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Flash: Empty Bedrooms by Talis Johnson

Bram disappeared on a clear summer evening some weeks ago.

I missed his brown warmth pressed against my calves as I made coffee in the morning. Missed the steady thump of his ever-wagging tail as he traipsed the hallways looking for someone to fall into. I even missed the low whine in the mornings, wet nose snuffling at my bedroom door begging to be let in. 


Eventually, however, you move on. The silence becomes welcoming rather than a reminder of the noise that once filled the house. Autumn was starting to drop leaves on the front porch when Bram finally came home.


I heard the familiar rhythm of his tail hitting the wall as he padded down the corridor. 


When he whined at my bedroom door it was a welcome sound, and I rushed to open it. When I reached it, however, he was already gone, tail whacking on the stairs behind me. 


Later, in the kitchen, I felt him pressed against the back of my legs as I stood at the window, staring out over the empty garden. The rusted swing set looked lonely in the grass. Maybe that was why Bram had run away. The family dog seeking something familiar in absence. 


I looked down to see his glistening snout by my fingers and found nothing there but air. I drew the curtains as Bram’s footsteps echoed on the tiles. He had brought the fog back with him. 


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