Sheila's gone for a while. A long while. Long enough for me to come out, stretch, take a long sniff around and frantically run back into the cupboard. Sheila is still with Dan at his place. I close my eyes and go to sleep. Every time Sheila is with Dan it takes a while, it always has.
I've always liked Dan of number 16. His place has a nice variety of smells. The worst smell is his own, but it's not that bad. He smells of age and experience. But the best part about Dan's place is the constantly new smells. Every few days I smell something new from there. They're always floral and the smell goes straight to my belly. They're a nice contrast to his smell. They smell of youth and innocence. Sheila and Harry never smell good, and they only washes themselves whenever they happened to remember.
She goes there for a cup of tea every week. Dan always offers. Sometimes she goes twice, sometimes thrice. Once, she was there everyday for a week. Harry goes too, but not as much as Sheila.
I wake up when Sheila opens the door and walks back in. Dan is right behind her, still in his old-man dressing gown and his old-man slippers.
"Well then, love. It's been a pleasure, like always." He gave her an old grandfatherly smile and turned to walk away.
"Wait!" Sheila said, reaching a shaking hand to Dan. He turned around and she jerked it back. "You said you would help me find Dog. Let's go find him. I need him."
Dan sighed and his whole body seemed to deflate. He glanced outside, looked all over then stepped inside and closed the door. Sheila took a timid step back.
"Listen Sheila," Dan said, his voice no longer old and sweet but dead and bitter. "You don't have a bloody dog, I don't know what the hell you're talking about and, like always, I have no idea what's going on iside that daft head of yours."
He pushed her to the ground, grabbed her hair and forced her to look up at him. "I call, you come and everything is all right. I don't want to hear anymore about this bloody dog, you understand me?" He shoved her head away. "And don't wake me up this early ever again!"
He turned around and left, leaving Sheila on the ground, hands and knees shaking while she stared at the door.