Guide, One Last Time: A Short Story

This story is in response to the Five Minute Friday prompt: Guide. The rules are: write for 5 minutes and no editing (although I can’t stop myself a little. I am an editor after all).

The breeze through the window whispered across Sarah’s bare arm making the hairs her skin bump up against the cold. She smiled, lifting her face to catch the warmth of the sun, wishing it was more than just a blur of light.

At her movement, Geronimo lifted his head from her lap and dropped it, heavy. Too heavy. Too weak.

A tear trickled down Sarah’s face and she knew it had dropped into his fur, joining a hundred million others that had fallen there over the years. He’d caught every one and snuggled into her, convinced she’d feel better if she pet his soft fur.

And he had always been right. She had felt better.

Really, he’d been trained to be right. Her life depended on him choosing the right path. While her world was a kaleidoscope mash of indistinguishable color, he’d been confident—leading her across streets, through crowded buildings.

Except at the vet’s office, then he’d be the one falling apart and she’d be the brave protector and guide against the acrid smell and sharp needles.

She tangled her fingers in his fur, forcing herself to be cheerful, calm.

“It’ll be okay, buddy. Just one poke today, and then you can rest.”

One last time.

 

I’m not sure where this story came from. When I heard the prompt, I immediately thought of a guide dog. It’s no secret that I’m an animal lover and I would love to live in a literal zoo (in addition to the figurative one I live in now!). I love sitting with my Sheltie nestled into my side, even when he does paw at my keyboard.

Hopefully, you enjoyed the story. I’m on vacation next Friday so I don’t know whether I’ll join you here or not. We have a busy week planned, including a surgery for my husband (if you’re keeping count that’s 3 surgeries for my family in 4 months). More on that on Monday.

The image is from Pixaby.

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