The dog is scratching at the soft, dark earth again.
Bobby stares out the window moodily, watching it. His face throbs. Anne passes behind him, dragging her feet …her citrus scent lingers. He fights down bile.
Sorry the cat scratched you, she says. Her barely-concealed glee seeps through her short statement, leaving an unpleasant pressure behind his half-lidded eyes and he sips at his warm beer for distraction. Anne noisily pours cat food into a bowl, spilling some on the floor, as usual.
Outside, the dog whimpers at a dust devil swirling around its now-grungy paws, a sandy dog-worrying dervish. Bobby absently rubs at his pawed cheek. She sees. You’re still pretty, she sneers, get over it already. He ignores her, and pushes his way out of the kitchen’s cloying warmth. The screen door bangs shut behind him satisfyingly, and the evening cool embraces him.
The dog wags its tail as he reaches it, hesitantly nudging his leg with its wet, cold snout. Bobby sips his flat beer and turns around to stare into the kitchen, and at Annie. She walks past the sickly yellow light within, casting a shadow over his stony face. Deliberately, he uses his shoes (this black pair she shined so well less than eight hours ago), to scuff the soft, dark earth back over her cat’s remains.