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a short story I'm semi proud of

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Thrill.Killer_'s picture
on June 29, 2020 - 1:25pm

it's kind of bad, and kind of creepy but it's that kind of day so here

Rust wouldn’t hurt a fly. Named for his auburn coat color, he was our sweet Golden Retriever mix, adopted from our local shelter when I was in first grade. His bouncy energy filled our home and kept me and my brothers entertained. Rust loved everyone. Humans, birds, rabbits, ducks, frogs, anyone. He would get shy around dogs half his size. I knew we had a connection. We never left each other’s side. Years flew past, Rust grew into his oversized puppy paws, I graduated elementary school. We took road trips, went for daily walks. I knew something was going to be off when I woke up that day. Late for school, I dashed to get ready. I quickly let Rusty outside, then yelled a quick goodbye and a “LET THE DOG IN!” as I bolted out the door. Hopping on my bike, I saw a flash of copper fur. I convinced myself it was a trick of the December light. I slogged through school, staring out at the gray winter day. The day finally, finally ended and I trudged home, looking forward to Rusty hopping off his chair to welcome me. I unlocked the door and called my pup’s name, a smile on my face for the first time today. No dog. I frowned. My brothers waved at me, and my mom started asking too many questions about my day as moms do. I checked outside for Rust. No dog.
“Hey, have you guys seen Rusty?” I said in a concerned tone, still looking around our snowy yard. My mom sighed.
“We haven’t seen him since this morning. We’ve put up missing posters. I’m sorry, Levi.”
“What? What do you mean, missing?”
On a rational level, I knew it wasn’t my fault. My parents tried to explain as best as they could (“It’s not you, we didn’t hear you let him out, the gate was down from the wind, you were in a hurry”) but I didn’t hear them. Lying in bed that night, my thoughts were a chorus of You lost him, you lost Rusty. I’m really not sure how, but I managed to drift off. A year passed. No trace of him. Our family had pretty much given up on him. Exactly one year later, I woke up just as I had the day our pup disappeared. Everything going wrong, school taking too long, etc. etc. As I unlocked the door, I heard Rusty’s low-pitched whine. No, I didn’t. My brain was just playing tricks. I shook my head and opened the door. My dog sat on the red carpet, shedding everywhere, panting happily, tail whizzing around, like nothing had ever happened. I blinked.
“... Rust?” I gasped. The dog stood up and bounced over to me. His muzzle was grayer than I remember, and he moved a little slower, but he was back. My parents came into the room, smiling. “He’s back! Our neighbor brought him to us.”
I ruffled Rusty’s fur. He licked my arm. How does a dog go missing for exactly a year? a small corner of my brain whispered. I told it to shut its trap. That night, as I was drifting off to sleep, I heard a loud, crashing noise from downstairs. I assumed Rust knocked over something, and tiptoed down to the living room to see what was going on. A stack of books was lying sideways. I sighed. I was about to reprimand the quadruped but the words stuck in my throat as I looked up. Rusty was standing on the table. This wasn’t weird in itself, and it explained the books. The things that knocked the breath out of me and made every cell of my body want to turn and RUN, were his suddenly sharp, pointed teeth, red eyes, and limp bunny corpse in his snout. Rust had never been a hunter, he sniffed happily at animals rather than bark. As Rust saw me, he made a feral, guttural noise I had never heard from him. Seemingly in slow-mo, my dog dropped the rabbit and launched off the table towards me. His snout was open as he flew through the air, allowing me to get a good view of his teeth and blood-spattered snout. I screamed, and everything went black.

thanks for reading this totally wasn't written in the middle of a dark ass thunderstorm