One of my dreams for a long time has been to write a novel. Or at least a short story or two. I have some short stories in my file and the beginnings of a few novel ideas. Instead of waiting any longer to be discovered, I plan to post a weekly series publishing fictitious plots and characters aplenty.
The first installment is a story about a boy and his dog. I started writing this story in 2004, and the last time I looked at it was 2016. Enjoy the first chapter of Igor and Spank by Kel Rohlf.
“If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder come to pass….” (Deuteronomy 13:1,2a KJV)
My therapist tells me that it’s good for me to get out of the house more often. I don’t disagree, but it’s just that I’d rather stay in bed with the blinds closed. But to appease my therapist, I took up walking the neighborhood. On my afternoon walk, I noticed a boy roaming the neighborhood with a young black lab tied to a piece of clothesline rope. He waved me down and asked if I had lost a dog. I assured him that I had not lost a dog. The boy informed me that he had been door to door on his street and several others. No one claimed the dog. I patted the dog on its head; quite friendly wagging its tail.
“I call the dog, Spank,” the boy explained. I could tell he was already much attached to this particular dog, and felt a twinge of pain that the boy who found a lost dog would soon be at a loss without the dog. I looked away making some excuse about having to get on with my walk. The boy invited himself to join me. That made me nervous. I asked if his mother would mind. Oh no, he was fine. His mom was at work and her boyfriend was home. We walked around the corner with Spank in tow.
“What’s your name?” I asked.
“Hmm,” I thought to myself who would give such a name to a child?
“I can spell it. I-g-o-r.”
“I can spell Spank, too,” he added eagerly, “S-P-A-C-K.”
I started to correct him, then just grinned and asked about his plans for school this coming fall. He told me he was going into third grade at a private school nearby, not the public school in our neighborhood. We were getting further up the hill, when Igor stopped in his tracks and pointed me toward the other side of the street.
“Look at that car! It’s a 1969 Dodge Charger! It’s my mom’s dream car!”
“You know what?”
“My mom’s boyfriend said I could get a cat since we moved into our own house now, but I really like black dogs. You know what, last night I had a dream that I’d find a black dog, just like Spank, and I would take him on a walk with a white clothesline. And it happened. Just like I dreamed.” He grinned first at the dog and then at me.
I shuddered inside. How could you tell a boy that although this dream came true, that most likely the dog’s owner would show up? Or his mom’s boyfriend was lying about pets and houses. Classic case of being set up for disappointment.
“Look, Igor… I, uh… better let you get back home, my house is on the other side of the neighborhood. I don’t think you should take Spank that far from home.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. Nice to meet you.” Boy and dog trotted off to other adventures.
For the rest of the day and week, Igor and Spank invaded my thoughts. The next time I was heading out of the neighborhood in my car, I took a detour past their house. No Spank in sight, just Igor in a red cape on his bike riding around with a friend. He had already forgotten about me and Spank.