December 28, 2011


   Today Lois and I did some work in the basement. When we were done she was done we drove out to the land fill and disposed of some much unwanted stuff.
   As we left we decided to drive up the street to see if there were any blue herons nesting in the tower we discovered last year at one of the nature reserves. I got a new camera for Christmas and we wanted to try it out. We have been here a number of times. They have a couple roads with signs that say, "Open from 8:00 to 5:00" and the gates are always closed. This time they were open and we decided to go in and drive the designated roads. We saw many blue heron and swans and other wild fowl. We had just made the loop and drove back to the access road we came in on and noticed the gates were locked. It didn't take us long to realize we were locked inside a state-operated facility and that it was 4:00 in the afternoon and if we were going to get out we had to work fast.
   I called a friend of mine who was familiar with the area but he couldn't find a phone number for the Department of Wildlife Resources. I also wanted to connect with someone who knew where we were and could help if things got bad. We then had Aly get online and google the phone numbers of the bird reserve where we were trapped, the landfill directly across the street and the Division of Wildlife Resources. I called the Wildlife Resource number first and got a voice-automated menu with a number of listings that I couldn't hear because Lois was in a full panic. I was laughing at how funny it was while she was yelling, "This is not funny!" Turns out she needed a restroom.
   "Oh come on," I said, "You've got to admit this is pretty funny."
   "No," she said, "This is not funny at all."
   I finally handed her the phone because I couldn't hear anything the operator was saying. Eventually she reached someone and we waited for what seemed like an hour while he tried to get us some help. At 4:30 he got back on the line and told me a game warden was coming and it would take about a half hour. He wasn't lying either; about 4:55 a guy showed up and pulled out his ring of keys and fumbled around. Lois got out of the Forerunner and said she was going to go talk to the guy. I said, "He's probably going to give you some grief."
   "Oh no, he's not." she said. And sure enough he did. He wanted to know what we were doing behind the locked gate and how we got in there. "Well, I just picked up the truck and lifted it over the fence," she said in her head. Out loud, she said, "The gate was opened -- and said it would stay that way until 5 p.m."
   Mr. Game Warden was less than pleased and told her, "This gate is suppose to be locked at all times and I need to be somewhere at a quarter 'til 5."
   "Then you're already late and you might want to get someone to change your signs," Lois told him. "But you're not going to leave us in here." I'm not sure if he noticed she was casually stroking the place on her jacket embroidered with the name of her newspaper employer.
   Mr. Game Warden fumbled around in his truck, after taking a minute to read the sign -- which said, basically, we're open 'til 5, so come on in. Seeing nothing that would let him challenge her further, he pulled out a bolt cutter and clipped the locks.
   Ah, sweet freedom. Did I mention that the landfill across the street smelled like a -- well, like a landfill.

December 7, 2011

Cassie 2000/2001 to 2011

   We had to put Cassie to sleep today. It was very hard for all of us. The vet called me a couple of hours after we dropped her off this morning and explained that the tumor had already done extensive damage across her palate. Cassie started bleeding shortly after the tumor was opened and wouldn't stop. The vet said that with or without the biopsy, Cassie wouldn't be able to lead any quality of life under the circumstances. He recommended that we euthanize her and suggested we wait no longer than a week. Because the tumor was so rapid, the damage would only worsen and she would be in pain.
   Lois and I talked about it and decided we should put Cassie to sleep. There was a good chance that the wound in her mouth wouldn't even heal within the week and it would only prolong her misery.
   The last week has been very strange. Lois received a letter a week or so ago saying Cassie was supposed to get her rabies shot and at the same time I saw her jowl was a bit extended on one side. I brought it to Lois' attention and she was going to have the vet look at it. When Lois and Aly took Cassie to the vet, they discovered Cassie didn't need her rabies shot until 2013. Odd? The visit was not unwarranted, Lois had the vet look at Cassie's mouth and he discovered the tumor. When we tried to look at it beforehand, Cassie would whine and move away. We figured it would be best for the vet to look at it.
   All day long Lois and I both felt like maybe we could have done something different. That we should have noticed her mouth sooner. We wondered if we as pet parents were doing our jobs. Even the veterinarian's wife made a remark that, "I can't believe you didn't notice it." As if we didn't feel bad enough already. But they said it was fast-growing and just wasn't noticeable until about a week ago. We all agree that none of us noticed her mouth until we received the rabies shot notice in the mail. It almost seems like it was a forewarning. Like we had been led to vet.
   We will miss you Cassie.

