Here is my response to last week’s Image Prompt. I used the image above as my inspiration and this is what I came up with.
Finding James and His Master
James padded down the empty road hoping to find someone, anyone to help him. His master was hurt. He needed help. The neighbors hadn’t come to see when he’d barked and barked, so he had to find someone.
When he saw the woman with the camera he paused in the street, woofing softly and trying to get her attention.
She stilled, raised the camera and took his photo.
He barked, wagging his tail, trying to look as friendly as possible.
She smiled but turned away.
James hurried after her, the road hard against his pads.
He barked again, wagging and getting in front of her.
Please, he thought hard. Please help me.
She stopped again, frowning as she looked down at him.
“What’s the matter?” she asked.
James barked and made a few steps back toward his home, turning to wait on her.
“Is something wrong?” she asked, her brow furrowing as she took a step after him.
He barked and wagged and took another few steps, making sure she was following.
“You want me to follow you?” she asked, taking another few steps.
James jumped and barked and wagged his tail as hard as he could before trotting along the road toward home, glancing back every few steps to make sure she was still behind him. She had to follow him.
“I’m coming,” she said, laughing as she followed several steps behind.
James continued to wag his tail and look back, but led her straight down the road and down the steep driveway to his home. He liked where they lived. It was wild and alive. But there weren’t many humans. He was lucky he’d found the woman out on the road.
“Is this where you live?” she asked, still following as he took her around the side of the house.
Her steps slowed as they entered the back yard but he just ran up the steps of the deck and stood beside his master, barking for her to follow. His master needed a human. James couldn’t fix what was wrong.
“Oh!” she said when she reached the steps, running up after him and crouching down beside his master.
“Sir, can you hear me?” she asked, her hands setting aside the camera and reaching out to touch his master’s wrist. She put her other hand on his chest and James watched as it rose and fell with the movement of his master’s breathing.
James licked at his master’s face. Something had happened. He wasn’t waking up. There had been a big noise, and then a thump like falling, and James had barreled out the door, barking like mad.
Someone had run out of the yard, but James didn’t care. They were leaving and his master was lying on the deck.
“He’s bleeding,” the woman murmured, reaching into her pocket.
James stopped paying attention to her, just settling down beside his master, wanting to help keep him warm and whining softly in his throat. Keeping the injured warm helped. His mother had told him so. Her master had healed people, so she knew. She had known lots of things.
“I don’t even know the address,” the woman was saying. “His dog came out to the street and got me to follow him back. He’s bleeding from the side and back of his head and he’s not waking up. His pulse seems okay and he’s breathing.”
James whined and licked his master’s cheek again. His master didn’t even move. No response at all to his touch. That had never happened before. His master always reached for him, even when his master remained asleep he would reach out to pat James.
“Let me check,” the woman said before leaning over James’s Master to reach for him.
James went still when she grabbed his collar. She got a grip on it and shifted it so she could get at the pieces that jingled. She shifted the jingling piece around before speaking again.
“Kevin McMartin,” the woman said. “I have a phone number,” she added. She then proceeded to rattle off a string of numbers that meant nothing to James before letting his collar go. The jingly bits slid the collar around his neck so they hung at the bottom.
“That sounds right,” she said, sighing heavily. “I turned off Hickory Lane to get to this road.”
There was someone else talking. Maybe through the little box the woman had held to her ear.
“Yes, I’ll stay on the line until someone arrives,” she said, nodding her head.
James whined, and looked up at her with his best begging look. She needed to help his master.
“It’s okay James, help is coming,” she said, reaching out to rub his ears. “They’ll be here soon to help Kevin.”
James huffed, laying his head on his master’s chest and letting her rub his ears. She had nice hands. They knew where to rub and where to scratch and felt nice on his head.