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First Chapters
September Issue

G.N. Harris

The boy had slept the flight, was still sleepy. His mother heard a buzz in her head, a drone outside it. Time was lopsided. She rested her suitcase, motioned, but the boy didn't see her.
"When he gets tired he’s out of breath. He pants and can't carry his head, so he's not looking up,” said a man with baggage in the seat opposite hers. He had jet lag in his eyes.
She clutched her purse. Across the busy terminal, the boy dropped his toy, stared as its wheel spun off.
"That's always the way it is. You get one, play with it for awhile, and then it breaks-every time," muttered the old traveler.
The boy was at a shop window.

"My wife gave him to me. He liked the yard," the old traveler said. "Sometimes he'd wander out of it."
A plane went over. The boy rolled his head.
"Most pups learn their name and come when they're called.”
She locked eyes with him. “Billy,” she said.
“Mine used to follow me everywhere, right behind me, or nearby ‘cause I'd let him explore. But never out of sight."

Travelers arrived.
She looked at the clock, her ticket, the spot where the boy just was. He asked her had she ever passed a dead dog in the road, the kind that was squashed and red. She didn't answer, gripped the suitcase.
"I turned around and my pup was crossing the street. I turned again and a car tire rolled over his head. I pleaded with the man to do something. He wrapped my pup in a sheet he got from the trunk and handed him to me."
Travelers departed.

"He was tired, a tired little puppy, panting and dragging. I didn't know how tired.”
She lifted the suitcase, swung her head, hurried.
His voice followed her. "I only looked away for a moment."
The End

© G.N. Harris 2001

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