End of the Dog Days
by Karen Eileen Sikola
There is a picture in my mind, of a man with no shirt, his belly taut, his skin burnt from the sun, which reflects off his bald head. In his hand is one of those plastic wands that chucks tennis balls as far as the stream flows between our facing townhouses and Hardy Pond. At his feet is a red-nosed pit bull named Reddy, his tongue dripping in anticipation, his eyes awaiting the next throw.
There is another picture in my mind, of a man with no shirt, his belly heaving, his skin splattered with blood, which runs down from a gash on his bald head. In his hand is a kitchen knife, and at his feet, a woman who always welcomed me home, her eyes awaiting the final blow.