December 6, 2011


   On Saturday, Lois had to take our pound puppy Cassie to the vet for a shot. It turned out that she didn't need the shot after all. She did however have a sore puffy lip and we wanted to get it checked out. I thought that maybe she had a splinter or a bone fragment in her cheek. Maybe it was an abscessed tooth. Aly called me at work when they were done and I could tell by the crack in her voice that something was wrong. The vet had just informed them that Cassie had cancer. 


   We have had Cassie for 8 years now. We brought her home shortly after we got our black lab Lucy.  The two of them have been loving members of our family and are about 10 years old. Lucy grunts and groans and age has clearly left its mark of gray on her fur. Cassie on the other hand has always been agile and her white and brown fur makes it hard to distinguish the color of gray. Lois and I have talked frequently about Lucy growing old, but I don't think either of us ever gave much thought to Cassie's age because she behaves so much like a pup. She still digs in the trash and steals food off the counter. When I heard that Cassie might have to be put to sleep, my heart sank. We have all been having trouble dealing with this news. Tomorrow morning we are taking her to the vet for a biopsy and then we'll have to make some choices depending on whether or not it is malignant. If it is benign, she could still lose some teeth. If the tumor is malignant, we will have to figure out how to handle it rather quickly. The vet says that it is fast acting and can be very painful.
   The girls weep and I have not had such a heavy heart in a very long time.

October 18, 2011

The Mile

 This is a re-post from two years ago. I wanted to write another Halloween story, but I just didn't have it in me. If you are a new follower, I hope you enjoy it.


    Billy Larue rushed up to his bedroom window. Grabbing the cuff of his shirt sleeve, he rubbed away the condensation and peered outside. He could just now begin to see the full moon rising, silhouetted by the maple trees as the last of the autumn leaves lightly fell. They slowly floated to the ground before they came to rest on the dew-covered lawn. Dying they were, he thought. He desperately wanted to go outside and play in them one last time, before winter claimed them. But he knew it was already too late. They had already begun to wither once they had touched the ground -- death decaying.

   Remembering then why he had come upstairs, he half jumped and half climbed up onto his bed. And sitting there, he waited. Soon the   sound of wood hitting wood made soft thumping noises out in the hallway. The woman made a low gutteral noise as she entered the room. Almost, he thought, like an animal. Setting her cane aside, she smiled at him and held out her long flailing arm.

   "Here, Grandma," he half whispered.

   "I'm too old for those stairs," she laughed.

   "Never," he said, "Just take two at a time and be done with them."

   "Oh world," she said, "Two stairs! I'd certainly be done with them then."

   "Here," Billy said, holding out his hands, "Right here I am."

   "I see you," she chuckled. "Now give me those bandages. We'll have to hurry; it's almost dark."

   "How do you know when it's dark, Gram? You're blind."

   "Oh, well ... that's my secret now, isn't it?" she said.

   "Well I suppose..."

   "Give me your hand -- the one you'll use."

   "This one I'll use." Billy said, giving her his left.

   "Let's begin then." she said.

    Twenty minutes later Billy was standing in front of his mirror admiring himself. "The best ever!" he said.

   "Let me see," his grandma said. Reaching out, she found his wrist and slowly started patting down the young boy's torso. Yards of bandages covered Billy's upper body. "The best ever!" he said again.

   "How are your legs?" she asked.

   "Perfect," Billy replied. "But how?"

   "Pins and needles," she said, "That's why you'll walk like this."

   She stumbled forward with her arms held out, imitating a mummy. They both laughed.

