Friday, June 18, 2010

The Siren

The wail sounded from somewhere but Toby couldn’t find the source. A sound like no one he had ever heard. Not an ambulance or police car. More long and drawn out.

Toby got out of his parked Ranger. He slowly turned in place, scanning the road, the sidewalk, the nearby nooks in the building. Nothing but that sound. Only a few people were scattered around him, some looking toward him and others just walking along.

Didn’t they hear it, too? Toby moved toward the sidewalk and the sound increased. Walking closer to the building, Toby saw a man inside the store. He held something to his lips. Perhaps blowing into it; Toby couldn’t be sure.

Suddenly someone grabbed him. “What are you doing here?”

Toby looked up into the face of a man wearing a blue shirt, an employee of the store.

“What are you doing here?” the man said again. He gave Toby a slight shove. “Go on, get out of here.”

Toby stood, stunned and transfixed. Behind the man, Toby heard a familiar voice.

Juliet said, “Just what do you think you are doing?” The man turned. “Keep your hands off him.”

“He’s with you?”

Juliet almost stamped her foot. “Yes, he’s with me.” She rubbed Toby’s head. “Come on, boy,” she said. “Let’s get back in the truck.”

With a glare, Juliet moved toward the Ranger. Toby trotted behind her, panting. At least that infernal whistling wail had stopped. Toby jumped back into the bed.

“No, boy, in here.” Juliet held the door as the dog jumped out of the bed and into the cab. “I’ll open the window for you, but I want you in here for the ride home.”

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