Friday, October 29, 2010

Doggonemad part 2

* Continued from a previous post: Doggonemad

  1. 1st revision: 29 October 2010

"I'm feeling a little under the weather," I groan to the voice on the other end of the line. "I think I need the day off. I'll probably head to the doctor's after this."

The thought that I am lying through my teeth came to mind. Though I had to wonder, even at that moment, how teeth could have anything to do with that.

Perhaps it was like having bits of vegetables stuck between your front teeth. There'd be all these horrid bits of green protruding outwards so clearly for all to see even whilst you continually denied that any were embedded there in the first place.

"It's all your fault!" I exclaim reproachfully whilst casting dirty looks at the dog.

The canine's mouth was open with his lips pulled back just enough for me to see glimpses of his teeth. He looked like he was smiling.

"Yes, yes, I know. What's new? Anyway, can we get on with this?" Hans scampers across the hallway and neatly gathers up his leash in his mouth and trots back promptly to where I am standing.

I stare at him quizzically as I grab the leash from him. I still have trouble believing this furball can talk in plain English. And that he possesses such advanced thinking skills.


"Oh, get on with it," barks Hans, sitting himself down right in front of me, nuzzling my hands to quickly put the leash on him.

"Mmm," I mutter half reluctantly, but before I know it, we're out the door. The dog's the one who's taking me for a walk this time. Or maybe it's more like a run.

"Would you please slow down?" I screech through gritted teeth as we fly across bushes and flowerpots, jogging paths and pedestrian crossings.

"We don't have the luxury of time. Any moment now, the clues might get swept off or buried away and then we'll never find them and you'll never believe me."

"Why wouldn't I? After all, you can talk," I mumble somewhat sarcastically as I scarcely avoid colliding with a tree as we whizzed past.

Hans is in a zone of his own by now. He doesn't seem to have heard my last sentence. His head is bent low with his nose to the ground, and he busies himself searching for some specific scent that I know nothing of.

"Do I get any explanations yet?"

Hans looks up between sniffs and turns back to reply me, "Just a second, we're getting close now."

I sigh and nearly trip on a large stone at the same time. He had better have a good reason for having dragged me out all this way.

Not to mention the fake illness that I would have to conjure when I finally did make that trip to the doctor's in hopes of a medical chit that can explain away my absence at work today.

"Look," Hans says suddenly and I fix my gaze in the direction where his nose is pointing.

"Uhh.. it's a cat?" The disinterestedness in my voice was crystal clear. "You made me come out all this way for a cat?"

"Sshh!" Hans reprimanded me in a hushed tone. "We've got to follow her."

My movements are careful and calculated now as we tail behind the feline. Anyhow, she didn't appear to have seen us.

Hans speaks up again as soon as we hide behind the shadows of some nearby trees.

"It's your grandma..." He begins.

"What about my grandma? She's dead, you know."

"Yeah, of course I know. That sneaky cat over there was her cat."

I frown for a moment as I try to recall.

"Oh, and this interests me like, how?"

"The cat killed your grandma," Hans said grimly.

I stared at him in disbelief. How on Earth could a canine mind have deduced that?

"And what makes you say so?"

"She had a heart attack, didn't she?"

"Well, yes but-"

"Yes, and that cat had something to do with it. Your sweet old grandma had been in the pink of health before. I don't think it's common for you humans to drop dead suddenly when you're not in the least sick or something, right?"

"Well... yeah..." I admitted, still trying to digest these new pieces of information Hans was feeding me with. "So what do you propose we do now?"

"The cats are up to no good. It's not just your grandma that this feline was out to murder. She and the others like her have something bigger in mind. We need to find out what that is about before it's too late."

And that was how my hatred for cats began.


Stef said...

As a fellow (occasional) writer, I'm guessing that you'd value feedback so here's mine. If its too long, just skip to the end. ;P

- Love the plot idea. I imagined what my comfort retriever would do if he talked and all I could come up with was Dug from Pixar's Up. Talking Hans would be awesome.

- The story is in present tense, yes? I might be nitpicking, but maybe past tense would be better? Probably just me though since my biggest problem is my past/present/future tense.

