Mary and Max

Another exercise from the CityLit course, this time, an unequal relationship that reverses over a series of scenes / vignettes.

Mary fished the sack out of the river. Opening it, she cried. Puppies, all but one of them dead, and that one not likely to survive without a lot of care and attention. She wrapped the surviving puppy in a towel, put the rest in a bag for respectful disposal later and headed to the vet to deal with both.

Her alarm went off, again. Time for the 5am feed. Max was growing fast, but was still at an age where he still should have been tucked in beside his mother. One of her old jumpers was an acceptable surrogate and he had taken to the bottle like a champion, but still so small and helpless.

Mary looked at her favourite shoes, only good for the bin now. Max was teething and nothing was safe.

Mary smiled as Max belted around the common, known to (and loved by) all the locals and regulars. One minute he was play fighting with Sarah Johnson’s Labrador, Minnie, and the next he was encouraging little Ally Goldwell away from the pond with promises of bounces and cuddles. No surprises he wasn’t too fond of water, poor love.

Mary puffed as she made her way up the stairs, she really was tired today. Max, warm and solid pressed against her leg, giving her the little bit of stability and support she needed to get up the last little bit. He was such a rock.

It was during their daily walk, about half a block from the common, Mary had a bit of a turn. She felt hot and col, weak and giddy and had to lean against Mr Jones’ wall to stop herself falling. Max was by her side as always, he pushed against her, encouraging her to lean further into the wall, then, as her breathing worsened, to slide down it.

That was when her quiet Max went crazy, barking and howling like the end of the world was nigh. Brought out all the neighbours and half the folk on the common. Before she knew herself, Mary was tucked into an ambulance. “Max”, she managed to gasp.

Sarah Johnson patted her hand, “Don’t you worry about your boy. He’ll come and stay with me and Minnie till you’re better and you’d best believe we’ll take good care of him. He’s a hero, saved your life he did!”

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