Jocie Brooke here reporting from Hollyhill, Kentucky. It's hot. Really hot. In the nineties. Aunt Love says it's supposed to be hot like this in August. I guess she should know. She's been around for a lot of Augusts. Wes, on the other hand, says it's never this hot on Jupiter - too far from the sun, he claims. Says if it wasn't for all the moons they have up there that there would be icicles everywhere. Green icicles.
Seems snow is green on Jupiter. Sometimes Wes gets carried away with his Jupiter stories. Like as not, snow will be pink on Jupiter next week. But I love listening to his stories. One thing sure, he didn't disagree that it was hot down here on good old Earth. It's always especially hot in the press room, but the paper has to be printed and folded and delivered. Folks in Hollyhill want to know the news, what little there is each week in Hollyhill.
Do you like the dog? Did you ever see such eyes? I think they are at least four colors. Blue and brown and black and white. Amazing eyes. You remember I'm writing that story about Bailey the dog, and Lucinda the cat. Well, I might add another dog and if I do it might look like this guy.
Tell me. If you were writing a story about a dog that looked like this one, what would you name him? It is a him. But we could maybe make it a her. That's the great thing about writing a story. You can change things and make things up. Now if I could just change the temperature to a little cooler.
I took my notebook out under the oak tree out back and wrote the next scene. I'm finding out it takes a long time and a lot of words to write a book.
All right two questions for you -
What would you name the dog?
And have you ever wanted to write a book?
Now here's the next scene of Bailey's Bug. (Remember, we left him hiding under the bed after Lucinda made him think about storms and thunder. And also, if you haven't read the first parts of the story, you can click on the link above to the page about Bailey's Bug. I have no idea what any of that means, but maybe you do.)
BAILEY'S BUG by Jocie Brooke
As Bailey cowered there in the dusky darkness, all the awful things Lucinda had told him might happen marched through his head.
He wished he could believe none of it was true, that Lucinda was just trying to scare him into not going, but he had been out beyond the fence with Reid. He’d seen things.
There was the time two dogs were fighting the park, all gnashing teeth and growls. Reid had held Bailey’s collar as if to keep him from joining the fight, but Bailey had wanted no part of it. He’d been relieved when someone had doused the dogs with water. That had made them forget their fight soon enough.
Those kind of dogs were out there beyond the fence. Dogs ready to fight any other dog. Even Bailey whether Baily wanted to fight of not. Bailey shivered and thought about how fast he could run. Not very fast because he had a way of stumbling over his own feet. The faster he tried to go the more his feet got tangled up.
And what about that time he was chasing the red toy, and a car making a terrible screeching, honking noise had bumped against him? It hadn’t hurt all that bad, but Bailey’s ears had rung for days.
It was not safe beyond the fence. Lucinda was right about that.
Worst of all was that last warning? What would he eat? Bailey liked to eat. People put food in his dish. First Reid and sometimes Reid’s mother and now Mrs. Robinson. Somebody filled his dish every day. But if he left the Robinsons, he wouldn’t even have a dish until he found Reid. That might take days.
Just thinking about it made his stomach rumble and had Bailey trembling just like a real storm was shaking the windows of the house. But the hum didn’t get lost in his trembles. Instead it got louder until it was almost as if Reid were just on the other side of the bed’s dust ruffle, trying to coax Bailey out of hiding.
Bailey jerked up and banged his head on the bedsprings, but he barely noticed as he crawled out from under the bed. Reid wasn’t there, but he was somewhere. Bailey could find him if he only had the courage.
Courage. He’d never needed courage before. He didn’t know whether he had any or not. He wanted to have some. At least a little bit. But would a little bit be enough?
He padded back into the living room and sat down in front of Lucinda’s window seat. He was ready to stay there as long as it took for her to open her eyes.
Slowly one of her eyelids went up. “What now?” she asked.
“I’m going.” He turned without waiting to hear what she might say and went to the door to wait for Mr. Robinson to let him out.
Lucinda raised her head and whispered, “Best wait until after supper. It might be a very long time before your next meal.”
“Even if it is, I’m going.” Bailey pulled up to his highest height. But he did decide to wait until after eating time. When Mrs. Robinson filled his dish, he ate every chunk of food and nosed around on the floor to make sure he hadn’t missed even the smallest crumb.
Then Bailey went out in the yard. He would find a way through or over or under the fence. He would. That night!
(to be continued next week.)