Thursday, May 26, 2016


Crook knew exactly what his job was. Rescue and comfort. The last human he lived with showed him what it felt like to be removed from danger. It was also the first time he heard the Voice,"You're damaged, but not dead." It was Big Dog and she was speaking directly to Crook's heart. Somehow not being dead meant something. The small blonde dog remembered the Original Instructions and the voice of the canine Alpha mother, the goddess of all dogs. Crook nestled against Bea's soft belly. The stainless steel snake was cold. Crook heard the steady hiss and recognized it as comfort, "We're in the same business."

The three black-and-whites were asleep, mostly. The oldest of them was likethis with Big Dog. Tic was her name, she encouraged Crook, "You're on Blondie. This is not a battle worthy of her waning strength. The pursuit of fires, not a good idea!" There was great emphasis on the not a good idea. Crook's Yoda-perfect ears perked, his head cocked in the direction of the backseat. Dogs don't purr but that didn't stop the blonde from stealing tools that did the job. A small low rumble easily mistaken for a hunger pang kicked in. Tic smiled, "Keeper." She settled back onto the sheepskin.

The regulator set at "3" streamed compressed oxygen into Bea's nostrils. Her lungs quieted. Les drove the 525 stretch observing the speed limits. there was no ferry backup. Two vehicles a white Prius and an old gray Chevy pickup were ahead of them. Bea lifted the ceramic mask, "Honey, ask 'em what the round trip fare will cost."

"Hi," Les smiled at the cute young brunette. "How much for a round-trip for two seniors?"

"Twenty-one, fifty-six."

"Let's pass," said Bea from behind her mask.

Les had to be sure she was hearing right, "Pass?"

"Yup!" Crook pushed his paws up to size up his environment. Island living meant there would be people telling his people how much to get them off or on. He was a very quick study with a memory that retained detail. He kept alert.

"Guess we're taking a rain check," Les said. "Can I turn around?"

"Sure take the bus lane and pull around in front of the parked cars. No boat yet, so no problem."

Les felt a wet tongue on her wrist. Crook was lapping at her hand, eyes in full upright position. "I have a feeling you had something to do with this." The blonde's ears switched, one remains fully extended, the other did an angle thing that would be a familiar signature move, to be repeated often.

"Where to?" Les asked once she had the old station wagon heading up island.

"Let's go home, I could use a little nap."

There's more ....

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