Josie stopped by the tree and fished a plastic bag out of her pocket. As she bent down to collect Puggles’ deposit, she felt the leash go taut. A low pitched growl vibrated up the stretched leash to her hand.
She looked up just as the dog started bouncing and barking, his strident ‘woofs’ echoing off the high rise walls of the urban canyon. “What are you barking at? Quiet!” she commanded. “Get over here!” But Puggles was focused on something in the shadows across the street. By now, he was so worked up that Josie had to hang onto the tree trunk to avoid being pulled into the road. “What are you barking at?” she asked again, as she tried to identify the source of the dog’s excitement. “Is it a cat?”
On hearing the magic word, the dog’s barks redoubled and rose an octave, piercing the air like spikes issuing from a nail gun. He pulled left, then right, then leaped straight into the air, all four paws off the ground. As he landed, Puggles lunged forward once more, yanking the leash from Josie’s hand.
The dog, realizing that he was free, ran into the road, then stopped abruptly when Josie shrieked and called out. A car was rounding the corner, heading directly at her precious pup. She ran into the street to scoop him up, just as the driver swerved to avoid the dog. Behind her, Josie heard the sound of brakes and the sickening thud of metal on wood.
She ran towards the car and looked inside. “Are you alright?” she asked. “Is either of you hurt?” As she stood talking to the driver, a patrol car stopped beside the wreck. Two officers sprang from car, ordered the driver and passenger of the wrecked car onto the sidewalk, and cuffed them. One of the officers then turned to Josie.
“Thanks lady,” he said, tossing her a casual half-salute. “You and your dog just helped us break up a ring of car thieves.”
©2013 Phyllis Entis. All rights reserved.
A Note of Explanation: The prompt for this exercise was, "A car passes you at normal speed, rounds the corner and crashes into a tree." I chose to focus on what caused the car to crash.