The old lady, dressed in a long dress patched with flowers of which the colors were once, probably some ten years ago, much brighter and fancier than they look now, climbs slowly down the stairs that lead into the terrace next to the big old house. Strapped around her waist the kitchen skirt that she does not dare to take off afraid of staining her valuable clothes as she always replied to her husband when he with some look of disapproval pointed a it when she entered the living room with coffee or tea or answering the door, but the last time she had heard that is already five years ago just an hour before he died peacefully in his chair while she was doing the washing up of the after dinner coffee that saturday evening.
The big black dog greets her joyfully when she finally reaches the final step. She holds the bar still with one hand while she scratches behind his ears with her other hand. Not long ago she forgot how heavy he could be and he had jumped up to her, pushed her back, she had lost her balance, had crashed backwards against the stairs and had laid there an hour before the neighbour finally came home and wondered why the dog kept on barking so wildly. That accident had cost her a week in a hospital and another two in a center for revalidation. Her back was badly hurt and since then she never had been free of back pain.
‘Hello my little, little, sweet honey poney, doggie of mine, how are you doing today my lovely big Brutus’.
She grabbed her cane and moved slowly over the terrace towards the back of the garden while the dog stayed close to her. She glanced over the many pots with plants, mainly geraniums, and felt proud that she still was able to keep them all in good shape. She slowly moved towards the concrete wall that separated the two gardens and reached out with her left hand just to have a bit more support, she never quite had regained the confidence of walking after that accident.
Brutus had to move to the other side of her, the cane side, and he did not like that as the cane prevented him from staying close to his lady. She moved slowly forward along the wall and when she came to the part of which the upper part had collapsed during a winter storm a year ago she looked left, as she always did, to peek over the wall into the neighbour’s garden. She suddenly pulled away the hand that was holding the wall and covered her mouth with it, the muscles in her right hand contracted instantly, her lower and upper arm muscles stiffened as if a cramp was speeding up through her arm. She bit on the inside of her hand and could feel some blood dripping into her mouth, she started breathing heavily through her nose and the beginning of a long, loud and primitive scream was pushing itself up trough her throat into her mouth and forcing her hand away. While she led out that horrifying sound she noticed that her stiffened right arm was losing control of her cane and her whole body was falling backwards. She had become a passenger in her own body. While she swayed backwards she saw the top of the trees moving quickly before her eyes, the blue sky behind it had promised a beautiful spring day, she was aware of a sudden movement to her right. It was Brutus, barking loudly, she thought he did although she could not hear it- her ears where filled with a loud pumping sound as if someone was banging on it- Brutus’ jaws where opening and closing fast and his frightened eyes staring straight at hers. The same clear blue eyes that just had received the most horrible image seen she had ever seen in her life and what would become the last one too. She closed her eyes the moment her head was about to hit the pavement as if she knew that it was coming. While she sunk away in the vast darkness she felt the pressure of two paws on her chest and a warm snout rubbing against her face. She wondered where that tunnel would be she was told about so often.