Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day One Hundred Twenty-Three: "Roughie" by Stewart David Ikeda


A young boy comes home from school to find his father in the backyard, about to shoot their family pet named "Roughie." The scene is set perfectly. It's chaotic, the boy's sisters are crying, neighbors are out watching to see what will happen, and the daddy is trying his best to keep his kids from seeing what he is about to do but the dog is in pain and maybe rabid so, there is no choice but to shoot. Shooting was the easy part. Hitting the mark was the hard part. The dog doesn't die at first and instead, the death is prolonged and difficult for the reader to observe.

Overall, this was interesting metaphor I think...sometimes, some action that seems so mindless and rational can fall apart when in close proximity to the actual act. For anyone who has ever had to shoot a dog to put it down, for anyone who has ever had to make a decision only to have it haunt you until you retreat from it, this story makes perfect sense. It makes too much sense--but being uncomfortable is what reading is about at times. This story, for that reason, was a success.

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