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The Unofficial Dog Park (Flash Fiction)

September 26, 2013


Simon watches as Cricket browses sawgrass alone.

Then, Flipper!

Cricket rushes waggingly. Then, Zoe! Poodling hysterical.

Tension from Flipper’s mother stains the air. Danger syrup. Simon nods to Zoe’s mother: elderly stalk of wild cotton. Flipper whimpers as Zoe circles away and back. Neck hairs electrify.

“Zoe No!” snaps Flipper’s mother.

Zoe’s mother surveys trees. Rotting broccoli mountains.

Flipper yelps when Zoe bites her hard on the haunch. Simon imagines a Gaullish plain, a trip of wizened goats herded by a sepia version of Zoe. But the unofficial dog park has no time for history.

“Goddamnit, Brenda! How many times have I told you to train your dog?”

Circling, Zoe bites Flipper hard again on the leg. Cricket snorts grass.

Flipper’s mother is madder now. “No! Stop, damnit!”

Flipper curls supine as his mother kicks the poodle whose mother shrieks. Simon steps back.

“How dare you kick my dog.”

“For the last goddamn time, Brenda, train your animal.”

“I’m never coming here again,” whimpers the older woman arm-swaddling her poodle.

Zoe’s mother snorts.

Simon pretends to browse the distant hills. He drifts back to the last time a woman that age cried so public, so rough: the home before his mother passed.

Homeward, memory burns a hole in his pocket. He flips it with a biscuit chip. Both disappear into Cricket’s maw. Aerial velocity. Common at the unofficial dog park.



< Originally published in First Stop Fiction >

From → My Stories

  1. Danger syrup!

    • I know. Isn’t it cool to consider how a dog’s primarily olfactory perception of the world would register something like tension? Not something I’d recommend for waffles but interesting to consider nevertheless.

  2. hakariconstant permalink

    Before I started reading, I was thinking about all the dog crap that must pile up in an unofficial dog park, if there are no rules being enforced to clean up after the dogs relieve themselves. When I first read your line “Poodling hysterical.”, I first misread it, and thought it said “Pooing hysterical”, and found it hysterical lol I like the story! I had never read any flash fiction before getting a wordpress account last month, and I really enjoy it now!

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