A BOY AND HIS DOG - steven j. mcdermott


steven j. mcdermott

Mid-register yelps choked off. The Doberman across the street thrashing at the end of his chain. Yelp, yelp, then a raspy cough. Fenced in by pickets. The two-story brick Tudor rising behind. Dark down, upstairs lit, all the windows wide open in the night-heat. Up there, a slap. His gleeful voice, “Oh, a right cracker, that!” Her, whimpering. Him again, “Whoring bitch! All perfumed. Going where? Nowhere, that’s where!” Laughing, pleased with himself. The dog all berserk. On the porch, three feet from the open front door, lunging and strangling against the chain. Barking. Choking. Spinning around for air. Upstairs, a pfffuttt sound. Him, staggering past the window, an arrow in his throat. Her, screaming. Boots thump-sliding down the stairs. Out the door pops their boy carrying a compound bow. The dog barks, circles. The boy kneels, sets the bow down, unhooks the chain from the collar, scratches behind the dog’s ears. He leans close, receives face licks.

Steven J. McDermott
Black Tickets
Jayne Anne Phillips