For Love – Speakeasy #140

12-16 Snowy Trees

“I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees.”

No one pays me mind.

“Something was dragged beside the snowshoe tracks.  I just know it’s my Sasha.”

My desperate plea ignored, I contemplated interrupting the mini dramas playing out around the table.  The family didn’t speak my language, although I’d learned to understand much of theirs since they had welcomed me into their home.

Roberto tipped his wine glass back and guzzled the contents in a most ungraceful way.  After the empty glass clanked on the table, I implored him to help.  “Sasha is in trouble.”

He shook his head and looked beyond me.  “Carlos.  More wine.”

I moved on to Elias.

“Please.  My love is in danger.  I need your help.”

He violently cracked a pecan.  The shell snapped and shot across the table.  He never turned his seething glare from Lorenzo.  I feared the cracking symbolized Lorenzo’s fate.  Clueless, love-sick Lorenzo swooned under Isabella’s spell.

“Elias, can you find it in your heart to help?”  I pleaded.

An angry swipe sent me stumbling into Isabella.  With her left hand, she soothed my fears, and with her right, she took the orange offered by her love.  Though I had her hand, her attention (and affection) belonged fully to Lorenzo.

I glanced at Cansado napping under Elias’ chair.  He raised his head and, true to his name, lazily dropped his head on the floor as if to say, “Can’t help you, brother.”

Unable to bridge the language barrier, I decided to get some air.  My feet crunched in the snow with each step; the steady rhythm offering some distraction.  I heard faint cries echo in the still air.  Sasha!

I pushed my legs to move as fast they could until I finally saw my Sasha bloodied and beaten.  I tried to get her back to the house, but the snow drifts sapped my strength.  I collapsed and my love rolled into the warmth of my body.  I shivered, but remained determined to give her my last breath if it meant she would live.

Alas, it would not be.  Before the sun rose, her heart stilled.  I kissed her face before trudging back to the house.  I paused when I saw Elias, illuminated by the first hint of morning, pounding a mound of dirt and snow with the back of a shovel.  I hid behind a tree until he stalked away.  My senses overwhelmed, I knew instinctively that Lorenzo’s body and spirit had separated.

I found Isabella’s bed and curled my lanky body at her feet.  Soon, she would awaken and Lorenzo’s death would leave her heartbroken.  I’d understand her loss.  She would go to him, and I’d be a loyal companion by her side.

Our parallel fates made us kindred spirits, destined to draw comfort from one another.


This story was inspired by the Speakeasy #140 prompt which was to write a piece under 750 words (1) with the first sentence of, “I found the tracks in the deep snow between the trees” and (2) with some reference to the painting, Isabella by John Everett Millais.

I found this painting quite intriguing.  As I stared at it for inspiration, I found myself drawn to the dog whose head rests in Isabella’s lap.  So, this story was told from his point of view.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, the Speakeasy prompt is open to everyone, so if you are inspired, feel free to write and submit your own response!


37 thoughts on “For Love – Speakeasy #140

  1. Eric Alagan December 17, 2013 / 4:49 AM

    Very well written, Janna, from the dog’s POV. I could visualise him whining, turning to look at the door and back to his ‘masters’ again in desperation.

    Of course, he – like most ‘invisible pets’ – knows where all the family skeletons hide.

    All good wishes,

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:18 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Eric! It’s fun writing an animal POV because I try to choose words that clue into the POV but (I hope) don’t give it away too soon. You are so right about the skeletons…good thing pets don’t talk!

  2. J. Milburn December 17, 2013 / 5:25 AM

    Love the dog’s POV and how we glimpse the torment Isabella will go through by proxy. Great story!

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:19 PM

      Thanks, Kathy! That’s always something I like to hear 🙂

  3. Debbie December 17, 2013 / 8:39 AM

    Well done, Janna! Interesting take, writing it from the dog’s point of view. If dogs could talk, they’d speak volumes, wouldn’t they?!

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:21 PM

      Dogs would probably top the best-seller list if they could pen their lives 🙂 Thanks so much for reading, Debbie!

