THRESHOLDS

This was far enough. He had reached the limit of his strength. The tide would come in and fill the cave within a few hours and wash away his tracks and any traces of evidence.

He gave the sack one last heave and let it flop to the ground. He looked back and made sure he was hidden from sight. The path that ran along the top of the overlooking cliff curved away beyond his horizon. Unless some inquiring soul took a walk along the beach on this cold, grey day, he was safe.

He slumped down to recover his strength. The nightmare was almost over. He thought of the house he would be returning to – peaceful and quiet, everything in its place, clean and tidy.

He had a threshold, a point beyond which he could no longer tolerate living in this way. The mess on returning from work that afternoon had been the last straw. He had taken action.

Above the sound of the surf rolling into the foot of the cliffs he heard the whimper. The sack lying on the sand moved, ever so slightly at first, then faster as panic set in. He thought he had done enough to kill with the blow. Apparently not. She was a tough bitch.

He picked up a rock from the ground and approached, trying to guess which end of the sack the head was at. He raised the rock above his head.

The stabbing pain in his side made him drop the rock and stumble to his knees. He looked down and saw the knife sticking out from his side, dark blood staining the sand around him. A hand removed the knife and he slumped onto his side. Lying on the ground he watched the knife slit open the sack.

The grateful puppy emerged into her arms, licking her rescuer with gratitude.

She didn’t even look at him as she turned and walked away with the dog in her arms.

Soon the tide would come in and wash away any trace of evidence that he had ever been there.


looking-out

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt – Threshold curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

 

 

55 responses to “THRESHOLDS”

  1. Very tight, Iain. Excellent telling!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Violet, I wasn’t really sure where this one was going!

      Like

  2. Didn’t see that coming! My heart does so many different thingd when reading your stories.
    Glad the pup was saved as I type this with my dog on my lap. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I knew the dog lovers would like the ending to this one 🙂

      Like

  3. I know I should be horrified at this excellent tale but . . . take that you bully! Yeah for the puppy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Even I couldn’t bring myself to kill the puppy off in the end! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I am totally against violence… but, a puppy?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Everyone has their thresholds it seems 🙂

      Like

  5. I never saw that coming. Nice job. Great twist.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m glad the puppy lived 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to be the general consensus 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If it were a human (at least an adult) in the sack, fine, but a puppy?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know, right? No one is on his side here!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought it might be a pup, and don’t blame her for putting in the knife (didn’t see that bit coming though). She’s on my wavelength: Hurt my dog and I hurt you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dog owners are very protective it seems 🙂

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  8. Oh my! Both my sisters just got puppies so I am so happy the way it ended!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I hope they are house trained! 🙂

      Like

  9. I almost thought I had read this one before but quite a different ending. Killed her for not cleaning the kitchen? Better not show this to my husband – LOL Nicely done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Janet 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great story; gave me chills!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Becky 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Never mess with a dog lover.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Am happy the puppy was rescued.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone seems to be too 🙂

      Like

  13. Well that was unexpected. I think he may have got what was coming to him. Very well written, taut and tense.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Great story, nice twist at the end, so glad the pup was saved.💜 Well done on starting the next book 🌹

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, that daunting feeling of the blank page and the thought of all the words that need to be written, but at the same time excited about the story to tell 🙂

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      1. Yes there is nothing like it is there.🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  15. For a moment, you had me worried. Nice twist!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Barb, have no fear – only those that deserve it are punished!

      Like

  16. I’m wondering if she will get away with it. Someone might have seen her follow him into the cave. Good result for the puppy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When a puppy wins, we all win 🙂

      Like

  17. You hooked me with the first sentence and reeled me in with practiced ease. Superb story telling!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lyn, very kind 🙂

      Like

  18. deborahsdeliberations Avatar
    deborahsdeliberations

    That’s some twist. As a dog lover, I’m thrilled that the pup was saved.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Well done, Iain. You left us hanging till the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jennie 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome, Iain. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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