A short story with a twist

Here’s a very short story I wrote based on the prompt: Write about a memory. Enjoy!

Memories

To him, time held no meaning. It was a thing that trickled, one tiny grain at a time, into a murky, unmoving pool that curled around him and made him yearn to sleep.

He knew that he was old. He could feel it deep in his bones and he could hear it in the sluggish slapping of his feet against linoleum.

He remembered vaguely a time when he had been light and nimble (was it so long ago?). A time when he had been sprightly and robust and bursting with vigor, when he had been able to run until he’d thought his lungs might burst and so would continue to run harder.

He remembered how simple it had been to beat the boy in their racing challenges. He sighed. Now he would be fortunate to beat a tortoise.

A staccato of horn blasts outside shattered his thoughts, prompting him to rise with a groan and shuffle over to the window. Peering through glass lightly fogged with his breath, he focused on a car that idled in the driveway across the street.

A grinning girl emerged from the house and bounded toward the waiting car. The tip of his nose grazed the cool pane of glass and his eyes followed the car as it disappeared from sight. Turning away, he headed back to his sofa, cozy as a nest thanks to his favorite fleece throw. He stretched out his body and yawned.

When he was much younger (was it really so long ago?), he and the boy had loved to hunt together. He could once again feel the heat of the sun warming his taut, muscular back and hear the creek as it bubbled away the silence while he and the boy waited, camouflaged by dense foliage.

His veins hummed as he recalled how still, how patient they both had been. Frozen into position, adrenaline building until he’d itched to burst, to fly, to spring at the slightest hint that their prey was near.

Sometimes the boy would shoot a hare or a bird of some kind and they would hoot and holler and dance together in triumphant celebration.

Somewhere along the way, their hunting expeditions had dwindled and then ceased altogether. He supposed the boy had finally realized that the old fellow just didn’t have it in him anymore.

His eyes snapped open at the sound of footsteps on the porch outside. As he heard the metallic click of the lock, he eased from the couch and shuffled toward the door as quickly as he was able, joy flooding his senses. He knew it would be his beloved boy. The boy was always the first one home to greet him.

When (finally!) the door swung open and in bounded the boy, his heart hammered merrily in his chest.

Tossing aside a load of schoolbooks, the beaming boy stooped down, arms flung open to receive his best friend. The old body maneuvered itself easily into the boy’s arms and the love that encircled him ignited that same surge of exhilaration that he had known in his youth. The boy always made him feel that way. He felt needed and loved (and—well yes!—younger!) whenever they were together.

With a silent but hearty laugh, he followed the boy into the kitchen and all the while, his tail wagged with glee.

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