Murphy and Michel: Born in the Same Summer (250-word fiction)

Murphy and Michel have always been together.

Michel knows the story so well: it was the summer of 2058. He had been born just a few days prior when his father noticed a distressed dog dragging herself along the ground outside their home. She was pregnant, clearly in need of food and water – suffering from the prolonged drought, as everyone else was.

He knew that from an official standpoint, they weren’t supposed to be taking in animals – things were difficult enough as they were, with a new baby in the house, his mother ill, and his wife still recovering from the turmoil of giving birth under such strained conditions.

Yet something about the dog moved him: he couldn’t leave her to fend for herself. So he brought her some food and water that day, and continued to do so for a few days afterwards, gradually winning her trust. He knew she had chosen them as her new family when she first got up, tail wagging, as soon as she saw him approach.

By then, both Michel’s mother and grandmother had met the dog and gotten to know her too. It felt natural for them to add her to their growing household: natural, too, when she went into labour a few nights after first joining them in the house, and Michel’s mother had immediately rushed to her side in sympathy.

Murphy was the first puppy born that night.

A bit of background on Murphy and Michel from 2070: The Evacuation.


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