A Dog and His Boy

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

A magic carpet ride of a lifetime navigated by a trusted friend.

Submitted: November 25, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 25, 2017




The boy squinted his eyes as he peeked over the edge. His face, blasted by the wind, made it hard to see clearly. His knuckles, white with a death grip, held on to the fringed edge of what looked increasing like his grandmother’s tapestry that use to hang in their living room. The world far below him was a dark landscape. Dots of light in large groups scattered and broken up by large bodies of water filled the boy’s vision. Bobby was somewhat comforted by the faded odor of his long passed grandfather’s pipe tobacco in the old rug. Squirming a bit, annoyed by his scrunched up pajama top, the boy made his woven conveyance sway side to side. Bobby heard a low growl behind him. He turned over on his back slowly and straightened his errant top. The night sky seemed to ape the view from below with it’s scattered dots of light and large patches of darkness. Bobby then found the source of the low growl. It looked like his scruffy little brown and white terrier Sir Douglas or “Doogie” as he was mostly called, on the other end of the former wall art wearing an azure turban with a mother of pearl scarab pin.

“How noble you look, Sir Douglas.” Bobby said.

The canine swami didn’t reply. But with his deep brown eyes straight forward and his star burst chest pushed out, the little dog seemed to be in charge of their course. Comforted by this, Bobby resumed his prone position and spied the night.

From his lofty perch the next thing he spotted was an old log truck making it’s way through the woods. From inside the cab Bobby could hear the voice of a child and the driver singing about a bullfrog and his wine as they made their way around the mountains on a narrow road with a steep drop to one side. Bobby wanted to yell to the little boy in the truck “Don’t look down!” but then he passed over them and on through the night.

The old carpet then banked right and lost some altitude. Bobby caught sight of what looked like a line of blue ants. It turned out to be Cub Scouts following a young den mother across a vacant lot in an old neighborhood. With a scout guide book in hand she led her son’s den through trials and knots. Gaining in them courage, balance, citizenship and badges. Bobby could smell anise and blackberry on the air. He passed over a nearby ravine and then moved off back into the night.

Bobby laid his head on his folded arms and closed his eyes. He was enjoying the now fading smells of the far away creek when he heard a distinct sound and then a new scent on the air. It was the crack of a bat and the smell of Cherry snow cones, Bub’s Daddy grape gum rope. He was over a Little League park and a ball was popped high over center field. The boy in center was under the ball but his mitt wasn’t. Bobby made a cone with his hands and yelled to the boy in the green cap with a white W on it.

“Raise your glove!”, but he didn’t hear him and the ball landed on the boy’s nose. Bobby saw a fount of blood and turned away as did his antique floor cover. They traveled on into the night.

Flying over a giant stand of gum trees, the two of them rode the ancient dust collector across land and time. On the wind they heard voices of a church youth choir, Friday night Junior High dances. The smell of burned hair in a hair dryer, Clearasil, Aquanet and his dad’s aftershave filled the boy’s nose and teased his memory. Down below, he saw short shorts, bell bottoms, giant combs, first kisses and muscle cars. Bobby turned and smiled at Sir Douglas. The quadrupedal navigator only looked straight forward. The pair flew on.

Ahead of them, a mist had formed. They rode on a scented breeze of high school. Gym smells, tobacco, pot, Biology class, soft baked cookies, perfume, pizza bread, weld smoke, auto shop and testosterone. They saw stadium lights glowing and then a football game played in the cold. A marching band huddled close for warmth on splintery plank bleachers. Thick legged cheerleaders doing routines on slick sidelines while the boys ogled them from the stands. They passed over the game. To Bobby’s left he could see young Turks lining a central hall. Some in Letterman jackets and some in polos or Member’s Only jackets with collars popped and sleeves scrunched up. Some tried to look tough and some tried to look sexy, but all tried to look cool. To Bobby’s right was a navy war ship. He could see young men struggling to find themselves and others who already had. He could see camaraderie and faith. Bobby watched as the small warship spearheaded waves while taking on fuel from another ship. The crew, between duties, reclining on life jackets and battle helmets singing well known songs in unison. Cigarette cherries winking in the dark on weather decks, a constantly moving horizon in the distance where the stars touch the sea and a new day promises nothing. A salty breeze washes over the dog and his boy as they ride the night on past jet streams.

