A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 14: Flagstaff

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

The next morning dawned bright, clear and crisp as spring mornings in the desert are wont to do. I needed to relieve myself and I was quite sure Mila would be in the same boat, I pulled my shoes off and tried to sneak into the trailer. Mila was there and I asked her to wait. After a very quick trip to the toilet, I leashed Mila and off we went to find her a suitable spot. I politely turned away while she did her business for even dogs like to have their private moments.

I tethered Mila to the side of the trailer and opened one of the stall doors for her in case she wanted to go inside. I put a bed in the stall for her (a spare horse blanket) and another under the awning, her tether was long enough. I really don’t like tethering my dogs, or any animal for that matter, but the reality is that no animal, including people, rehomes easily – well maybe with the exception of Matilda.

The door to the camper was open and I could smell the intoxicating aroma of brewing coffee coming out. I hoped that breakfast was coming with it and hurried to pack up my little tent-bedroom. Setting up and tearing down a new tent always takes twice as long the first time you do it and so it did. By the time I had stowed my tent, the ladies were sitting at the table and I saw a steaming plate of food and a hot mug of coffee at my spot. That was all the encouragement I needed. I strode over to the table, sat down, thanked the ladies and dug into what was laid out for me; looking a gift horse in the mouth is best left for fools. It was a damn good breakfast and the coffee was exactly how I liked it. It didn’t hurt that there was sugar, cream and even a chocolate shaker sitting in the middle of the table, really more than was necessary but who complains when being spoiled.

Breakfast eaten and a second cup of coffee consumed we proceeded to break down the camp. Breaking camp with a rig this size was a complex process and we weren’t practiced at it yet. Matilda tidied up from breakfast while Sonya stowed the table and chairs and made sure the storage room & cold storage were ready for the road. I began disconnecting the rig from ground power and water, shut down the propane tanks and the hooked it up to the truck. Matilda had finished in the camper so I asked her to check around the area for any trash that may have escaped. I took over inside the camper, retracting the slider and double checking everything was secure. Exiting the camper, I doubled checked all doors and windows on the entire rig, lowered the hard-shell awnings and raised the leveling jacks.

While Sonya took Mila for one last walk, I double checked all the lights on the full rig and climbed in. A moment later the rear door opened and Mila hopped in. No sooner than had Sonya closed the door than, quite literally, the cat came out of the bag.

A cacophony of sound erupted from the back seat and I twisted in my seat so fast that I nearly wrenched by back. A large black and brown creature was standing on Matilda’s lap hissing and growling like it was ready to kick-off world war three. Matilda was looking at me with fear and confusion in her eyes and Mila, who had only barked once thankfully, was merely sitting there with a look of confusion on her doggy face.

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