   "You didn't," he said, "Nary a one. I was watching you."

   "Another secret." she said, "Just a grandma's touch."

   "Will you go with me this year?" the boy pleaded.

   "You don't need an Old Witch walking you around." She started, "This cane of mine has seen too many miles already. Besides, you and Bessie will be alone this year. It's time. Somebody's got to light The Mile."

   Billy walked over to his window. From the second floor of the house he could see the faint outline of the old rickety fence that skirted the property. Letting his eyes follow the driveway to the very end, he could barely see the gate. It was as tall as the cornstalks that lined the road. And, it was exactly one mile from the house to the gate. Along the driveway, Billy could see the jack-o-lanterns that they had placed there three days ago. There were over a hundred of them.

   "We've got to hurry!" he said, turning to his grandma, "It's almost time."

   "Go get your sister, then." she said, "But don't forget these."

   The room had darkened considerably, and only the wick of one flickering candle danced in the twilight. The old woman's hands seemed to disappear into the folds of her dress and then they reappeared with a box. Just like magic, he thought.

   She handed him the box and then smiled. "Go now then," she whispered.

   Billy seemed to vanish from the place he once stood. Candlelight bounced off the walls and he was gone. His footsteps could be heard as he took to the stairs. Yelling over his shoulder he said, "Thank you, Grandma."
   Outside in the courtyard, Bessie danced with excitement. The night was warm but the wind had picked up since the afternoon. There was a storm coming. "Hurry Billy!" she cried out anxiously.
   "I am," he said. Carefully holding the box that Grandma Mabel had given him. Every motion was almost reverent.
   The moonlight shined down on the silver clasp of the box as he unsnapped it. Inside were two candles and a single wooden matchstick. One match, he thought to himself. What if it takes two? He gave the box to Bessie and he let his mind wander as he summoned up his nerve to strike the single stick. Bessie looked at him with wild anticipation. She held out one of the candles and waited.
   An eerie howl swept across the cornfields and they both turned to look at the horizon. Lightening flashed in the far distance. The storm was moving away from them toward Barrow County.
   "Now," he whispered. Bessie leaned in close with one hand cupped around one of the candles as Billy struck the matchhead against a stone that lay on the ground. Fire lit up and briefly danced and then the flame disappeared.
   "No!" they both screamed. And as they stopped to look at each other, the matchhead jumped again and a tiny spark lit the other side of the matchstick. The two held their breath as they leaned in close to light the candle Bessie held in her hands.
   "Now the other," Billy said. Bessie's hand disappeared into the long black cape that she wore and then reappeared holding the other candle. Just like Grandma, he thought.
   Lighting the other candle, the two flames jumped in the night as they quickly moved from jack-o-lantern to jack-o-lantern, bringing life to the haunted house behind them. They turned to see Grandma Mabel standing in the doorway, waiting for them to finish. 
   One by one the jack-o-lanterns came to life. Ghouls and goblins shined through the hollowed out pumpkins. Images of Dracula and Frankenstein danced in the night among witches and warlocks. When they had finished, they stood at the gate. The first Treaters had arrived. Billy unlocked the wrought iron gate and he and Bessie slowly pushed them open.
   "Trick or Treat," the first guest said. And they all ran down The Mile toward the old haunted house, back from where Billy and Bessie had just come.

By Beaux Kyle © 2008

August 28, 2011

Open note to Lois (or how I got my crush)

   It was the first weekend in July. We were a day late. We'd missed the wedding. There was a cacophony of laughter coming from inside the house and soon the voices made their way outside on to the lawn to greet us.
"Where were you?" and "What happened?" echoed among all of us. After explanations there was a brief round of introductions. I had met your family before. Another time. Another place. Another occasion. One less friendly. Not hostile, just mournful.
You said, "Hello" and it resonated with laughter. Your smile made me smile. I remember it well because it gave me goosebumps. Then there was that pitter-patter your heart does when it has a crush. That weekend we became inseparable. We laughed and smiled and shared things people just don't generally speak about.
Later there was the brushing of skin when our hands found each other. And towards the end of that weekend we managed a hug under the pretence that we were saying goodbye to each other.
Days went by. My heart ached like no other. You were in my head all day. You were in my sleep. And then one day there was a call. Later I was at the airport. When I saw you we smiled and there was that "Hello."
I will never let that go.

