From the Archives – “Tiger” a picture story.

From time to time, I take a random picture and write a short story/vignette about it. I’ve been doing it for many years. A little while back, some friends and I had a weekly writing challenge based on that exercise. This is one of them.

The picture for this story was found inside a purse in a thrift store.

Picture Story #2
This story is (C) Diana C. Quaintance, 2006.

Hours had gone by and still the storm kept on vomiting bucketfuls of snow on the land. By morning, the inhabitants of the peaceful mountain town would have to try and dig their way out of their homes.

They’d all gone inside early in the day when the first snowflakes had started to fall.
“This will be a bad one……you’ll see” one of the old timers had said, shaking his head at the sky “Mark my words……a bad one…a bad one” he’d stood up and amidst the soft cracking of his joints, he’d gone home with his faithful dog – Tiger – by his side.

Tiger was not a big dog…….in all certainty, the name was almost a mockery. The canine was small and furry. When he went out during a rainy day, he would’ve been easily mistaken for a running wet mop. He was also an odd dog. Faithful to the death when it came to his Master, but cranky to everyone else. He would yap – for his yowlings could not be even considered barking – at anything that came across his path, be it animal, vegetal or mineral. He would walk briskly by the old man, always curious about the things around him. And when his Master sat – daily – on the benches outside the local drugstore, Tiger would always be by him, eating the peanuts the man threw at him. He would also yap happily at the passing cars and when a cat came by……Hell would break loose. People had gotten used to his noisy behavior and let him be.

That day, the old man had gone back home and after a brief meal, he’d gone to bed. Tiger curled up in front of the fireplace and fell asleep almost instantly. His soft snoring made the hairs of his muzzle dance slightly.

As the hours ebbed by, Tiger’s ears twitched slightly. He snorted and turned on its back, having one of those mysterious, happy, doggy dreams. Then his ears twitched again and he straightened up, his eyes open wide. There was a noise. A foreign noise in the room. He stood up and trotted around the living room trying to find its origin.

Sniffing here and there, he heard the noise again, under the couch. He squatted by it and peered into the darkness with his small, beady eyes. Not only a foreign nose….but a foreign smell as well…….

The old man was awakened by Tiger’s incessant yapping, as he tried to oust the mouse under the couch. He got up, his joints cracking again and walked into the living room, absentmindedly scratching his butt as he yawned.
“What is it boy?”

*yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap*

The old man grunted and shaking his head, he walked to the kitchen and boiled some water for coffee.

*yap yap yap yap yap yap yap yap YIP!!!!!!!!!!!!!*

Tiger came bounding into the kitchen, teary eyed and twitching his nose, where the mouse had scratched him. He looked up to his Master in that unique way that made humans feel pity for dogs. The pup whined softly and if you looked closely, you could almost say he was pouting.

The old man picked up Tiger and set him on the table, bringing out a small bowl and filling it with milk for him. He set the bowl on the table and Tiger lapped at it contentedly, the mouse now forgotten.

The kettle whistled and the man made himself a cup of steaming, strong instant coffee. He sat by the table, clad in only his boxer shorts and drank from his cup, eyeing the dog. The dog lifted and canted its head at his Master and they stared at each other for some time, as outside the snow kept falling, turning the world into a soft white and silent haven.