Home > Fiction > Man’s Best Friend

Man’s Best Friend

Hello everyone, and welcome to my contribution to this week’s Friday Fictioneers, a weekly 100-ish word flash fiction photo challenge hosted by Rochelle. This week’s photo comes to us courtesy of Dawn Q. Landau and features some people walking up a railway line with a dog trailing behind.

They could be on a Sunday afternoon stroll or… or… well, if this photo doesn’t scream “post-apocalyptic dystopian future” I don’t know what does!

To read this week’s other entries, or to add one of your own, click on the little blue froggy.

c2a9dawn_landau

Copyright Dawn Q. Landau

 

Julie trudged along the railway. The others were far ahead, but she was tired, so very tired.

Once there were trains running along these tracks, she thought. Before the Pulse, when there was electricity, there were trains and computers and… food.

At that thought, her stomach twisted. How long since her last meal? Two days? Three? She rummaged around, stuffing the crumbs she found into her mouth.

How far is this promised “sanctuary”, anyway?

How much longer could she last without food? She looked back at her beloved dog hungrily.

One day you’ll perform one final sacrifice for me, old friend. But not today.

 

  1. February 25, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    I think I’d rather be my dogs’ last meal.

    Like

    • February 25, 2015 at 7:44 pm

      I bet many people with beloved family pets would say the same. I’m sure Julie will find food before she has to make a choice.

      Like

  2. February 25, 2015 at 8:39 pm

    I certainly hope she finds food before the dog becomes a meal. Well done Ali. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

    • February 25, 2015 at 9:05 pm

      I’m sure she will and I’m sure the doggie will get a meal too 🙂
      Glad you liked it!

      Like

  3. February 25, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Noooooo!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. February 25, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    This reminds me of an episode from the recent series of the Walking Dead where dogs come out of nowhere.
    I enjoyed it!
    I am also intrigued as to what happened to the power. Was it a giant electromagnetic pulse that wiped it out?

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:13 am

      I’m thinking EM pulse, yes. I was thinking Dark Angel/Revolution when I wrote it.
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. February 25, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    As a dog lover, I have to agree with the statement above… Nooooo!!

    Great story, you really portrayed a desperate feeling.

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:14 am

      She loves her dog too but is indeed getting desperate. I don’t she’ll ever do more than just think it, though.

      Like

  6. February 25, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    Have you been watching ‘Walking Dead’, lol. Great job 🙂

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Yes! And “Revolution”.
      Thanks 🙂

      Like

  7. February 26, 2015 at 1:48 am

    That’s a sad thought, but necessary sometimes. Nice story.

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:15 am

      Hopefully it won’t come down to it but she’s getting desperate.
      Glad you liked it!

      Like

  8. February 26, 2015 at 3:00 am

    i hope she was just kidding. 🙂

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:16 am

      Maybe. Maybe not. It depends on how hungry she gets 😦

      Like

  9. Lyn
    February 26, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Aaah, the D-man is back to his gruesome best 😀

    Like

  10. February 26, 2015 at 3:47 am

    Hard times call for desperate measures. Well told story of desperation and loss.

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Thanks, I’m glad her absolute desperation came through.

      Like

  11. February 26, 2015 at 9:28 am

    Nope! I’d rather starve. Good point for reflection though.

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 11:17 am

      She’s pretty desperate but she isn’t eating her dog today, so maybe she never will.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. February 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Dear Draliman,

    I think the dog may be thinking exactly the same thoughts of its master and my bets are on the dog. Great story.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      Dear Doug,
      You’re probably right. Now I’m imagining them around the camp fire, staring at each other and too afraid to go to sleep first!
      Ali

      Like

  13. February 26, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Dear Ali,

    Dog steaks roasting on an open fire? A great delicacy in some parts of the world. I’m with Sandra. I’d rather starve. Good one.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 12:43 pm

      Dear Rochelle,
      I think I’d rather starve too. Then once she’s died, as Doug has mentioned, doggie will get a nice meal 🙂
      Ali

      Like

  14. February 26, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Yum…roasted dog. Your morbid writing is always a thrill, DM. 🙂

    Like

  15. February 26, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    Got me thinking of the Walking Dead, waling to Terminus. Well done, Ali.

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks!
      Definitely shades of the Walking Dead there, as well as Dark Angel (the world after an EMP) and I’ve just finished watching the first series of Revolution (no more electricity) so that’s in there too. Makes me wonder how much of my story I actually wrote 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. February 26, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    I’m sure the dog’s getting pretty hungry as well… we’ll see who eats who first!

    Like

  17. February 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    Dear Draliman, WOW, once again a very powerful story and hunger can bring out the worst in anyone! Good job! Nan 🙂

    Like

    • February 26, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks!
      Desperation and hunger are powerful motivators.