August 8, 2011


Aly gave me this riddle.

How do you get out of a room if there is only a mirror and a table?

˙ǝןoɥ ǝɥʇ ʇno ןʍɐɹɔ noʎ ˙ǝןoɥʍ ɐ ןɐnbǝ sǝʌןɐɥ oʍʇ ˙ɟןɐɥ uı ǝןqɐʇ ǝɥʇ ʇnɔ puɐ ʍɐs ǝɥʇ ǝʞɐʇ noʎ ˙ʍɐs noʎ ʇɐɥʍ ǝǝs noʎ ˙ɹoɹɹıɯ ǝɥʇ uı ʞooן noʎ

July 1, 2011


   We went to the Redwoods last week for our vacation. I have never been there before, but I was amazed by the size of these trees. The funny thing is, back in the day I used to cut trees down for a living. The girls enjoyed the Redwoods too, but Jenifer seemed to feel that once you've seen a couple thousand, then you have seen them all. I think they enjoyed the ocean more. Aly spent as much time in the water as she could. I'm not sure how she survived the frigid temperatures.
   We left Salt Lake and drove to Sacramento on Saturday morning. The following day we headed off to Santa Cruz and got a motel a few blocks away from the beach boardwalk. Aly and Jeni started out by swimming, and then Aly and I went on some rides while Lois and Jeni hit the stores and walked the boardwalk. When we met up later, the girls were ready to go swimming again.
   The following day we drove up the beach toward Leggett, California, and only made it 55 miles. How we did that I'm not sure, but we vowed to make up for it the following day. We did that by driving 110 miles on Tuesday. Eventually we made it into the Redwoods and we did a lot of stopping. We drove through a couple trees and visited some gift shops. When we left there we drove all day long through Oregon from Grants Pass to Ontario and then to Nampa, Idaho, where we spent a couple of day with friends of mine that I have known for 30 years. It was fun to catch up and be among friends I haven't seen for years.
   On Saturday we went to Boise and visited another friend of mine who has always been like a father figure to me. He is very ill and it was part of the reason that we decided to travel back to Salt Lake through Idaho. It was nice to visit him.
   It felt great to take some time off. I have been wanting to go on vacation for a long time. I was so happy when the girls got out of school for the summer. I am posting some pictures of the redwoods and I will post other picture on my Reflections blog later.

Early Morning

The Cathedral


 The Dyerville Giant

May 22, 2011

Looking Back

What if everything you were told was a lie?
All of my life I have been held hostage to the notion that I was all alone. My parents signed emancipation papers for me when I was 16 years old. Even my blood sister I grew up with seemed like a stranger to me and remains so to this day. 