The little boy decided to sit up and stretch a little. He sat Indian fashion and stretched his arms out in a V, yawned and farted. He turned and looked at the stern pup with embarrassment. Sir Douglas let out a low growl but then licked his lips. Bobby scowled at him but then giggled a bit when he turned back. Out in front of them was a massive housing tract. Bobby could smell the latex paint and putty so strong it made him kind of sick. He could hear the airless paint machines running and hung-over painters yelling at their apprentices to be heard over the mid week work cacophony. The boy could also smell the fresh cement curbs and gutters before they came into view. His aerodynamic floor covering then banked left and Bobby began to feel excited. He had no idea why. Bobby was overwhelmed with emotions as he watched a young couple struggle with raising a family. He saw the fights, the love making and the births. He saw the couple separated for weeks and sometimes longer as he drove long-haul truck. He saw the jobs come and go. He saw the money come and go. He saw friends come and go. He watched as grandparents and some childhood friends were buried. He saw a strained father and son relationship. The boy only blinked, but after, he watched as their children graduated. Soon he saw the no longer young couple spending their evenings alone. Their house, once a gathering place for young artists and musicians, was for once quiet. Their refrigerator was closed more than it was open now. There was no longer the hum of amplifiers, ringing guitars, spaghetti Fridays, the sound of exited role players on D&D night. The couple no longer had to step over teenagers crashed all over the living room to get to the shower in the mornings. Bobby looked over his shoulder at Sir Douglas. The implied meaning was understood and the carpet moved on into the night.

The little boy decided to lay prone again. His small head lay cradled in his hands as he watched the light dotted landscape of time roll under his floating antique flooring. Bobby spotted the flat bottomed storm cloud from far away. It was an angry giant puff of air and the little boy shivered when he saw it shoot jagged spikes of light down, striking the earth and leaving destruction in it’s wake. To his horror, the haute mutt on the other end of the rug seemed to be steering them right under the thunderhead. Bobby gripped the edge again as his conveyance dipped and rolled in the turbulence. The boy was shaking. He looked down at the scorched ground where the lightning had struck. He saw a black Harley covered in dust and cobwebs. He saw a family dressed in black leather. He watched them morn around a garage wood burning stove, their tears mixing but the siblings separate. He saw the family fracture and feud. He saw a small wooden box with a patriarch's ashes in it and he screamed at it “No!!” The lightning stopped but the little boy saw his mother being carried away by a shadowy figure. She was reaching out to Bobby, pleading for help. The boy prepared himself to leap from the carpet when he felt a dog’s bite on the waistband of his pajama bottoms. Sir Douglas had him tight. The little terrier had a tight hold on him. Bobby screamed frantically at his turbaned pup.

"Let me go! Let me GO!" the little boy cried out loud.

But the dog would not relent. The little boy turned back to see his mother and was confused. His mother wasn’t in the clutches of a dark figure at all. In fact his mother was in the arms of an indescribably beautiful figure of light. She wasn’t pleading for rescue at all. She was smiling and waving goodbye to him.

“I love you, Bobby, and I’ll see you in awhile, Baby.” she said as the light carried her to a better place.

Sir Douglas had released the boy and returned to his end of the rug. Bobby sat facing the dog on high again and wiped the tears from his burning eyes.

“I want off, Doogie. Do you hear me?!” The boy ended with a yell.

The dog in the azure turban and mother of pearl scarab pin raised his chin and said

“I am not your carpet ride. I am...the SKY!”

With that the mutt’s turban became the night sky and the mother of pearl scarab became the moon that hung in it. Sir Douglas laughed and as he faded away he said

“We have to go, Robert! Robert! Robert!”

The carpet faded away too and Bobby was free falling through the night sky with increasing speed. Just before he was to hit the ground…

“Robert!” he heard his wife yell as he jerked awake.

“Robert, it’s your mom. They’re rushing her to the hospital. I’m sorry, Hun.”


© Copyright 2019 R.Guy Behringer. All rights reserved.

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