Hillbilly Zen – An Old Man’s Dream

She waits for him in a copse of trees just beyond the creek, amid shadows of cedars that rise from the decaying tangle of their fallen kin.  Sleek and petite, she moves with a lithe certainty that scarcely disturbs the fragile tendrils of new growth struggling from the forest floor.  She is built for speed but has reached the limit of her endurance, and seeks cover in the dusky coolness of the woods.  She is vulnerable here, but the miles she has covered today have taken their toll; she sinks to the loam with a soft exhale of relief and is still.  A tiny pulse beats a frantic rhythm in the white curve of her throat, belying the ease of her repose.  The tender pink shell of her ear catches a sound in the distance and she stiffens, instantly alert.  An eternity of heartbeats passes as she waits; is he here?  She raises her head to the wind but it carries no scent of him.  Tension drains from her stance and she moves toward the enticing whisper of the creek.  As she drops her head to drink, her own reflection gives her pause.  In the bottomless caramel depths of her eyes swirls the instinctive wisdom of her lineage, flickering with the deep sadness and unremitting terror of the hunted.  Even if she manages to elude him this time, he will never abandon his desire to possess her. He sees subtle movement at the tree line, and it takes every ounce of willpower he possesses not to bolt from concealment.  To reveal himself now would be foolhardy.  She is fast and can easily outrun him, but he has been tracking her for hours and she is tired.  Tall grass and a favorable wind direction should get him close enough to take her.   His lips curl back over gleaming teeth into a ferocious smile, and a soft, satisfied growl escapes.  This time he will have her.  Adrenaline floods his veins like molten madness, consigning domesticated niceties into fiery oblivion.  The primal drumming of his heart pounds in his ears, but he imagines he hears her muted footfalls through the undergrowth.  He watches her through slitted, cunning eyes as she slips from the shelter of the trees.  He readies himself, muscles contracting, forged by bloodlust into rigid bands beneath his skin.  He snarls, leaps and begins to run.  As he closes in, the tantalizing scent of her panic urges him to greater speed.  She is almost his….

I look up from my laptop and watch the old man twitch in his sleep, smiling at the staccato chuffs, rumbles and snores as he dreams.  We’ve been together almost fourteen years now, and even fourteen more still wouldn’t be long enough.  I’ve seen him go from vibrant youth to frail geriatric.  He’s lost most of his teeth, his fur is patchy, his skin is fragile and he’s gotten more than a little cranky, but I love him with all my heart.  The phone rings twice before I can grab it, and he raises his head from his pillow in obvious annoyance.  Grumbling under his breath, he heaves a sigh and sinks back into his bed.  I finish the call, then reach down and gently skritch his chin.  He opens one eye in tacit acknowledgement of my affection, then drifts off to sleep again.

Don't worry, old man.  You'll get her next time.

Don’t worry, old man. You’ll get her next time.
(Google Image Photo)

15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. janna hill
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 10:48:16

    Such lovely prose. I didn’t know where the beautiful descriptions were leading but I definitely wanted to follow. It left me smiling.🙂

    Reply

  2. Shoeful of Drool
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 12:46:45

    I tried so many times to video Dudley while he slept because he twitched, chuffed, whimpered and ran like the wind in his dreams. This was beautiful!

    Reply

  3. peculiaritiesandreticences
    Apr 01, 2013 @ 13:23:46

    Breathtaking! Can feel the love for him. Good dog.

    Reply

  4. coastalcrone
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 17:26:06

    What a wonderful short story! You pulled me in and I had to keep reading. I found your blog via a mutual award and think I will hang around to explore. The Old Man is lucky to have you!

    Reply

    • hillbillyzen13
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 21:03:22

      Yours is the kind of comment that makes writing worthwhile. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment, and I’m glad you liked the story. By all means, hang around as long as you’d like!🙂 As for the old man, well, I guess we’re both lucky.

      Reply

  5. Shakti Ghosal
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 05:03:01

    Loved the post and the intrinsic positivity it held out for me.

