Dog Days.

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Chapter Seven: Chris.

I couldn’t stop the corners of my mouth from turning upwards at the corners while holding my cup of coffee, watching the two in the backyard. Thor barked in a happy way as he chased Daisy around the yard. Sometimes she would stop to throw a red ball that she had in her hand, the dog skirting to a stop and changing directions to run after the ball. I was amazed to see the put grab it, running through the tall grass back to her. It looked like he was making his way through a green forest. One, I really needed to mow the law. Two, when did he learn to do that?

“Good boy! Good boy!” I heard her cheer, kneeling down to take the ball and give the puppy all sorts of affection. As she stood, blue eyes looked my way and catching my gaze. She smiled slightly, waving at me. I froze for a moment before slowly waving back. I’m sure I looked like a total creep staring at her. I turned quickly, making my way to my office. I didn’t close my door though, which was something new for me. I used to always keep my door shut, especially when I was trying to write.

About thirty minutes later I heard them come in, the sound of paws coming towards my office at a great speed. Thor came sprinting in, tail wagging as a hello to me. I lower my hand, petting the small dog as he tried to give my hand kiss after kiss. It had been a few weeks since Daisy started working with him, and things were slowly getting a bit easier. I had to admit, I was starting to enjoy his company.

Daisy came jogging in a beat later, “Sorry about that. He’s so small but so fast.”

I laughed a bit, “I should have named him Speed or something.”

I was expecting a retort from her. Daisy was quick with words, or so I was learning. Though she was very sweet, she did have her sassy moments. I really liked having her around. When her retort didn’t come though, I looked up at her to see her staring at the framed picture that was leaning against the wall by my desk, not yet hung up. A blown up framed picture of my book’s cover. Before I could say anything though, Daisy finally spoke. “Chris Peters!” She said, her palm bouncing off her forehead. “I can’t believe I didn’t realize it.”

I blinked, she knew my book? Sure, it was a best seller but he didn’t think she would of read it. “You’ve read it?”

“I literally just finished it last week!” She said, her eyes bright. I didn’t think someone would be so excited to talk about my book; it was somewhat strange for me. A very good strange. “It was amazing. I can’t believe I’m working for a writer that’s so neat! I actually love writing, and reading obviously.”

“You write?” Something about that was really cool. I liked that we shared an interest. Though, for me the interest was also my job. My job that I wasn’t very good at recently.

“I mean, not well or anything, but yeah. I’ve been working on a book. I’ve never been published, and never would be but wow. This is super cool. Not to be a total weirdo but if I brought my book in would you sign it?” She spoke fast while I tried to keep up. Daisy seemed pretty smart to me, I doubted she wasn’t a good writer.

It did surprise me that she would want me to sign her book, like I was a celebrity or someone important. “Sure, of course.”

“Super cool. Thanks.” She let out a breath. “Well, Thor and I are going to go for a walk while I think about what just happened.”

I smiled, Daisy was funny. She had a good personality. “Sure, have fun.”

She whistled and Thor looked at her right away. “Let go for our walk little one.” He barked and ran out of my office and towards the front door. “And you have fun writing!” Daisy said with a grin, shimming a bit as she left my office and followed the pup.

Yeah fun, so much fun was being had.

“Does that say ‘sell my soul and kill myself slowly to write a stupid cheesy romantic novel’? “ Daisy’s voice said suddenly behind me, making me jump. Thor was at her heels, sniffing her pant leg.

“Jesus, you can’t sneak up on people like that.” I said, “You could of given me a heart attack.”

“You’re not an old man, you’re heart isn’t that weak. You always talk like you’re a ninety year old man you weirdo.” She said, reaching down to pick Thor up. “Don’t sell your soul, write something that you want to write. The book you wrote was amazing.”

“What I want to write won’t sell books it seems.” I said, closing my notebook to keep her from seeing anymore of my awful ideas. “Or so says my editor.”

“Fuck your editor man.” I blinked in shock a few times at her cursing, not something I would expect from her. But sass and strength suited her, very well. “You could send him a million ideas and he would turn them all down. Of course they sound bad when you send him a sentence long plot of a book. Instead write the book and show him that it is a good idea when you put some details with it.”