  4. Sammy December 17, 2013 / 8:47 AM

    Oh wow, I can’t remember the last time I read a piece from an animal’s POV. I was probably in middle school, maybe younger. This was a pleasant surprise and very well written as well! I must admit that I didn’t know it was a dog at first and thought it strange how these people were treating this man who I figured was a foreigner. Haha, It’s nice to be surprised. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:23 PM

      I’d hoped the dog POV wasn’t glaringly obvious, Sammy. I’m glad you liked the animal POV (this is the third short I’ve done…I did a skunk last year, and more recently, a cat.) I really appreciate you taking time to read it and share your reaction!

  5. Rachel December 17, 2013 / 9:27 AM

    Interesting perspective!

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:24 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, Rachel!

  6. EagleAye December 17, 2013 / 10:04 AM

    Fabulous! This story really captures what is portrayed in the painting and expands upon it. I love the details like the walnut flying across the table. It adds texture to the conflict between Elias and Lorenzo. Most well done!

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:28 PM

      Thanks for reading and for the awesome comment, EagleAye! I was fascinated by the painting and enjoyed this challenge 🙂

  7. ranu802 December 17, 2013 / 12:13 PM

    Jannah another fine story,I love it.

  8. Lance December 17, 2013 / 7:25 PM

    imagery and dialogue were well done

    I could feel this scene

    • jannatwrites December 17, 2013 / 11:31 PM

      Thanks, Lance! I’m glad it felt real.

  9. mandyblake95 December 18, 2013 / 7:22 AM

    Wow, brilliant job Janna, not just writing from the dog’s POV, but parelling that to Isabella and Lorenzo…this was a great piece.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 8:48 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, Mandy! I’m glad you enjoyed the story 🙂

  10. Kristin (@kristintwoeyes) December 18, 2013 / 7:37 AM

    So much in a short piece. It read very smoothly. And you didn’t give the point of view away too soon at all. well done.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 8:50 AM

      Knowing the story, I have difficulty finding the line between making it too obvious and not giving enough clues. Thanks for the confirmation that this one found the middle road, Kristin!

  11. Stacie December 18, 2013 / 8:59 AM

    I didn’t figure out the narrator was a dog until the end – you did such a good job! It was fun to re-read it knowing that too.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 8:51 AM

      I appreciate you reading it, Stacie!

  12. ImeldaImelda December 18, 2013 / 8:59 PM

    I read this yesterday but for one reason or the other, WordPress did not want to post my comment. This is another very well-written piece from you, Janna. You captured the tense atmosphere and I suppose, your use of the pet’s POV (if I am not mistaken) contributed a lot to the suspense. In a few words, you gave us an insight about the characters.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 9:03 AM

      It was fun writing the dog’s POV because I had to choose words carefully. I’m glad you enjoyed the story, Imelda. Thanks for taking time to share your reaction to it 🙂

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 11:47 PM

      I’m glad it wasn’t too obvious – thanks for reading, 40!

  13. ym1611 December 19, 2013 / 10:23 AM

    Parallel fates, so it seems. Poor doggie. Amazing work Janna! I love how you worked with the prompts.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 11:56 PM

      Thanks so much for reading, YM. I appreciate it!

  14. tedstrutz December 19, 2013 / 12:01 PM

    I knew it was a dog!!! Highly original take, JannaT! He violently cracked a pecan… I love this line.

    p.s. I’m forwarding this story to the ultimate dog lover on the planet.

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 11:57 PM

      Aw, you weren’t supposed to guess it too soon, Ted 🙂 I’m glad you liked the story enough to forward to your dog lover. I think pets feel and understand more than people give them credit for.

  15. Suzanne December 19, 2013 / 12:23 PM

    Love that you did this from the dog’s perspective! The sense of urgency and grief is really well portrayed. Nicely done Janna!

    • jannatwrites December 19, 2013 / 11:58 PM

      Thanks, Suzanne. It’s good to hear the emotions did come through 🙂

  16. unawarebutunderlined December 20, 2013 / 7:53 AM

    You always amaze me with your words…thank you for the backstory on how you came up with it…I just love back stories!

    • jannatwrites December 22, 2013 / 2:52 AM

      Thanks so much for reading, UBU! I appreciate you stopping by- and for the kind words (it’s fun when others enjoy a story.)

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