Alex shrugged, and kicked a few stones as Trixie her golden lab went off on yet another sniffing frenzy. She looked at her mother, with her face covered in ashes and answered “I close my eyes and I listen.” The wind picked up, and her mother shivered. Alex moved closer to her, and wrapped her arms around her mother.
“He’s here. I know it, I just feel it,” Alex whispered into her mother’s face. She placed both hands, holding mom’s cheeks inches from her breath just as she did when she was five and had a secret to share. “Can’t you feel him Mom?” Tears cleared a path down her cheeks, like a river awakening mud dried and hardened from years of drought.
Trixie barked, and jumped. She clawed at the rocks, and howled louder than ever. This startled the two women who both looked at the dog with utter curiosity and a glimmer of hope. “They say dogs can smell fear,” said Alex. She let go of her mother and ran towards Trixie. “Good girl!” she called out to the golden lab. “You’re such a good girl!”
Trixie responded with a low growl, and panic in her eyes. She never got over how her dog showed emotions. It was as if a human lived behind those eyes of hers. She could actually feel Trixie’s pain right now, it was the pain of a child, a human child. Alex bent down to comfort her pet, knowing just what would do the trick – she cradled Trixie’s ears and murmured soft words as she rubbed her dog’s soft spot right behind each ear. Alex called out to her mother “He’s here, and he’s still alive, bring the shovel!”
Down on her hands and knees Alex began moving the rubble, and the shattered pieces of walls that collapsed from the quake. She bent down and lowered her head to the ground getting her ear as close to the stones as possible. She closed her eyes, and held her breath hoping to silence her heartbeats. “I hear something Mom, hurry!”
Both women, and dog worked together. Every minute or so Trixie would stop all movements, and sniff, and whine. She would swoosh her head from woman to woman as if watching a tennis match, and madly resume pawing at the rubble. It wasn’t until her tail began wagging that both mother and daughter began laughing through a tear soaked face.
The ground began shifting under their feet, Trixie jumped aside like a frightened cat, and madly barked. Fingers poked through first, then a hand. Mom grabbed it, and helped pull her husband from the destruction. Alex dropped the shovel aside and helped her father rise through the collapsed pieces of wall and ceiling.
“It’s like I said Mom, I close my eyes, and I listen. But most important of all, I have to believe.”
It feels like eons since I’ve written any fiction… I guess it took a sick leave combined with a long weekend to finally let myself go. Thanks Tara and Kir for bringing the writer in me back out ❤ This week’s prompt is brought to you by the talented Linda at In Somnis Veritas with her story With every season.