Week 19 Flash Fiction Challenge: Princess

Judge8163

Princess was Flo’s dog, not mine, and too big for our apartment, which wasn’t big enough for the mice that visited. It didn’t matter. One night, after drinking and losing at cards, I went home to find I’d also lost Flo.

But Princess was there. So was a note in Flo’s flowery handwriting.

I’m going home to Schuyler Falls. Need a fresh start.
Take care of Princess until I can find a place; I’ll be back to get her.
Flo 🙂

Only Flo would leave behind a farewell note with a smiley face – and a dog big as a truck.

Princess stared stupidly, not realizing her meal ticket had jumped ship. A standard sized, steel-gray poodle, she was dumb as she was big.

Maybe it was the drinking, but it came to me how to fix Flo’s wagon and ‘take care’ of Princess at the same time: Princess was going to take a moonlight ride in the desert.

“C’mon, Princess, let’s go!” Idiot dog started wagging her tail, all excited. Hopping into the back while I slid into the driver’s seat, Princess whined happily as we sped off into the night.

An hour later, it was just me, Princess and the desert. I killed the ignition.

“Out!”

Princess stared at me, suddenly uncertain. Maybe she wasn’t as dumb as she looked.

I was about to drag her from the car, but intense light from an object in the sky suddenly passed over us and the air sparkled with electricity.

Just as sudden, the light vanished, leaving us in darkness.

“You aren’t really going to leave me, are you?” asked a female voice.

I whipped around, but there was only Princess.

She looked at me sadly. “Don’t leave me…”

The shock of hearing a dog’s voice in my head rattled me. Then I got an idea.

There was a poker game the next night at The Greek’s place. Maybe Princess was my lucky break.

“I could help you out.” Her eyes were hopeful.

Yeah… maybe she could.

Soon, rolling in dough, Princess and I were showing up at all the gambling joints. Like royalty, she’d visit each player at my table. The bums, patting her head, never guessed she was feeding me the cards.

Sweet!

Few weeks later, The Greek wised up and I had to take care of him. As he went down for the count, I glanced at Princess.

“That was wrong.” Her eyes reproached me.

Christ, who knew dogs had a freakin’ moral compass?

Dumping her back at the apartment, I decided to celebrate. The next morning, wasted, I woke up next to a broad I didn’t know. Hung over, I stumbled back to my apartment.

Princess was gone, but there was a note.

I’ve taken Princess, found a place that allows dogs.
Thanks for taking care of her.
Flo 🙂

Goddam Flo. Goddam Princess. Goddam smiley faces.

Now I spend nights driving around the desert, a mutt I picked up from the pound in the backseat, searching the skies…

__________________
Author’s Note: This is written in response to Thain in Vain’s flash fiction challenge to write no more than 500 words in connection with the week 19 prompt, “A man’s dog develops the uncanny ability to communicate telepathically with him.”

About Kate Loveton

Aspiring novelist. Avid reader of fiction. Reviewer of books. By day, my undercover identity is that of meek, mild-mannered legal assistant, Kate Loveton, working in the confines of a stuffy corporate law office; by night, however, I'm a super hero: Kate Loveton, Aspiring Novelist and Spinner of Tales. My favorite words are 'Once upon a time... ' Won't you join me on my journey as I attempt to turn a hobby into something more?
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21 Responses to Week 19 Flash Fiction Challenge: Princess

  1. Lucy says:

    Loved Princess. Well done. Lucy

  2. Kate Loveton says:

    Hi Ollie,

    Being a committed dog lover, I can’t fathom why anyone would drop off a dog into the desert or anywhere else. It’s cruel, but there are people like that, unfortunately. This guy was a creep, for sure – wanting to hurt his ex-girlfriend and the dog. Because I like dogs, it was easy to give Princess a sense of right-from-wrong. She certainly had a better moral compass than the main character! Thanks for reading – and thanks for the comment.

    By the way, if anyone is reading this response, Ollie has a nice little take on this prompt. Delightfully… weird! I liked it very much.

  3. OllieNumberSeven says:

    I think I need a dog with a strong moral compass, because I think it was a great idea! Don’t know why he would want to leave Princess in the desert. She would deserve more than that

  4. W. K. Tucker says:

    Funny…strange…delightful. I liked the ending; he got what he deserved.

  5. Pingback: Flash Fiction Challenge – Week Nineteen Submissions | Thain in Vain

  6. How devious to think about using a telepathic dog to cheat in cards!! The narrator didn’t deserve Princess or Flo for that matter! A delightful take on the prompt! Thanks for sharing! TIV

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Hi TiV – only a guy always interested in playing the angles could so quickly come up with such a use for a telepathic dog. Glad you enjoyed the story. 🙂

  7. This is a wonderful little story, Kate!

    I love the idea of a dog speaking telepathically to the main character of this story, even though he uses poor Princess for his own ill-gotten gains. The guy was going to dump the poor dog until he realised that Princess could be his meal ticket.

    Good on Flo for coming back for her dog, I sure hope that lightening doesn’t strike twice and that the nasty piece of work doesn’t find another telepathically-inclined pooch! 🙂

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Princess was more ‘human’ than the main character… who was a bit of snake! Really, what kind of person could consider dumping a dog in the desert?

      Glad you liked it, Heather! 🙂

      • Poor Princess, at least she had the presence of mind to save her own skin by helping her not so nice new owner to win a few poker games. Glad he got his comeuppance of sorts when his ex took Princess back with her!

  8. That was delightful. I want my dog to talk to me and have a moral compass!

    • Kate Loveton says:

      I think my dachshunds are lacking the moral compass; they probably would have enjoyed cheating the poker players. They are rascals, out for themselves! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the story!

  9. Harliqueen says:

    What a cool concept and great story 😀

  10. Interesting concept. As always, superbly executed.

  11. Wonderful story, full of surprises. Loved it.

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