HumpDay Quickie #15

Posted: April 16, 2014 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , ,

Routine

by David Shakes

The boy has simply vanished.

I stare up at the place he should be. The sinking feeling in my stomach tells me what my brain is yet to fully process: this is really wrong.

My gaze is fixed on the pull-up grips. He should be here. Why isn’t he?

We have a routine, see? I like routine.

I’ll wake up in the kitchen, teased by the smell of coffee and bacon. The boy will pass me salty slivers under the table. He doesn’t think Mother notices, but she does. I’ll catch her grinning at Father who will subtly shake his head but smile all the same.

After breakfast they’ll slip on my lead and it’s a brisk walk to down the street, punctuated by brief halts to mark territory and signpost our route. Rusting gates and discoloured walls are testament to our many passings.

Then it’s the park – race around the field and chase the boy to the playground.
Did I chase him today?

What should be happening now is the boy swings back and forth on creaking chains whilst I jump and nip at his heals. How he laughs!

Where is he?

I check the bench where the parents drink coffee. They’re sat there, which calms me slightly. They have their flask and tendrils of steam rise from their cups. Breath fogs in the crisp air.

They don’t speak.

Mother is crying. Her tears are heavy. There’s snot running from her reddened nose. Father has his arm around her but he’s staring at the sky. His mind is elsewhere I think. His eyes are bagged and tired.

I don’t like this.

I have a memory.

A time before this time the routine was disrupted. I’d chased the boy as normal but he’d lost his grip before I got to the chains. It wasn’t a big fall but the thud had been so loud. I’d nudged him to play but he didn’t want to. He didn’t move at all.

And now I think, he didn’t come with us today.

But if I just sit and wait he might come.

That’s what I’ll do. I’m going to wait right here.

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Comments
  1. Elizabeth says:

    Oh, that got me all choked up….

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