Photograph by Lisa Shambrook (Please do not use without permission)
The sudden explosion lit up the dusk and its thunder robbed him of his hearing as he was hurled across the dusty, gritty road; shock and shrapnel embedded its shards beneath his bloodied skin, but nothing stopped him crawling back across the detritus to circle the remains of the best friend he ever had. Confusion tore at his heart, but despite the ringing noise and acrid smoke he refused to leave, and settled mournfully in the middle of the rutted road to wait.
Black night loomed with shouts and gunshots, then chaos and blasts, and he flattened his ears and his body, and trembled by his master’s corpse.
Dawn sneaked across the hills and he shivered in the morning cold, until soldiers, bloodied and weary, marched back along the road, and he growled, his hackles raised and ears sharp. He flinched as they approached and their brusque commands failed to touch him; it took a burly trooper’s bristly embrace and soft, whispered words to allow the dog to leave, but never forget.
Written for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction,
go and read all the other stories…