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A Good New Year’s Eve After All
Joanie Chevalier

Yeah, I know I’m not supposed to follow her. But I can’t spend all night sleeping beside Lily, my foster sister. She hasn’t learned the rules of the house yet. And she’s a pain in the butt. Always following me. Copying me. Staring at me. And what do I get in return? A growl when I try to sneak to her plate of food. Not nice.

But back to the important stuff. Yeah, my mistress is going out tonight, it being New Year’s Eve and all. I’m worried. Being her guardian, I watch out for her. That’s why I have a plan to follow her tonight.

Deep breath. Okay, back to the beginning. Katy spent all evening preparing for the New Year’s Eve party at the new neighbor’s house. Preparing I guess isn’t the correct word. Primping. I forgive her though. She can’t just lick herself and be on her way. Humans are complex.

I jumped on her bed earlier and turned on my back, a pose she usually can’t resist. But she only rubbed my belly for a few seconds and said, “Gotta get ready, Frankie. No playing tonight.” I didn’t even get a treat out of the deal.

I pile my toys in front of the door to give her the hint she shouldn’t go. I only have five toys, two which are shredded. The pink puppy has Lily’s slobber on it, so I ignore that one now. Katy only laughs her way out the door. What she doesn’t know is I can still get out of the yard. Through the doggie door and then slide through that loose slat in the fence. Our boyfriend, excuse me, Katy’s boyfriend, well, really fiancé, went away suddenly and she’s forgotten about it.

Before leaving for the night, I shout at Lily, “Stay here!” She stares at me with that confused look only a human would love. They call it cute. I call it annoying.

I’m careful as I catch up with Katy. I lag a few yards away, staying in the shadows. She’s walking a little slower than when on our usual walk since she’s wearing heels and not the usual sneakers. I can smell her expensive perfume a mile away. She only wears that scent for special occasions. Now I’m really worried. Every time she wears that, men flirt with her. And that makes my job harder since I can’t be everywhere at once. I really miss Brad.

She’s carrying a cheese/salami plate. Thank goodness she’s using a plastic, yet decorative, platter from the Dollar Store. She cried when her good plate, the one she received from Brad the first year they lived together, broke. My ears perk up a little when I hear her sniffle. I think she’s crying again. Hmmm. Not over Brad? My tail wags involuntarily with hope.

After she walks into the house, the door closes. I run from my hiding place behind the small bush in the yard and stand on my hind legs to see inside the big picture window. I’m assessing the situation when I hear a sneeze behind me.

Great. Lily’s here. And looking at me with her big eyes again. What the heck?

“What are you doing here, kid?” The last I knew, she wouldn’t go through that doggie door. She’s afraid of everything, poor bugger.

She doesn’t answer but just sits there cocking her head to one side. I ignore her and continue to peek into the window. It’s a tough stretch, as I’m only about three feet high, being a Chihuahua-mix.

I’m looking for this one particular guy. Humans call him Tom. Tom gives me the creeps. I call him Snotface. I had a hunch about him from Day One. His moving truck had the smell of old mean dogs, cigarettes, and mildew. Trust us dogs to know what’s up.

I see that Snotface is now talking to Katy on the couch. There are other people around, some standing with drinks in their hands, some are in the kitchen laughing. I growl when he places his hand on Katy’s knee. Katy backs away and says something sharp. Tom’s face turns ugly.

Suddenly the fur rises on my neck. Lily’s in the living room in front of the fireplace puking. Yep, you heard that right. Puking in front of everyone. My ears perk forward. Oh, yeah, there’s our dinner, Porterhouse Steak Flavor Canine Cuisine. I see she snuck a chocolate kiss from Katy’s stash beside the living room chair. Little cheeky dog.

Tom jumps up and tries to kick Lily but she’s too fast. I see that someone conveniently walks up onto the porch and opens the front door at that moment, so I run between their legs to get into the house. Nobody messes with my girls.

I latch onto Tom’s pant leg. I play a mean tug of war and have never lost. I drag him over to Lily’s puddle of vomit and he slips. He falls right into it. Everything then is mayhem.

“Frankie!” I hear my name and Lily and I run for it before I hear it the second time. She shows me the hole in the back-screen door where she scooted in earlier. We run for our lives toward our house. She’s faster than I am and by the time I get there, she’s already in her bed, shivering with fear under her favorite blankie.

I’m in my bed too, when I hear Katy’s key in the lock a little while later. I watch her through one eye, not wanting to draw any attention to myself since I don’t know if we’re in trouble or not.

She flings off her heels and then shuffles into her bedroom. She comes back out in her pjs, and heads towards the kitchen. I salivate as I hear the freezer door open. If I’m lucky and look adorable enough, I’ll get a lick of her spoon after she’s done with the pint of ice cream.

She sits on the couch and sighs. She leaves her phone on the couch arm and I know what to do. I put on my loveable face, the one she can’t resist, and I start jumping, as if I can’t make it up on the couch. My paw hits a familiar speed number on her cell. Brad, our boyfriend of eight years may pick up. I miss him. He always loved to play with me. I hear ringing and then a familiar voice. Katy is surprised and thinks he called her. After a while I hear her giggle, a sound I haven’t heard in a while.

I hear Lily stirring from her bed at the other end of the couch. Her little face peeks out from the blanket and she winks. Maybe she’s not just a dumb Chihuahua rescue after all. I get all giddy when Katy gets up from the couch and talks in a low voice to Brad. She only uses that tone with Brad. Plus, she’s twirling a handful of hair with a finger.  That’s a good sign. I like it, but not as much as that pint of ice cream forgotten on the couch.

I leap up and grab it with my teeth. I trot into the spare room and belly crawl under the bed. Oh, yeah, heaven, I think, as my tongue reaches in the carton, connecting with the flavor of cherry and vanilla. I hear a whimper and see that Lily wants to come under too, but she’s afraid. I scuttle out from under the bed and we take turns taking licks from the carton.

I hear Katy’s laughter from the living room. It sounds magical. This is turning out to be a good New Year’s Eve after all.

****

Me and FrankieJoanie Chevalier is a multi-genre author; founder & editor of RAC online magazine, a magazine that promotes and encourages the reader/author connection. Check RAC’s FB group here.  She is also founder of Our Indie Author Room FB Group, a place where writers in all stages of their career go to learn, inspire, and teach.  

Joanie loves the outdoors and nature, reading, and she thinks her two Chihuahuas are adorable. Her writing is a blend of everything she likes to read: suspense, horror, crime, psychological, non-fiction, and a good short story.

Joanie would love to connect with you! Find her here:

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RAC: Promoting the Reader/Author Connection

 

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