Tuesday, November 27, 2012

When Dewke Dies

SPOILER ALERT!!!!! if you do not want the secrets of my novel to be spoiled by my blog post before you read it when it comes out in 3-10 years in hard cover then read no further. 

Thanks to everyone who helped me come up with ideas for scenes today. 
I wrote two different scenes for this one and you get to vote on which one stays! 
Of course I'll need to make revisions to it later, but for now just choose which scene is better. 

Dewke Dies #1
When I get home Mom is in the kitchen crying and making fudge. Peanut butter fudge. It’s my favorite, but she only ever makes it for my birthday or if something goes bad—like the time I split my chin open or when my favorite uncle died of lung cancer. Today is not my birthday, so I tell mom I’m going to take Dewke for a walk because I don’t want to have another bad thing in my life right now. It’s too full of weird emotions.
“Honey, I think you should sit down,” she says. She grabs the box of tissues off the kitchen counter and puts it on the dining table after she takes a tissue out of the box. She dabs at her eyes and pulls a chair out for me.
I stand there, not wanting to know. “I’m just going to take Dewke for a  walk first and then you can tell me the bad news, okay, Mom.” I say and I walk toward the back door.
“He’s not there,” she says when I reach for the handle. She sobs this time, blows her nose loudly.
I yank the back door open and whistle. “Dewke, come here boy!”
I run out into the yard and search everywhere for him. Under the deck, behind the shed. He’s not there. I run back into the house.
“Where is he?” I say.
“He died, Ryan,” she says. “He’s gone.”
“Died!? Dewke doesn’t die. He can’t die,” I say.
“He was hit by a truck,” She says and then sobs. She takes a deep breath. “He managed to dig up that hole again under the fence and got out.”
I sit down at the dining table. Numb. I feel numb. It’s not real. It can’t be real. I’ve had Dewke since I was nine. We go everywhere together. I lay my head on the table and let the tears stream down my cheeks and puddle around my face.

Dewke Dies #2
I get home from school and immediately go to the back yard to get Dewke. He’s happy to see me like always and he wags his tail like crazy. “Let’s go for a stroll, boy!”

I open the gate and he bolts out ahead of me. I run after him and whistle for him to come back. And he stops at the sidewalk to wait for me. When I hit the sidewalk I jump on my board and push toward the dog park. 

“Alright, Dewke I’ll race you to the park!” We fly through our neighborhood letting the wind blow through our hair. Dewke runs with his tongue hanging out, slobber slapping everywhere.

When we get to the block just before main street, which happens to be the busiest street in town, I call Dewke to me and grab his collar. I walk hunched over for the whole block and hold on to him as we wait for the walking sign to appear, then we cross the street. Once we’re safely to the other side and down the block a little ways I let go of his collar and let him run ahead.

When we get to the park he runs around sniffing butts and eventually comes back to play fetch. I brought his favorite tennis ball and a chuck-it thrower so I don’t have to touch his nasty slobber covered ball. 

He chases the ball as fast as he can, sometimes running too far and not slowing down fast enough. Every time he brings the ball back, drops it at my feet as he pants like crazy, probably thirsty as hell. But he just waits, tail wagging, tongue slopping out over his teeth, those giant brown eyes looking at me with an eager anticipation. I scoop the ball into the throw arm and sling it all the way across the field in the park. I think he could do this for hours. 

When he gets so tired that he brings the ball back and just lies down to gnaw on it, I decide it’s time to go home. 

“Come on, boy, let’s go home.” I say and I pick up my long board from off the grass.

We walk and Dewke is a little slower going back. I’m proud that I managed to wear him out because he is usually like an energizer bunny going forever and ever, never  really getting tired.
When we get to main street I don’t grab his collar. He has stayed by me the whole time without going out ahead of me, so I’m not worried about it. 

We get to the corner and I push the button so we can cross. While we’re waiting and watching the cars go by, a cat jumps out of a trash can across the street. Dewke’s ears perk up and he bolts toward the cat before I have a chance to reach for his collar. He runs out into the street, eyes on the cat and just when he gets to the inside lane of the other side of the road a car honks, he tries to turn back and the wheel of the car bumps over him. He yelps loud once. Only once, and the back wheel thumps over him before the driver swerves off to the side of the road. I stand there on the corner just staring at the unmoving lump on the road.

A woman gets out of the car screaming, “oh my god!”

I race out into the road and meet in the middle with the woman who ran him over. She tries to pull his steaming body off the street. I push her away and pick Dewke up in my arms. His body is hot and blood pumps out of him from all over. I carry him to the other side of the road and sit on the curb cradling him in my arms, bawling my face off and letting his blood seep into my clothes. 

42,498 words total
3 more writing days left after this!

Write on!


  1. The second one tells me more about his love for Dewke, but I really like the first one. Probably because it has fudge in it. And because you did an awesome job of showing what happens during a family tragedy, which also tells me about his relationship with his mom a bit.

  2. second one, because it is his fault, and that will cause more trauma, and haunt him forever, maybe even keep him from wanting a dog again, or for a long long time. but don't mention that he didn't hold his collar like usual, until after the dog runs off, then it doesn't reveal his neglect until after the fact, kinda leads up to it if you mention before. Let it be more of a shock to him and to us. like if the cat runs out from behind, and the dog chases it, then Ryan doesn't see it coming, and have it. like the car runs out, dog gets bashed, right there not three feet from him, and maybe have him try to dash out to grab him despite the danger to himself, he is a dare devil right? make some danger to Ryan, at least a close call when he runs out to get him, the lady would be way way more panicky too, she probably would not have the presence of mind to try to move the dog out of the street, maybe a passerby male would, if I hit a dog like that, I don't know if I could even walk straight, I would hyperventilate, cry, make her a pest that needs attention, maybe faint in front of him, and he ignores her for the dog,

    why is he afraid to get dog slobber on his hands? dare devil? do boys really avoid dog slobber? unless maybe he has an open wound on his hands, he probably wouldn't care

    how do you pronounce Dewke? I hate it when I don't know how to pronounce strange spelled names

    I watched UP, and the dogs name was Doug, only they spelled it DUG, cute cute cute

    ewww, yesterday a spider descended from the ceiling right in front of my face, ewwww it panicked me, even though spiders usually don't bother me, and it made me paranoid, and I was in a realty bad mood for a while, ewww maybe you can use something like that for another scene. things that don't usually bother you, unless it is right in your face