by Hartmann Marble-Wright
It was a cool winter’s day around one o’clock eastern time. The place was 3200 Greenwood Drive, Virginia USA. The trees were vacant of leaves and the grass was either worn away or dead. Through the tall trees with a lack of foliage, you could see the second story of the house. This was where the adults slept. On the main floor of the house, the children slept almost peacefully throughout each night. One boy, one girl and the Doberman. The Doberman’s name was Clyde. Clyde lived downstairs because he was too afraid of wooden, stone and marble flights that seemed to extend up and down forever; it was as though they never stopped. This also meant that he never went into the basement. There were neighbors in the family’s small area of the valley. None of the neighbors lived very close to one another except for the family’s main neighbor, who lived just across the street. His name was Daniels. Mr. Daniels was an angry old man from the army. The local kids would make up stories; if you went up to his house the old man would come out and take you from where you stood. But, even in the light of all of the chaos that life bring forth, time moved on and the earth still rotated around the sun to its heart’s content. It was now two years later. Clyde had reached the old age of thirteen and the children had moved on to be ten and nine years old now. Mr. Daniels still sat in his home as usual. But something was different. Mr. Daniels had been to his doctor the day just previous. His doctor told Mr. Daniels that he had liver cancer and would only have about three weeks left to live. Later, on the very same day, Clyde decided to go across the street. Clyde felt that something was wrong, seeing as this was the time of day that Mr. Daniels came out to get his mail. Clyde, seeing as today’s paper was still on Mr. Daniels’ drive, was very curious about the state of Mr. Daniels. Clyde and Mr. Daniels shared a special bond, stronger than the one that Clyde held to his own family. The bond that Clyde and Mr. Daniels shared had been going on for about three years now. Clyde was more Mr. Daniels’ dog than anyone else’s. Clyde went through the hole in the fence of the back yard and into the house through the open glass door. Mr. Daniels enjoyed having the glass door open so this was of no concern to Clyde. Clyde wandered up through that main hall of Mr. Daniels’ tan, single floored and watered-down house that reeked of mold, whiskey and expired cheese. Clyde turned into the main bedroom to find a bottle of whiskey emptied out and lying on the bed with the cap on the other side of the room. Near the final resting place of the bottle cap was a chair. The chair was turned over on the carpet. There was a dent on the wall next to the toppled down chair. This led Clyde to believe that the chair was forced into the wall. Maybe kicked or thrown. On the ceiling was a low hanging fan from the 1970s that had been in the house for about thirty years now. The fan was turned off along with all of the lights. There was one single candle burning on the bedside table. Clyde smelt something after putting himself in the middle of the room. The smell was coming from above, almost as though the ceiling had grown old with mildew and dry rot to the point that Clyde was surprised to not have smelt it from the backyard. But this smell was neither dry rot nor mildew. Upon looking up, Clyde had discovered the lifeless body of Sergeant Allen Jack Daniels hanging from the ceiling fan by an old rope found in the shed out back. After the discovery Clyde just sat in the room. He stayed there for two days until deciding to return home. It was night when Clyde did decided to walk back home from Mr. Daniels’ house. There was an eerie film of fog that had rolled over the valley. An old car with two broken headlights. The headlights had been broken by a woman about one and a half years ago. The woman was the now ex-wife of the man driving the car on that night. The driver was on his way back the home he held previous to make the billionth attempt at getting his family back to the way that it was some time ago. Just the man, his wife and his hamster Terry. The heavy fog and the dark night sky glooming overhead gave headway to the event that followed. A crash. A loud noise that shook the valley to its core, a screech and the smell of burning rubber trailing into the distance. Clyde was dead. His life ended on his final night of grievance. Just as he was ready to move on in remembrance of dog’s best friend. The kids, who were up past their bed times, ran out into a desolate street. Nothing was there. “Whatever that noise was must have come from a few streets over,” said the young boy. A few weeks later the kids asked their mother about Clyde’s whereabouts. She said that he ran away in the middle of the night a few weeks ago. She said that he ran away on the very night of the loud noise from a few streets over. This simply wasn’t the case. But the children knew this already. But you knew this, didn’t you? Say hello to Clyde for me.