a weekly series of fiction to enjoy with your bowl of cereal
Igor and Spank by Kel Rohlf
Igor insisted that we drive to a nearby town to buy dog food. He was afraid someone might recognize him at our local grocery store. I thought he was being irrational, but drove across the river to the next town to the IGA, and bought dog food. On the drive back to my house, I wondered what Jack would think of my decision. Igor and Spank were quiet. Back at the house, I put fresh sheets on Adam’s bed and found some pajamas for Igor.
It was getting late, so I suggested we all head to bed. Igor agreed, but first asked, “Where’s Spank going to sleep?”
“I don’t know. Doesn’t he just sleep on the floor? I never had a dog before.”
“Well, usually he sleeps with me.”
“This isn’t my house, so I understand if you don’t want him in one of your beds.”
“No, it’s okay. This is a special circumstance,” I smiled at him and he gave me a big hug.
After the hug, I led them to the room. Igor climbed in bed, and then patted the cover to invite Spank to join him. I watched them from the doorway. Spank curled up at Igor’s feet, and Igor smiled at me. “Gail, can I ask you one more thing?”
“Sure, will you say the bedtime prayer with me? Momma always does.”
“Um…I don’t know any prayers, Igor. But I’ll listen while you say it.”
“Can you come sit on the bed with us?”
I hesitated, and told myself that it would be okay. I walked over and sat on the bed. And Igor folded his hands on his chest and closed his eyes, “Abba, Father, bless us and keep us this night. You who never sleep nor slumber, watch over all your children. Give us good dreams or no dreams at all. Amen.” He finished, then opened his eyes. “Thanks, Gail…for everything.” I patted his arm, and stood up to go to my bed. “Gail?”
I turned back to look at Igor, “Do you ever have dreams?”
“You mean like when I’m sleeping.”
“Are they ever good?”
“Not usually. Usually I’m lost or trapped or carried away by…”
“A Chinese dragon.”
“Oh…that’s kind of weird,” he smiled at me.
“I know, but it’s a recurring theme. Why did you ask?”
“I don’t know, I was just curious. Dreams have always been important to me and my momma.”
“I noticed it was part of your prayer.”
“Yes, I added that part because I didn’t want to have any nightmares tonight.”
“Does that help?”
“Sometimes, but not always.”
“Ok, well I think we better get some sleep now.”
Igor yawned, “Good night, Gail.”
“Good night, Igor.” I gently closed the door, but left it open a crack.
I woke with a start. I looked over at the clock, it was 4:34 am. Ugh, just for once I would like to sleep all night and wake up with the sun. As I lay there, I recalled that a boy and his dog were sleeping across the hallway. What was I going to do? I couldn’t keep them here forever. Jack would know what to do. But did I really want to get him involved. Why wouldn’t I call the police? What would I tell them? This boy I hardly knew came to my house, and said his mother was taken away by some mysterious men. Would they believe me? And Igor seemed relieved when I said I wouldn’t get the police involved. I wonder about the International Co-op, maybe they would know what to do. I wish I could find that article Elena mentioned in People magazine. I let these ideas roll around in my head, talking myself out of them one by one. Finally, I got out of bed quietly and went downstairs to the basement office to search the internet.
I typed in Bosnian refugees and People magazine. A few articles came up, and I clicked on the first one. The article claimed that bodies in the mass graves from the genocide would be hard to identify because the bodies were not buried whole. How horrible. I read on and there were reports that some of the men were able to escape, but their fates were hindered by land mines, fatal wounds or starvation. Not much hope for Igor’s dream of being reunited with his father. I clicked out of the article, and typed in International Co-op. Their website was the first hit. I scrolled through their services, and determined I would call them in the morning anonymously to see if they could help me sort out the situation. I wrote down the phone number on a sticky note, then I headed back to bed. I remained awake for a while still wondering what Jack would think of my choices.