Story Contest 2016 #1 - Outstanding Stories » The Peculiar Dog

“The Peculiar Dog” is one of the outstanding stories of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2016 written by Namia Khan, Dubai, U.A.E.

The Peculiar Dog

I never liked my sisters’ dog. I felt that there was something bizarre about it ever since we saw it in the pet shop. I didn’t want to buy it but when my sister insisted on it, my parents caved in and bought it for her. It was a brown pug with sharp teeth and huge eyes. It was always a big slobbery mess. But it wasn’t its appearance that made me uncomfortable. Whenever I caught myself staring at it, I became tense and felt uneasy.

A few months after we welcomed the dog into our house, it disappeared. My sister woke me up with her fervent cries.

“Have you seen Puggy? Have you? She fell asleep with me but I can’t find her! What do I do?” she prattled. Puggy was the name of her dog. It seemed a bit stupid when you realized that it was actually a pug.

A few moments later I hears my mum come into my room and she said, “Almeera, wake up and help your dad put some posters in the neighbourhood. Your sister is worried sick about Puggy.”

I decided to help and got up from my bed. While getting up, I knocked over the vase on my table and it broke into pieces. Ever since that moment I had been having the strangest feeling. I couldn’t exactly put my finger on it, but it left me unsettled. To make matters worse, the weather was horrible. It rained at random intervals and showed no signs of stopping. Even my sister who loved the rain, didn’t want to come out and play. It was like a bad omen.

At night, we still hadn’t found Puggy but we decided to call it a day. It wasn’t like we could go out and search for her in the heavy rain. My sisters’ eyes had become red from crying throughout the day. My parents went to bed but I had to stay up late to complete my assignments that were due.

I fell asleep late at night between a cluster of my books and papers. The next morning, I was awoken by my sisters’ loud screeches that weirdly reminded me of yesterday. I wanted to sleep in because I hadn’t got any sleep the previous night but my sister entered my room with tears in her eyes.

“Have you seen Puggy? Have you? She fell asleep with me but I can’t find her! What do I do?” she told me. Didn’t she say the same thing yesterday? Does she miss Puggy so much? After she left, my mum entered the room and told me to put up posters with my dad. Don’t tell me I had to put up posters again. But this felt different. Everything was eerily the same as the previous day and frankly, I was starting to become agitated.

When I got up from my bed, I dropped my vase. I already broke it yesterday so how could I break it again? I was starting to panic. I checked my phone and it said that it was the second of March. I had no idea what was going on. I asked my mum and she said that it was the second of March. What was going on?

Whenever I tried to tell my family about this, they just looked at me like I was crazy. My mum even said, “If you didn’t want to help your dad, you could’ve just said so.”

I had to go through my whole day again and the weather had also taken a turn for the worse just like the day before. Then I remembered that I had to do all of my assignments all over again. Why did I have such rotten luck?

This time I fell asleep earlier than before and woke up early as well. It was still the second of March and I broke my vase yet again. Then I got thinking, was the disappearance of the dog related to this time glitch? If so, did I have to find the dog to make things go back to normal? This was too much for me. How was this happening? Was this even possible? And why was I the only one affected?

As days went by, vases kept on breaking and assignments were left undone. It was now second nature for me to wake up to my sister screaming. Every day I searched for Puggy all over the town. Finally I built up my courage to search in the scariest part of town. I didn’t want to go but in movies, doesn’t the main actor end up in places like these?

Holding my umbrella, I explored the darkest alleys but there was no sign of Puggy. Just as I was about to give up, I could hear the panting of an animal. My hopes rose, had I found her?

I followed the sound and saw Puggy staring at me with its big eyes. I had never been so happy to see her in my life as I was at that moment. I picked her up and she started to lick me furiously. Well, she must have been really scared staying out all these days. Or was it just today?

As she continued licking me, I became light-headed and eventually drifted into unconsciousness.

I woke up in my room but this time my mum was screaming instead of my sister.

“It’s already past noon. Are you planning on sleeping the whole day? You told me you have a lot of assignments to finish,” she said.

I unlocked my phone. It said the second of March. Did everything go back to normal?

I went downstairs and noticed Puggy gazing at me. It felt like it knew what I was thinking about. Was it all a dream? Did I hallucinate everything? Everything felt surreal and for a split second, I lost myself.