This week has been really, really hard. Pandemic finances are... not easy. My hubby and his brother started a company last month, and this month realized how much work it is to get a business to be more than a hobby. The kids have Spring Fever and just want school to. Be. Done! Add to that, when my physiotherapist was able to start seeing me again, we changed up my routine to make it harder and now my wrists are an ouch.
It feels like seventeen different things require my attention right now, and half my spoons for doing things are going toward the detailed Personal Activity Planning for maintaining normal so I'm not living on pain meds that wreck my stomach. Which translates to not having the needed spoons to keep back the depression leeches and anxiety weasels...
We've been staying healthy by continuing to limit our outings as if we were still on lockdown, too. The long term effects of COVID-19, now that they're starting to show as permanent organ damage, are as scary as the sickness. And pneumonia is nothing to cough at even when it's not a raging pandemic. (Pun intended. Dark humor is still humor.)
Please keep watching ad profit donation videos and pushing for racial equality through pressure on local governments and agencies, as well as with budgets and spending habits; companies that don't support black lives are a safe bet for not supporting women, disabled, and/or rainbow community members. Our kids can have a better world if we take this shot right now and create the basis for change. Just imagine a world where daughters get paid the same salary as sons, friends and family don't get spit on for walking down the street, and police help instead of enforce. It's possible. Black lives having equal value open the door for everyone to be equal. I hope we as a culture and collection of lives can rip the door out of the wall so it can't be closed ever again.
Dog burned. That was the creation. Bones that burned and hunger that steamed; starving muscle wrapped in hide that prickled and twitched.
“I’ll call you Dog,” the voice of the creator said, bestowing a knowledge of name. I am Dog, was Dog’s first thought. I hurt, was the second.
Dog’s first whine was met with a laugh and a heavy hand squeezing the back of Dog’s neck.
The order was a sound and a sensation. Dog was unleashed on the battleground and given a feast of meat. Wounds from blade and cudgel boiled and smoked as they healed, Dog’s blood burning the ground wherever it fell. At the end, hunger sated, Dog returned to the creator.
“Good, Dog.” The creator’s hands calmed the prickling and smoothed the twitch.
Times changed and wars advanced. Dog remained with the creator and was given more knowledge. She was a she, she was strong, she was smarter than many, she became I, and I was beholden to one.
I had been created to hunt and feed. My method of creation was a blasphemy against natural order, and a beloved flaw to the one I had been created to serve. My one and only brood provided triplets to my creator, and they served at my sides for all the ages that passed. The beast of war I’d bred with had been mortal, though, and not even the creator could alter that. I and my litter honored his memory and service by not eating his corpse. My triplets bred with others our creator chose for them, expanding our pack.
One day changed it all. I emerged from our home with my brood, my creator at my side, the war ripe for feasting, and our stomachs growling. The creator’s hands smoothed away the twitches within my skin and squeezed the back of my neck.
We ignored the sizzle of our wounds and the screams of many voices. There was joy in a hunt, but ecstasy in feasting enough to sate the burning hunger. That war, that day, a man attacked in a way unseen before. A collar closed around my neck. The snap of leather drawing tight at my throat was as the crack of a whip and his fingers looped to cling to the strap, his knuckles braced at my hackles.
“I own you,” he said.
The bond to my creator snapped. I howled as the creator screamed. The thief ordered me silent, slinking away from the war, and we disappeared between the cracks of my existence into reality.
His world was bright and thirsty. Sand blurred my eyes and hunger seared my core. I was passed to the son at his death. And then the grandson. And then more than could be totalled. Their short lives bleached together under a raging sun. My existence, unable to escape the grip of the collar binding me to whoever controlled it, was passed from hand to hand as an inheritance, gift, or theft.
