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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

TITLE: My Dog, Pal
By LeRoy Dean


Narrator (present day):

As I recall, it was one of those lazy mid-summer days, school was out and playing was in. My dog, Pal, and I were looking to do some serious exploring down by the creek and the fields nearby. Pal was my best friend and hanging out with her was better than anything. Had I known what that particular summer day held in store for us, I would have stayed at the house.

Thirty-five years earlier:

“Pal, here Pal, where are you?”

“Woof, Woof, Woof,” as Pal came running from around the house.

“There you are. Good boy, “as I pet him, I said, “You’re the best dog ever Pal.”

As I got on my bike, I called, “Come on Pal; let’s go to the creek and have some fun.”

Narrator (present day):

I remember that day as clearly, as if it was yesterday. Pal and I headed for the creek. To get there, we had to take a blacktop road for about a half-mile, then a short stretch of gravel road. My bike had seen its better days and the tires, well, they were bald, “maypops” for sure, but on this afternoon, these facts were the last thing on my mind.

Thirty-five years earlier:

My bikes going good and Pal sure is keeping up, running along beside me. We’ll be at the creek soon and have the whole day for playing and exploring.

“Come on Pal, we’re doing great. Let’s race.”

My bike can really go, but I don’t think I can beat Pal. I’m peddling as fast as I can.


“Pal! Help!”

Narrator (present day):

It happened so fast. The front tire blew and I lost control of the bike. They said my head must have hit the pavement and that knocked me out. I woke up in a hospital bed a few hours later with bandages around my head, almost covering one eye.

Thirty-five years earlier:

“Mom…Dad…What…Where am I?”

“You’re in the hospital, son,” Dad said. “Your front tire blew on your bike and you hit your head when you fell. The Doctor said you’re going to be okay.”

“Where’s Pal? Is she okay? Dad, where’s my dog?”

My Dad lowered his head and then looked at me with saddened eyes.

“Son, at the same time your tire blew…there was a car coming from behind you. When you lost control of the bike, you started to swerve into the path of the car…”

“Dad, Please!” with panic in my heart, “Where’s my dog, where’s Pal…where’s Pal?

Narrator (present day):

In my heart, I knew, but my mind wasn’t ready to accept it. Pal must be dead. My Dad went on to explain to me that the driver of the car began to veer to the left to avoid hitting me when my tire blew. Pal had been running towards me at the same time. There wasn’t anything the driver could have done. It all happened so fast.

The car hit my faithful friend and companion, Pal. There wasn’t anything that anyone could do.
I remember calling her name when the tire blew. I’d like to think she was coming to help me. In my heart, I know she was.

Through the years, I have learned that things happen and we don’t always understand why. I believe that God has reasons that will make sense of all of it, someday.

Looking back on those lazy summer days, I remember my faithful companion. A boy couldn’t have asked for a better playmate than I had with my dog, Pal.

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This article has been read 353 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Caitlin Dea05/05/11
Very well written - but a little sad. The plot is just a tad overdone with so many animal tragedy stories. Just my opinion. Overall well done. :)
diana kay05/07/11
an interesting subject for a story. I did find the jumping backwards and forwards in the narration a bit intrusive and it might have worked even better if you had either used italics for one of the threads or just retold it as a story.
You rite th affection and have chosen a good subject with the theme.
Nancy Bucca05/11/11
This story made me want to cry. You did a great job with the suspense. In my book, it's a winner.

The only thing that threw me was the repetition of the "thirtyfive years before." The second mention made me think the first "thirtyfive years before" was present tense.

But that sort of thing is easily fixed. On the whole, wonderful story. Enjoyed it very much.
Caitlin Dea05/13/11
congrats on placing at your level...
Keep writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/11
Congratulations for placing 9th in level one!