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by David Cook

“He bloody reeks,” moaned Leah.

The chocolate brown Labrador grunted, rolled over, and continued dozing by the window.

“Thick as a brick too,” Leah continued to her friend, Phoebe, who’d only popped in for a cup of coffee and had found herself an accidental audience member for Leah’s concert of complaints. “I mean, the other day we took him to the beach and he tried to eat the sand.”

“Well, he is just—”

“I don’t even know what the point of him is,” Leah interrupted. “He shits, eats and sleeps. And that’s it. And he’s an ugly bugger.”

“Bit harsh, babe.”

“He is though. Look at his wonky nose and flappy lips. Thinking of giving him away, to be honest. Debbie next door’s desperate for one. Her fella Steve keeps saying no, but she reckons if there was one in the house he’d just put up with it.”

Phoebe rolled her eyes. “If you say so, babe.” She nodded towards the Labrador. “How’s the dog?”

“Aw, he’s the best. Total sweetheart.”

“Not thinking of getting shot of him too, then?”

“Oh, God, no. He’s my pal. Wouldn’t get rid of you, would I, Bruno?”

The dog’s ears flickered. He yawned widely and rolled over again.

Leah looked down at the baby on her lap, which was making sucking motions with its mouth. “But I’ve had enough of this bloody thing with all his shitting and pissing and wah-wah-wah.” She stood up. “Let’s go round Debbie’s now, see if she’ll have him.”

Bruno woke as the door slammed behind them. He saw he was alone, howled a few times, then relieved himself on the carpet.


David Cook’s stories have been published in the National Flash Fiction Anthology, Spelk, Bunbury Magazine and more. He’s a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominee. You can find more of his work at www.davewritesfiction.wordpress.com and say hi on Twitter @davidcook100. He lives in Bridgend, Wales, with his wife and daughter.

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