Written for OLWG# 235
Oswald N’Diaye was a dark black man who appeared to be about sixty years old in 1973 when he uprooted himself and moved halfway around the world to come to Putnam County. He was a tall, slender man who was always well dressed, kept his hair clipped short, and his fingernails clean. He moved into a house on Lost Run Close just outside of town to the west. He took the time to print his name on the mailbox, carefully painting it in white enamel, with a watercolour brush. He never made much effort to meet his neighbours or reach out to the townsfolk. He was a private man, just kept his own counsel for the most part. He spoke with an accent, and nobody could figure out where he was from; no one could pronounce his name either, so most folks never even tried. Through no fault of his own, he became an enigma in Putnam.
Then one day, Chad Sublette’s old yellow dog, named Biscuit, got clipped by a pickup around the corner from Mr N’Diaye’s house, and by chance, he saw it happen. The dog’s back leg was broken.
In the blink of an eye, N’Diaye was out in the street. He scooped up that dog and carried him back to the house, where he laid it on his kitchen table. He pulled a syringe and a mild sedative from the cabinet, and administered it to the dog, his hands working gently. He spent a couple of minutes calming old Biscuit, stroking his head and whispering to him. Then he set and splinted the leg, wrapping it with Ace bandages to hold it in place.
N’Diaye poured himself a glass of brown whisky, and continued to check the dog. As he sipped the liquor, he spotted the tag that Biscuit wore. It was silver, shaped like a bone and had the dog’s name, Biscuit, and the Sublette’s phone number engraved thereon. He wrote the number on the palm of his hand, picked up his glass and shuffled across the kitchen, where the telephone hung on the wall. As he dialled the phone, he untwisted the long tangled cord.
When his call connected, he began his rehearsed speech, “Hello, my name is Oswald N’Daiye. I live on Lost Run, here in Putnam. Do you have a dog named Biscuit?” he listened for a moment before continuing, “Biscuit is here, at my house. He was struck by a car and has broken his leg. I have set the bone and administered a sedative.”
This time he listened longer. Then, “Yes, I think he will be fine once the leg heals. Um-hum. If you can provide me with your address, I will deliver him home, if you like.” He paused again, wrote some more on his hand, “ten minutes,” he said, “maybe fifteen.” he replaced the handset on the phone and returned to the table.
Gently, he lifted the dog. Cradling him in his arms, Oswald muttered almost to himself, “Come on, Biscuit let’s get you home.”
This week’s prompts were:
- an African Doctor
- scold me
- two-pot screamer