November 2006 Honorable Mention
by Shelia Cassidy
The ocean waves lapped gently onto the
shore of the fishing village. Small shacks with tiny gardens squatted
just beyond the glistening white sand. Boy ran along the shore with
his yellow dog in tow. Soon it would be time for him to return to
school. What would happen to the mongrel then? It had followed him
home one day. His father wanted the dog gone, but it kept returning
to the family. He watched the sun dive into the blue water beyond.
Thousands of miles out in the ocean tectonic plates moved, and suddenly
jerked. The resulting earthquake measured 9.0 on monitors half a
world away. Around the epicenter the ocean became angry and violent;
a giant wave began moving toward the distant shore, growing larger
by the minute.
It was now night in the village. Boy and his family were asleep;
Dog slept outside Boy’s door. Suddenly Dog raised his head,
tilted it, sprang up and began scratching furiously at the door.
Boy woke. So did the family. Father yelled “get that dog out.”
Then the ground started shaking. Father gazed out to sea, noting
the water rushing out. He grabbed the baby. Everyone including Dog
raced to the mountain behind. The tsunami smashed the village in
a cataclysm of foam and water.
Villagers came over to stroke Dog and murmur their thanks. Father
held Dog lovingly and turned to Boy.
“Dog is part of the family. We will cherish him always.”