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Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #1820358
While the neighborhood sleeps, Elmer howls.
The neighborhood was silent - families slept in their beds. Some snored, some dreamed, and some tossed and turned.

No one knew that Mr. Toby on First Street made sure, to the best of his knowledge, that his neighbors and friends had a good night’s sleep. Mr. Toby took care of any barking dogs that disturbed the night. No one knew that Mr. Toby went to the barking home and took responsibility for quieting the perpetrator. If they did, they were just grateful it was someone else taking care of business. Mr. Toby cared; the night did not belong to barking and howling. It was for sleeping. He abhorred people who left their pets out all night.

Tonight, Mr. Toby was awakened by sad howling, again. He didn’t even dress, this time. He set out into the cool night in his flannel pajamas. With flashlight in hand, he hurried to the suspected property on foot. He beamed his light left and right, seeking the instigator, his antagonist.

But that’s the thing, the house on the corner of First and Elm Street was for sale. It had been for over a year since Mrs. Brady passed. She’d been deceased for awhile before the neighbors noticed the bad aroma seeping from the seams of the brick home. Mrs. Brady and her rottweiler, Elmer, went at the same time.

“This place is haunted,” the neighbors agreed. A difficult sell. And Elmer, well he forgot to cross over and that is probably why he howled most nights.

Mr. Toby pulled the ball from his pocket. “Okay, Elmer, let’s play fetch, but just for a little while.” That usually worked.

Later, when it was almost dawn, Mr. Toby crawled into his bed for needed rest. He had to be ready when the ghost of Elmer howled.

Word Count: 300
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