Alphabet Soup Stories: G is for George

coffin

“What’s with the dog?” asked James, settling into the folding chair near his brother.

Stuart brushed the lapel of his Brooks Brothers coat before answering. “I haven’t a clue. He was lying next to the casket when I arrived. Fitting, though – just the sort of mutt George might have latched onto. Since when are dogs allowed in funeral homes?”

The dog stared at the brothers. His milky, tea-colored eyes were sorrowful.

“Speaking of mutts,” said James, “did you notice the character in the back of the room?”

“Rather hard to miss since he’s the only one here besides you, me and the dog.”

“Think he’s one of George’s converts?”

“More likely one of his AA pals. Those people do hang on.”

The brothers were silent, thinking of George’s plunge from businessman to drunk and then sidewalk preacher.

“Wonder what Father would make of this,” mused James.

“He’d give thanks that the old boy’s death ends a sorry family chapter.”

“George was a good man,” muttered the man from the back of the room.

James rose. “Let’s go, Stuart. We’ve stayed long enough to pay our respects.”

The dog never raised his head as they walked past the casket.

©2017 All Rights Reserved Kate Loveton, Odyssey of a Novice Writer

__________________

This 199 word flash fiction is written in response to the Sully Award Competition hosted by Mike Allegra of ‘Hey Look a Writer Fellow.’  The competition can be found here.

This story will be continued in the next Alphabet Soup Stories, tentatively titled “H is for Hope.”  I had to cut the story short for the 200 word limit for the Sully contest, but there is a lot more to come.

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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20 Responses to Alphabet Soup Stories: G is for George

  1. noelleg44 says:

    Great story telling, Kate, as usual. I cried when I saw a photo of a dog lying next to the casket of his soldier/owner. Such loyalty, They grieve like us.

  2. I’ve always thought that dogs are better judges of character than are people.
    Good to see you again, Kate. 🙂

  3. While the men debate the value of one man’s life, the faithful dog simply stands by his friend, not deterred by death to remain loyal. Wonderful story!

  4. mitchteemley says:

    The dog is clearly a better person than James and Stuart.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      You treat a dog decently, he will love you. Sometimes, you can treat a person decently, and he’ll bite you. Makes you wonder who is the more highly evolved creature!

  5. Tidalwavelet says:

    When I saw James and Stuart in the next to the last line, I thought of James Stewart and and re-imagined this in black and white, a vignette from an old movie about falling and addiction and redemption.

    • Kate Loveton says:

      That’s interesting. I chose ‘James’ and ‘Stuart’ because they seemed rather stuffy names to me (they are also names I love, and family names, so ‘stuffy’ doesn’t always apply).

      I like the idea of your imagining this as a black and white movie about falling, addiction and redemption. You’re not too far off the mark!

  6. Belinda P says:

    Beautiful work yet again, Kate! ❤

    I am very much a dog lover and I truly believe that they are the most loyal and loving of animals and that they grieve the loss of their human companions just as much as we mourn their loss in our lives.

    I'm really looking forward to more of this story! ❤

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, Belinda, for the kind words!

      I think animals grieve, too. I’ve read a several news articles in which dogs have managed to track down human companions in spite of great distances, and of times when dogs have grieved for departed owners. Dogs have great souls!

  7. To hit the right note in so few words takes skill and admirable control.
    Fine, Kate, fine indeed.

    Big hugs

    john

    • Kate Loveton says:

      Thanks, John. That brief story took a lot of time to cut down to 199 words. It started out at over 500, and I remember thinking, ‘Now how the heck am I gonna trim this story down to 200 words and still keep the story together??’ It was hard – so I appreciate your very kind remarks.

      Ultimately, the only way to cut it was to promise myself that I’d go back and do another installment or two to tell the rest of the story.

  8. It’s the dog I feel sorry for. But then, it would be, wouldn’t it?

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