What if everything you believed was a lie? My parents never liked to talk about my adoption. When my blood sister and I found out that we were adopted, naturally we had our own questions.
"Who am I? Who are our parents?"
These were some of those first questions that came up. They were ones my sister asked. She is 21 months older than me and at the time those questions were not anything I ever thought about. When she asked them my parents froze and they immediately set up a wall. From that time forward any questions that were asked were like much guarded secrets. The subject was taboo.
At the time I was too busy growing up and being a kid. I was in the back yard climbing a ladder so that I could jump off the roof into the deep end of the swimming pool. I was busy climbing our 40 foot flag pole to see if I could touch the top. And all I got from that was a blistered butt when my dad got home. He took punishment pretty seriously.
My sisters questions drove her crazy. So crazy that she ran away from home when she 12 and ended up in a group home. We would drive over and see her on the weekends and she would always refer to our parents by their last name. It was all kind of sad really, watching a child disown her family.
"Who am I?" I could hear my sister asking this in my head.
What kind of question was that? You are the same person you were before you found out that you were adopted. Nothings changed.
Later I had my own questions. All I ever wanted to know was who were my natural parents, what were they like and whether or not they loved me.
My mom could never talk to me about my adopted parents, at least not until we met later in life when I was in my 30's. And even then it was a sketchy story. She said that my mom had given my sister and I up for adoption at a very young age. We went into foster care and were passed from home to home for a couple of years because nobody wanted us. She said that all she knew was that we had it very bad according to the case worker. But there was always an indication that maybe my mom knew something she didn't want to share. Her voice would always change when she spoke to me. She would physically shudder as she spoke about it. This from a woman who endured life in Nazi Germany and had horrible memories and scars from there. As much as I wanted to know about my adoption, I could never bring myself to push her too hard. And besides that, she had a firm line she would stand on and if you tried to cross it you would lose. She could be a lot more stubborn than me sometimes.
So I am talking to my sister on the phone a month or so ago and she is almost screaming, "That adoption was not supposed to happen. Those names on the court records are made up names. They weren't going to let it happen. Dad had to fight to get it to happen."
And you really have to know my sister to get the whole effect, "Sweety," She says, "Dad told me what happened. He had to get some Senator in Arizona to push the thing through. Barry something or another. The whole thing was a whitewash!"

"Wait a minute," I say, "Are you talking about Senator Barry Goldwater?"

"Yes!" She screams, "Barry Goldwater."

 Now she's talking to her husband in the background.

Sister: "Honey. It was Senator Barry Goldwater wasn't it?"
Sister's husband: "Yes, I believe it was."

 I am hearing a story that I have never heard before and I am suddenly having an out of body experience. I hand the phone to Lois and we pull off in a parking lot because we are driving and I say, "You have got to hear this."

 Twenty minutes later.

 "That is insane!" Lois says.

 "Is it?" I say.

 "Well what do you think?" She asks.

 "Dude, I don't know what to think anymore."

 One month later.

 My wife calls to tell me that we have finally got my original birth certificate.

"You are not going to believe this. This is unbelievable!"

 "What?" I ask.

 "This birth certificate shows two different names than what are on the court records."

My whole life I always believed my natural mom was a minor and that because she was too young to take care of us so she gave my sister and I up for adoption. I believed this because this is what I had been told.
My birth certificate showed that my moms name was entirely different than what was on my adoption records. It also showed that she was 29 years of age at the time of my birth; instead of a minor. It revealed that I had other siblings. And that my birth fathers first name was also different than the adoption records said.
After we received the adoption records and I did the math while considering my mom was a minor when she had me, I figured she would be in her mid-sixties right now. But this new age of 29 would bring her to around 77-79 depending on birthdays.
I don't know if we will ever find her but I still hold out on hope. Today I miss her. Today I wonder what happened back there. Today - like so many others - I still don't have my answers.

~September, 2009

January 1, 2011

Sara's Dog

   It was the juice that caught the dog’s attention. She had been sniffing the odor all night long. But when she heard it dripping on the duck, she opened up her eyes and looked at Sara. Sara was looking directly at her and she slowly wagged her tail. She wasn't allowed to eat duck unless Sara first had sawed it off the bone. That was a rule. Gypsy had learned the bone rule long ago. 
   Sara didn't have to speak to Gypsy at all. Her eye was her command. She spoke to Gypsy with smiles and nods and stares. So it was that Gypsy laid on the floor, tail slowly wagging, waiting for the bell. It delighted Sara that Gypsy played the game. Each night, a while after dinner, Ivan would enter the kitchen with the bell cupped in his hand to prevent the dog from hearing it. Gypsy would look at Sara, who stood back and smiled. Ivan, who'd done the feat each night for weeks, would look at his wife and give the nod. Sara would place the bowl off in the corner where the dog generally ate and stepped away. Ivan would prepare the bell and then shake his hand.
   Ring-ring the sound came, and Gypsy would look up at Sara with one eye while the other focused on Ivan. Once, early on, Sara tested her theory and gave no nod and Gypsy sat on the floor staring at Ivan and the bowl. The whole time Ivan rang his stupid bell. Eventually he spoke rather loudly and said, "Gypsy!" To this the dog slightly stirred and then Sara smiled and ever so gently moved her head. Gypsy trotted to her bowl and began to eat. Ivan gave a “harrumph” and showed a bit of satisfaction and left the room. The bell now nestled in his hand.
   Sara decided that that was probably enough and never did it again. She would spare both Ivan and Gypsy any grief. Of course the bell trick at home was always between Sara and the dog, but Gypsy would also respond to Ivan’s bell whenever Sara wasn't around. It had become animal instinct thanks to Sara. And Pavlov never knew.

