The Dog Ran

This is a short fiction piece that stemmed from the title phrase that stuck in my head for a few days, the result was this story, written originally in my journal, and subsequently edited for online publication.

The dog ran towards the fence, and I followed him.  Again, like I did when I was twelve.  This time was a lot like that time, a little bit of running away,and a lot of running towards.  It seems like I was always running towards something.

*  *  *

When I was just a little boy, it wasn’t the schoolyard bully that frightened me, it was my uncle Tom.  Uncle Tom lived with us, and shared a room with my ma.  My dad left us when I was just three, so I have no real memory of him, I only know that uncle Tom was always at home.  I don’t know what he did while I was in school, I only knew he was there when I left in the morning, and he opened the door when I got home in the afternoon.

Mom went to work as I was getting up in the morning, and often returned home only as my sister and I set the table for supper.  My sister, Laura, went to high school, and took the “big bus” at the same time as I took my school bus.  But she stayed after school for clubs, which is what I would be able to do the next year, I hoped.

Between 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock is what uncle Tom called our “Little Boy’s Time.”  I didn’t like it.  Uncle Tom told me that it was normally for boys and their daddy’s, but because I didn’t have one, he had to take over.  Because it was “Little Boy’s Time,” I wasn’t allowed to mention it to ma or Laura, even if I wanted to.  Also, because it was supposed to be for boys and their dads, I couldn’t tell my friends at school, or I’d get in trouble.

I still thought it was wrong, and knew I had to go to high school, so I could stay after school.  Only if ma let me though.

Laura was three years ahead of me, and I wanted so much to catch up, to maybe play soccer, or basketball, anything after school so I didn’t have to do “Little Boy’s Time”

Whenever it was that time, we had to lock our dog, Buster, in the workshop.  Uncle Tom said he was a distraction.  I reluctantly agreed to locking him up, but I wanted him around afterwards, when I cried.

It was almost summer when Buster managed to break out of the workshop.  It was the best day of my life.  “Little Boy’s Time” was never fun for me, and I always tried to find a way out of it, and that day was no exception, but uncle Tom was even more angry than ever before.  I thought we was going to hurt me more than he ever had.

That’s when the door to the workshop crashed open, and Buster leaped at uncle Tom.  Buster bit him so hard that uncle Tom screamed loud enough for the neighbors to hear.  He was bleeding a lot, from a bad bite, but uncle Tom didn’t move.  He seemed frozen in place, holding himself to keep from bleeding.  Buster left him there and ran out othe back door of our house, and I followed.  We ran as fast as possible, and I’ve never looked back.

*  *  *

That was almost twenty years ago, and here I was running after another dog, Blacky this time, only now I was running towards something, not away.

Laura jumped out of her SUV with her husband Tyler and their 2 children.  They were here for summer vacation again.  Blacky jumped around the twins and I hugged my big sis.  She had told me years before about “Little Girl Time,” and how she used her after school activities to protect herself, much as I wanted to do.  She ran too, after me, and we helped ma get out from the thumb of “uncle Tom.”  He’d be in jail for a few more years, and didn’t know where we all lived, which was good, very good indeed.

Noble Intentions

With all good books, come a few not so good ones, and sometimes it’s just a change in focus that can be appreciated by some, but not by all.  A little while ago I mentioned that I had started reading “Noble Beginnings” and was eager to write a commentary on it.  It turned out to be a very good book, written by L.T. Ryan, and I immediately started looking forward to the next book in the series, “A Deadly Distance.”  Sadly, I was disappointed by the way it started, and couldn’t get much further than the first couple of chapters.  So I’ve put it aside, for now, and will return to it at a later date.

Truth be told, there are a few books that I’ve had to do this.  And those that have been sitting aside, were eventually read with a fresh outlook, and generally really enjoyed.  So I’m still hopeful for “A Deadly Distance”

But really, let’s get to the one that started it all, and was, in my mind, a really good book, and really well written, “Noble Beginnings”.  This is obviously the start of something, and the main character, Jack Noble, turns from a life in military intelligence.  Well, this book actually focuses on his last (maybe first?) foray in Iraq, and what happens to turn him out of the military.  He’s put in a bad position of having to defend himself for something he hadn’t done, get’s framed for murder and assorted crimes, and is put on the run from the law.  Noble or not, he’s in a lot of trouble, and has to work his way out, and find out what hands are holding the strings on the puppets that are after him.

It’s quite the chase, from Iraq, to America, and from North Carolina to Washington DC, and seemingly all over the east coast.  His quest, with his partner Bear, to prove their innocence and find those responsible takes many turns that would exhaust just about anyone.  And it was a book that proved difficult to stop reading, late nights turned into very early mornings while I read the book, and had me finishing it in record time.  It also left me quite sleepy after it all!

Next, as you know, I read “A Dance with Dragons” which I enjoyed and twisted my insides a bit for my favorite characters.  I also read the classic “War of the Worlds” by H. G. Wells, nothing more need be written about this, as everything that can be said has already been said, a true masterpiece, too bad the recent movie didn’t quite bring it to life with the same feel as the original book.

Also, over my winter vacation, I read a few other books, and just finished a series by B.B. Griffith called the Tournament.  More on these over the next few days.

**Something new!

Over the next little while I will be opening a new section of the blog for original writings by yours truly, short pieces that come to me in my sleep, or somesuch.  Look for the “Writings” tab for these.