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A Good Dog

Published in The Fiddlehead No. 288 (Summer 2021)
FH288 Cover.jpg

That night when she tries to sleep, she can’t get the dogs of Chernobyl out of her mind. She hears them whimpering as she lies awake in her bed; when she gets up to look out into the darkness, she sees them loping through the park behind her house, shimmering with radioactivity. There’s a ghostly white dog that moves with a limp, and little Mushka, her stubby tail standing straight up like a flagpole. The black poodle is there, circling and sniffing around the wide trunk of an oak. And she sees a ginger dog, curly- coated and razor thin, with a white diamond of fur on his chest. Long into the night Edith keeps seeing him, his sharp claws digging into the soft bellies of the dead, trying to get back to the land of the living.

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