On The Should Of A Stranger: A Short Story

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On the Should of a Stranger The sound of my shovel breaking the ground is the only noise that reaches my ears. The warm tears running down my cheeks, the only thing I feel. I slow down my breathing to match the rhythm of the steady chink of my shovel as it enters the dirt, almost reaching a hypnotic state. Anything to keep my mind off what is happening. Chink. An image of me on my knees beside the road flashes before my eyes, and with it comes a searing pain. My shovel misses its mark and I’m jerked out of my stupor. Looking over my shoulder, I see the large cooler sitting under the shade of a small tree, the image almost making me throw up. I try to return my focus to the shovel, struggling to keep the images at bay. Chink. It doesn’t …show more content…
I remembered the way he looked at me when he knew I was sad. I heard a bark. My mind was playing a cruel trick. I could see Duke jumping playfully, waiving his tail in the air, as if challenging me to chase him. I choked. Tears blinded my vision as I watched my friend run away into the distant woods. “NOOOO!” I screamed. But he was gone. As soon as he disappeared from my view, the weight of his body in my arms became suddenly apparent, and I stumbled, almost falling to the ground. I couldn’t breathe. Sobs rocked my body as I slowly made my way to the back of the yard. I retrieved a cooler from our garage and set it beneath the shade of a tree. I brought Duke over and knelt beside it. His body was too big to easily fit inside so I had to bend him slightly to get him in. “I’m sorry,” I whispered as I shut the cover. I made my way over to the shovel and picked a spot under a tree. Chink. My shovel digs into the hard ground. I feel the warm tears running down my cheek. I slow down my breathing to match the rhythm of the steady chink of my shovel as it enters the dirt, almost reaching a hypnotic state. Anything to keep my mind off the reality of what is

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