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|This is a story about how I think the devil gets his souls into hell. He has this little dog that goes around collecting them The dog is based on one of mine, her name is Sady. One day I was looking at her and she had this evil little smile on her face, like she knew something. And then KAPOW this story came into my head.||
My grandmother and I used to talk about everything. Life, love, politics, school. She was my confidant, and I her work in progress. But, then one day she got sick: she wouldn't take her walks, she wouldn't cook for me anymore. That was when we sent her into the hospital. They said she was dying, I took her myself into Hospice and visited her every day. And it is of that last day I saw her that I want to speak to you about.
That day was cold and bleak; the wind howled through the trees and ripped at my hair. Ice cold hands wrapped themselves around me as I walked across the pavement towards that huge stone building. It seemed to grin at me, that evil place. It grinned like a sardonic devil just waiting for you to enter its hell.
I walked in, and looked at the receptionist. She had kind eyes that looked at me with sympathy. I had been there so many times, they did not even ask for my name. " How is she doing?" I asked, as I did everyday. Knowing the answer was the same. She wasn't getting better. Her lips were bluer and her eyes darker. She would look at me and not see me. And it broke my heart to see her hair, weak and limp. It had always had life in it, but as her life drained away, so did it's. The nurse just smiled her smile and shook her head. I bowed my own, feeling the tears well up in my eyes. I said thank you and walked down that hallway. I didn't know it then, but that was the last time I was forced to look at those dark empty rooms, that smelled of death and decay.
At last I came to her doorway, there was a smell of roses, and she turned to me as I opened the door. " Oh, Carol. I hoped you would come." she said to me. She told me that everyday, thinking that I would abandon my teacher, my friend. I pulled a chair beside her bed and she took my hand. I looked at, gnarled and veined. It was claw-like, but held my hand as if it were porcelain. " I'm dying." she said to me, looking out her window.
" Grandma, don't say that. You're not drying yet." I said to her, knowing in my heart I was lying to this dear old woman.
" I'm dying," she said again with more conviction, " I see the devil's dog now, standing outside my window." grandma said, fearful tears welling up in her eyes. " It's the dog the devil sends to snatch up the souls of the dying." She looked at me and her eyes had a strange light in them, that I realize now was fear.
" Grandma, don't be silly. There's no devil's dog out there." And I got up and went to the window and I looked down. I was amazed to see a small dog looking up at the building, with a grin on it's face. It seemed to look at me and wink, then it turned around and disappeared. I mean disappeared, within the blink of an eye it was gone. I told my head it was a trick of the light, but it seemed more real than that building.
" Did you see it?" she asked me, as I sat back down.
" No," I lied to her, " I didn't see anything at all Grandma, it's just a trick of the light.
She sighed, as if contented and took my hand again. She smiled her smile and just sat in bed, withered and weak. " Don't let it get me Carol." she said, as her eyes closed tiredly, " Don't let it get me." she whispered as she fell asleep. Her chest rose and fell and it seemed I could hear her heart beating in the still and silent room.
I leaned over and kissed her forhead, " I won't let the devil's dog get you," I whispered to her. I quietly put the chair back and exited her room. I walked back down that hallway. I didn't realize it then, but the hallway was different. It seemed to press it's walls against me as if saying that it would get me in the end, or it was trying to keep something out. I nodded to the receptionist as I left.
I entered my car and turned the key. I had a feeling I was being watched, so I turned and looked back towards the front door. And there was that small little dog, looking at the door as if willing it to open. It turned it's head and looked at me, it's face seeming to have a huge sadonic grin. I shook my head, left the parking lot, and went home.
It was not until the next morning that I got the news: Grandma was dead. The receptionist called me at around eight o'clock. " Hello, is Miss Carol Turner there?" she asked nicely.
" Yes, that's me. Is everything all right?" I replied into the telephone.
" Ma'am, I'm sorry to tell you but you're grandmother is dead. Something got to her during the night." I hung up the phone, on that courageous woman. I don't think an ordinary person could call a family member and tell them that Something got to their grandmother . I sat for hours in silence, crying tears of grief. My mother called, and so did my brother. I had never been so sad in all of my life.
That night I was thinking about Grandma, and all the times that we had shared. My mind wandered back to that phone call. I realized then she didn't say that grandmother had died, she said that something had gotten her. It was then that I remembered the my grandmother said she had seen the devil's dog, and that I had seen a small little dog two times outside of the Hospice building. I realized then that the dog was small enough to slip through an open door, and pass unnoticed through a coridoor that smelled of death.
I know now that my grandmother was right. She was taken by the devil's servant, a small dog that could pass through places that smelled of death for it in itself is death. During the years of my life I found myself looking behind me, expecting to see the devil's servant. For that dog saw me, and it smiled at me. I am sitting here in bed, my deathbed, looking out my window. Yesterday I could have sworn I saw a small dog standing outside of my house. I am waiting now, to hear the click of its paws as it walks down my hallway. My house seems smaller now, as if it is trying to keep something very small outside. Yes, I was right, it is outside my window, smiling its smile, waiting for its time to enter my home and lead my soul into hell.
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