Lulu Belle: Spring Fever


A new year had come and Spring was beginning to show, melting winter away one warm digit after another. By this time, while George’s murder was not forgotten, Hutch’s life continued on and he felt the need to stretch his legs.

Still chilly, he pulled his long coat on, covering the pistol he had holstered to his hip and tied to his thigh. Behind that, he carried his favorite long knife.

“Better prepared, than not,” he told himself as he slipped a knit stocking on his head and with Lulu Belle standing next to him, locked his front door.

They took their time — or rather Lulu Belle took her time — smelling anything and peeing on everything. What might have been worth five minutes on any other day, became more than a quarter hour of stop and start.

Finally, they stepped off the asphalt and beyond the cement barrier that had the words, “No Trespassing,” stenciled across its front. The K-wall had been there for more than twenty-years and no one on foot, bicycle or dirt bike paid the warning any mind.

Lulu Belle ran ahead. She’d dislodged a large jack rabbit and gave it a wild chase.

Unable to catch it, she trotted back to Hutch, who decided to take the trail, which splintered in two directions, to the right. He reached down and patted the large dog on the head, who in turn gripped his hand gently in her mouth, an act she’d began and continued since her puppy hood.

Letting go of Hutch, she ran up and onto a berm of freshly dug dirt recently moved for an upcoming housing development. Lulu Belle bounced between the multiple piles as Hutch laughed and continued along the trail.

The cold of the morning air was suddenly split at the thunderous sound of a rifle shot. Lulu Belle howled in pain and tumbled wildly through the air, landing near where Hutch had been standing.

As for Hutch, he felt a burning sting slice through his left side between his hip and rib cage. The sharp blow sent him sprawling and tumbling to the ground a few feet from Lulu Belle.

Quickly, he crawled over to the dog. instantly concluded that she was gone. He placed his forehead to the side of hers and whispered, “I’m so sorry, girl. I’ll be back.”

2 thoughts on “Lulu Belle: Spring Fever”

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