I wrote this story almost two years ago for a flash-fiction writing challenge, and I’m not sure why it’s been on my mind and heart the past few days. But it has been, and I figured that was a good reason to give it another few minutes in the spotlight.
Hair bristled on my neck. I was bein’ followed. I whirled ’round and found Zanzibar ploddin’ behind me, head down, tail draggin’.
“Hey, boy,” I said, squattin’ down. “Where’s ol’ Toby?”
Zanzibar whined, licked my hand, whined again. Somethin’ was wrong. Zanzibar and that ol’ hobo were thicker’n fam’ly. They came through here first week of ever month. Stayed ’till the coal train came through and stopped at the crossin’. But this weren’t the first week. Where was ol’ Toby?
I hunted three days for Toby; no luck. Reckon that lung problem finally got ‘im. Zanzibar’s tail’s still draggin’, and he won’t let me out of ‘is sight. Reckon I got me a dog.