She lay in bed, eyes focusing on the darkest corners of the room as if the key to sleep was somehow tucked away in their blackness.

The dog continued to bark.

For the last seven months the dog had barked. Every morning. From 1:30am until six.

Every break in its belling provoked the vain hope that perhaps it had choked on a sharp piece of bone (placed strategically by her under the back veranda on more than one occasion). Every moment of silence was not a relief from the insufferable yapping, but rather an invitation to await to next disturbance of the night air.

She sat up in bed, staring out the window at the beast. It looked up mockingly at her window and she almost fancied the creature winked at her, although she wasn’t sure if dogs even had the ability to wink (be it malicious or accidental).

The dog’s barking seemed to her to be directly focused on her bedroom window. She could see the disruptive waves of sound emitting from the dogs throat, creating an almost mirage-like haze around the animal. Something had to be done.

She had been planning the dog’s murder for quite some time, although wasn’t yet decided on the appropriate method.

Shooting the thing with the air rifle she borrowed from her brother-in-law would prove the most satisfying, but of course, the neighbors– its owners– would begin to ask questions.

Poisoning was a good option, but somehow the passive nature of the act didn’t fit the violence of the barks.

Drowning would be fun, but the chance of suffering some injury in the process seemed too imminent.

She couldn’t think. Every thought she had was punctuated by an infernal woof.

Almost without realizing her legs lifted her out of bed and she was at the stairs. Step, yap. Step, yap. Step, yap. She made a subconscious game of descending the stairs.

In the garage her fingers danced over the handle of the shovel. The backdoor seemed to open itself.

Here boy, she called softly before reaching her neighbors gate. The barking stopped as if the dog was in on some sick joke. The latch lifted. Inside, the barking had turned to a barely audible growl.

Here boy, she whispered. The dog approached slowly, comforted perhaps by familiar scents or sounds.

It walked up to her and sat with an arrogance that irked her more than the barking.

Before the beast could wag its tail thrice she had almost decapitated it with a swooping swing of the shovel.

It’s last noise, to her joy, was a weak whimper– not a bark.

She suddenly grew very tired and realized she didn’t have the energy nor the desire to dispose of the corpse.

Finally I can get some sleep, she thought, and yawned as she shuffled back to bed.

Shrill screams were her alarm clock the next morning. She had a good day.


©Lauren Greenwood 2013

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