Pixie noticed the two of them standing weirdly close to her own territory. She wasn’t stupid. She knew that Isaac and Shark were up to something. Sitting so quiet for so long meant only one thing: they planned to trespass and she was determined to prevent that.
Shark often provoked her just for fun. To make it even more irritating, he would do it when she was further away into the central area of her territory and when a few others from the gang she belonged to safeguarded the imaginary border.
Shark would start running from half a mile away, supporting his fierce stride with an even louder barking and growling.
Two or three dogs from Pixie’s gang would respond with the same zest and wait for him to start fighting, while one of them would signal the centrally dispersed part of the gang to come running for support. Everyone knew about Shark’s muzzle and few of them dared to fight back without a backup.
Usually, the messenger would try to find Pixie. She knew what was coming when Shark was involved but didn’t want to risk getting into danger with other gangs in the area.
It was a wild, unfriendly, deadly neighborhood. At least one or two came back each week with stale blood on their paws or bites behind the ears. She remembered her long-lost buddy Coyote who suffered a beastly grip one night. Coyote’s open wound got infected and although nothing would’ve happened if he got immediate attention from the vet, he wasn’t that lucky.
He was a stray dog. Unless adopted, stray dogs don’t have the same privilege to come home to a warm bed, have a hearty meal, and fascinating travels as house pets do.
His wound complicated within days. From a strong happy dog Coyote turned into a shadow of his former self. He was dead before anyone even noticed.
But Pixie did. She stood by her friend sniffing him and woeing helplessly until his last breath.
So, no, Pixie couldn’t allow herself the luxury when the messenger assigned by the outers signaled imminent danger coming from the outsideside, even when it was just Shark playing.
“That annoying bastard! He is testing my patience again!” Pixie got all worked up. And that happened over and over again. The annoyance was brewing under Pixie’s exterior calmness, turning slowly into resentment and animosity towards Shark and Isaac, especially after Coyote’s death.
But this time it was different. Shark was unusually quiet. And Isaac was beside him. Pixie knew that this wasn’t Shark’s usual stupid brawl. They were up to something. They were seriously up to something.
“I just wonder what’s their conniving plan now!”, thought Pixie without even realizing that she is up for a very quick answer.
It was going to be an answer that would not only surprise her, but also delight her, and let her change her own destiny, as well as the destiny of Isaac, Marshall, Shark, Daniel, Charlene and other dogs and people who lived around “Demure” and its surroundings.
Isaac and Shark were coming closer, carrying themselves with an unusual combination of apprehension, excitement, and confusion. This combination served them as a bumper for the great disappointment in case Pixie didn’t agree to collaborate.
But this time, they could leave their caution aside. It was a turnaround point in their lives, too, as it was in Pixie’s, they just didn’t know it yet. The events that would start as a typical, although challenging invasion of two wounded humans would bring bellylaughs and open teeth smiles, tears of happiness and tears of joy to their lives. And yes, some sorrow, too.
“Hey, Pixie!”, Barked Isaac greeting her almost wistfully as the two of them approached within several feet to where Pixie was standing.
The olive branch was extended.