Kindle Vella is here! What is Kindle Vella? Short stories that are produced one episode at a time.
The first three episodes are always free. After that, Imagine…Life on a Chain by ME will cost mere pennies per episode! A new episode will come out every Thursday until the short story is done. And it WILL have a happy ending…because Imagine deserves that, and I didn’t get to give it to every dog I met along the way.
There are currently seven episodes available, at around 700 words each.
The story is written for adults, but could be read by ages 12 and up, as I’m keeping it “clean.”
The first episode is provided in it’s entirety, below. I hope you’ll become one of my readers!
This story rocks, too, for groups that are trying to educate about chaining…there aren’t many stories out for adults that tell the truth about this despicable practice, and this one shows what it’s really like, from the dog’s perspective.
While the story is fiction, my inspiration for the story comes from two of the more than 250 dogs I was able to rescue from chains: Magnum and Banshee. Magnum is the dog you see pictured, and Imagine (the story’s main character) has Magnum’s looks, but Banshee’s personality. Banshee would have done ANYTHING for a ball, and could have been trained for so much…but was left to languish on the chain for most of his life.
Imagine…Life on a Chain
In the year 2020, the worst global disaster in our lifetimes forced humans into confinement against their wishes.
They didn’t deal with it well.
Doctors and scientists tried to educate the people, convince them it was for the greater good, and yet—even when faced with the very real possibility of death for stepping outside their doors—humans still did so in large numbers.
They fought wearing masks, proven to save lives.
Fought any perceived restrictions on their freedom.
One could argue that for the first time ever, humans at large got a small taste of what is a daily reality for a dog on a chain.
Dogs like Imagine, who couldn’t speak for himself…
…had no voice to say “no more.”
Shame, too. If only the humans had known what he was capable of, they may not have cast him aside so casually…
Based on a true story, Imagine could be any dog living a confined existence in America today. Each of these dogs is worthy, capable, and deserving of a home and loving family of their own.
And, yes, dare we say, freedom.
A Weird Smell
The dog awoke, feeling more uncomfortable than usual—which was saying something, given that he was chained to a dilapidated box the size of a grocery cart.
The world seemed off, the neighborhood quiet, even the woods behind him hushed . . . like everything waited . . .
He shifted uneasily, sniffed the air.
It was warm for March; the sun was just peeking over the far-off mountains, and he shivered as he crawled out of his doghouse to meet the dawn, memory of the recent cold snap making his bones ache.
He supposed he should be grateful for the promise of a warm day. As he slid into middle age, the winter months seemed longer and more unbearable with each passing year.
He shook his fur out the best he could, hoping for a little more insulation until the temperatures rose a few degrees.
He was a mutt, like so many of the forgotten. His fur was thick but on the shorter side, and his black and tan markings made him unremarkable. His floppy ears bespoke a Labrador heritage, while his coloring hinted at shepherd in the mix.
His eyes were kind, smart, knowing.
So very, very sad.
His owner called him Magnum, tossed out with a sneer and a pretend gun pointed at the dog’s head, the obligatory “pew, pew” sounds always next out of his mouth.
“Here’s your food, ya stupid mutt,” he’d say, pouring some kibble into a bowl and dumping a pitcher of water over it, never bothering to bend over far enough to ensure the water stayed in the dog’s banged-up dish.
The dog gobbled the offerings each night, knowing he had to eat fast and slurp every drop of the precious liquid, as tomorrow was never a sure thing.
On the few occasions he hadn’t finished his dinner, there was always someone waiting just beyond the shadows to take it from him.
But even though the morning brought constant hunger and thirst, dinner was a long, very long time away—if it came at all.
He peered at the neighbor’s back window and, reassuringly, saw a flicker of light. He remained bothered by the unusual stillness, even for early morning when the world had just begun to awake from its dark slumber.
Normally he could hear the traffic already clogging the highway two blocks over, but today there were no cars on the road.
Normally his owner Johnny’s alarm blared about this time, but the faint sounds of his snores still drifted out into the backyard.
The breeze shifted, and a whiff of something unknown teased his senses.
What was that? He brought his head up and inhaled deeply.
He didn’t recognize it…and yet…and yet. Something about the odor nudged a memory from his mind, of a time when life held promise, when he’d fully embraced the naïve enthusiasm that came with puppyhood.
He tugged on the mental string, and the flashback overwhelmed him. He sagged onto the ground, assaulted by memories of his first home.
Next Episode: His First Home