Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used: “Make yourself at home”.
The next two hours went by so slowly, I wondered whether time had stopped. Since we couldn't go out, I sat on the sofa, Shane cuddled on my lap. He fell asleep almost immediately. I still couldn't believe the things I’d found out. I wasn't even one hundred percent sure I did believe everything, it was just too fantastic.
Mostly, however, I simply dug my fingers deep into Shane's thick fur and prayed for Marisa to be quick and help me to get my Shane back.
Shane woke up when the gravel on the driveway crunched. He leaped from my lap and whizzed toward the front door, barking. I followed him, my gut clenching. I barely remembered Marisa, and most of what I remembered of her wasn't shedding a good light on her. Come to think of it, Shane had never spoken highly about his family. I'd always assumed a rift, maybe because Shane was gay. It happened—as I could attest to myself.
My two brothers avoided eye contact like the plague, and my father pretended I was straight. Only my mother was sane, and the same as always. I shook myself out of this reverie and opened the door to Marisa.
She spared a tiny smile for me, then bent down to grab Shane by the nape of his neck. He emitted a strangled yip but Marisa ignored it. She said, “May I come inside?”
She didn't wait for an answer, rather stepped inside without a second glance at me. I bit out, “Make yourself at home.”
She muttered something under her breath while I closed the door with a resounding bang. Shane's yips changed into snarls, which sounded dangerous even though he was only a puppy.
I hurried after them and almost bumped into her because she stood in front of the coffee table, reading the last words spelled out there.
“Very creative,” she murmured in an approving tone.
Shane barked. She smiled at him before she cradled him in a more comfortable position in her arms. He gazed at me, his dark eyes twinkling. He looked so relaxed, so at ease, that it boggled my mind.
“Um, would you like to take a seat?” I asked. What the hell was the etiquette if one wanted to speak to another person to beg said person to perform the impossible?
Marisa sat down and, for the first time, I inspected her thoroughly. She seemed to be in her late fifties—which meant nothing since I couldn't gauge ages at all—with dark, shoulder-length hair. Ordinary was the first word that came to mind when I observed her. She was one of those people you'd forget right away.
I cleared my throat because Marisa just stared at Shane and stroked his belly. I'd have expected him to stay away from her but no, he rested on his back on her lap, all fours stretched away to give her full access to his belly.
Marisa cast me a glance and smiled. “I used to pet him for hours when he was smaller. Shane always liked that, especially when he was upset.”
“I thought you two didn't get along,” I said. Seconds later, I winced. “I'm not sure I should've said that.”
To my surprise, Marisa laughed. “You're correct. We didn't get along very well, but that doesn't mean it was always like that. Shane is a free spirit and not very fond of traditions or doing things the way traditions dictate.”
Shane thumped his tail once, then rolled over onto his belly. He climbed off her lap and ambled over to me. I reached out to scratch him behind his ears and was rewarded with a blissed-out expression on his face.
“Marisa, I just want him back in his human form,” I said.
“That's what you think now. You might change your mind after you get the full picture. Actually, I'm certain you'll change your mind. Why didn't Shane tell you anything before if he didn't think you'd run off?” she asked.
Unease settled deep inside my stomach and I squirmed on the sofa, glancing nervously at Shane. Still, I said, “Tell me.”
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