So a while ago I wrote two episodes in a semi-continuing series on ficlets, and tonight I wrote the third. The story is far from over — in fact, in all candor, I have no idea where it’ll wind up — but it’s been fun to write it so far.
Here it is, to date.
Jenny, who is a dog
Jenny, who is a dog, came into the living room, sat down on the floor, and spoke. â€œWhat supper?â€ she said, tail thumping on the hardwood.
I stared at her. â€œBeg pardon?â€ I was shocked enough that I actually responded. To a dog. You see the state of mind I was in?
â€œSupper. Food. What?â€
â€œUh â€“ â€ Iâ€™d been making my own dog food, these days. Jenny was old, and store-brand food wasnâ€™t doing her any favours. â€œLiver and rice, for you,â€ I said. â€œI think pizza for me.â€
â€œGood. Liver good,â€ she said, and trotted off to the dining room.
I went into the kitchen and got a beer out of the fridge. As I twisted the cap off, my phone rang.
â€œDoug?â€ It was Lisa, my girlfriend. â€œUh, Doug, I didnâ€™t know who to call â€“ â€œ
â€œCalm down,â€ I said. â€œDeep breaths. Whatâ€™s up?â€
â€œMr. Kit,â€ she said. â€œHeâ€™s â€“ â€ She couldnâ€™t go on.
â€œHeâ€™s talking?â€ I said, and there was silence on the line. I knew I was right. Mr. Kit, who is a cat, was talking too.
Jenny came into the kitchen and sat on the floor. â€œJenny good dog,â€ she said.
Jenny, who is a dog, watches entirely more TV than I do these days. She canâ€™t read, yet, but she has figured out which buttons on the remote control do what, and sheâ€™s learned to identify the voices and the theme music of the programs she likes best.
When I say she watches TV, what I mean, of course, is that she turns the TV on and listens to the programs. I asked her one time what she saw, when she stares at the screen, and she said, â€œGhosts.â€ Sheâ€™s a little spooked by it, I think, and so she mainly listens. She likes the educational channels best, it seems.
I came home today to the strains of Daily Planetâ€™s end-credit theme music, blaring. Sheâ€™d turned the volume up as high as itâ€™d go, then wandered to the kitchen to listen to the ghosts speak.
â€œLearning lots?â€ I said.
â€œBullet train,â€ she said. â€œInter-nash-null space station. GMO grain.â€
â€œGood,â€ I said, cracking a beer. Long day.
â€œCan I have GMO grain? Supper?â€
â€œIâ€™ll see what I can do,â€ I said.
â€œAnd liver. Liver good.â€
Jenny, who is a dog, graduated yesterday. I sat in the audience, thrilled as any parent, as she shook paws with the Chancellor of the University, took her sheepskin in her mouth, and let someone, I think the Dean of Family Law, shift the tassel from left to right on her mortarboard.
The applause was deafening.
â€œLisaâ€™s coming over tonight,â€ I said, frying up beef for some chili. â€œAre you all right with her bringing Mr. Kit?â€
â€œKit good,â€ said Jenny. She gets along okay with Lisaâ€™s cat. Theyâ€™re not close friends, but theyâ€™re not enemies either. Which is a good thing, since soon theyâ€™ll be living together.
â€œKit smart.â€ Her tail thumped on the floor.
â€œCongratulations, Jenny,â€ said Lisa. â€œI hear you were the top dog in your class.â€
â€œIt was a joke,â€ said Lisa.
â€œNo,â€ said Jenny. â€œIt was pun.â€ She turned to Mr. Kit. â€œCome, Kit,â€ she said. â€œHelp me study.â€
â€œYouâ€™re done, though,â€ said Lisa. â€œArenâ€™t you?â€
â€œBar exam,â€ said Jenny, and she and Mr. Kit went through the door into the living room.