by MD Maurice
flash fiction, a loyal pet makes a difficult decision.
|It may have been the sound of breaking glass or the sudden shift in our physical dynamics that brought the dog to her decision. Regardless of what it was, in a movement that was lightning quick, Kacey stepped between us. The dog's big body went taught with tension and a thick ridge of hair sprouted along her spine. She barred her teeth at you, ears pinned back almost flat against her thick head.
Seconds before when we had pushed and shoved at each other, Kacey's soft brown eyes had darted back and forth between us, agonized and and confused. She had not known which master to align with, torn between her natural instinct to protect those she loved because she loved us both. You could see her watching the violence escalate. She had begun to whine and keen, her uneasiness mounting as she struggled to understand the situation, to decide which one of us needed her protection more.
Then, you had shoved me again, hard and with the full force of your rage. My feet lost contact with the floor and I fell backwards, the momentum carrying me across the kitchen into the glass door. I crashed into it, back first, and it exploded. I felt shards of glass rain down onto my shoulders and my scalp. I landed in a pool of glass, sharp edges cutting into my palms. My sudden fall had stunned you into silence, stopping your stream of curses dead in your throat. In that instant, Kacey was there, stepping protectively in front of me.
Kacey backed up into me, until the the haunches of her tawny coat were right in front of me. Her body was a network of sinew and muscle on full alert. You took a step toward me and she issued a low and menacing growl. It was a sound I had never heard her make before and it was clearly the only warning you would get. There was no room for error on your part; she would use everything she had in her to keep me safe. I was as startled by her transformation as you were, but I understood it. The same lovable, goofy dog that cuddled with you each night would not hesitate to take you down now.
“Kacey, it's okay girl....” You coaxed and cooed at her. Your words merely elicited a volley of angry barking and snarling.
I struggled to my feet and shook glass from my clothes. I gingerly accessed my wounds with my fingertips, thankful nothing was serious. Kacey fell in beside me and I placed my hand on her massive head.
“Good girl.” I told her softly.
Your face was mottled with anger and shock. You twitched with fury. I could see another volley of violence brewing in your darkened features and clenched fists.
“You better back off, ” I warned, knowing my sweet 50lb staffie had gone into full protection mode. Kacey was now potentially a formidable weapon should I need her.
Again, I rested my palm against her head, feeling her heat. She moved her body closer against mine, her eyes never leaving your body.
"You have a decision to make make, " I told him.
"Kacey has already made hers.”