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Because Of Percy

Amanda was down to her last three bottles—enough for one last drunk. She envisioned a contraption that would drip the numbing liquid directly into her veins—slow and steady until she didn't care about anything at all. That was always the goal: to reach a state of imperviousness where nothing could touch her. As a child, she'd used daydreaming, but this was much more effective.

The dog had gotten to her, though. The night before, Percy had peed on the rug and Amanda had lost it—not enough anesthetic on board, apparently. She'd spanked the sweet elderly dachshund until his shrill squeals died to whimpers. She couldn't get his look of pleading perplexity out of her mind. I can't go on like this, she thought, lifting her favorite wine glass to her lips.

The next morning she awakened with the familiar hatchet of regret wedged firmly in her skull. Glancing at Percy, she looked up the number for Alcoholics Anonymous and picked up the hundred-pound phone. The dog jumped into her lap and looked up at her with his usual adoration as if she'd never laid her cruel hands on him.

"I'm done, sweet boy," she said. Percy's liquid brown eyes brimmed with tenderness as if to say, "You can do it, I just know you can." Amanda punched the numbers onto the screen and lifted the phone to her ear. Percy wagged his tail, three times for good measure.

Story by:

Traci Mullins

29 July 2018