Flash Fiction; Choose Life

Shivering in the rain and wind Jane stood at the end of the pier. Pushing her sodden hair out of her eyes she searched in desperation beyond the dark water.

Life was not easy, that she accepted. The hard bit was being life’s scapegoat. ‘Put me in any golden moment, I will fall into a hole.’ There was no pity or sadness in her tone, just tiredness from thirty years of trying.

Workmates moaned about husbands, children and parents, Jane couldn’t because she had no one to moan about. She envied them. “But no more” She decided and sat on the edge of the cold concrete.

Out on the horizon a  tiny boat battled the weather. She envied it. She supposed those on board had families anxiously waiting for their return. She sat searching deep inside for a reason to fight her emptiness.

The hovering group of seagull’s cries mocked her.

She needed a reason to try again, even for a moment. Truth was she had none. A single tear was flicked from her face but another followed.

A soft huff was accompanied by a gentle nudge in her back. Startled Jane turned about and found herself facing the darkest, most solemn looking eyes she had ever seen. ‘Go away dog, shooo!’

He considered her, licked the tears from her face then lay down close to her. ‘Typical even a dam dog won’t do what I ask.’ He placed his head in her lap. Tentatively her fingers stroked his head.

When Jane stopped petting him, he licked her hand. To her surprise she discovered his tongue tickled her skin. She wondered about his owners. Feeling for a collar she discovered he had none. Jane looked at him, really looked. He was the most awkward scruffy dog alive she decided. He would never be let inside the door of Crufts.

“Has life been precious to you?” Jane asked him.

His answer was to get to his feet. He stepped back from the edge, never taking his eyes from her.  She glanced away to stare again at the dark murky water. It was cold, angry and no longer wholly inviting. With a shudder she turned and met his eyes.

He was smiling at her! Jane blinked and scowled, “what the hell have you to smile about”

The dog did a little dance about her and barked, It was a silly dog tail chasing bounding dance.

Jane felt the corners of her mouth tug. She looked high above her, the clouds were parting to reveal strong, warming sunshine.

He moved close to her. His warm soft coat brushed her hand again and again. She wondered about living for the moment.

His dance was leading them away from the pier. Jane followed him, muttering, ‘Ok I get it, let’s give it a try, fancy tinned salmon for supper?” His joyous bark brought laughter bubbling from within her.

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