December 31, 2010


 " Wishing Everyone A
New Year!"

December 12, 2010

The Emperor's New Clothes

December 2, 2010

Can't Touch This

Did you catch Jimmy Fallon and Bruce last night? This was pretty funny stuff.

December 1, 2010


Normally this post would be something you'd read on my other blog, but because time and this illness have steadily moved forward, I thought I should post something here.
I have slowly moved up the list, despite that my numbers have dropped a little over the past couple of months. In two weeks I will know if any of that will change. What won't change is the illness. I feel different these days. The soreness in my muscles constantly ache. The physical aspect of it all seems rather moot really; it has been going on for so long. What bothers me is that it is difficult to write. It is hard to keep a blog when the words don't come. I can go through the motions and blather all day long, but I don't seem to be able to finish anything.
Part of my illness is that with it comes confusion. They say that it all gets better...eventually. I would love to continue writing, but for the moment I don't think that is possible, not with any regularity. Hopefully after transplant all that will change.
I have been quite fortunate over the past couple of years. I have a loving family who have kept me strong through all of this. On my good days they have shared their love and laughter, and on my bad days they have done a good job at ignoring my sour attitude and trudged along.
I have also met a lot of people who for the most part are strangers, but have shared with me their compassion and kindness. I thank you all. There is nothing better for a bruised heart and soul than a warm greeting and hello. Somehow words always lift a smile.
For now it seems unlikely that I will be doing any posting over here. I will try to keep up with the other blog and my photo blog, but even those seem to take some work.

In the meanwhile I seem to have messed up my template over here and I can't figure out how to do any editing. Blogger refuses to let me change, add or show me anything. It's a conundrum. I may have to take some drastic measures. Advice is welcome.

Wishing you all a wonderful new year.

October 31, 2010

Pretty Penny: Part 3

Pretty Penny (Part 3)

 Thomas Mason, Billy Larue, Bob Sanders and Molly Carver stood in a drain pipe beneath the city of Astoria, Oregon, right off the mouth of the Columbia River. They carried flashlights and weapons. After the street lights went out they had all gone to Bob's house to gather flashlights and to arm themselves. They were going after Pretty Penny.
The kids had pulled the metal grate back where Penny had been digging and slipped down into the tunnels. The sounds of dripping water echoed through the pipes. Somewhere in the distance they heard Penny barking and the strange noise that they had been hearing all night. Thomas took the lead as they walked into the tunnel. At first they weren't sure where they were going, but when they saw a street name painted on one wall they realized that the layout was similar to the streets above where they all lived.
"What is that awful smell?" Billy asked.
"It smells fishy." Molly said.
"Dude, it really reeks." said Bob.
"I think I know what it is!" Billy exclaimed. "Maybe it's a sea monster."
"There's no such thing as sea monsters." Thomas said.
"Just think about it! How far is the river?" Billy asked.
"We live in a city that's only a mile across one way and less than two miles the other. I'd say it's not very far." Molly said.
"What if this is something new, like a new species?" Billy offered.
"Dude, there's no sea monsters." Molly said.
They walked for a little while longer until they heard Pretty Penny yelping again. She was much closer to them now and the smell was getting worse.
"What if it is a sea monster?" Bob asked.
They all looked at each other and shrugged.
"I just want Pretty Penny." Molly cried. "I want her to be safe."
"When we see her we're going to grab her and we're going to run," Thomas said.
"Does anyone know how to get back?" Billy asked.
"I do," Molly said. "We follow it back to Kensington Street and stay left."
They moved into anothet tunnel and the sound bellowed out.
"What is that?" Billy whispered.
"I know!" Molly said, "I know what that is."
The sea monster loomed over Penny. It's fins flapped along its side. The group tried to comprehend what they were looking at, but what they saw made no sense to them at all. Down here, below the city, this creature seemed impossible and out of place. The three boys looked at one another while Pretty Penny bounced and jumped and barked and yelped. She was playing with the creature and it was playing with her.
"Is that..." Thomas started.
"It's a sea lion." Molly finished, "It's been missing for two days now. They had that show at the museum and that night it disappeared."
"You mean it's been stuck down here?" Billy said, "It must have found a way in through the water ways somehow."
"We have got to go get help. We need some sort of rescue crew," Thomas said.
"Yeah," Billy replied, "I'm thinking that will cost a pretty penny."


