Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used the following prompt: "Yeah, I said it, and now I have to live with it."
I stared at the fluctuating... whatever it was. It looked like some sort of old mirror, completed by an intricately patterned bronze frame. Shane thumped his tail and twirled dust into the air until a small pebble obviously hurt him. He yelped and gazed at the tip of his tail with an accusing look.
Snorting, I walked over to him on wobbly legs. I could do this.
Shane stopped licking his tail and tilted his head to the side, probably to inspect me. I wished we'd taken the letter tiles with us because I knew he was trying to communicate with me. I just didn't get it. Or maybe I didn't want to get it. Whatever.
He barked and lifted onto his hindpaws. I bent forward to knead the soft flesh behind his ears, muttering, “I said I'll go with you.”
Shane nudged his cold nose against the inside of my wrist and I sighed. “Yeah, I said it, and now I have to live with it.”
For however long that would be. I didn't say that aloud, but the thought in itself was sobering. Maybe more than sobering. Terrifying was probably the most accurate term, but no one needed to know how very much I wanted to weasel out.
Shane licked my hand before he bounced onto all fours and scurried toward the quivering surface.
“Does it open somehow?” I asked as I stumbled to my feet.
He gave a strange sound that came across as choking. It took me a moment to realize it was the puppy version of laughing at me. I pulled a face.
“Right. Just laugh at me. I might be risking my life for you but sure, why don't you make fun of me.” There was a moment of total silence while Shane processed my words. It gave me time to wonder about the venom in my voice.
Shane turned from the portal to me, his ears flopped, and his tail tucked between his legs. I closed my eyes and gritted my teeth until the urge to give in and fly apart receded to a manageable level. When I opened my eyes, Shane leaned against my right shin, trembles wracking his little body.
“I guess we need to have a heart-to-heart after all this is over,” I said in an attempt to lighten the mood.
He lifted his head then gave a jerky nod. He cast me a glance I couldn't interpret, and trudged toward the portal. Everything within me bristled at the idea of going closer to this... whirling mass of... what? Fluid? Some kind of time travel technology? Or was it galaxy travel technology?
An icy jolt pierced my stomach and caused me to jump. Would I travel some kind of wormhole? To where? A far away galaxy? If so, would I ever find my way back home?
I stepped closer and reach out with my left hand. My shaking left hand.
I looked down, and Shane imitated my movement. He lifted his left forepaw, held it in front of the portal, then dipped it into the mass. My heart beat so fast and harsh I feared a stroke was imminent. As I followed Shane's example, my whole body revolted.