This short short story was originally published as part of a collection of original works that I wrote in a book entitled “Corner Stories” back in 2011. The book also includes original works created individually by Ancel K. Houchen and Anthony Singleton. I’ve edited this a bit here (As a writer, you constantly learn from your mistakes. Hopefully, I’ve corrected a few of them in this edition below). Mabel and Rocky’s story is far from complete – I will pick up the thread of their tale one day soon but for now, I hope you enjoy this small glimpse into their world. – CAG April 8 2013
Mabel & Rocky
Little Mabel sat on her porch in her grandmother’s rocking chair
watching the sun set in the west just beyond the tree tops of the woods that
sat just off of the 33 acres of land that her family lived on for the past
As the last rays of light began to fade, painting the sky in a blaze of red, yellow and orange, she gathered up the supplies she had collected earlier in the day and prepared to go inside. After placing the odd collection of chalk, candles, herbs, roots, a jar of oil and a jug of water in the living room, she went to secure all the windows and doors; double checking that the barricades were in place and adding an extra plank of wood or another nail when she thought it was needed. Mabel retrieved the jug of water and poured some into her hand. Whispering a prayer, she followed it with an incantation as she splattered some of the blessed water across the back door and the windows. When she came to the basement door, she did a double dose and whispered an extra prayer.
Grabbing a torch from the barrel, she carefully lit it using one of the wooden matches she carried in a baby food jar in the deep pockets of her dungaree overhauls. She walked down the porch steps and methodically lit the six pyres of tree branches and timber she had gathered from the woods during the hot summer day and called to Rocky, the ancient Bull Mastiff that had been her companion the entire ten years of her life.
Rocky was just as old as Mabel and one could see that age was beginning to win
the battle against him, still his steps were measured and sure. His huge well muscled stature nearly dwarfed the little girl. He affectionately licked the girl’s shoulder and face; she in turn looked at him and smiled. A breeze blew in from the east and the scent of the earth and flowers was in the air. Goose bumps rose up across her skin.
Rocky sniffed the air and as the last light of the sun slipped into the west, he opened his massive jaw and howled at the coming of the night…and of other things that waited for darkness. Mabel stood a moment longer listening for the sounds she knew would tell her that the night’s battle was about to begin. Rocky’s ears pricked up and a low growl rumbled from his throat; gently he took Mabel’s wrist in his jaw and pulled her backwards
towards the house. She loosed her wrist from him, patted him and walked inside. The sound of the hammering could be heard from behind the closed door. Water seeped under the door and spread across the wood flooring of the porch. The house was sealed and protected; both dog and girl would be safe for yet another night.
C. A. Griffin