    What is it that could shift you from the “dream” stage to one of love?

    Shakti

    Reply

    • hillbillyzen13
      Apr 06, 2013 @ 10:49:49

      Thank you, Shakti, for reading and commenting, and I’m so glad you liked the post. In this instance there was no shift – the love was there all along. As is often the case here on my hill, inspiration arrived on four legs.

      Reply

  6. likeitiz
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 14:16:05

    I loved this! It brought me to those days when we still had our gold lab, Luke in 2011. We knew his time was up. But we could not bring ourselves to bring him to the vet. It wasn’t until he completely lost his desire for any food that we realized he was probably telling us to let him go. I hope your friend will go quietly too.

    Reply

    • hillbillyzen13
      Apr 09, 2013 @ 19:05:03

      So glad you enjoyed it! I’m sorry for your loss, and when it’s Tuck’s time to go it will break my heart into tiny pieces. Letting them go is our final act of love and respect.

      Reply

  7. Trackback: Hillbilly Zen – That’s me in the corner…. | hillbillyzendotcom

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Contizental

500 words or less

the_tovarysh_connection

Gentle Reminders

On The Heath

where would-be writer works with words

Jnana's Red Barn

A Space for Work and Reflection

smilecalm

Life through mindful media

Just A Crazy Dreamer

Simply sharing my craziness & hoping its infectious enough to spread

All Romance Reads

Get Your Swoon On

Tipsy Lit

the publishing imprint of author ericka clay

Ericka Clay

poet and author

Ginger's Grocery

Come on in and browse. The biscuits were made fresh this morning, the Slush Puppie machine was just refilled with a new bottle of red syrup, and we have the biggest selection of bait this close to town.

Waggin' The Tale

Love Stories About Dogs

The Good, Bad and Ludicrous

Examining the Ordinary and Extraordinary

THE COASTAL CRONE

Tales, Trails & Connections to Almost Anything

the wind horse blog

horse tales, heart songs, healing

Apple Pie and Napalm

music lover, truth teller, homey philosophy

jhubner73

Midwestern groaning since 2011

Me and the Boss 2013

Motivation and life......lived and loved one day at a time.

Sufey

Inhale Joy, Exhale Gratitude

Automattic

Making the web a better place

All These Horrors and more

NOTES ON A DISINTEGRATING WORLD

Moments of Zen

A Student of Nature

1pointperspective

NOT just another WordPress.com site

Geo Sans

“right answer, wrong question”

Shoeful of Drool

Adventures of Louie and his friends

Likeitiz

Do come and chat with me about life's twists and turns. We will laugh, cry, question, commiserate, disagree, but in the end, we will become friends.

seapunk2

MUSINGS & AMUSINGS

rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

dlightblog

non potete fare affidamento sui vostri occhi se la vostra immaginazione è fuori fuoco (mark twain)

Radical Totality

an experimental creative laboratory by Mark Snyder

mlewisredford

almost indefatigable and quietly militant naïveté ...

Chris Martin Writes

Sowing seeds for the Kingdom

Humbled Pie

Southern Livin' and Travelin', mostly photographed with some Home Cookin' and only slightly embellished Storytellin'

Wandering through Time and Place

Exploring the world with Curtis and Peggy Mekemson

Kristen Lamb's Blog

We Are Not Alone

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

Masako and Spam Musubi

Short Stories about World War II. One war. Two Countries. One Family

Army Of Awesome People

Named by Google as one of the sites on the internet

Janna Hill

Just living outloud and flinging cake against the wall...

Mythic Bios

Writing weird stories, strange articles, creative reviews, and learning along the way. Expect updates every Monday or Thursday.

lovinchelle

LIVING LIFE AND TAKING PICS ALONG THE WAY.

undeaddad

explorations of mindful fatherhood

bussokuseki

fatherhood, zen, and the buddha's footprints in an everyday life

%d bloggers like this: