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A Man and His Dog

Short story By: Matthew James
Other



A short story about a man, recalling the effects from a recent storm...


Submitted:Jan 21, 2014    Reads: 30    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


A Man and His Dog

The cold air breathes as the hairs on my neck stand up. The cold is not new to me, living up North. The fields around me are dull, brown and dead. The winter has made its mark and soon, the rain will pour constantly, wrecking the remaining crops that survived the storm. Not much did survive though. Fifty yards away from me is the roof of the barn, resting out of place on the cold, lifeless grass.

The barn itself is still partially standing, west of my current position. I ponder life and its meaning as I perch myself on a rock in the centre of the farm. I don't read the news; I can't read and I don't watch TV so I gather my information through common sense. People have lost their pride and possessions during the storm.

I believe the best way to cope is to be alone. If you have nobody to lose then you won't lose anything when nature comes calling. The clouds start to form a pattern and the wind picks up. My long grey hair sways, still ringing wet from the floods and the sweat. The goatee beard on my chin sticks out, slowly starting to dry. They say the storm will continue through to the end of the month.

I found this out from the vicar. He came down two nights ago in the pouring thunder storm to warn me, holding his wooden, rotting walking stick and his creased yellow rain mach. He prayed for me and warned me of the storm's affects. He is the only person I have seen this month. Nobody visits the farm; yes it's better to be alone.

I make a profit by harvesting the foods grown and taking them to the small town, twelve miles away from the farm. I've lost that now as well. The farm house I have lived in for fifty years is half ruined, the doors and windows smashed through and still flooded. I seek no refugee and over the past couple of hours I have come to accept the truth. The farm- the home I have lived in since I was seven is gone.

The sanctuary in which I confide in has gone- along with the memories. My mother raised me alone after my father overdosed in the bar up in the town. I never missed him; he was worthless. It was always me and my mother. Then came the time when she had to move on. She had been ill but she died peacefully in her sleep at the age of seventy-eight. That's the best way.

A gentle drizzle softly hits my face and I remember why I am here. I stare down as I hold her close. I stroke her wet hair and close her eyes, realising she has gone. I'm gonna miss you girl. I dug the hole earlier this morning and I gently place her down, covering her with the wet mud of the earth. For the next twenty minutes, I take my time to fill the hole and cover her properly. I finally head back into the barn and return with a wooden cross and her favourite bone.

I retrieve my pocket knife and begin carving into the dry wood. 'R.I.P. Grace- Gone but never forgotten.' I said earlier I had nobody in my life; that I was all alone. I lied; with a life of solitude and loneliness, there is always room for a man's best friend. Goodbye old girl, I'll miss you.





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