This post is approximately 350 words, some of them onomatopoetic.
I usually walk the dogs with music playing through headphones. One morning, as mist hung heavy upon the air, I decided to go without.
Diffuse light made determining the direction of the sun impossible, yet every tree, house, and bird enjoyed the kind of perfect illumination that sent photographers running for their cameras.
As I entered the park, and the maudlin noise of suburban life faded away, footsteps and raindrops the only sound to hear.
The split-splash, split-splash of soft dog paws in shallow puddles.
The sploosh-splush of my larger feet, the second step muffled by ripples from the first.
And then, the repeating high-pitched pip of a bird as it circled away from us, seemingly using echolocation to track some destination or predator.
Our dog Scout showing a face of mixed emotions: happy for a walk but confused by the amount of wet she was experiencing; frequently shaking her Lab fur to dislodge water that would otherwise flow off her back like she were part waterfowl. Her collar jangling and her ears flapping against her head as she did.
The fwap-fwap-fwap-fwap of duck wings as they repeatedly slapped the water in their attempts to get airborne in the heavy air.
The warning jeers of an overprotective, yet hidden bird unhappy with our passing. The caws continuing long after our dangerous presence had passed.
And then it was over. Puddles gave way to drier pavement. Suburban sounds returned: the prolonged rish of tires on wet asphalt. People working in their garages, accompanied by a metal clang or plastic tote scraping across concrete. Jealous dogs barking from unappreciated shelter on a rainy day, their warnings and greetings a cacophonous mixture of yips, howls, and rowfs. Playful screams of children unable to run outside.
We arrived home at last, the pneumatic hiss of the screen door’s closing mechanism a dismissal of the outside world.
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© Michael Wallevand, September 2016