First draft Lives of the dead

First draft Lives of the dead - I had a dog once A...

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I had a dog once. A beautiful golden retriever named Max. I used to go running in the park with him on Sundays. I would play catch with him in the backyard. On rainy days I would sit with him on the couch and wait for my wife to come home from work. When I came back home from going out he would bark and jump all over me. He would be happy to see me, overjoyed even. In his mind every time I left it was the last time he would see me. Every time I walked out that door I stopped existing to him, I was gone from his world. This was silly of course, Max didn't know that though, he didn't know that I couldn’t leave him; I loved him like a child. It was an idyllic day that Sunday. I awoke and immediately knew that Max would be waiting for his run, and honestly I couldn’t wait to be out running with him. Everything seems so peaceful when you're running, the world rushing past you, like a movie on fast forward. Everything is a blur and nothing can touch you. I looked over at my wife, she was still sleeping. For a few moments I watched the gentle rise and fall of her chest. I thought about kissing her lightly on the cheek but a sudden anxiety gripped me, wouldn’t want to wake her I thought, she needs her rest. I crept out of bed and put on my running clothes as quietly as I could. As I exited the room I glanced back at my wife and with the familiar cocktail of emotions welling up in me I closed the door. Max was running little circles by the front door when I emerged from the bedroom, and upon seeing me he rushed over to say good morning. He gave a little yelp of excitement, and I shushed him. “You'll wake Mommy” I said. He seemed to understand and ran over to the door, pawing quietly at his leash. “Alright, let's get going” I whispered to him as I slipped his collar on and stepped out the door The run is perfect and pure. Sweat running down my face, muscles pumping, everything working to push me further and further. It all makes so much sense, a body unified and resolute, no emotions just the run. This moment, this clarity, should be eternal. I stopped by a watering fountain to catch my breath and to let max rest for a bit. I looked around and soaked in the day. Sun shining, families playing, children laughing. Laughing and laughing, laughter almost makes you forget. The serenity is shattered by a vicious growl from Max. “What's the matter boy?” He looks strange, feral, primal. I've seen him startled by loud noises, I've held him during thunderstorms, I've looked in his eyes and seen fear before. This was different, this wasn't Max afraid because he didn't understand, Max comprehended what he saw and he knew it was to be feared. I looked over at what Max was staring at, not really sure what to expect. It was just a man. He wore a business suit, finely crafted leather shoes, and one of those bluetooth head sets. He was slowly approaching us from down the path, taking long slow steps and dragging his left foot behind him. “Max calm down it's just some guy” I said while patting his side.
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  • Spring '11
  • Benavides
  • Max, 2007 singles, 2005 albums, If You Have to Ask

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Christopher Reinemann
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