Dog Days Of Summer

Dog days of summer


It’s fun to step back in time and read some of the tales we so proudly wrote “back in the day.” You know, to see how we’ve progressed (or regressed). Here’s one of my early attempts at writing. The exercise was to tell a story, complete with a twisted ending, in 300 words or less.

Dog Days of Summer

The beach had always been much-needed mental therapy for Clara Ruth. Medicine for the soul she called it. Brilliant sunshine to warm her face and bare shoulders. Foamy seawater sizzling around her ankles. And that delightful salty air was nothing short of heaven on earth.

She cherished the screeching and shrieking seagulls. She adored the feel of the wet sand oozing between her toes. Not to mention the ocean breezes that brought the scents of coconut tanning oils, warm popcorn, and greasy French fries wafting down from the crowded creosote-soaked boardwalk.

As a child she’d liked nothing more than visiting the seaside arcades to play Skeeball, winning long ribbons of blue tickets that she’d exchange for cheap novelties, like a bamboo back-scratcher or a squirt gun. If she was lucky, and, if her parents had brought enough quarters, a plastic pail and shovel for making sandcastles. Secretly, though, she’d kept her eye on the big, white stuffed unicorn. But no one, not even the grownups, ever won enough blue tickets to take home the top prize.

But things had changed over the years. Those days were gone forever.

Wonderful memories, all of them. She’d have given anything to have those days back again.

The sun was bright and hot and nearly directly overhead. Not a single cloud to block the heat. But, for all she knew, it could have been midnight beyond the dark glasses she wore.

A lone tear, caught in the lower lashes of her right eye, finally spilled down onto her cheek. She mopped it away with the back of a hand. Using the other, she extended her red and white cane and urged the dog to guide her home.

She’d had enough therapy for one day.