Black Dog part I

Black dog i

Black dog sleeps beneath the sofa. Some days he is only a shadow. Some days he unfurls; extends a paw, an ear. Some days he is solid; his coat curls like claws.  

When they go out, black dog licks my hand. His tongue is cold and feels like memories.

               “Tell me when we met.” Black dog says.

               “I don’t want to.”

But black dog doesn’t hear; he runs his head beneath my hand.

               Black dog spreads across the wall. When I called mum, he was a shadow. Black dog came to playgroup. Black dog came to school. The children played loud games and black dog called from the corners of the yard where the shadows pooled.

Black dog came on holiday and hid inside when the day came out.

               Black dog curls before the empty fireplace and puts his head on his paws. He looks at me with his ghost eyes.

               “Tell me when we met.” Black dog says.

Black dog arrives when the others are gone; crashing through undergrowth, panting, teeth white and whiskers wire. Black dog runs behind me up the stairs when the lights are out.

Black dog lies beneath the bed.

               “I’ll be company enough.” Black dog says when it rains.

Black dog is quiet. We play board games. The sun comes out and we read.

               “Go outside.” Mum says. “Play with the other children.”

               “I want to play here.” Black dog licks my hand. “I want quiet.”

Sometimes black dog is cross. He plants his tail. Black dog unfurls in dreams, all teeth and tongue. Black dog barks until I wake.

               “Sorry…sorry…” Black dog licks tears from my cheeks.

               “I forgive you black dog.” I think.

The house sleeps.

               “You’d forgotten.” Black dog says.

He puts his head on his paws as wind dances in the empty grate.

               “I’m sorry.” I say.

Black dog climbs into bed.

The cat sleeps downstairs.  

black dog

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About Matt Wesolowski

Matt Wesolowski is an author from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK. He is an English tutor and leads Cuckoo Young Writers creative writing workshops for young people in association with New Writing North. Wesolowski started his writing career in horror and his short horror fiction has been published in numerous magazines and US anthologies. Wesolowski's debut novella ‘The Black Land‘ a horror set on the Northumberland coast, was published in 2013 by Blood Bound Books and his latest horror novella set in the forests of Sweden is available in 'Dimension 6' magazine through Coeur De Lion Publishing. Wesolowski was a winner of the Pitch Perfect competition at 'Bloody Scotland'; Crime Writing Festival 2015, his subsequent debut crime novel 'Six Stories' will be available through Orenda Books in the spring of 2017 View all posts by Matt Wesolowski

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