Hubert – Melinda Dus

Barely any space peeked through except for the path EMS had blazed. This must have been for the gurney. The extraction left its mark.

A collection of hats adorned the short hallway, hung high. Old fashioned fedoras, painted in lively colors. Deanna stepped through to the kitchenette. Her feet crunched on pellets. Animal kibble littered the floor.

Travis had decorated the kitchen cabinets with acrylic paintings of food stuffs and staples. Likewise, he had embellished the dainty Formica counter with decoupage images of leftovers and soiled plates. Very meta. Actual dirty dishes and molding food strangely enhanced the design. She found the confluence arresting and took a moment to discern one from the other.

The walls shuttered, as if a battering ram struck the trailer from outside. Deanna steadied her way out of the Airstream. A large pot bellied pig scratched himself against the metal capsule, knocking into the camper to get the exact right spot. Deanna suspected the pink-tinged animal weighed over a hundred pounds by his size. He wore a collar like a domestic pet and seemed intent on scratching an itch. Deanna took short measured steps until she could read his tag, “Hubert.” The pig nuzzled her hand. The firm, leathery snout flinched, ultra sensitive to her touch. He eventually allowed her to pet him. The two considered each other. When the creature trotted away, Deanna followed.

Hubert led Deanna through the trailer park to a nearby strip mall. He paused in front of a small family-owned hardware store. The pig insisted, shouldering the glass door. Deanna propped the opening wide. The animal waddled through. Hubert proceeded to the back, toward the feed and grain section. Clever beast. He helped himself, feasting away from an open bin. The owner spotted Deanna’s companion and greeted him as an old friend.

“What’re we trading for kibble today?” Upon seeing her, his eyes searched, “Where’s his papa?” Deanna blinked and cleared her throat. Her mouth managed a weak, faltering smile. Her eyes glistened. “Indisposed.”

A bulk purchase would have avoided a return trip. She, however, had traveled on foot. A day’s worth of pellets would have to do.

“I can always find a home for one of Travis’s creations, that’s for sure,” the owner said. He expressed regret at the cash transaction, preferring the original bird cages, cat perches, and custom dog houses that Travis had traded as payment. The shopkeeper’s list of waiting customers grew weekly. “People travel from all over Kentucky. Each one is a one of a kind,” he said.

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  1. Lisa says:

    Love this story!!!

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