Caramel in the Snow
Emma looked over the side of her bed and rubbed her eyes. Was that a dog in her room? She rubbed her eyes again and sat up, hanging her feet over the side of the bead.
“Hey boy,” she cooed and pat the top of the dog’s head. “Or… girl,” she corrected herself. What was a dog doing in her room? She knew she couldn’t tell her Aunt Jess though she hated dogs.
“How’d you get in here, hm?” She asked as if it could understand her every word. The dog had pretty caramel colored fur and big green eyes. Maybe it was a Coker Spaniel? Emma scratched behind it’s ears and it started wagging it’s tail. She gave out a bark and Emma quickly stood and shut her door.
“Anna, was that a... dog?” Aunt Jess called from the hallway.
“N-no! Of course not, why would I have a dog?” Emma called back and tried to hide the caramel-colored fur ball under the blankets of her bed.
“Then what was it?” Her Aunt said, right behind the opposite side of the door.
“I… I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Emma replied with a fake laugh. She sat down on her bed so the dog was behind her and tried to look casual. Aunt Jess came into the room and looked around warily.
“Well… maybe Janie was right. Maybe I have lost it,” she said with a nod, referring to her friend from town.
“Maybe you’re just hearing things,” Emma suggested, trying to stop the dog from wiggling.
“Okay… well, breakfast is almost ready, so get dressed and ready for school,” Aunt Jess said, walking out of the room contemplating what she could have heard. Emma got up and quickly closed the door behind her Aunt.
“You have to be quiet,” she silently scolded the little dog as it poked her head from under the blanket. Emma sighed and sat down beside it, resting her hand on the Spaniel’s head. “I guess you’re going to need a name, huh?” The Spaniel began to wag her tail, as if agreeing with her.
“Emma, hurry up!” Aunt Jess called again.
“Um… I’m not hungry,” Emma called back and quickly got up from her bed to get dressed. She pulled on a long sleeved white tee shirt, a simple, gray, button down coat, a red scarf, gray gloves, black pants and boots. But how would she hide her dog? And what would she name her? “Pucca,” she said, thinking of what her mother named her dog when she was little. The Spaniel seemed to light up at the name, and Emma smiled, happy with herself.
Picking up Pucca, she went through the corner, she went through the door and tip toed down the stairs. Peeking around she saw her Aunt Jess turned around cleaning the counter. She ran for the door, and right before going out into the snow, shouted, “Bye Aunt Jess, going to school!”
Snow and ice crunched beneath Emma’s feet, hard and slippery as she walked. She held Pucca close to her as she walked, trying hard not to let anybody see the little Spaniel. Dogs weren’t allowed in this little town. But her friend Blaire and her mother owned about fourteen dogs just on the outskirts of town. That’s where Emma would go, she finally decided silently to herself.
She walked down the street where Blaire and her mother lived, and as she walked up, noticed they were getting ready to leave.
“Blaire, Mrs. Bagley, wait!” Emma called, running up to where they stood.
“Emma! Who’s this little guy?” Blaire’s mother greeted her, petting Pucca.
“This is Pucca. I think she’s a Cocker Spaniel,” Emma said as Blaire walked up beside her mother.
“She’s so cute,” Blaire cooed and eyes slid up to Emma. “Your Aunt Jess let you get a dog?”
“You need us to keep Pucca here until you find her a place to keep her? Or we can just keep her here and she’ll still be your dog,” Blaire’s mom guessed.
“Would you?” Emma asked hopefully.
“Sure. Do you want a ride to school?” Blaire asked, eyeing her mom.
“Let me put Pucca with the others and you guys get in the car,” she smiled and took Pucca from Emma’s arms, bringing her into the barn like hut where all fourteen of their dogs lived.
“You planning on telling Aunt Jess?” Blaire asked, climbing into the back seat.
“Not a chance,” Emma replied with a laugh. “Imagine how she would react! She considers dogs overgrown rats with fur!”
“Really? Good thing my mom doesn’t know her,” Blaire laughed and Mrs. Bagley came into the car.
“Good thing I don’t know who?” she asked, jumping into the conversation.
“My auntie. She’s… not too fond of dogs,” Emma replied.
“Ah. Maybe that is a good thing,” Mrs. Bagley laughed and the two girls joined in.
When they reached the school building, Emma and Blaire climbed out and waved with a smile.
“Thanks for the ride Mrs. Bagley!” Emma shouted after the car. Mrs. Bagley put a hand out of the window, as if to say, ‘no problem.’
“Emma! Blaire! You’re late, get inside,” the principal called and the girls ran inside and through the hallways to their classroom. As they walked inside, it was very quiet and the class stared at them as they sat in their seats.
“Thank you for joining us,” Ms. Smith smiled. She was always the happiest teacher around, especially compared to the principal.
All through class, Emma was spacing out, thinking about everything and nothing, and if she could keep her hidden long enough before her father got home. He was currently fighting in the war, and had to send her off to live with her Aunt Jess in a small town, Ouray, Colorado.
Emma thought about Pucca, wondering what she would do once she got home until Blaire poked her arm with a pencil and she looked up to see the rest of the classroom was gone.
“Wow, I was deep in thought,” Emma laughed as they started out of the schoolhouse. Mrs. Bagley drove up onto the side and Blaire commented how the snow was thicker than it had been before.