- Loved this line for some reason: '...and the reaction I solicit from the canine is merely a momentary pause in his panting, during which he cocks his head to one side and continues to gaze at me in a somewhat wise looking way.'

- This one too: 'Hmm. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? I own a talking dog.'

- I like that you had an inner turmoil about not paying so much attention to your dog and you concluded along the lines of 'I'm the owner damn it!'

- 'I exclaimed loudly in a sing-song voice'. Another nitpick but somehow the two expressions don't really go well together IMHO. Personally I associate 'sing-song' with annoyingly chirpy but that's just me.

- 'Hans scampers across the hallway and neatly gathers up his leach in his mouth..' Leash, I believe?

- 'I screech through gritted teeth as we fly across bushes and flowerpots, jogging paths and pedestrian crossings.' This made me giggle. I've walked a pitbull and I shudder in imagining a german shepherd.

- '...when I finally did make that trip to the doctor's in hopes of a medical chit...' medical chit, so british! <3

- "You made me come out all this way for a cat?" I love the intonation and implications in this sentence.

- '"The cat killed your grandma," Hans said grimly.' This one made me smile and giggle even more. I actually went 'Oh Hans, you think the same of every cat'.


In other news, great story! 8/10. Minus 2 because you're making me wait for a sequel. =(

teemortai said...

Loved the story, and the comment. Heh.

(Maybe 'Hans scampered across the hallway and neatly gathered up his suspenders in his mouth...'? - 'Cos it certainly feels that way; your leaving us eager readers hanging in suspense! Trust me... i would get EVEN more lame with each passing moment (until you produce the much anticipated sequel!)... and i don't think you would want to tolerate any more than that whihc is already shoved at you! Heh.)

Susanna said...

Wowsers, thanks for the comments you two! :D I've written individual replies to both of you below.

And since posting this story I've also given the draft to 2 of my family members to read, and have come back armed with things to edit. Changes will be made to the posts soon after this :) Nothing makes a writer more happy than feedback from readers :)

And now, my individual responses to your comments:


1. Glad you liked the plot :) I owe the initial spark to Writer's Digest. You should check them out if you ever want writing ideas, it's quite a nifty place :)

2. Tenses: not sure if I totally get what you mean. Maybe you could elaborate further?

3. It's great to hear that you enjoyed some of the lines/descriptions. I don't usually write in this style... I think I have Joseph Heller's Catch-22 to blame - it's the book I'm currently reading haha :P

4. "... exclaimed loudly in a sing-song voice": This one is due for revision. I don't entirely like the sentence structure to begin with and kind of agree with what you said too.

5. Misspelling of "leash": Yes I noted this mistake too after printing out the story to hard copy. :( *embarrassed* Funny how some things get so easily missed on the computer screen :P

6. About the sequel: I'm contemplating using this idea to write a Nanowrimo novel in the month of November. Not sure if you've heard of it before? It's quite a cool concept, which aims to encourage writing amongst American citizens (but now with participants all across the globe).


Hey! I will try to write a sequel lah ya. But I'm pretty bad with extending stories past a certain length - I lose track of the plot and character development and then things go all funky! :( Anyways, I'll keep you posted if any new additions to the story come up ya :) Thanks again for the encouragement, as always :)

Stef said...

- the story is written in the present tense which means ur narrating it as it happens, correct? I don't really see many writers doing this. Usually they narrate it as if it happened in the past and they're telling it to you now. Hmm, not really explaining myself well. Remind me to explain next time we meet up =P

- Catch-22? The one Deric's been talking about? Sounds like an interesting rezd.

- Yeah, I've heard of Nanowrimo but I'm too lazy to actually participate in it. If you passed the challenge, can I read too? *puppy eyes* Haven't written any original fiction in years although I'm still participating in Check it out sometime if you're interested. =P

Susanna said...


The present tense issue: Hmm. Okay.

Catch 22: Yes this is the one ;)

Nanowrimo: Sure :) But then, it's already November 1st and I haven't worked out any plot yet :( Just a little concerned I'll have problems keeping up once I start work next week :(