where the writers are
Catatonia - Chapter 1

Millie didn’t hear the screen door open and close, but she awoke to the sound of four little fur balls running down the hall to the bedroom. Honey was right behind them. The puppies were exactly like their mother in that they were perfectly honey brown in color. Their hair was so fine that it was almost like the fur on a stuffed toy, all soft and cuddly. Each puppy was trying to be quiet, but in their excitement, their voices kept getting louder and louder, until Honey had to shush them into silence once again.

Honey was a beautiful dark brown colored Collie and Labrador mix, but she looked more like a fox in the sleekness of her face with its long thin nose. She was a medium sized dog of three years and this was her first litter. The puppies were about 6 months old and constantly on the move. They rarely sat anyplace for long unless it was their mid-afternoon nap or the long night time sleep.

Salazar was the biggest male puppy and he was usually the ringleader in all mischief. He stood a little taller than the rest and he was very outgoing and quick to come to the protection of the others.

Burt was the other male and he was mostly a calm and sedate character who would sit and watch what was going on to make sure no one got in trouble before joining in on any playtime activities.

Blinky was the smallest female and she was constantly batting her eyes, like her vision needed clearing. She occasionally rubbed her paw over her face as if it itched. Sometimes she would spend five minutes rubbing one paw over her long pointed nose, and then she would do the same with the other. When she was nervous, her eyes batted even faster than normal.

And that leaves Jasmine, a big female pup with an aloof attitude, like she was the queen mother herself. She would come up and stare at you and expect you to know that she was allowing you to pet her and even hold her in your lap. She would usually be the one to enter into any fun looking activity and never worry about whether they were going to get into trouble.

Honey had a soft silken female voice like that of an angel. She spoke in a strong, yet quiet tone that carried a long way, as if she were shouting, which she rarely did. She was very intelligent and never reacted to a command instantly. She would sit and think about what was said and process it before going off to do whatever it was she was asked. As she sat and pondered you could see in her eyes that her brain was running through her vocabulary trying to find a match. If she could not comprehend a word or she was asked something new, she would stare at you and cock her head to the side and slightly close one eye, as if asking you to rephrase the command so that she could understand.

Millie lay in the bed with her eyes closed and pretended to be asleep. She knew that she promised Honey and her children that they would go to the lake in the valley down the long hill today. She also knew that they were anxious to get started so they would have all day to play in the water. Her parents were on a short holiday, that ended today, and left her in charge of the house while they were gone. She enjoyed having the house to herself and to be able to come and go as she pleased. She was very intelligent and liked being able to make her own decisions.

Millie was 14 years old. She was tall for her age and just a little on the thin side. She had medium brown hair that reached the middle of her back and was just a few shades darker than Honey and her pups. She had an infectious smile and a laugh that could brighten a rainy day. She could hear Honey and the puppies in the hallway, “Now, y’all go in the bathroom and grab a towel each and Sal, you get two beach blankets so that we will have a place to sit when we have our picnic.”

Blinky giggled, “Mommy called you Sal.” She giggled again in her high pitched voice, as Salazar pressed his face down into his paws embarrassed. Blinky’s eyes were flashing brightly as her eyelids opened and closed like hummingbird wings. They always seemed to blink faster when she was giggling, which was most of the time. She found everything funny.

Salazar grumbled something unintelligible at Blinky as he headed off to the bathroom, all the others following after him. “We are going to the lake. We are going to the laaaake! WE ARE GOING TO THE LAAA-AKE!” They all started to chant at once.”

“SHUSH!” Honey admonished over her shoulder as she pressed her nose into the bedroom door. “If you upset Miss Millie, I doubt if you will even get to play in the yard today. Now, Quiet!”

Turning toward the door, she pressed her nose into the crack and walked forward a little, opening the door slowly, to keep it from squeaking, as it was prone to do if you opened it quickly. Just as it was opened enough to walk through and the door was stopping its movement, it let out the barest of squeaks. Just one little “squeak