Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Car Trip (07/18/05)
TITLE: Daddy's Boy
By Venice Kichura
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“Well, it’s not the Hyatt, but we were fortunate to find a motel that took our baby, “ his wife, Sharon noted, brushing cobwebs off a bedpost.
“No, he’s your baby. ” Dave corrected his wife.
A powerhouse of energy, Hurricane was a 70 pound two-year-old boxer, who lived up to his name. Wired for action, Hurricane was as intense as Dave. To survive the 1400 mile trip up north Dave drugged him with a dog tranquilizer so he’d chill out in the car. They had two more left for the trip.
Thanks to the tranquilizer, the middle-aged couple had made it to South Carolina, surviving the first day of their road trip. They’d driven from Tampa, Florida where they’d lived all their lives, and were on their way to their new home in Connecticut.
Dave was bitter because he didn’t want to move, but felt he was too old to find another job. He hadn’t had a raise in two years, and had to move up north to keep his lousy job. He couldn’t even fly up Hercules because of the airline restrictions on boxers.
Did God forget him? He wondered. He wasn’t like his wife who’d always lived with a blind faith that Jesus is Lord. Sharon was struggling, too, with the move, but knew God had a plan.
Last year she had talked Dave into getting a dog. “We‘re not dog people,” he‘d told he, trying to convince her to adopt a parakeet, instead. But she was such a devoted wife, he finally caved in. But he still considered Hurricane her dog and not his.
“Well, I see the tranquilizer’s wearing off,” Dave said as they unpacked their suitcases, watching her dog run around in circles in the small cramped room.
“Take him for a walk and I’ll set up his crate.” Dave said.
Tired from driving 600 miles, he assembled the crate and ruled out any plans to eat out. “There’s a McDonalds next door. I’ll pick up some burgers.”
“Ok, Sharon said, but this is your chance to eat out in a classy restaurant and relax. He’ll be fine in his crate.”
The Hansons settled for takeout and fell into bed after dinner. But Hurricane howled all night. He was in a strange motel room, away from his spacious backyard.
Finally falling asleep at 2 a.m., the Hansons overslept. They quickly disassembled the crate, grabbed some bagels, and hit the road for another day.
Noting how Hurricane was pacing back and forth in the backseat, they looked at each other, with pointing fingers, and said at the same time, “You forgot to give him his tranquilizer.”
“There’s not another rest stop for 40 miles,“ Dave said.
Pulling off to the side of the road, he said. “You walk your dog while I dig out the tranquilizer.”
Dave ducked under the seat to look for treats to mix with the tranquilizer. When he raised his head, he found himself staring into the barrel of a rifle, held by a tall, young man who seemed to come from nowhere.
“Hand over your wallet and you won’t get hurt.”
I’m going to die, he thought.
“Just a moment,“ he stammered, reaching for his wallet. The rifle touched the windshield and his life flashed before him. He cried out passionately, “Please, Lord, forgive me for griping. Jesus is Lord over my life”
Then just as he was about to hand over his wallet, Hurricane ran back, charging after robber, pulling Sharon behind him.
“Get that crazy dog and his Jesus freak owner away from me,” the robber screamed, taking off like a bullet shot out of his own rifle. His baggy pants fell off as he fled into the woods in his underwear.
Hurricane jumped into the backseat and planted a wet, sloppy kiss on Dave’s sweaty brow.
“You’re Daddy’s boy,” Dave said, his heart still throbbing so loudly that he could hear the his own heartbeats.”
“Come up here with Daddy, Hurky. I think we can skip your tranquilizer. I need it more than you.”
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