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Thread: Doghouse

  1. #1
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    Doghouse

    Hey guys,

    This is my first post. I've been writing short stories for the past year. I'm still figuring it all out to be honest.

    Any constructive crit would be appreciated,

    many thanks,

    Luke.



    Doghouse




    'Me and your mum,' he said. Were ... hmm, well ... ysee. I knew something was up as soon as I got home from school. My mums face was red and teary and my dad was being nice.

    'You're getting a divorce?' I said.

    'Woah woah. We're not ... we're not getting a divorce,' he said. He glanced at my mum, but she didn't notice. Her face was stuck in sad-toddler mode and it was directed at me.

    'Things haven't been too great between me and your mum though, so I'm going to be in the doghouse for a while.' He gave me the everything's-going-to-be-okay smile, and I gave him my I-believe-you smile back.

    The thing is, when he said he was going to be in the doghouse I thought it was an expression, like when somebody tells you that they fell head over heels in love, or that they **** a brick, but I was wrong. That night he took a small camping light, a sleeping bag, and a magazine into the doghouse. When I told my dad it was just an expression he laughed me off and said I was too young to understand.

    Our garden was long and the doghouse was right at the bottom. It had a main sheltered compartment, and a small run for the daytime. My dad built it himself for our two border collies: Zach and Maisey, and now he was going to be moving in with them. I distinctly remember that when my dad built the doghouse he argued that it was going to be too big for just two dogs. I figured if anything this proved his point.

    I expected they'd be back together within a week or two. Every time I got back from school I hoped I'd open the door to see them in their dressing gowns, drinking tea, holding onto each other, refreshed, and ready to love each other again, but after two months he was still out there. In fact he seemed content. He'd pop into the house every now and again, say hello, make a sandwich, and head back out.

    I only went out to see him the one time. Over the short period he'd been in there he'd somehow moved in a sofa bed, a small TV, and a mini-fridge. Hed pushed the dog beds against the back to make room for his box of clothes. Apart from not being able to stand up in there, it seemed comfortable, cosy even.

    My mum wasn't taking it so well. She'd been going about her life as normal, but her face was still stuck the way it was when hed first moved out. She managed to get out of bed, clean the house, go to work, and everything else. Its just that everything she did, she did with that face.

    I arrived home the next day to the sound of laughter. I couldn't believe it. My old life again. I followed the laughter into the kitchen and saw my mum with Zach. She was talking to him about her day at work, gossiping about the other staff, like she used to do with dad. She was laughing and he was rolling around on his back. I gave him a little belly rub and he pissed a little bit, due to the excitement. He didnt even notice. He just looked at me with his sweet little black and white face, and my mum giggled whilst she mopped it up.

    That night Zach slept on my mum's bed with her. She spooned up behind him. She was happy to have something to cuddle, and Zach was happy to sleep on a memory foam mattress.

    My dad was still in the doghouse with Maisey, and it was him who suggested that they go on a double date. The first one went so well they went on more. They went to the park, to the woods, and even to the beach, and every night when they got home they went their separate ways.

    Christmas Day was always a little different. In previous years it was the only time wed let Zach and Maisey in the front room. Wed even wrap up little toys and treats for them to open. My mum said that this year was no different, and she let my dad and Maisey in for the day. We opened our presents, drank Bucks Fizz, and played with party crackers. It was quite nice actually.

  2. #2
    Registered User Steven Hunley's Avatar
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    response to story

    This was fun and easy to read and lighthearted. For a someone that's only been writing a year that's quite an accomplishment. Well done.

  3. #3
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    Hi Luke,

    This has to be one of the most original stories I've read on here for months - and with such a simple idea.
    You pitched it absolutely right - as if everything was normal, when most writers would have made out that it was weird and spoilt the entire effect.

    My only quibble is that the ending fizzled out slightly, as if you ran out of steam. But that can be fixed if you come back to this later.

    Otherwise a brilliant effort.

    H

  4. #4
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    Thanks for reading guys, and thanks for the compliments.

    Hillwalker, I'll have a look and see how I can finish it better.

    Thanks again.

  5. #5
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    I agree with both positive comments. The best feature about this piece is that it manages to strike just the right tone: neither too maudlin nor too cutesy-pie. Quite good for an early effort, but as you proceed with future efforts, I trust that you will be reading a copious amount of modern and contemporary short stories in order to develop your talent further.

  6. #6
    It wasn't me Jerrybaldy's Avatar
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    I loved this Luke. It shone out. Unique and understated. The end has to be changed as Hill pointed out. I am pondering on the comments often given to read and read books and stories. I dont read very much and I am happy with what I write for the most part. Seeing as we are the product of our parents I think we could become the product of what we read also. That is obviously good if you read what is considered good but I wonder if it could also kill originality. It seems to me that not learning formula is good too.

    Anyways. Well done. It is a memorable and as already stated ORIGINAL story.
    cheers.

    For those who believe,
    no explanation is necessary.
    For those who do not,
    none will suffice.

  7. #7
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    AuntShecky: Thanks for the read and comments. I promise I'll read lots.

    Jerrybaldy: Thanks man, I'm glad you liked it. I've edited the ending now, but I've had to keep it at exactly 750 words for a competition I'm entering. I might post it later. I do sometimes worry that by reading I'll lose some of my original-ness, but I do think that nothing inspires me to write more than reading a good story. So I guess it's a double edged sword.

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