Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Winter Adventure of a Cushion-dog - #FridayFlash

I'm cheating this week and reposting one of my very first stories for this week's #FridayFlash. I'd love to have some feedback on this one; It's very different from what I've been posting lately, and I'm curious as to your opinion. :)


The Winter Adventure of a Cushion-Dog

On my first winter in this new land the family was finally gathered together again. How merry I was!

For the first time I tasted snow, sniffed the chilling wind, and ran free on motionless crops and mild streams. I wasn’t alone of course; my beloved seemed as pleased as I was with the surroundings. The beaming smile that I cherished the most, lately so scarce, blossomed in her peaceful countenance.

It suddenly broadened to a playful grin as she signaled a dash on the frosted grass. I needn’t a second stimulus; sprinting uphill I – what? Didn’t find the other side but a stony fall onto itchy leaves and rounded rocks. The cold water below was another unexpected sensation, but the familiarity of the beloved’s worried cries calmed me down. I smiled up to appease her, and shouted back so she could appreciate that I wanted to rejoin her as soon as possible.

She is a smart human, my beloved, smarter than anyone else! At once she understood my need and studying the vines that had held me moments before, climbed down, urging the brown-black intruder to remain far from us, where it belonged.

The intruder is a most aggravating creature that entered our lives not long ago, indicating the firm intent of residing with us permanently. Not even my best efforts seemed enough to cast her away once she planted her malign seed in the second beloved’s heart. I only tolerate it for fear of displeasing beloveds first and second. They must pity the wretched thing; that’s the only possible explanation!

Indeed, whereas she ensured that I was unharmed and the intruder had not followed, we exulted in our reunion and walked upstream for a short while, accompanied from above, sadly, by the anxious brownish.

An enlightened glance flashed in beloved’s honeyed-coloured eyes when she spotted a larger ivy vine, but I’m embarrassed to admit that her physical strength is not as grand as her mind, as she was unable to pull us up. I even daresay that the effort of reassuring the intruder might have played a decisive part in her rescuing efforts.

A few bruises, a ripped coat and another flash away, she was holding me again, lifting me up to salvation. But how could I abandon beloved? How could I leave her to her doom, and worse, to once again meet my abhorrent foe? No, I would not leave her. Besides, she had raised me so high to help me up that I didn’t feel as nearly safe as in her arms!

“You damned dog, go! Go that I’ll follow suit!”

I knew she was a tad upset with me, but I was firm in my purpose of not abandoning her to death. I’m certain she could read this in my eyes!

“You coward! I’ll be right there with you!” Her arms trembled with the exertion. “I can’t carry you up, don’t you understand?”

Oh, my beloved’s warm embrace is inestimable! I was presently adjusting myself to her chest’s shape when she put me down, clutching her own knees. She is so pretty when flushed, you should see it! But once again the intruder called out, diverting her attention from my grateful wagging.

She then found a clear branch on the thorny vegetation to rest, as the twilight threatened to fall upon us. For a few moments her respiration accelerated when noticing the darkening sky, but did I mention how clever the beloved is? Deep breaths prevented desperation and another flash led us farther upstream, where she spotted a clearing and a lowering of the fringe right ahead.

At this point the water was too cold, so I found lodge on a small ravine. She called out, but my paws were much better placed (and warmer) on the sand than in the icy stream. I was once again lifted and carried safely to the dry margin, where the blackish intruder manically wagged us welcome.


Moira’s misfortunes may have been a grand adventure for her and Iris (the “intruder”, which is actually my other lovely dog), but from where I stand it was not so. Only a hot shower could prevent an onset of the flu. These cushion-dogs can be so troublesome…

Below you can take peek at her amusement, a season later, when revisiting the site.


  1. I really liked this piece done from the dog's point of view. I liked that she tolerated the intruder for fear of upsetting you. LOL I think you captured the adoration a pet has for its master.

    Those dogs will dash off without thinking :D

  2. I love it! I didn't guess it was from the dog's POV! Really like the feel of this piece.

  3. All the exclamation points would typically get on my nerves, but I can imagine a dog thinking in terms of such excitement - if they thought so narratively. I enjoyed it!

  4. I love the POV of the dog and the way he failed to understand what his "beloved" was saying. Cute story!

  5. I thought the intruder was the shadow of death at first — shows you where my mind runs when reading these, eh? So this is something that actually happened, told from the dog's PoV — very well done.

  6. You really captured that exuberant sense of a dog, of their complete love for their humans.

  7. @Helen: Oh man, you have no idea how desperate I was when I realized she'd fallen off! And when it got dark and I was cold and had no idea of how to leave? Ohhh! An adventure indeed, heh.

    @Sonia: Thanks! I was hoping to mislead some of my readers, so you've sort of made my day. ;D

    @John: I hear you. Lots of exclamation points usually annoy me, but in this case they were meant to set the tone of Moira's thinking, as you rightly guessed. If you met her in person, you'd get a good laugh at her attitude. She's just like that, minus the fancy wording.

    @Chuck: She didn't misunderstand me; she actually chose to ignore me. Cushion-dogs...

    @FAR: Come back to the light, FAR! You've been on the dark side for too long! :P

    Glad you liked this one. I'm quite fond of this piece. :)

    @Icy: Thanks!

  8. Hey guys, I'd like to ask you some more advice on this one, if you don't mind.

    Do you think Moira's fancy talking is too off, or it worked well in the context?

    Also, do you think a modern tale could work with such strong Dickensian influence, or people would read as: novel writer who wants to go fancy, meaning >> don't be ridiculous with this archaic wording, you can't handle it.

  9. Good voice. Fun take on the way dogs (and cats) approach the new young'un. My inlaws like to have two dogs, but the older one seems to realize when the new one arrives it means they are getting old.

  10. @Aidan: Thanks! I too love having two dogs. Iris's acceptance by Moira was a bit hard, because the latter had been with me, and only me, for almost ten years.(!) They're well adjusted to each other now, and I daresay they love each other very much. ;)

  11. I like this.

    To attempt an answer to your question, I think Moira's voice worked well in context. The formality does seem a little mismatched to the exuberance though. I assumed that was part of your deliberate misdirection before you revealed the POV.

  12. This dog is NOT happy with/about the intruder - that comes through rather clearly. :)

    Excellent rendition of the dog's point of view. All is understood in way slightly skewed from what we might see - but no less correct in many ways.

    And adoring as dogs are. I'd hate to read this from the perspective of one of our two cats!

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  14. Mari, I am of archaic wording in general (sometimes everyday speech!), and so it didn't cause me any grief. I don't believe it took away from the dog's voice at all. It had the benefit of distancing it from a normal, contemporary, human voice - which sets up the distinction.

    On the subject of word choices, did you mean "wretched" rather than "wrecked" in the "...they must pity the..."?

  15. Aw, what a sweet tale! The pooches just don't get that we are cold, freezing and tired tromping half frozen rivers (hello?). Very endearing though and I love that pic of your dog.

  16. @Tim: Thanks for your visit and the valuable feedback! Yes, the tone was purposeful to mislead the reader, as well as the mismatching you mentioned. I'm glad to learn that it worked well in the context though.

    @Kevin (KjM): I'm allergic to cats. Ha! :P

    Thanks muchly for the feedback and wording suggestion. I've corrected the word confusion.

    @Jodi: That's my point precisely! I wanted to throw Moira from the balcony when I got home and everyone was safe! So frustrating... lol

    She's cute, isn't she? :)

  17. Awwww, so sweet! And my two puggles were giving me the eye as I read the story. :D

  18. @gany: Smart guys! hehehe ;P


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