Good Boy

A short story.

I woke up this morning, the sun was shining bright over my sleepy body and I could hear the little birds singing in the tree outside my window. I walked down the stairs as I usually did, to go check up on Laura who was making breakfast for Jenny and Tommy. I had noticed the suitcase in Laura’s bedroom — we were going on vacation! I must admit, the idea of a nice sunny beach pleased me very much and I was all excited to finally get out of the house.

When I arrived in the kitchen, Jenny was crying. I took a seat next to her and tried to comfort her, but she would not look at me. Laura gave Tommy a bowl of cereal, and the little boy brutally stood up and trampled his way out of the kitchen. I startled and decided to follow him to wherever he was going. I was really worried about what was going on and nobody was telling me anything! Tommy turned to me and shouted something I didn’t quite understand. He ran up the stairs — I chose not to follow him this time. I was heading back to the kitchen when Paul stormed out of the bathroom, hitting my flank with the door. He did not even apologise to me. He just stared me down and ran upstairs as Tommy did. What was wrong with everyone so suddenly? I was limping a bit when I reached the kitchen; Laura put her hand on my head and smiled at me. I could see she wanted to cry, but she just would not tell me why…

A few minutes later, Paul was back downstairs, dragging two big suitcases behind him, and Tommy had a cute little Pokémon backpack that seemed way too big for him. I had not noticed Jenny going upstairs, I heard her shout something to her mother. I pushed the front door to get outside to check what Paul was up to. The bright summer light blinded me for a few seconds. Once I could discern the grey car, I saw Paul putting Tommy into the child seat. The two suitcases were already in the trunk. Laura and Jenny made their way to the car and Paul went to lock the door with his set of keys. The tingling sounds, which always seemed to amuse me, didn’t make me feel comfortable this time. I was all excited and jumping around but everyone else seemed so sad!

Paul took the driving seat and Laura sat next to him. I was sitting between Jenny and Tommy, my favourite spot. I laid my head on Jenny’s lap, but she pushed it away. I really wanted to know what was going on but no one was talking to me. I looked towards Tommy but he punched me in the nose with the little strength he had. I couldn’t help feeling guilty. I must have done something but I did not know what. Car rides are always fun for me, plus we were going on vacation, which was even more exciting! But something was wrong and I had no idea what…

Paul suddenly stopped the car. Jenny got out and kept the door open for me. This did not look like an airport… nor a harbour… but more like a forest of some sorts. Where were we? I looked at Laura who was slowly getting out of the car. Tommy was still in the child seat and was not moving. Paul opened up the trunk and got a leash out. My heart suddenly started racing when I saw the bright white cord approaching me. I moaned silently as Laura was attaching it to my collar. Paul seized the other end and rolled it up around the tree on the side of the road. I felt so confused I had no idea what to expect from this situation. Jenny came to me and gave me a hug. She whispered strange words I could not comprehend, and she gave me one last pat on the forehead. Paul walked back to the car and did not look back. Once they were all seated, he started the engine and drove off towards the horizon.

I was left alone, attach to this ugly tree, and I was hoping they would come and get me soon. Maybe this was another game of theirs, like a few days ago when they left me at the lake and I found my way back! Maybe this was a test to see if I could get out of this binding… Many hours had passed and the night was falling heavily. It had started to rain a few minutes ago and my fur was getting quite wet.

I saw a light in the distance. Yes! They were coming back for me! I failed the test, though, they will not be so happy about that. I walked to the middle of the road so they could see me better. I howled so they could hear me, but the lights were not stopping. They were still going really fast. I ran towards them, maybe they would see me even better. In a flash, a split second, I found myself ejected to the side of the road. The thrust was so powerful that I hit a rock and broke my backbone. I could feel the agonising pain… How could this happen to me? Why didn’t they stop for me? Why?! I thought I was a good boy!