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Rated: E · Fiction · Animal · #2230796
Thomas allows an uninvited visitor to stay and soon regrets it.
The Backyard Holds a Secret

Thomas spotted his wife strolling up the walkway with an uninvited guest following her. He shrugged. By the pleasant expression on her face, he already knew what she was about to ask. He opened the front screen door, and the visitor stepped in first, then circled Thomas' legs. It let out a bark, then sat down next to him. The dog's fur was disheveled. Thomas gazed over at his wife and said,

"Oh, alright. It can stay." She threw an arm around him while still holding on to the small bag of groceries with the other arm. The dog expressed two more barks.

During the rest of the day, Thomas observed how calm the dog was. It would sit at the back door and stare outside. When his wife placed some leftover pot roast and a bowl of water next to the back door, the dog sniffed at it for a while, then stared into the backyard once again. Mariam, Thomas' wife, said,

"I don't know what's wrong with it. I know it has to be hungry, or at least thirsty. When it approached me after I left the store, it barked. I tried to offer it a cookie, but it refused. Then it followed me home. It was like it knew me."

"Well, maybe it found something to eat while scrounging around trash cans," Thomas said. "I wouldn't worry about it. When it gets hungry or thirsty, it'll tear it up." She hunched her shoulders and sighed.

Three days later, both Thomas and Mariam noticed the dog hadn't eaten or drank anything. Thomas thought the dog may be sick but said nothing to Mariam. But the dog exhibited one odd behavior. Whenever they let him outside to do his business, it would trot over to one corner in the yard and start digging. Digging for what was unknown to Thomas, but today he was going to find out while Mariam was at the nail salon.

Thomas opened the back door. The dog exited and headed for the same corner in the backyard, but this time Thomas followed it. The dog began digging, hefting the soil with its front paws. When Thomas was about ten feet away, the dog collapsed. Thomas halted and stared. The dog wasn't breathing. It was the damnedest thing he'd ever seen. He stepped lightly and verified the dog was dead. This would break Mariam's heart. Then Thomas peered into the hole. A suitcase lay partially uncovered. That explained a lot. It also allowed Thomas to kill two stones at the same time. After retrieving a shovel, he dug out the suitcase and set it aside. Next, he buried the dead dog in the same hole. When he finished, he turned his attention to the suitcase. No locks, just a zipper. He unzipped it and popped the top. A foul stench escaped and inside the suitcase lay the same dead dog!

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