I had to admit, it was good advice but still it did seem like a lot of work just to send him something that he could just say no to. “I don’t know.”

’”I mean, think of it this way.” Her fingers scratched at Thor’s head that seemed pretty pleased curled up in her arms. “You text him like ’hey bro I how about a story about a dude who goes on a trip to Spain….”

“ I don’t call my editor bro ---“

“And of course he goes nah sounds overplayed and boring. But instead of sending him that one sentence instead you send in a 25 chapter detailed account of a trip to Spain. A story about who he meets, the good and bad. And then bam, someone turns up dead and he has to solve the murder.” She looked at me with blue eyes, “Okay, I don’t know about the idea itself I’m no good at writing mystery based stories but you get my point. It needs to me more about the actual writing and writing something you enjoy, not focusing on what will sell. You already know you have the skill to write something people will buy.”

Maybe she was right, I certainly didn’t know. It seemed like more and more every day I was feeling unsure of myself and what I should be doing. Before I could answer her though, she was setting a now sleeping Thor down on his bed looking at me with a smile. “But hey, what do I know right? I just walk dogs.”

“A dog walker who also writes.” I said, not wanting her to talk badly about herself. I was still getting to know her, but I could tell she had a lot of potential.

Daisy rolled her eyes, “It’s just a hobby for me. But if you want my advice… Well your first book was great, as I’ve said about a million times today. Why not write another one like that? A series?”

I hadn’t thought about that. I assumed the mystery was done, nothing more to write about. “I think the story played its course though don’t you?”

“Uh, no way!” She said, her voice almost at a yelling level. “Look. Detective Arrow is a well-rounded character, super likeable. Writing another book about him solving something new would totally sell, people like him. Maybe it can get personal in the second one. Like his sister gets kidnapped, and maybe throw in some drama in his life. Like he can break up with his girlfriend.”

I raised a brow at that, “Break up with his girlfriend?”

She was quite for a moment before she spoke once more. “I don’t like her, she’s a brat. He deserves better. She doesn’t respect him or his job and I’m not a fan.”

I tried to hold back a laugh, that could be the best thing I had heard in some time. Especially since the character, Louise, was based off Lexi. “I’ll keep that in mind.”

“By the way, no accidents in your house today.” Daisy said with a thumb up, changing the subject. “Looks like this boy is doing great if you ask me.”

I hit my fist against my desk a few times, “Knock on wood.” Daisy hadn’t been here long she had made life a whole lot easier for me. “I don’t know how you do it.”

“Come on it’s easy.” I must have made a face at that, because she let out a sweet laugh. “Okay, not easy. It just takes work. And it wasn’t just me; I’m only here a few days a week. This is because of you too!” Though I only did what she had told me to do, followed her directions and tips. Without her he would still be peeing all over everything.

“Still I feel like I owe a lot to you.” I said, tapping my pen against my chin. Suddenly I felt self-conscious about my beard, it was getting a bit out of control wasn’t it? Daisy must think I’m a slob. I was usually so neat, so put together. I got a nervous feeling deep in my gut if my house was out of sorts or started growing a beard.

“None of that, I’m doing my job. If I wasn’t doing my job right then I would be pretty useless to have around wouldn’t I?” She looked down at her watch then back up at me. “My time is up though, I’ve got a dog to walk before I get to go home so I better head out.”

It seemed like time went by faster and faster everyday. I was suppose to be in here working while she took care of the puppy, that was the whole point. Instead I found myself talking to her when she would return from the walk. I would make myself return to my office, looking forward to our chat near the end of her visit. It sounded pathetic, now that I tried putting it into words. “Of course, you can get going.” Now that she had done another great job with Thor and gave me ideas for my new book.

“Cool. “ She smiled, “I’ll see you Friday okay?”

I guess she had a home and dog of her own to get to. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the perfect pup. “Yeah, see you then. Thor will miss you.” Though I was starting to think that it was more me that would miss her.

After she left I tapped my pen against my notebook, looking down at Thor who was asleep in his bed next to my chair. “A sequel huh?” My dog walker was a goddamn genius.

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