Nobody's Dog

Nobody's Dog by Ria Voros Read Free Book Online

Book: Nobody's Dog by Ria Voros Read Free Book Online
Authors: Ria Voros
granola bar and look for something to give him. I settle on cheese, since the only other thing is bacon, and it’s raw and Aunt Laura would definitely be suspicious if uncooked bacon disappeared in the middle of the night. Maybe I’ll buy a bag of dog treats and keep it in my room in case the dog comes back. I’ve already decided he will.
    I sneak back outside and feed him his treat. He gobbles it down without even chewing it and sniffs for more. I eat my granola bar sitting on the first step with his eyes following my every move. He’s almost as tall standing up as I am sitting down. He sniffs my hands for granola crumbs. His nose is cold and wet and his whiskers tickle my palm. The tips of his ears are like puppy fur. He lets me pet them for a moment. I get the feeling he doesn’t let everyone do that.
    Then a light comes on behind me in a window under the deck. My heart skids to a stop and I dive off the stairs, pulling the dog with me, out of view. Shielded by the pile of junk under the deck, I squint at the little square of window I can see between a watering can and a stack of wood. Soleil moves around the kitchen with a teapot. What is she doing up at this hour? I realize I’m gripping the laundry rope around the dog’s neck and let it go a little. The dog tries to getup and I whisper to him, “Just stay for a second — if she sees you we’ll be dead!”
    Soleil glances at something on the windowsill. She grabs the phone and dials. Finally she leaves the kitchen and I decide it’s our time to make a move — who knows when she’ll be back.
    I squat beside the dog and untie him. “We’ve got to get out of here. You have to follow me, okay?”
    The dog doesn’t need any convincing. He leaps when I let him go and we race across the yard toward the gate, except he gets there way before I do, and just as I reach to pull the gate closed behind me, Soleil’s door opens.
    â€œJakob?”
    I freeze with my back to the voice, watching the dog, safe on the street, watching me. He waits to see if I’m coming. I motion for him to go, get out of here. There’s no saving me now. I turn.
    â€œJakob, what are you doing?” It’s not Soleil. Libby stands in the doorway in yellow pyjamas and a black sweater.
    My mind races. Think: what am I doing?
    She pushes the hair out of her face, looking half asleep. “I thought I saw something in the backyard. Why are you out here?”
    â€œWhat are
you
doing up?” I say before I can stop J from speaking. But it buys me some thinking time.
    She looks surprised. “I couldn’t sleep. Mom’s making tea and we’re watching TV. What about you?”
    J has the words ready just in time. “I saw something out here. I think it was a raccoon. I came out to see — it went through the gate.” I point, hoping the dog is long gone.
    Libby pulls her sweater tighter and closes the door behind her. “Is that what it was?”
    â€œYup.” I close the gate, glancing to the street, and there’s no sign of the dog.
    Libby looks suspicious. “How could you see a raccoon in the back yard from your bedroom? Your window faces the street, like mine.”
    I walk slowly toward the stairs, trying to look insulted. “I heard it. Didn’t you? You think I’m lying?”
    She leans against the doorframe and crosses her arms. “Uh huh.”
    I have no idea what she’ll say next. I just want to get upstairs and inside. “What do you know? I’ve heard raccoons before. I know what they sound like.”
    Libby gives me a long stare. “You think I’m stupid.”
    Maybe it would have been easier if Soleil had seen me. “No, I never said that.”
    â€œYou were doing something else, I know it. You were running away.”
    I hold out my hands and at least I can be honest about this. “No way, Libby. I was not running

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