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Man's Best Friend

Brayden Kimbrough

The echo of a gunshot rang through the trailer in the early hours of the morning. 

The Boy’s father, the smell of whiskey still on his breath and work clothes wrinkled, jolted

from atop the bed covers. The Boy’s mother, frying bacon in the kitchen and smoking a cigarette, stopped sharply. 

The Boy, adorned with a cowboy hat and badge made of aluminum foil, stood over the

body of the family’s Golden Retriever. Dark red blood oozed from its fur onto the carpet as the dog let out a high-pitched whimper. The Boy’s parents, arriving hurriedly, stood in shock over the body of the pet, still writhing in pain. The mother, holding back tears, grabbed the Boy by the wrist and dragged him away into his bedroom.  

The father, noticing the handgun on the floor, looked at his dog who was softly wincing. He

solemnly bent to the carpet, grabbed the gun, and spoke tenderly to the pet. A second gunshot sounded, followed by silence, and eventually, the chirping of songbirds. 

In the days and years that followed, the Boy vehemently denied that he had fired the gun,

but on mornings when the sun cuts through the blinds just right, he can still smell the pungent stench of ammonia and bleach. The Boy went on to become a successful accountant and raised a son of his own. His son would grow up wondering why his father never caved to his requests for a family pet. 

Spring 2023

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