Word Count 499
Shadow of Revenge
by G. Ackman
Have you ever considered committing a criminal act? Deliberately and consciously contemplating doing something so blatantly illegal that jail time is a very real possibility? I would have said no – until this past weekend.
Last Sunday, I considered breaking a window, entering a closed business and taking something without permission. This was more than Poe’s “imp of the perverse.” This was a hostage situation and the business owner had something of mine that I was determined to get back. She had my dogs. I actually don’t think I would have gotten jail time – I’m a teacher, first offense and all that. Restitution and a fine – but oh, the media circus I would have instigated.
It all started several weeks ago when I planned our annual weekend getaway to Rockport, Massachusetts. Three days of over-indulgence in all things lobster, a balcony on the beach, a treasure trove of sea glass, and a whale-watching excursion. The latter required a dog sitter for my two dachshunds. I called a local dog groomer with five star ratings and she agreed to watch my babies on Sunday from 11:30 am to 5 pm. She arrived at 11:31, which should have been my first clue, but I stuffed my misgivings under the mantle of anticipation of a fun day and walked in. She immediately bent down to greet my dogs, which I found comforting. And after assuring me that I could call anytime and pick them up early if I desired, I said goodbye to my boys and left.
The whale watch was cancelled due to high seas, but my husband and I spent a leisurely day strolling on beaches and having a nice lunch. We decided around 3:30 to pick up the dogs, so I sent the owner a text. No answer. I called and left a message. No return call. We went to her place. It was dark and locked. No owner in sight. I could hear my boys crying and barking. We waited impatiently until the original appointed return time – 5:00. No owner. I called. No answer. I sent another text. No response. This went on until 5:30, at which time we seriously considered breaking the window and rescuing our dogs. A more rational thought prevailed and I began to dial the police, when the owner called me.
“Are you ready to head my way?” she blithely inquired. “I’m here” my terse response. “Ok, I’ll be there in 2 minutes.” 10 minutes later she arrived. No explanation. No apology. She opened the door and without turning on the lights, let my dogs out of the cage they had been in – no water, no bathroom breaks, in the dark, all alone, in a strange place. “That’ll be $50” she said, unaware of my seething rage. Knowing that any other response would be an exercise in futility, I threw the money on the counter, grabbed my babies, and left. The scathing reviews on facebook and yelp will have to be my shadow of revenge.