The Enlightened Dream ~ Part 1
A Doge Tale | Middle Grade Adventure Series
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The car door slammed shut, an audible indication of the moment’s harsh finality. The two men sped off, black tread marks streaking out beneath rising smoke. The smell of burnt rubber on asphalt overwhelmed the sensitive nose of the abandoned puppy; a puppy that had by no means done anything wrong to deserve such a fate.
The puppy’s name was Doge and she’d been born as a joke, or at least, that was what she’d heard around the house. Doge didn’t really understand what was so funny, but she did like to make humans laugh. Everyone seemed to genuinely love her, which made the reality of the moment that much harder to comprehend.
Doge looked up at the twinkling night sky and immediately became mesmerized by the glowing orb that dominated the darkness. It was bright and wondrous. Her eyes grew wider the longer she stared at it, curious as to what it could be. What dreams did the sky spirit hold that caused it to shine so luminously?
“What are you?” Doge asked out loud.
“I’m an ape,” a raspy voice said from behind.
Doge jumped in a half circle to face the speaker. It was indeed an ape, but unlike any creature Doge had ever seen. This ape wore an eye patch and a vest. It lounged against a heap of trash, picking at something between its teeth with the remnants of a small, white bone.
“Such sorry, I didn’t see you there,” Doge said, lowering her pointy ears.
“Didn’t see me?” the ape asked, dropping the bony toothpick and stretching its arms high overhead. “Then who were you talking to, dog stranger? Don’t tell me you’re one of those dogs that talks to themselves.”
“I… don’t know. Maybe. Look, I’m not sure where I am. My owners left me here. They should be back any minute.”
“Ah, so that’s what that horrible racket was that woke me from my slumber. Well, dog stranger, this is the land of discarded dreams. No one comes back for us here. What is your name?”
Doge gulped at the thought of never seeing her owners again. She looked around and saw nothing for miles, nothing but sand and shimmering reflections that spanned the mountain ranges. What were those shiny things?
“My name is Doge,” she said, returning her attention to the ape.
“Doge,” the ape said with a massive yawn. “Doge is just “dog” pronounced differently, wouldn’t you say?”
Doge cocked her head. She hadn’t thought about it before, but it did make sense in a weird, metaphorical way. “Much wow! I guess so. What’s your name?”
“I don’t have a name, dog—forgive me, Doge stranger. I’m simply a very, very bored ape with aspirations of some day reaching the moon.” The ape sprawled back on the trash with hands resting behind its head.
“The moon?” Doge asked.
“Yes, that big shiny thing in the sky,'' the ape said, pointing up lazily. “Don’t worry about it though, it’s not possible for us discards to get there. Only humans go to the moon.”
Doge spun with her tongue hanging out and looked up at the beautiful sight. She, too, wanted to reach the moon, even if she didn’t really know why. Doge started walking in its general direction. The ape cracked one eyelid to see Doge leaving.
“Hey, where are you going?”
Doge stopped and looked back with a toothy grin. “I’m going to the moon.”
With that, Doge was off, trotting out across the cracked desert landscape. The ape sat up completely for the first time in a long while, scratching its head as it watched the small dog gain speed. It didn’t really know or understand the Doge stranger, but felt inspired to follow her nonetheless. Besides, somebody had to warn her of the dangers of Death Valley.
To Be Continued….in Part 2!
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