“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.