Longing for belonging

I’m sharing a short story I wrote for a competition a while ago. The longing for belonging was the theme, sort of. Short stories are hard to write; imagine if Tolkien had been told to write Lord of the Rings in 200 words. Actually, I’d like to see that done. In the meantime:

 

Canine socialising class

‘The dog’s name?’

A desperate search for a nametag. ‘Wait… Lilly!’ Wrong thing to do: Lycra woman marches off.

Big grin as dog Lilly overtakes Slim woman:  ‘Your dog is great – what is it? Oh right, a poodle.’

‘No, I’ve just moved here. Great way of meeting people, right?’

Face muscles in agony from grinning. Am I overdoing it? Lycra woman is definitely avoiding me. Better luck with the book club tomorrow? Must read boring novel.

‘Sorry, did I hurt you? I did not see you. I know, your dog is big.’ Model woman teeters away, harrumphing.

She is laughing at me. Young. Keeps glancing at me. I wave tentatively. She waves back and hides a titter behind a hand. I haul in dog.

‘Oh hi, I’m new to this. It shows? My sister’s dog, really.’ Why am I telling her this? ‘Lisa? Great name for a dog!’ Not the dog, you idiot, the girl. Relax, she is lovely so do not ruin things. The novel is a brick.

‘No, I’d love a drink. The pub next door allows dogs.’ I checked on the way in. And ditch the novel.

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