By Beaux Kyle
© 2011

Pretty Penny Part II

Pretty Penny (Part 2)

Bob Sanders stood frozen in his front yard. Thomas and Billy waved at him as they approached.
"Hey, guys," Bob said.
"Did you just hear something weird?" The two boys asked.
"I'm not real sure what I heard, but I think it's underground."
"Dude," Billy looked at Thomas, "There's no way I'm going down into the sewers."
"How do you know it's underground?" Thomas asked.
Bob looked at him and he appeared to be a little frightened. "I know because I stood right here in this yard and I heard the noise when it started way up there and ended when it got way down there." The boy pointed at one end of his yard and then to the other.
"It's Pretty Penny!" Billy said.
"We don't know that." Thomas replied.
"It wasn't Pretty Penny," Bob Sanders slowly shook his head.
"Why do you say that?" The boys both asked.
"Because whatever it was, Pretty Penny was chasing it." 

Pretty Penny was sitting on her haunches in front of a storm drain. She had her head was cocked sideways and she was whimpering.
The boys had only gone another block when they saw her. She turned and looked at them and bared her teeth.
Thomas got off of his bike. He squatted and took one knee and called her, "Here girl. Come here Penny." Pretty Penny whimpered and ran to Thomas. She jumped up into his lap and he picked her up.
"What is it, Penny?" Bob asked. She wagged her rear and looked at the boys. Thomas thought he saw her smiling.
"I can hear it!" Thomas said.
The three of them moved closer to the storm drain and listened. They could hear running water and the sound of heavy breathing.
They all stepped back.
"I am definitely not going down there now!" Billy said. 

From the time when Thomas stood on his porch; to when Molly Carver came up behind Billy and him, and to when the three boys gathered in front of the storm drain listening to the heavy breathing, only 15 minutes had passed. Since then ten more minutes had passed and three things had happened. The first thing was that they had all managed to scare themselves. Secondly, Pretty Penny was going crazy and was trying hard to access the storm drain and the third thing, which was perhaps the most important of them all, was that the Trick or Treaters were all coming out.
The sound of laughter and high pitched screaming began to fill the night.
"We have got to warn them." Billy said.
"Really, what are you going to tell them?" Bob asked, "Hey, we got a heavy breather out here."
Just then, they all heard a loud whimper and turned toward the storm drain.
"Guys," Thomas said, "Where's Pretty Penny?"
They all started looking around and were frantically calling for the pug. And then something awful happened. Molly Carver was standing in the midst of them. She looked at them and her face was full of panic. "Pretty Penny?"
"We had her," Billy said, looking at the drain. "But I think she went down there."
The hole that Penny had been working on was bigger, just enough for the small pug to slip through. Molly Carver was about to scream, but she heard a strange and familiar noise coming from the drain pipe that made her jump and suddenly Pretty Penny was barking. The noise coming from out of the drain sounded like terror. And as if it were all on cue, lightning struck and the street lamps all flickered and went out. The only light there was came from the jack-o-lanterns on the street.


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