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Vancouver, WA

May 31st, 2020

She woke to another day, feeling a bit dazed and definitely irritated with herself, with the world, with everything in general. Her mother told her from the hall that it was time to get up and she didn’t argue, but she did make her now expected detour to her window, expecting to see her neighbor outside with his dog. Standing at the window she looked down, and her eyes widened slightly.

There was the dog doing his business as usual, sniffing around the yard for that right spot. But Mr. Ashbey wasn’t there.

Her heartbeat sped up a bit as she looked all over the yard, seeing little more than a leaf-strewn landscape with a few odds and ends within their garden space, and Mrs. Ashbey standing by the back door of the home, waiting impatiently for the dog to finish. She stepped away before she could be seen, but her heart was still beating madly as the thought of what this meant tried to process its way through her sleep-addled brain.

He got out.

That was all that seemed to reverberate in her mind as he managed to get dressed, make her way downstairs, and prepare a bowl of cereal for her breakfast. She ate in a mechanical fashion as her mother went about her way, making lunches for her and her father as he came down in his own time, yawning as he always did before giving her a kiss on the top of her head.

He got out.

Maybe she could too.

(to be continued)

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