As soon as we got to the front door, Bob ran. He ran to his truck, quickly got out his keys and drove off. I was left standing on the front step, alone and worried.

I forgot about Bob for the few moments that followed as I looked for Raphael.

“Raphael! Raphy! Here, boy!” I called again and again as I walked around the block.  

I saw Mrs Macleod walking towards me. Oh fuck, I thought. She always had something to say, and once she started she couldn’t stop. I turned around quickly and walked.

“Lee! Oh, Lee! How wonderful to see you, dear!” She’d seen me. I spun around slowly to see the old woman.

“Mrs Macleod. Hello.” I said as she gave me a kiss on the cheek, she didn’t even have to reach up that far, I’m short.

“What’re you doing outside? You know, it’s very cold. You should be inside by a fire! You don’t want your cute little self to get ill! Do you? No, I didn’t think so...” I zoned out, wondering where my Rottweiler could be.

“Yeah, yeah, great. Mrs Macleod, have you seen Raphael?” I asked her quickly as she was taking a breath.

“I should say not. Why? Have you lost him, you silly little boy?” She was odd at times. She always seemed to be almost hitting on every guy that she saw, but at her age, there was no chance.

"Yeah. I'm really worried." I tried not to say anything that could cause a lecture. "He got out this morning."

"You boys these days." She shook her head. "Would you like a cup of tea at my house? It won't take a minute." I shook my head vigorously.

"I'll pass, thanks."

"Well, I'd better get going. I've got Toby to feed." At the end of every converstion, Mrs Macleod always seemed to have something to say about her beloved tabby cat.

I waved to her as she walked past me. Phew, thank God that didn't last longer than that.

“RAPHAEL!” I screamed. I hadn’t been searching long but every second made me more anxious. He had only just turned 2. He was at that naughty age, where anything and everything is fun for a dog.

I heard a yelp as I came round a corner, some 21 blocks away from my house. I jogged along the pavement, looking side to side.

“Raphy!” I ran to him down the small alleyway he was at the end of. He looked scared, as scared as a dog could look. He jerked his head backwards in distress.

“It’s me, boy. What's up?” I leant down to his level. The belt I had leant Bob from this morning was attached to Raphael and a railing. I tried to undo the knot that someone had tied to his red collar, it was stuck fast though.

Raphael didn’t notice me trying to help him though, he was looking at something behind me. I was about to turn around, but I never had a chance to, as something struck the back of my head hard and I went down.

The End

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