      Like

  18. February 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Really well done, Ali. Hunger is a powerful motivator, isn’t it, but as mentioned above, who will be hungry enough first to overcome the barriers of love?

    janet

    Like

    • February 27, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks!
      Yes, there’s a real chance the dog will find some of its wolf nature and attack first. I think if ever there’s a massive world-wide food shortage (which isn’t looking too unlikely) things will get real bad real quick.

      Like

  19. February 27, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Eek. Hopefully she will find food before it gets that bad.

    Like

    • February 27, 2015 at 7:21 pm

      I hope so. Even if she doesn’t I don’t know if she’ll be able to go through with it.

      Like

  20. February 27, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    Hot diggety dog, forget dog’s best friend.The Pulse is loaded with menace the way you have used it. Hope I’m not around for that.

    Like

    • February 27, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      The havoc a huge EMP could cause doesn’t bear thinking about. I hope I don’t live to see one either.

      Like

  21. February 27, 2015 at 8:06 pm

    Who really knows what one would do in that situation? You’ve certainly provided one scenario.

    Like

    • February 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      Indeed. Who knows what lengths desperation and hunger could drive someone to?

      Liked by 1 person

  22. February 27, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    It’s going to take a lot of ketchup and mustard for that hot dog.

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      I’m sure there’s some lying around in an abandoned MacDonald’s somewhere.

      Like

  23. February 27, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Oh I hope there is food and sanctuary to be found soon.

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      I hope so too. But in these situations, “Sanctuary” is often an urban myth…

      Like

  24. February 27, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    BUT WAIT!!! To the side half hidden by rubble, a fully stocked KFC with own solar powered generator. Whew! The others are…. out of sight….oh well…come on spot. 😀

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 1:41 am

      If only there wasn’t a 100-word limit. 😉

      Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Mmm, KFC. Yum! She should be so lucky. I think I’d go for the KFC and worry about the others later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. February 27, 2015 at 11:36 pm

    Oh. A little morbid. I hope she makes it to the “sanctuary” before it comes to that final sacrifice!

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:36 pm

      Me too! Good job I ran out of words, just in case.

      Like

      • February 28, 2015 at 5:38 pm

        Safe! Now we can all imagine a happy (or even not-so-happy) ending.

        Liked by 1 person

  26. February 28, 2015 at 1:40 am

    No, no! Shouldn’t have to eat the dog! 🙂

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:37 pm

      No, that’s just wrong 🙂 But apparently, tastes like chicken.

      Liked by 1 person

  27. February 28, 2015 at 5:39 am

    Oh, no!! Not the dog. I couldn’t eat my cat, I’ll tell you that. You’re so funny. Where is Terminus?? Great take, Ali.

    Like

  28. February 28, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Nicely done! I wonder if you and I are watching too much Walking Dead? 😉

    Like

  29. February 28, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Oh no! Maybe the dog can help her (and himself) by hunting and catching some woodland creatures….

    Like

    • February 28, 2015 at 5:42 pm

      I didn’t think of that, it’s a good idea. Maybe when he gets hungry enough he’ll find his inner wolf.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. February 28, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I really hope she finds food before she has to eat her dog! Great story. I love a good dystopian future story. 🙂

    Like

    • March 1, 2015 at 6:33 am

      I hope so too. Maybe Sanctuary is just around the corner!
      A disturbing number of my stories are post-apocalyptic or dystopian 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. February 28, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    Gruesome thought – eating her dog! Let’s hope they reach the sanctuary before it gets to that. Howebver, ‘m sure it would’t be the first animal over the centuries to perform that final sacrifice for its owner. Good story, as always. 🙂

    Like

    • March 1, 2015 at 6:35 am

      It is a gruesome thought, born of desperation and hunger. With any luck she’ll find food soon.
      I’m glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  32. March 1, 2015 at 7:27 am

    hunger can tame anyone even a decent being, nicely concluded

    Like

    • March 1, 2015 at 7:44 am

      Thanks! Hopefully she’ll find some food before she’s forced to make that decision.

      Like

  33. March 1, 2015 at 9:10 am

    😦 I’m hoping this won’t happen.
    Ellespeth

    Like

  34. March 3, 2015 at 1:32 am

    That is really grim. I hope things work out for them

    Like

  35. March 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm

    Oh my, now it seems impossible, but I wonder…very thought provoking, good job.

    Like

    • March 4, 2015 at 8:13 pm

      If the hunger and desperation became bad enough… not a nice thought though.
      Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  36. March 8, 2015 at 3:45 am

    Good read. It is hard to say well done to this one! Great story line. I believed it could happen! (I’m sorry to say)

    Like

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