“Oh, you guys missed it,” Mrs. Bagley said, starting the ignition. The girls gave a questioning look and Mrs. Bagley nodded. “There was a very big snow storm today, I saw it at my word,” she explained and the girls just shrugged it off.
As they were driving up to Bailey’s house, the girls were playing a card game in the back and Mrs. Bagley’s eyes widened.
“Oh my god…” she muttered and the two girls looked up to see the hut the dogs were in buried under snow. Blaire and Emma got out of the car as fast as they could and looked at what was now a pile of snow as a result of an avalanche. Blaire made the first run for it with Emma following.
“Pucca!” Emma called and hit the pile of snow, beginning to dig.
“Emma, Blaire, stop! It’s no use, you’re going to hurt yourselves!” Mrs. Bagley shouted trying to pull them away from the mountain of snow. Blaire fell over crying next to her mom’s feet, but Emma kept at it. After so long with no success, she slumped over, sobbing. Her tears rolled down her cheek, turning form waterfalls to little drops left on the snow.
“Emma… why don’t I bring you home, okay?” Mrs. Bagley suggested, rubbing her own daughter’s back. Emma slowly nodded and stood up, wiping away tears that kept coming back.
The car ride to Emma’s hosue was silent except for a sniff or small sob somebody would give out.
“Emma! I’ll tell you if we get them out. I swear I will try,” Blaire said, trying to hold back another cry in her throat as Emma hopped out.
Emma nodded and attempted a weak smile. She waved and walked towards the house for Aunt Jess to run out, trying to keep her balance on the ice, towards her. When she saw the tears still sliding down Emma’s face, slower now, she gave a somewhat confused look.
“Did they tell you at school already?” She asked, resting a hand on Emma’s shoulder. She had to hold back shrugging her hand off.
“Tell me what?” Emma asked, looking Aunt Jess in the eyes. Aunt Jess kneeled down in front of her and clutched her arms tightly.
“Sweetheart… your father died three days ago in war.” Emma’s eyes widened and she felt a pain in her stomach and a stone in her throat.
“Wh-what?” She cried out, clutching her fists. “No! He couldn’t have died! He was on his way home, he was safe!”
“I’m sorry Emma. I truly am. You can stay here with me, if you like,” Aunt Jess tried to comfort her. Emma just nodded and solemnly walked towards the open door. Aunt Jess looked after her and shook her own head.
“Trebon… always getting us down… Rest in peace, okay? Maybe that’ll put Emma’s heart at ease a bit.” Aunt Jess said to her dead brother. If only he could have heard her.
Emma walked into her room and shut the door, turned off the lights, and closed the blinds. Throwing off her boots, she crawled into her bed, putting the covers over her head and squeezed her eyes shut, praying silently in her head for her father and Pucca. Yet she was not religious.
The next thing she knew, Emma awoke to the smell of bacon, eggs, and French toast wafting into her room. Hadn’t she closed that door? She stood up and dragged her feet to the dining room, her honey blonde hair and bangs falling over her sea blue eyes.
“Morning Emma,” Aunt Jess said, being careful to leave out the good. She knew that Emma wouldn’t appreciate her saying that, for some reason.
Emma merely nodded and sat down in front of a plate of food, Aunt Jess right across from her. They ate in silence, not a word spoken between them all through the breakfast.
“How’s about I drive you to school today, hm?” Aunt Jess suggested, taking the dinner plates to the sink and washing them. Emma shook her head, and walked to the door where her boots were clean and waiting. Jess sighed and set the dishtowel on the counter. “I’ll see you after school then!”
Emma walked out once again into a brand new white blanket of snow, still forming. She felt a snowball peg her back as she walked, but she ignored it.
“Hey Blondie, get back here!” Shouted Ernie, one of the bullies from school. Emma continued walking, throwing her back pack farther on her shoulder. Ernie finally gave up, letting her walk off.
When she made it to the school building, she was twenty minutes early, so sat on the front step. After ten minutes of staring at pine needles sticking out of the snow, she saw Blaire running towards her, panting with a wide grin on her face.
“Emma! Come on, quick!” Blaire shouted and Emma got up and walked towards her, not very enthusiastic.
“What is it?” She asked dully and Blaire hugged her tightly.
“The dogs! They dug their way out of the snow last night! Their in the car, come on!” Blaire shouted as she pulled Emma along with her. Emma was soon running along and when they were about ten yards from the car Mrs. Bagley put Pucca on the ground and Emma scooped up the dog into her arms.
“Pucca! At least your safe,” she cried, petting the Spaniel up and down as it licked her cheek. “Thank God!”
“We’ve conviced the mayor to let us keep our dogs here, in town, as long as they’re vaccinated and safe,” Mrs. Bagley informed her and Emma smiled for the first time in twelve hours.
“Thank you so much,” she said, voice hoarse. She looked down at Pucca, finally deciding to give her a full name. Pucca Trebon Anderson, the middle name after her father. Looking up at the school building, she saw it was about to start and smiled at Blaire, signaling to get going towards the building. Once gain on the doorstep and looked back at Pucca Trebon Anderson and smiled. She just looked like a spilt drop of caramel in the snow.
View User's Journal
My not-so-secret personal life on gaia and in the real world, stories/novels, and a couple poems. Maybe even some songs i have written with the chords/notes.