Lassie reruns for the third time, I realized I needed to find my reading glasses and see what was written on the dog tag.
“Pearl,” I told myself firmly, “You’re cupcaking out here. Maybe it’s not even Edgar’s tag. Maybe another dog was standing by him and its tag got tangled up in Edgar’s fur. I’m sure that’s what happened.”
Armed with big, fat implausible denial, I found my reading glasses and trudged back upstairs. After excavating the tag from beneath the Kleenex, it gleamed in the overhead bathroom light. Putting on my glasses, I turned it over and read the word, “Spot” along with a local phone number.
Spot. Spot? SPOT!?! Hurray. My big, fat implausible denial looked like it might be reality after all. Who would name a golden, little, non-spotted terrier Spot?!?
I was absolutely, totally and completely convinced that it couldn’t be Edgar’s dog tag, but just to be sure I went to the top of the stairs and shouted, “Here Spot! Here Spot!” and Edgar came running.
Surely that had to be a mistake. I was certain he’d just heard my voice and came to find me, so while he was nosing around on the upstairs landing I snuck into my bathroom. Very quietly I whispered, “Here Spot!” and he didn’t come.
I told myself that proved it was another dog’s tag, but as I was leaving the bathroom I caught sight of my face in the mirror. I was ashamed to see the face of a possible dog theif so I called out “Here Spot!” again and Edgar came dashing through the doorwaw, looking as excited as I do in a cupcake shop.
Darn. Darn, Darn, Darn.
Spot? Spot! Oh Edgar.
To be continued, Tuesday, December 14th.
(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
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