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Prickly Prompts - 11. # 892 Dipped in Mud

List of words.

Use the following words in a story - a storm, a broken fence, a scared dog, a flash light, and an old typewriter.

In memoriam to Wayne aka comicfan, as a last farewell.


Nova stood in what was left of his den. After days of shoveling mud, throwing out broken furniture, appliances, and other debris at other people’s places, they had finally allowed him to enter his own house. For a short time and only to grab the essentials. The whole area could slide into a sinkhole any minute. But he wasn’t there for some unimportant mementos. Most of them could be easily replaced. For that he had insurance against all kinds of damage: fire, storm, natural forces. Damage by natural forces...who would have thought.... It was just stuff.

He hastily looked around the room. One sole shelf leaned at an odd angle against the wall. It had somehow, sorta survived the mudslide that had poured through his house, from the front door right into the backyard. The desk was reduced to splinters, smashed against the wall. The leather chair he’d splurged for was upside down, half-way buried in mud. His grandfather’s old typewriter looked like a stranded alien insect, with the type bars spread like multiple legs half-buried in mud. Okay, that was hard. The old man had given it to him after his first essay had been published, insisting he must have inherited the talent from him.

Nova’s feet burned. They were blistered from wearing gum boots all the time. His jeans stuck to his legs. Everything he wore was damp. His face was probably streaked with dirt. He scanned the room again.

Someone was coming. “Did you find her?”

Jo. Nova shook his head.

“The Nazi general said to hurry.”

“The Nazi general?” Nova wandered around aimlessly. He bent down and poked at a bright blue piece of fabric, miraculously free of mud.

“The asshole? The slave driver? What do you want to call him? Officer Ratched? What is it?”

Nova pulled. “Her dog bed.”

Jo gripped Nova’s shoulder. “I’m sure she got out.”

“How?” Nova turned to his friend, his eyes shiny with tears. “The door was locked, the windows too. Why didn’t I take her with me?” he asked, choking on his pain.

“Because it was too hot to have her waiting in the car for you. You couldn’t have known what would happen.”

What would happen.... It was only rain—right? Couldn’t be so bad. Only after two hours of torrential rain, the lovely, rippling stream down the street had become an all-consuming monster.

“Gentlemen! Do you have what you needed?” The Nazi general rigidly stood in his rumpled, mud-speckled uniform right where the front door had been, scowling at them.


After a nap forced on him by Jo, Nova walked along the torn streets again. Circling debris piled up in front of destroyed houses, his flashlight illuminated washed away hopes and broken dreams. Officially, he’d joined the nightly patrol organized by the neighborhood to scare away looters. With his eyes riveted on the beam, he quietly called out, “Dottie?”

Of course, one didn’t ask the police or the disaster relief workers if they’d seen a Dalcorgi.



People had lost mothers, fathers, children—family. Firefighters attempting to save people had been ripped away by the deluge. He hadn’t dared to ask about a mere dog. But at night, when no one was around and he couldn’t do anything else to help, he wandered the streets, let the beam of his flashlight touch broken fences, sewers, and uprooted shrubs, and called for her. “Dottie!”

“I told you to stay home!” The Nazi general barked at him from the open window of a police car.

“I have no home. I’m patrolling the streets.”

The man scoffed. “Leave that to us professionals. Go where it’s safe, man. It’s simply too dangerous for you to be galivanting the streets all alone. What would you do if you disturbed looters? Cellphone reception is still sketchy.”

Nova grudgingly left to sleep some on Jo’s couch.


Two days later, Nova found his neighbor’s black and white cat, munching on some stuff in a garbage bin.

Four days later, another police officer stopped him. “Sir! Are you Nova Hill?”

Nova nodded warily. They were sending him away again.

“Come with me, right this way.”

When they reached the command center outside town, the woman grabbed his biceps with a firm grip and pulled him towards an open van, where his favorite police officer stood by the backdoor, glaring at him.

Nova sighed. Great. Just great.

“I told you repeatedly to stay home!” The man leaned inside the car for a moment, and after some cursing, he turned, wrestling with a growling dog.


“I believe this menace is yours.”

Nova immediately held out his arms. “She’s usually well-behaved. She’s just scared!” He clenched his jaw, suppressing the harsh words threatening to escape his mouth. Instead, he cooed at Dottie, examining her bandaged hindleg and ripped left ear. “Where have you been? How did you escape?” He pressed his face into her semi-muddy fur.

“Someone found her hunting for food and brought her here, not knowing what to do with an injured dog. She has a nasty gash under that bandage. The vet cleaned it and said it will heal okay.”

“You have a vet here?”

“They opened a small field practice in their van over there.” He grinned at Nova, pointing at Dottie. “The ear, gives her a somewhat roguish look, don’t you think?”

He buried his face against her throat, inhaling wet dog scent mixed with disinfectant. Finally, Nova lifted his head and put his hand over his heart. “Thank you, sir. I know you have more important things to do than reunite pets with their owners. Thank you.”

“I hope you’ll stay away from here now, until it’s safe again.”

Nova lifted his hand placatingly. “I promise.” He tightened his arms around his dog. “I found what I was looking for.”

As always,  :thankyou: @Valkyrie for editing and beta reading.

Thank you for reading. I hope Wayne would have liked my take on his prompt.

Copyright © 2019 aditus; All Rights Reserved.
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Chapter Comments

1 hour ago, chris191070 said:

Awesome use of the prompt. A great memory to Comicfan.

Thank you, Chris! :)

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12 minutes ago, CincyKris said:

Aww you made tear up!  Thank you.

Sorry. :hug:

Thank you, for your comment. 

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5 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

That’s a wonderful story, and a beautiful sendoff. 

Thank you, Parker. :hug:

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Very touching, and fitting as a memoriam to Wayne. Thanks for this, Adi. It was lovely. Cheers!

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46 minutes ago, Headstall said:

Very touching, and fitting as a memoriam to Wayne. Thanks for this, Adi. It was lovely. Cheers!

Thank you, Gary. :hug:

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What a lovely tribute to Wayne.

The tears built when he pulled out the dog bed. When I reached the photo they streamed down my cheeks ... I could only imagine how I would feel if it was my pup.

My heart started beating again when Nova and Dottie were reunited.  

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9 hours ago, dughlas said:

What a lovely tribute to Wayne.

The tears built when he pulled out the dog bed. When I reached the photo they streamed down my cheeks ... I could only imagine how I would feel if it was my pup.

My heart started beating again when Nova and Dottie were reunited.  

Thank you for this heartfelt comment, dughlas. Like you, I imagined how I'd felt if it were my Nox.

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A lovely story and fitting tribute to Wayne.  I know he would have loved Dottie :)  :hug:  

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17 hours ago, Valkyrie said:

A lovely story and fitting tribute to Wayne.  I know he would have loved Dottie :)  :hug:  

Thank you, Val. :hug:

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