There’s three of us. I don’t know where we’re travelling but I know we must do it urgently. There’s also the most adorable, chubby puppy I have ever seen, brown with a round face and even rounder eyes that melt you to the ground. We’re accompanied by a white horse with the most beautiful white hair I have ever seen.
We enter the city through a gate. I don’t know what city or even the general location of the city but it feels partly European with the narrow road between two sides of the street, on both of which sit lodging. The road is stone paved and there are some fires in lanterns just at the gate as it rolls downward behind us. Something in the deafening sound as it hits the ground unsettles me.
I shift a books of Irish folk tales in my satchel as it sticks out, pushing it down in the bag and putting the pup in there, letting it open so he can calmly look out, observing the street around him. He presses his cold nose against my hand thankfully. The horse walks gracefully beside me, his shoes making virtually no sound, almost as if they are lined with layers of cloth.
The old man, my escort, with the handlebar mustache and the kind brown eyes, smiles back at me, looking furtively to see if I’m still there. His dress reminds me of an American from the Midwest with his jeans and flannel button-up. His brown boots carry him steadily onward down the street.
Behind me, there is a young man, mid-20s with jet black hair and obsidian eyes that catch and swallow everything from a speck of dust to the wrinkles in a flag waving over one of the doorways. I start to walk under an awning and he sternly pushes me away, point to a minor, hardly visible tear in the red cover and then to a post bent outward. He turns to look about him and whistles the quietest, clearest whistle I have ever heard in my life. The older man doesn’t even turn to him. Instead, he immediately turns left and takes us down an even more narrow alley, one where I can touch the walls on both sides. I don’t like this. I begin to feel like a mouse with a hawk looming overhead, waiting on him to drop down and end my short existence. I have to clench my hands to keep from instinctively wincing and clenching my scrawny shoulder muscles to my ears. The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that I move like a mouse, in and out of the site of a calm, patient predator.
I stick my arms out and allow my fingertips to graze the walls, taking in their rough stone textures and the chiseled and weathered cracks among them. Another soft whistle. I turn around and the young man shakes his head, pointing to the pads of his fingertips and then pretending to place them on the walls. Fingerprints. I bite back a sigh and hold onto my lower lip with my teeth for a moment then drop my shoulders and my hands to my sides.
After a long and agonizing 15 minutes of claustrophobia, we emerge from the narrow passageway into yet another silent street, this one with a fire burning. I sit down on a wooden crate and let the puppy out to relieve himself. I don’t have a name for him. I suppose I didn’t think they would let me keep him long enough.
This is something I wrote sort of for the sake of writing about 5 to six years ago. I wrote several entries in a row but never finished it. This is the first and was something I thought would be a good fit for my blog to add a bit of variance.