General Fiction posted May 8, 2017

This work has reached the exceptional level
Flash Fiction

The Hideaway

by frogbook

Sudden Flash Fiction Contest Winner 

His brittle bones ached with the impending storm. One could almost hear old bones clacking as he walked, so little flesh remained over them. Even his skin seemed thin.

Fragile fingers held a well-worn leash leading to a bedraggled mutt. Miniature legs walked stiffly, also feeling the pain of the cold.

They were an unsightly pair, belying the razor-sharp minds lying beneath those not-so-pretty heads. He, a renowned scientist, she, his brilliant experiment, left the prying world, for this solitary one many years before.

"Instead of a super intelligent dog, I should have invented a potion to keep one forever young," Dr. Ravens laughed, as he painfully hoisted his thin frame up the stairs of the cabin.

"Well, you could still work on that...and make a canine formula too, will you?" Bella said.

"I'll get to work on that." He slid onto the chair.

"Maybe tomorrow," she said, curling up on the rug at his feet.

Doc took off his coat, removed Bella's sweater. The two sat in silence. He rose slowly, after a few minutes, hung up their coats and reached for the two remaining cans of soup. He would start a fire later, but for now he needed to make the two of them something to eat, despite knowing that neither of them was a big fan of food any more.

Not only was his stash of money finally getting low after all these years, but they had not seen the only man that knew of their existence, in a week.

"I miss Steven," said Bella.

"Me too, something bad has happened."

"I hate to think so, but there's no other explanation. So faithful, taking care of us, all these years. Can we go look for him?"

"Ah, my sweet Bella, I could never take a chance on someone finding you. Remember how quickly the soldiers came for you, before? Already thinking of using dogs like you as military weapons." He shook his head sadly. "I only wanted you to do good, I never wanted to see you hurt or taken from me."

"I know. When Steven came to help us, I always felt sorry. He gave so much of his young life for us."

"You know I tried to talk him out of it."

"Oh, yes, I remember," laughed Bella. "Two humans growling at each other like common dogs!"

"I love him like a son," Doc said.

In the quiet contemplation that followed, there was a knock at the door, startling them.

"Maybe that's him," exclaimed Bella.

"Why would he knock?"

Doc went quietly to the door, peered through the peep hole. A young woman stood, bracing against the cold wind. She said, urgently, "Dr. Ravens, Bella."

"Oh, dear Lord, she knows our names,"

He slowly opened the door.

The young woman said, "I'm so sorry, I know you don't know me, but I am Steven's girlfriend. He told me about you. Trust me, no one else knows."

Suddenly she began crying.

"Steven is dead."

"What?" the two old friends said together.

"Yes, two men were asking about you. He tried to get rid of them. They were planning to come here. When he interfered, they shot him, just like that."

All three wept.

"Come sit."

"No, Dr., you don't understand, you and Bella must go. They're coming for you. That's why Steven told me. I came to help you."

"Oh no, child, we could never involve another person." It was Bella who spoke.

Doc nodded in agreement. "Go, my dear. I am so sorry about our devoted Steven, but we can't ask anyone to help."

"We're so grateful he had someone like you." said Bella. "Never let those men near you."

She tried to protest; the two wouldn't let her.

When she was gone, Bella looked at the doctor and sighed. "We knew this would eventually happen. Now we will just have to go to Plan B."

"Yes, yes we will. I'm really tired, what say we sleep on it."

Doc smoothed the sheets. Bella couldn't jump up on her own any more, so he lifted her onto her quilt. He put the pill gently on her tongue and allowed her a drink from her small bowl. He took his own and lay down.

"Good night my sweet, Bella."

"Good night, my dear friend."

Plan B worked. By the time the men came next morning, the medicine had long sent the two to their final sleep. The fire consumed anything they might want to study.


Sudden Flash Fiction
Contest Winner


As you read, please consider this is flash fiction with limited # of words. So I can't add more detail etc. in the 750 words. Otherwise feel free to let me know what you think.
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