First draft Lives of the dead

When i finally stand up i realize im still clutching

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When I finally stand up I realize I'm still clutching Max's leash, but Max is nowhere to be found. The loss crushes me. I run around the park shouting his name. I look everywhere, places he like to hangout, places we usually stopped at, but he was nowhere to be found. I wasn't there, I was weak, I didn't save him. Shame and revulsion, and thoughts of my failures are all I know.
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Wallowing in myself pity I have an epiphany. Maybe Max got scared off, maybe he couldn’t find his way back to me and simply ran home. I had to get home, I would find him, it would be alright. I couldn’t have been unconscious too long, but the search for Max seems to last an eternity. Ask the parents of a missing child and they’ll tell you every second is forever, moments pass but mean nothing. Time just becomes a measure of pain, the only remedy; reunion. So by the time I started home the sun was already beginning its decline. In the few hours I had spent wandering through the park the world had gone to hell. I had seen riots on TV and I felt as though I was walking in the wake of one. Cars crashed and abandoned, fires burning in homes, shattered glass in the streets. Signs of struggle and death were everywhere. Blood stains and bullet casings became common sights. As I got closer to home I began to increase my pace so that by the last mile I was in a dead sprint. The run is corrupted and aberrant. Sweat running down my face, muscles pumping, everything working to push me further and further. It all makes no sense, a body in discord and submissive, emotions race through my mind. This moment, this obscurity, why won’t it end? When I was child I lived in some pretty rough areas. Because of this I’ve always had bars on my windows. They put me at ease, my house became a fortress. A few bars on my windows transformed my house into an impenetrable citadel. I remember looking out the window through the bars feeling safe and happy. So of course when I moved into my home with my wife I insisted that we get bars. They would keep us safe, and in fact, they had. Our home was untouched, pristine. My hands were trembling so badly I struggled getting my key into the lock for several minutes. The whole time I thought of my wife, alone, scared, and I was filled with such embarrassment. When I finally got the door open I shouted to my wife. I yelled and searched but she was nowhere to be found. Max wasn’t there either but I had always known he wouldn’t be there, he just couldn’t be. I walk into my kitchen and sit down. I need to drink some water; I need to collect my thoughts. As I’m sitting there trying to sort through the wreckage of the day I notice a note taped to the fridge. It is in my wife’s handwriting. I read it slowly and repeatedly, letting the words strike my eyes like a flagellant’s whip.
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