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The Dog Lady

Written by: Melody Hewson

Copyright: Melody Hewson 2012

Published at Smashwords

A flash of a shadow crossed the pool of weak light before disappearing once more into the night.

What was that?” a concerned voice called out from the shadows a short distance away, a small burst of red hovering in the air as the speaker took a pull from their cigarette.

Just the dog lady.” Another voice replied dismissively. “Just ignore her, she’s harmless.”

As if waiting for just such an introduction, another figure peeled itself from the darkness of the moonless night, casually crossing the puddle of weak light from a decrepit street lamp, then melting away back into the darkness.

The two shadowed figures continued along their nightly path, greeted by the familiar barks and howls of the neighborhood dogs as they passed. The nightly circuit almost completed, the pair of shadows shed the darkness like a cloak, the rest of the short walk back home well lit by a pair of newly installed street lamps.

A small, shaggy mongrel of no certain pedigree darted back & forth excitedly, sniffing, peeing, sniffing, peeing, chasing some stray raccoon or skunk a short distance before losing interest & darting off in another direction, yet never straying more than a few feet from the old woman who walked behind him, her gait a slow shambling walk, occasionally pausing to place a hand on her arthritic hip, resting a moment before continuing.

Annabelle Carson, known more commonly as the Dog Lady, was a familiar site around the rural neighborhood. Almost no one knew her real name, and she never went out of her way to make herself more acquainted with the other residents. Her short, black hair, obviously dyed, was almost always in disarray and she had a habit of mumbling to herself. Her clothes were always covered in stray fur & usually had smears of mud and paw print stains. Often when someone tried to strike up a conversation with her, she would simply stare blankly or give abrupt, one word answers. She was mostly a recluse, keeping to herself inside a small, rundown house with an ill-kept yard.

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