Day 25: Finding Where by Roger McKnight

No comments

On the 25th Day of Christmas Roger McKnight gave to me…

“I’m only 22, but longing for home,” Vet Tech Cranny Barlow said uncertainly to a middle-aged customer across the counter.  Both glanced out at a beginning snowstorm sweeping Minnesota’s stubble cornfields.  “Me and Carlo here.  We’re both good to go.”

Denise Mannery had emerged from the vet’s surgery behind Cranny and fondly caressed Carlo, her furry Bernaise Mountain Dog puppy, who gazed around the office with a neutral, unblinking expression.  “You got it,” Denise joked.  “Carlo’s already 20 pounds.  Another week.”

“Then you won’t be carrying him like that any more,” a second customer added.  Close to her chest she held a two-pound calico Cranny had just weighed, but the lady was studying Denise’s Carlo.  The cat and dog brought the women together, even if the animals showed little awareness of each other.  The kitten’s pre-occupation with its owner matched Carlo’s ability to roll up like a cozy ball in Denise’s arms. Only when he slobbered on her did she lower him to the floor, where he stood ready to make a move, even if indecision ruled.  He stared at a pug outdoors who strained against a leash while its squat, pimply owner took final drags on a cigar.

“Cindy, that’ll be 85 for the rabies shot and checkup,” Cranny said to the cat lady.  “Your Harlequin’s such a dear.  Reminds me of my Muffins.  See?” Cranny produced photos of her own calico.  “I had nine pets—dogs, hamsters, cats.  All gone now, just me and Muffins left.  Plus my hubby, he’s such a dear.”

“So sad,” Denise interrupted with a kindly smile.  “Intriguing names, Harlequin and you, Cranny.  Is it short for something?”

“No, but my friends call me Granny.”

“Goodness, and you so young,” Cindy said in surprise.

“But how could you, like Cindy says?” Denise asked.  “You a grandmother?”

Denise and Cindy waited for an answer and shivered as the pug owner strode in, held the door for his dog, and tossed the stub.  “Merry Christmas!” he said and helped himself to free coffee from the reception desk.  Meanwhile the pug nosed up to Carlo and sniffed.  The ladies paused for the outcome.

“Six months but moving back.  I’m married, from Duluth, not here,” Cranny explained.  “Hubby Conny’s a paramedic.  Lotsa jobs for him.  Mom’s a widow and I’m an only child.  She wept buckets when I left.  Said she can’t live without me.  Conny’s okay with it, so we’re going.”

“Yes, lovely country up north,” Denise agreed casting a disparaging glance at the flat snowy farmland.

“I’m a wimp about it,” Cranny admitted.  Her voice grew shrill and her large brown eyes opened wider.  “I found homes for my babies when landlords wouldn’t allow them in any apartments.”

“It’ll be good to see your mom,” Denise said.

“Holidays.  Homesick.”

“Don’t mind if I do,” the pug owner announced proudly to himself and filled another cup.

And so they waited as daylight increased. Pug and paunch eschewed the blustery sidewalk. Harlequin meowed softly at Cindy’s bosom.  Carlo yawned to Denise’s touch.  Cranny went about her work and thought how nice, finding where you belong.  Being so lucky.

Roger McKnight

Roger McKnight hails from Little Egypt, a traditional farming and coal-mining region in downstate Illinois. He studied and taught English in Chicago, Sweden, and Puerto Rico. Swedes showed Roger the value of human fairness and gender equity, while Puerto Ricans displayed the dignity of their island culture before the tragedy of Hurricane Maria and the US government’s shameful post-disaster neglect of the island’s populace. Roger relocated to Minnesota and taught Swedish and Scandinavian Studies. He now lives in the North Star State.

Visit Roger:

facebook

Find out more about Roger’s debut collection of short stories; Hopeful Monsters below

HOPEFUL MONSTERS PAPERBACK
Price: £9.99

HOPEFUL MONSTERS EBOOK
Price: £4.99

We are still accepting submissions for the STORGY Festive Flash Advent Calendar so please visit our Submittable page here for more details.

You can read all the FESTIVE FLASH stories from the STORGY Advent Calendar here

You can purchase The STORGY Flash Fiction 2019 Anthology eBook here.

The Annihilation Radiation Short Story Competition is now open for entries.

1st Prize – £500

2nd Prize – £100

3rd Prize – £50

Closing date – 31st January 2020

Finalists will be published in ANNIHILATION RADIATION

£10 Entry Fee

For more details click here!

To celebrate the release of

HOPEFUL MONSTERS

We are offering a whopping 60% off previously published STORGY titles:

EXIT EARTH & SHALLOW CREEK!

That’s 21 stories for £4.99*
or 42 stories for £9.98*

*(R.R.P. £12.99 each. Postal charges apply)

Simply click on the images below and take advantage of this limited time offer.

Discount code will be applied at checkout prior to purchase.
If not automatically applied add discount code HOPEFULMONSTERS

Unlike many other Arts & Entertainment Magazines, STORGY is not Arts Council funded or subsidised by external grants or contributions. The content we provide takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce, and relies on the talented authors we publish and the dedication of a devoted team of staff writers. If you enjoy reading our Magazine, help to secure our future and enable us to continue publishing the words of our writers. Please make a donation or subscribe to STORGY Magazine with a monthly fee of your choice. Your support, as always, continues to inspire.

PayPal-Donate-Button

Sign up to our mailing list and never miss a new short story.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Leave a Reply