I heard the dog whine. I could see his shadow pacing back and forth through the crack under the door. I chuckled to myself. If only he had thumbs he could open the door and save my life. But he didn’t have thumbs. He was a dog. I felt a puddle of wetness spreading out all around me. The viscous liquid was hot and sticky. Somewhere in my mind, I knew what it was, but I couldn’t recall the word. I tried desperately to remember how I ended up on the floor here, in this room, my clothes soaked. I didn’t feel any pain apart from a profound frustration that I knew it was beyond my power to leave this place. I resented the dog for having the power to move freely. I tried to shout to the dog, but all that came out was a hoarse croak.
Suddenly there was a commotion all around me. The dog quickly skittered away from the other side of the door. The world flooded with a bright, white light, and then my mind struggled to comprehend what I saw.
A man in a uniform opened the door. I looked out over the horizon of my living room and I saw two more officers standing over in the far left corner. I groaned in severe pain as three paramedics rushed to my side.
“Sir, where did he shoot you? Sir? Sir!” I grabbed my chest and my stomach. I felt that same warm sticky liquid.
I thought to myself. I had been bleeding for who knows how long. The paramedics quickly cut my tee shirt up the middle and placed gauze in and on my two wounds.
Twice. I’ve been shot twice.
I realized this and tried to recall who shot me.The paramedics taped bandages to my wounds.
“On my count. Ready? 1… 2… 3!” They rolled me over on my side and placed a backboard on my backside so they could move me easier. They counted to three again and then lifted me up from the dark, blood covered closet floor. When I was being lifted to the gurney, I saw the pool of blood I was sitting in. I looked to the other side of me, and I saw the long river of blood that was leading into the closet. They started to rush me out of the living room toward my front door.
That must have been where they drug me from the center of the room to the closet.
“Wh- wait!” I muttered. “Where- where is my,” it got hard to breathe. “Dog- my dog!” I was finally able to get out of my mouth before I went unconscious.
What if that was my last breath?
“Mr. Goride? Do you know where you are? Sir, I need you to stay awake.” I heard a nurse ask me these questions. I just responded by nodding my head. I could barely take a breath deep enough to talk. She continued talking to me but my brain went numb.
“My- my dog.” I whispered under my breath.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. Can you say it again?”
“Ast- Astrid. M- My do-” My voice faded out again. I couldn’t get out what I wanted to say. I began to get frustrated and the nurse could sense it. She fetched me a pen and paper. I wrote on it in big letters,
“You had a dog with you when you were shot? Is that what you are trying to say?” I shook my head yes and then I went back to just trying to focus on breathing.
What if they shot my dog too?
A few moments later, the police officers came into my hospital room.
“Hello. We just have to ask you a few questions and get a statement from you. Is that okay?” The taller of the two officers asked me. I shook my head in a circular motion because I couldn’t move it up and down. The officers gave each other a look of confusion and then began to ask me the first question.
“Do you remember what you were doing before you were shot?”
“I- I think I was sitting on my couch. I was watching the news on the television. My dog was next- MY DOG! Where is my dog? Is my dog okay? Where is my dog?!” I started to exclaim to the officers as I attempted to get myself out of the bed. I struggled for about 13 seconds before two nurses ran into my room to hold me down and help me back into my bed. Once they calmed me down, the officers proceeded with their questions.
“What did the suspect look like? Do you remember any key details about his appearance?”
“No. Wait, I do remember. Uh. I remember, um. I remember him wearing a dark brown leather jacket. Jeans. Dark wash. When he came into my living room, my dog started to- MY DOG! Where is my dog? Is my dog okay? Where is my dog?!” I went through the same cycle again, trying to get out of bed. The nurses came in, calmed me down, and helped me back into bed. The officers decided to take a break from the questions. I overheard one nurse ask one of the officers if they could go back to my house to find my dog.
What if they find my dog and he is dead?
I decided to rest for a couple minutes which slowly turned into a couple hours. I think I was asleep for like five or six hours. They all kind of ran together for me. I remember waking up and seeing the nurses in my room.
“Hello. How did you sleep?” I nodded my head. I slowly brought my hand up to my chest and gently rubbed it across the bandages that were taped to my chest. I looked down and they were a deep red, covered in blood.
How is it healthy to bleed this much for this long?
“I am going to redress your wounds now. It shouldn’t take me that long. Once I finish, the police asked if they could ask you just a few more questions.” I nodded my head again, and she started to take the bandages off. She finished putting the new gauze on the wounds in about twenty minutes because she went slow and tedious.
“I am going to send the police in to talk to you now okay?”
“Hello again.” The taller officer said. “We just wanted to let you know that we found the shooter and we arrested him. We also have some news about your dog. Unfortunately, the shooter shot him too and he did not make it. He was shoved into a corner and bled out before we could find him. I am so deeply sorry for your loss.” I looked at them with disbelief in my eyes.
He shot my dog. My dog is dead…
I started to feel excruciating pain. I looked down and blood was pouring from my wounds. I just kept bleeding until I couldn’t see my body anymore. All of a sudden I sat up.
I looked around the room. I was sitting in my bed, under the covers. I looked next to me and there was my dog sleeping peacefully. I thought to myself, what could have possibly happened.
I guess it was all just one big messed up dream.