We Found Love Inside a Dog
Greetings, fellow Insiders. I decided that for today's post, instead of blathering about the writing process, I would simply write some short fiction. I hope you'll follow suit. I'm always telling aspiring writers to write what is obvious to them. What could be more obvious here, I thought, than to write a story that took place inside a dog?
So that's what I did. Short writing prompts are a great way to play. No pressure, all fun. Try it. I decided I would try to combine "inside a dog" with three lyrics from Ed Sheeran's song, "Thinking Out Loud." Because why not? Randomness is key to creativity. I triple-dog dare you to follow the same prompt, or invent your own, and write some spontaneous short fiction today. Life is short, but love is forever. ;)
Here's, "We Found Love Inside a Dog," for your enjoyment. Around 500 words. My apologies to your appetites.
Every morning was the same. Leather shoes filled the bowl with fragrant glop, and left. Then the paws skidded over, the snout dove into the bowl, and devoured the glop. Finally the paws would wander off, and any roaches patient enough to wait would swarm the bowl.
This morning, two shiny cockroaches poked their antennae over the rim. It was safe. They tumbled inside. A juicy morsel caught their scent glands.
“Gimme that!” cried the female. “I smelled it first.”
“Scram.” The male shoved her oily-looking thorax.
The female rammed him, sending him skittering across the bowl. She laughed at her belly-up rival’s legs cycling the air.
A shadow fell over them. The snout! It was back. Before they could bolt, the tongue scooped them both up and flipped them down its throat.
They crashed into one another. They scrambled to climb toward the light, but relentless esophageal muscles forced them back toward a bubbling stomach.
“I think,” said the male, “we’re inside a dog.”
“If you hadn’t made so much noise,” said the female, “we wouldn’t be.”
“It’s not my fault we look like kibbles,” snapped the male.
They slid into a lake of stomach acid and bobbed to its surface. An awkward silence fell, as it so often does at times like these.
“I’m Phil,” said the male.
“Loraine.” It seemed pointless to argue now.
“Look at the bright side,” said Phil. “There’s plenty of food.”
“Soggy,” observed Loraine, “though that’s never bothered me much.”
They drifted through the muck.
“I’m going to die in here.” Loraine didn’t realize she was thinking out loud.
“I had so many more meals I wanted to eat,” said Phil. “Sandwich meat to steal. Who knows? Maybe, someday, start a family.”
Loraine gasped. A guy who valued the simple things. One who actually wanted pupae! You didn’t find a catch like Phil every day. Cockroaches fall in love in mysterious ways, she thought. Did Phil feel it, too? At least they could die together. Was there time, before the end, to grasp his prothoracic leg in hers?
“Hey, what’s this?” Phil had squashed into a wall, firm but pliant. Loraine paddled over to investigate.
They plunged their spiky tibias into the supple wall and began to climb. “Follow me,” called Loraine. “I think we came in this way.”
“Wait, do you feel that?” Phil paused to listen. “Something’s wrong.”
Sure enough, the acid cave was compressing, groaning with an inner urgency.
“Keep climbing!” cried Loraine. “We’ve got to get out of here!”
They fought to scale their heaving, slippery prison walls, but with each step they took they violence only increased.
“Come here!” cried Phil. “Grab on!”
They wrapped whatever limbs and parts they could around each other, and held on tight.
“I swear, if we make it out of here alive, Loraine…”
“Hush,” she whispered. “It’s enough. We found love right where we are.”
Phil had no chance to reply. Pandemonium struck. It was a volcano, a geyser. A tsunami of undigested dog food and other nameless muck swept them, spinning, out of the chamber, up a passageway, and out into the light.
P.S. -- I left the ending somewhat abrupt and ambiguous. Please, supply next lines in the comments below!
P.P.S. -- My sister, illustrator Sally Gardner, whom you met last time, forwarded me this brilliant short film, 13 minutes along. It's a college project, I believe, out of the University of Southern California, about another kind of cockroach love story. Don't miss Josephine and the Roach. :)
Three Irrelevant Facts About Me:
- I had to delete Candy Crush off my phone in order to get any writing done.
- I once built a nest in a tree and filled it with eggs from our farm chickens. An egg fell and cracked on my head. It was rotten. It took weeks to get rid of the stink.
- I am scratching my no-longer-stinky head, wondering how I will come up with fifteen more irrelevant facts about me.