Curses, Soiled Again
Curses, Soiled Again fiction stories
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acatwhowrites
acatwhowrites short stories & shorter patience
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A story of broken trust and bad boys.

Curses, Soiled Again

Going out to the store and coming back takes an hour. Ish. Not long at all, considering the construction crews blocking the road in new and creative ways, waving drivers off onto various detours.

Stephanie just needs to get some potting soil. She tells Josh to behave, that she loves him, and to watch the house while she's gone.

Stephanie just needs to get some potting soil. She tells Josh to behave, that she loves him, and to watch the house while she's gone. Doesn't give it a second thought; they've been together for months, now. She trusts him.

She only realizes how quiet it is after hauling the bags from her car to pile them alongside the wall. Josh usually greets her.

She only realizes how quiet it is after hauling the bags from her car to pile them alongside the wall. Josh usually greets her. It's /too/ quiet.

"Josh?" She opens the garage door, leaving her shoes on the cement step to walk barefoot across the kitchen floor. Josh isn't eating in the kitchen; he's not on the sofa.

"Josh?" She opens the garage door, leaving her shoes on the cement step to walk barefoot across the kitchen floor. Josh isn't eating in the kitchen; he's not on the sofa. Weird.

"Josh?" She opens the garage door, leaving her shoes on the cement step to walk barefoot across the kitchen floor. Josh isn't eating in the kitchen; he's not on the sofa. Weird. "Josh, where are you?" Maybe he's taking a nap in the bedroom. He can be a heavy sleeper.

No Josh.

There's a nagging worry poking her subconscious—Something happened; Josh is hurt; he's gone; it's all her fault for leaving him home alone—

Her foot touches something cool and kind of wet, squishy. It clings to her heel and peels off like a chunk of clay.

Her foot touches something cool and kind of wet, squishy. It clings to her heel and peels off like a chunk of clay. Dirt.

Her foot touches something cool and kind of wet, squishy. It clings to her heel and peels off like a chunk of clay. Dirt. Following the bits of dirt, she discovers a trail of muddy destruction.

The porch door stands open, to allow the spring breeze, and while her larger pots are still standing, their contents are strewn about.

The porch door stands open, to allow the spring breeze, and while her larger pots are still standing, their contents are strewn about. Smaller pots are upended and have rolled or been kicked aside.

Dark footprints break off from the muddy trail, and Stephanie follows it like a skilled hunter to the bathroom, where the tracks end at the bathtub.

"Josh!" She throws the shower curtain aside, and Josh's tail thumps as he hunches beside the tub and avoids eye contact. "Naughty! I thought you'd outgrown this..."

"Josh!" She throws the shower curtain aside, and Josh's tail thumps as he hunches beside the tub and avoids eye contact. "Naughty! I thought you'd outgrown this..." She'd hoped so, anyway. He used to be a very destructive puppy. Something about potted plants just called to him, like he had to liberate them.

There's no denying it, though. His chocolate paws are caked with mud, and bits of dirt cling to his nose. He tucks his tail as he's marched outside to his kennel.

There's no denying it, though. His chocolate paws are caked with mud, and bits of dirt cling to his nose. He tucks his tail as he's marched outside to his kennel. Stephanie wants him completely out of her way as she deep-cleans her muddy rug and puts her precious plants back together.

It's a good thing she bought more soil.

True story: I met a Labrador named Josh while bumming around local greenhouses. He's super sweet and friendly, but if a plant was within reach, he was trying to eat it... I'd set mine down and could /sense/ him approaching, but instead of trying to eat my flowers, he threw his forepaws into the plastic pan and just laid down.

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