Flash Friday Fiction: The Runt

Dog on Colma di Mombarone. Photo by Dan Fador.
Dog on Colma di Mombarone. Photo by Dan Fador.

The Runt – Margaret Locke
(210 words)

“He’ll never make it,” they said the day I was born. “Too small. Too weak. Might as well let him go now.” I proved them wrong, scrapping my way into this life whether it wanted me here or not.

“He’ll never make it,” they said the day I got the diagnosis. “We give him 3-6 months; maybe more with chemo.” The endless nausea, the bone-wearying fatigue – so many days I just wanted to hang my head low and give up, give in, and go off to that happy romping ground in the sky.

“He’ll never make it,” they said three years later, the day we set forth to climb this mountain.

Yet here I am.

My eyes look out over God’s grandeur, at the lush vegetation scattered amidst sharp, unforgiving rocks. The clouds are below us – below us! Who’d have thought that possible? – and the sky above is such a rich cerulean blue that I want to leap for the sheer joy of being alive.

I’ve conquered it all. I’ve conquered them all.

I reach down and pet Max, my faithful companion. He bounds ahead, ready to meet any challenge.

I smile as I take the next step forward. There’s still fight in this old dog yet.

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