I crossed rivers, lakes and oceans to reach lands that exchanged sand for snow and then snow for fields, finally coming to a darkened jungle. The stir of a hunt was a distraction from the burn of bone and the eternal ache of hunger. Cutthroat thieves left the hunt to me, and stole the spoils for themselves. They never allowed enough meat to sate the hunger, and kicks were given when the prickles made my skin twitch. It had been this way for longer than counted years.
Today changed many things for me. This life I had I now hated, but today I hated the golden dog as I had never hated before. The hand on its neck vomited the memory sensation of my creator’s heavy grip on my skin.
I decided then would hunt it second to last. The owner of the hand holding to the golden dog would be last. I wanted that owner to scream at the loss of the golden dog as my creator had screamed at losing me.
These thieves toyed with the others who’d walked around the golden dog and its owner. No eating. No biting. They spread each hiker far apart and threatened. They stole and abandoned.
Until the golden dog. I was allowed the golden dog.
It fought and defended its owner. The taste of its battle was… love. I hated it more for that. The owner had run, stumbling. She was unsighted. The golden dog was more than a pet, as I had once been, and I hated it more.
The thieves laughed, calling me back and setting a trap for the owner. My sides heaved and the collar at my throat tightened under the grip of the one who owned me.
The owner of the golden dog returned. Her steps lost, her clothes ripped, and her arms scraped. She stopped when her foot tripped against the torn skull of the golden dog, the clank of the tags on its collar signalling that she’d found the carcass. I watched as she dropped to her knees in the blood, hands soaking into the hide and coming away red, and I waited hungrily for the scream.
She choked back a sob. There was no scream.
The thieves discussed the idea of using the woman’s quietness, and one of them chuckled loud enough for her to hear. As that one spoke to her, the one who owned me whispered my orders.
“No killing. Hold her down for us. Go.”
I burst through the underbrush, hate twisting my growl into a roar. She raised her hands to fend me off and… one of her fingers slipped under my collar. The binding to the thieves snapped and the enchantment of the collar tied me to the woman who’d owned the golden dog.
Her hands quaked in fear, her unseeing eyes staring straight at me with a focus proving she’d once seen. She was panting in short breaths that puffed mint as I breathed death back at her.
“Please,” she begged, hands closing on my face and caressing to my neck as she attempted to understand what I was. “Please, help me,” she whispered.
Her palms stroked over what I knew would feel like bristling hide to her, calming the prickles and smoothing the twitches that had tormented me for the ages in reality. She hugged around my neck. The thieves stopped talking, but remained motionless and watching.
“Good dog,” she said, voice shaking. “You’re a good dog. They’re bad owners, but you’re a good dog.” Every fibre of my muscles strained closer to her, the sound of praise so forgotten that it was foreign, but even as lies I craved it. She stroked away the ache of my spine and used my strength to help her stand. She stood at my shoulder. Her hand dropped to my neck, stroking, and then her fingers curled around the collar. “Come on. Let’s both of us get out of here, okay?” she asked. “You’re such a good dog,” she added, the words ringing with truth.
The branches crackled where the thieves had been waiting, watching, and her grip on the leather tightened. Suddenly, I was more. Like the golden dog had been. I was again how I once had been. Her hand at my neck and her leg at my shoulder; it was the same as when I had once stood with my creator. As I had to no other since being stolen, I belonged to her. The jolt shook me to my core and her gasp knocked her to her knees as my deepest memories saturated her bones.
I grinned at the thieves. The buckle of my collar exposed itself to the fumbling of her fingers, its enchanted trickery of hiding from sight with illusions useless against blind eyes. Their panic was a flavor as the hated strap binding me to reality loosened.
A tremor shook the ground when the collar hit it. The final stroke of her hands stopped when her fingers encountered the heavy hand squeezing the back of my neck. She fell back from the cold touch of my creator.
“I’ve been looking for you, Dog,” the creator said, turning a smile to the thieves. “Go. Eat.”
A weekly blog updating every Saturday with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and parts of my short stories and novellas for everyone to read for free!