“What are you doing? Come on Ben stop being a dag. Get your butt up here”. Sasha puts one foot in front of the other as she balances on a narrow ledge.
“Man don’t call me that, says Ben. I cop enough flack from the kids at school Sasha without you having a go”.
Sasha gives Ben a gentle push. Ben was alright for a little brother. He was just one of those kids that hadn’t quite grown into their skin yet. He was tall for twelve and gawky. There was nothing to him.
“Mmm, sure didn’t look like me”, Sasha thinks to herself. “Come on Ben I haven’t got all day”!
Ben kicks the dirt and kicks a pile of gravel through the air.
“Ben come on…aaargh”.
Sasha was getting sick of it now. She wished she’d never conned him into playing hookey from school today. She looks up the road. He’s still ignoring her and now he has a stick and he’s running it along the brick fence.
Yeah that’s right world I am sulking. Dag indeed. It’s alright for Sasha. She only needs me around cause she doesn’t feel safe on her own. I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag so I don’t even get why she bothers. Aaargh sisters. Hope we don’t get busted for skipping school.
There’s a long thin pale line along the brick wall where Ben has been dragging the stick. It leaves a signature in an all too dusty and grimy back alley.
Ben gets to the end of the alley. He hears whimpering like an animal in pain. He peers through the bars of an iron fence. There, tied up against a container is a dog. The dog sees him and starts to growl.
“Sasha! Sasha! Come here. Hurry you gotta see this” Ben yells.
She is out of earshot. The dog starts bearing down on him. Snarling with its teeth and coming toward him. Drool drips through its fanged teeth. The growl turns into that of some crazed demon dog. Ben grips the bars harder.
“Sasha”! OK, maybe he is starting to get a bit terrified.
“I’m here you dag. Stop spinning out”, Sasha taunts cheekily. She follows his frightened gaze across to the demon dog but feels something totally different. Indignation.
“What bastards would tie up a dog like that. Obviously starving. You can see its ribcage. That’s just cruelty”. She swears out loud.
The table now turns. Ben’s glad he came along now. He summons up his courage. There’s something he can do. “Sasha where’s your lunch”?
The food is devoured. Every last bit. He didn’t think dogs liked custard tarts. Guess food is food.
“I’m gonna call her Sandy”, says Ben.
“Oh no no no there’s no way your getting attached to another dog Ben. This one’s crazy mad”. Sasha tries to figure out how she would explain another dog.
But funnily enough though the dog had stopped growling at them. So day after day they returned and threw more food over until Ben turns around and says “Sasha I think it’s time. Let’s rescue the dog”.
Sasha turned around with disbelief “Are you mad? This crazy dog is a guard dog it’ll eat us alive if we get too close”.
Secretly though Sasha was proud of her brother. Maybe they were tarred with the same brush afterall. Getting Ben to do anything she wanted was a tall ask at the best of times. For the first time in a long while she had to admit they made a great team. The scheme was crazy but probably just crazy enough to work. It was dangerous and adventurous, right up her alley.
Sasha gulps and hooks herself over the fence. From the top she has a good vantage point to make sure the coast is clear. She extends her arm out so Ben can focus on getting a foothold. Up and over they go.
As they approached the dog it recognises them. It’s tail wags happily back and forth. They undo the rope knotted tightly and wonder what the hell they should do next.
“If we can get the gate open let’s just make a run for it”. They high five each other with a total sense of exhilaration.
Two weeks later a letter arrives addressed to Sasha and Ben.
Dear Sasha and Ben, I received a letter from you dad about a dog that needs a home. You know we’re looking for a dog at the moment for the farm. Your dad said the dog has been through a bit of a rough time. I think the farm would be a great fit and you can come and visit her whenever you like. Lots of love, Aunty Dezzie
Many years ago I was asked if I would take on a dog at our farmhouse. It was a sad tale about a golden retriever that had been tied up at a container yard and left for dead. My friend would go past daily on her way to work and throw food before rescuing her the following week. Sandy was skin and bone when she arrived at the farm. In no time at all she was running around and eventually had a litter of puppies. She was just the most kind and loyal dog you could imagine. Treasured. I’m dedicating this short story to her.
Thanks PT Wyant for the Flash Fiction challenge. Wednesday Words #383 (4/27/2022) Prompt for today pain, a guard dog, a letter
flash fiction, short story,