by Sarah Moore  

“Ma’am, I just need you to sign here,” said the FedEx guy. A notepad poked out from beneath the carcass of the wolf-dog-creature-thing in his arms.
Angela stared down at the body, attempting to decipher the situation with visible disgust. “Is this a joke?” she asked.
The delivery guy shifted his weight onto the other foot, his shoe scraping against the gravel. “The address is printed here on the package.” His gaze fell down toward the slip of paper stuck to the body. “And it has the name Angela Hughes. Is that—”
“Yes, that’s me. Do you think this is funny?”
The delivery man shrugged. “I don’t understand.”
“This, the dead fucking dog, or whatever it is, in your arms right now? You think this is funny?”
He looked down at the cadaver as if he weren’t holding a dead animal. “Look, I’m just here to do my job. If you want the sender’s information it’s here on the package.” The delivery guy lifted his gaze back to her. “Should I set this down…?”
“No, don’t set it down,” Angela said. “Don’t set it down anywhere.”
He fidgeted before taking several steps back. “I’ll just set it over here,” he said, leaning down to drop the dead dog at the edge of the grass.
Fists clenched, Angela stormed after him. “I told you not to set it down anywhere,” she said. “Take your dead dog and get out of my yard.”
The delivery guy’s expression fell at her approach as he speed-walked for his truck.
“Hey, get back here,” Angela yelled. “Take your dog!”
The truck roared to life, and it was already rumbling out from the cul de sac, leaving puffs of smoke in its wake.
Angela kneeled down by the body and inspected the crude address. Where the sender’s information should have been was her own, copy and pasted.
“What the hell…” she said. If the sight of the ravaged thing wasn’t enough, it was the stinging stench stronger than ten skunks that nearly made Angela gag. And it certainly didn’t help that the sun was beating down on its rotting form. She had to get rid of this thing.

Donning gloves and a surgical mask, Angela pulled the dead dog creature by the back paw into a trash bag. She made it difficult on herself, but that was only because she didn’t want to touch the thing for longer than five seconds. It wasn’t until flies swarmed the body that Angela picked up the pace.
Finally with the body stowed away in the bag, she walked into the empty garage, popped open the trash bin, and dropped the thing in. Angela pulled off her gloves before walking to the door, ready to make some very angry phone calls.
“Angela,” a soft voice called.
She stopped.
“Angela,” it said again. Was that a child?
Angela turned on her heel to face the trash bin.
“Angela, don’t leave me in here. Please come back.”
She stepped back to the bin and lifted up the lid. There amongst the unused diapers the body still lay, but Angela swore she saw the eye move.
“Why did you throw me away?” the voice emanated from the body. “Why?”
“I…I didn’t…” She tried to come up with a response, but she was left speechless at the anomaly.
“It’s lonely here. I don’t want to be alone,” the dead dog said. “Angela, I can’t move. Why can’t I move?”
“You’re…you’re dead,” Angela said.
“But I’m not,” the body replied. Its voice cracked as it went on. “I’m not dead, I’m still here. Angela, please, take me out.”
This was wrong, this was terribly wrong. Dead animals shouldn’t talk, hell they shouldn’t talk at all, dead or alive. But the fear and terror in the voice was like that of a lost child looking for his family.
“I’ll…get you out,” she said.

“It’s so quiet,” the body commented as the passed through the vacant halls, kitchen, and into the living room.
Setting the body down on the couch, Angela continued to stare down at it in a confused but almost zombified state. Why on earth was this happening?
“Angela, could you read me a story?” the body asked.
And that she did. Angela read him the whole stack of dusty children’s books. The oddity of the ugly dead-dog-wolf-thing carcass talking flew from her mind as she engaged in little activities with it, a long desired joy sparking inside.
Eventually night fell, and Angela was carrying the body up into the nursery and upon the crib. She pulled a small star speckled blanket over the cadaver, smiling as she did so. “Sweet dreams,” Angela said before leaning down to plant a small kiss on the mangey forehead.
“I love you, mommy,” the body whispered in reply.
Tears welled up in Angela’s eyes. She never thought she’d hear those words ever.
The nursery door swung open, light crashing into the room and onto Angela. A tall figure stood there, clutching a plastic bag in his free hand. “Angela?” he said.
She looked back at him, tears streaking down her cheeks. “I…I didn’t know…” Angela said, “I didn’t know you were going to come home…”

About the Author:

Sarah Beth Moore is a freelance artist, storyteller, and writer who can craft artistic works that match a client’s needs. She is currently working on a webcomic, Of Ash and Stars, that will soon be released on Line Webtoons and Tapas. Sarah knows how to write effective stories and create artwork that perfectly reflects and satisfies the desires of both consumers and employers. She has been awarded first place three times in the Tennessee magazine Artist’s Palette contest. Sarah is also certified in Final Draft and knows how to write proper scripts for film, gaming, and television. With four years’ experience with practicing art, Sarah is self-taught in Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Clip Studio Paint. Sarah is currently attending Full Sail University for a BA in Creative Writing for Entertainment.