Word Count 497
The Gift of Life
By Janie D
Phyllis could remember clearly how Happy came into her life. This was when she had been about three years old and had lived in Florida.
Phyllis was an only child with pale coloring who had long, brownish hair with ringlets that flowed to her waist. She was lonely and longed for a friend to keep her company. One day, as she was playing outside on her tricycle, a black dog with a few white markings under her chin and the underside of her belly came up to her. She fell in love this docile creature and even though she was not allowed to keep her new friend, unknown to her mother, she took water out the back door for the new acquaintance who was seemingly as lonely she was. After a few days, Phyllis brought the dog into the house and promptly her mother whisked her out. It became a few times a day ritual that Phyllis would let her friend in the back door and her mother would send her out the front door. That is until her mother relented and let the two friends stay together.
Eventually, the family moved to Nowheresville, NY once again. Soon Phyllis and her mother were left on their own with her friend, that she had named Happy because of the smile that she had that reached her eyeballs stayed with them. Soon Florida was a distant memory, as was her father who had returned there.
One night, about 10 pm, after Phyllis was fast asleep, Happy began growling, one of those low, guttural sounds at first, then she started barking and pacing. Nothing seemed amiss but Happy continued so long that Phyllis’ mother threatened to shoot her if she didn’t quiet down. Reluctantly, Happy quieted down and Phyllis’ mother went to bed.
Suddenly, sharp insistent barks and a tug of her arm woke her. This was about 1:30 am. She got up and through the downstairs and didn’t see anything. She pulled the chain that should have turned on the dining room light. Nothing. She went to the kitchen and tried that light. Nothing. As she opened the door to the back porch, which also lead to the back wood shed, yes, there really was a woodshed, it appeared that the yellow light there was lit, but when she looked at the bulb, it was not.
In horror, she looked toward the woodshed. Fire! Oh, no! She then glanced up at the ceiling and with the light from the fire in the back of the house, she saw paint blisters.
From a deep slumber, Phillis was scooped up in her mother’s loving arms and wrapped with the blankets from the bed. Her mother took her outside to safety. Happy was right at her heels as she ran down the driveway with Phyllis in her arms. As, they neared the road they heard the crash of the ceiling falling into the kitchen.
Thank you, Happy for the gift of life!