Writing 101 Give and Take

My heart sunk as we stood and surveyed the damage.

“Why didn’t you put Moose in his kennel?” he demanded.

“I’m sure I did.” Upon seeing the damage, I really wasn’t sure.

“Well it’s obvious you didn’t.”

The words hung in the air between us as we walked further into the house, stepping around the chewed shoes and coats that carpeted the floor of the hallway. Each step took us further from the special evening I had planned.

“I knew this would happen. I never wanted that damn dog.” He pumped his fists in a staccato burst.

“It’s not that bad, it’s-”

“Not bad! Not bad compared to what? Hurricane Katrina, Hiroshima?” The rise in his voice echoing the increase in the staccato pump of those fists.

“It’s only things. Things that-”

It was at this moment Moose made his entrance. Our black Lab puppy, full of energy, was carrying a bright blue pump in his mouth. He tumbled into the hallway to show us his prize. My husband loved this puppy. His clown size feet and floppy ears often reduced us to tears of laughter. Silently I prayed he could weave his special magic now.

“You have got to be kidding me.” As those words bounced off the enclosing walls, Moose chose to retreat, tail tucked into living room.

I followed quietly as my husband stomped after the retreating figure, continuing his rant. I had to do something soon. I had to diffuse this situation before it came to its predictable conclusion. Sofa cushions lay on the floor, spilling their contents like disemboweled animals. I braced myself for the inevitable. I knew no words, no pleading on my part would stop the freight train that was headed my way.

It started very quietly, then rose to a loud boom. The sound of my husband laughing as he spotted the tip of black nose that protruded from a pile of white fluff.

I gave voiceless thanks as I started to pick up the pieces once again.

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