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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Strange Ideas: Frenemy

Continuing with the A to Z Challenge 2016

From his hiding place behind the tree, Harrison watched the woman unclip her dog’s lead and send it bounding over the grass. A quick search on the internet, plus his access to house records, had made Emma Yates easy to find. It was a simple lie to leave early to “meet a potential client” and, with Ted out of the office, there would be no one to miss him.

Following Emma all the way out here hadn’t been part of the plan though.

He ducked behind the tree as she turned her head in his direction, using the leaves as cover in order to study her from a distance. She wore no make-up now, only a vacant stare, wretched in its blankness. She pulled her phone from her pocket and began scrolling and tapping mindlessly as she followed the direction the dog had taken.

Harrison didn’t know what to do. His plan, if he could call it a plan, had been to somehow bump into her and start a conversation that he could steer round to India. How much did she know? But it was proving harder to engineer than he’d hoped when he’d followed her car from the address he’d looked up. If he approached her out here, a lone man in office shoes, with no dog and no business being up on the hills, he’d be lucky not to get a face full of pepper-spray and a swift kick in his groin.

Think. Think…

Ahead, the dog veered off into the bushes on the right and the woman glanced up from her phone at the rustling sound.

“Buddy- no!” she called, but Buddy, intent on catching the rabbit or fox he’d sniffed out, paid her no attention and disappeared from view. Harrison watched her to see if she would follow, but she merely tutted and turned her attention back to her phone.

An idea- a crazy idea- popped into his head. Impulsively, he backed away from his hiding place until he was level with the row of bushes behind which Buddy had vanished. Crouching low, he pushed through a gap and emerged on a narrow dirt track on the other side. Buddy, only ten feet away, raised his nose from the ground and regarded him curiously.

“Hey there, Buddy,” he murmured. Buddy wagged his tail, unsure. Harrison took a step towards the dog, his mouth dry with the anxiety of what he was about to do.

“Good Buddy.”

He took another step closer and Buddy padded over to sniff Harrison’s outstretched hand. With his other, Harrison grabbed the dog’s collar and scooped him up, hurrying back to his car as quietly as he could manage along the dirt track.

“Good boy.”

As he bundled the dog onto his back seat, Harrison could hear Emma calling Buddy’s name with increasing irritation. As it rose in pitch, panic setting in, he started the car and drove down the hill towards the main road before she could turn back and see him. Buddy panted at the window and wagged his tail, clearly enjoying his ride in the car. Such a friendly, happy dog. Such a wonderful family pet. Such a shame that he was missing.

Harrison was sure that Emma would be very grateful to the Good Samaritan who returned her lost dog. Very grateful indeed.

The story continues tomorrow with Gossip.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Robin here doing a random drop in from AtoZ. Read through all the posts to this one and you've have the makings of an intriguing story. Always fun to explore and see what the characters will do. Happy Writing.



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