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War Pugs
By J. L. Young

Morgan felt a tug on her wrist while she was enjoying her nap under a sugar maple. She felt the familiar tongue of her pug on her cheek. The dog backed away slightly and barked. “Ok, Pinky. I’m up.” Pinky, excited, leaped up and down on the blanket. The young woman stood and wadded the blanket under her arm. “Let’s go.”

The sun was nearly setting on them when they left the park. She crossed a busy street, onto the sidewalk, and passed red brick houses. She stopped at a large gloss black door under a sign which read, ‘War Pugs.” The woman fished a key from her pocket and unlocked the door. As she pulled the door open, Pinky leaped over the knee-knocker, ran the length of the leash, and tumbled backward. This fostered a chuckle from Morgan.

The shined floor of the old firehouse was empty. This didn’t immediately induce panic as it was the norm. Willow, Morgan’s friend, and partner had taken her car for some reason. She unhooked the dog and she ran as hard as she could, dropped on her belly, and slid on the open floor. The dog did this several more times before climbing up the stairs after her master.

Morgan felt the tinge of hunger as she summited the stairs. She hung up the leash and deposited the blanket in a corner. As she approached the kitchen, she saw a post-it note on the refrigerator. With the sticky paper in hand, she read it.

‘M., I finished cutting the new order. Getting dinner for us. Expect me when you see me. Love, W.’

She pulled the note off the refrigerator when her phone rang. This always elicits a bark from the pug, but this time she was silent. She didn’t recognize the number. After tapping the answer icon, she brought it up to her ear, “Hello.”

“This is Brandon with the Twin Hill Medical Center West. We have a patient by the name of Willow Wright here and she has been injured in an accident.”

“Is she alright?” Morgan asked.

“Mrs. Wright has several minor injuries. We are located--.”

“I know where you’re at, thank you.”

Morgan put the pug in her cage, slid down the pole, and grabbed her bike off the wall. As she opened the door, she heard Willow’s voice as well as several others yell, “Surprise!”

She shot an angry look at Willow, “What the…? What’s this about?”

“One million Dog armor sets sold!” Willow said. “War Pugs have the power.”

Skeptical as Morgan is, she asked, “Really?”

“Really,” Willow replied.

“You had some guy at the hospital call me and tell me you were injured?”

Willow passed it off as though it was nothing, “Oh, that was Ethan, he was the best actor among us. Except for me of course, but I couldn’t do it.”

“Really? Ethan?”

“Yeah, who knew?” Willow laughed. “You didn’t eat did you?”

“No.” Morgan’s brow furrowed, “Ethan?”

“You’d better believe it.”

“And the car?”

“It’s just around the block.”

Gohan 7 May 20
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