The following is a 350 word story that was submitted to FutureLearn, Writing What You Know, in order to receive feedback from fellow students. It’s a piece of life writing that’s based on my own circumstances, however, names have been changed.
Tom had never been a morning person and always found it difficult to get out of bed, despite the ten hours sleep he tended to average on most nights. He hit snooze for the sixth time and whispered to himself that he would get up shortly, just five more minutes. It was far too cold to leave the safe cocoon of his duvet and like a petulant child, he wrapped himself up even tighter. He had grown tired lately of most things; the daily commute to the dead-end desk job that he no longer loved and having to make pleasantries to colleagues he bumped into in the work’s canteen. Tom felt stifled by the conventional nine to five rat-race, stuck in a rut that he couldn’t see a way of digging himself out of. It had been difficult enough for him to return to work after his first long-term absence and even harder after his second. A necessary evil, the visits back and forth to Occupational Health were somewhat tedious too, not to mention the one-to-one counselling sessions. All he wanted to do these days was to spend quality time with Oscar, his companion and a four-legged one at that.
Had Tom rescued Oscar, or had Oscar rescued him? That was a question Tom had often raised in the counselling sessions with his therapist. Tom had gone to the rehoming kennels that day with the sole intention of having a mooch around and keeping his debit card firmly in his wallet. And then his attention was drawn towards Oscar, the black and white eighteen-month old Patterdale Terrier Cross, his paws outstretched towards the gate of his kennel, not barking but seeking Tom’s affection all the same. As soon as the little tyke was released into the cordoned play paddock, Tom felt such an incredible bond between the two of them and having asked the kennel staff all of the relevant questions, he had made up his mind to return the next day to adopt him.