He walked Katy every day. As for the shepherd dog, she tugged at her leash, nose to the pavement, head swaying back and forth, tail up, wagging happily.
She had her favorite spot, an old tree at the edge of a nearby abandoned cemetery that she liked to snuffle. One of its thick roots had fractured the sidewalk and the recent Fall wind had stripped it of its leaves.
James Ryan was looking up at the bare branches, when Katy nosed his hand, “Ready, girl?”
As he turned and with Katy’s leash twisted around his legs, he fell, head bouncing off the edge of the sidewalk, bright stars exploding in his eyes. Laying in the grass between two headstone, he felt something bind his legs and wrap around his chest.
Katy, barked ferociously and snarled wildly. A fat tendril tried to subdue her, but she was quicker and she retreated to the other side of the street.
Jame’s tried to scream, but the thick stem about his chest constricted. Then the now helpless man was dragged slowly towards the darkened crack of the broken sidewalk.
Katy, whined and growled as the tree pulled James through the fracture until only bits of his torn up tennis shoes remained. As the last of him disappeared, a hesitant Katy turned and started for home.
Overhead the thunderous crash of a thunderstorm rumbled, bringing with it torrents of rain, flushing clean the bloodied gutters.