To be absolutely honest, when I first think about Bella I imagine her this amazing, extreme puppy who is beautiful in every way. But laying eyes on her for the first time is NOTHING amazing or extreme. She is pretty though, her Amber eyes gaze at me with love and she barks at me happily. She is like most other fox terrier puppies, her black and white patches shine and her snout is pointed. But beneath all that, she is a total trouble maker (quite like myself at some points) and loves playing. I see that in her. Very much so.
That one Christmas…
Christmas Day. It's like any other. After opening presents we hop into the gold Subaru and drive to Nana and Poppas for more presents and Christmas ‘Dinner’. It's more like lunch for us. Bella does the same thing every time. As soon as we sore up the never ending driveway, she wags her tail uncontrollably. When we park up Nana opens the door and Bella bolts outside, jumping up our legs and crying happily. A happy sensation prickles through me, the fact that Nana and Poppa aren't the only ones who appreciate us being here.
“Girls, Christmas Dinner is ready!” We bolt outside like a pack of hungry wolves ready for a great feast. We begin tucking in, and just as Mum is about to load some turkey on to her plate, I see Bella out of the corner of my eye. She is ready to pounce. Ready to strike. I am about to tell Mum about Bella but she has already pounced. She runs towards the turkey, sending plates of food crashing down to the patio floor. “Bella!” Nana scolds. But it's too late. There is no catching her.
“Come on, girls!” Mum ushers us inside Nana and Poppa’s palace of a house. “Goodbye, I'll see in a few hours!” She hugs us goodbye sets off to work. Just as we (Rhiannon and I) set foot in the house, Bella scampers around the corner and greets us with joy. But I know that she hasn't got her eyes set on us. She stares down my favourite toy jaguar that I clutch in my right hand. She leaps. She growls. She tears open my toys paw. Beads scatter across floor, each determined to make their great escape. So that's why Fluffy the toy jaguar has an empty paw for around 4-5 years.
When it happened
Bella has been ill for a while now. Nana and Poppa are in Somalia on a cruise so Nikki, their gardener, is looking after Bella. But right now I am just an innocent 10-year-old girl, sneaking salami one-by-one from the fridge. Mum is on the phone to I-don't-know and Rhiannon is busy playing Crossy Road. I only catch a few words of Mums conversation, like: “Just keep her alive for as long as you can”. As soon as Mum gets off the phone she says: “Get into the car. Now.” She really sounded like she meant business.
“Who was on the phone?” Rhiannon asks eagerly. She has always been a nosy little creature.
“Bellas Vet.” My blood runs cold. This can't be happening.
This day has been the worst day of my life. We wait for a few minutes for the lady at the desk to come.
“We've come to see Bella.” Mum says.
“She's just through here.” The other lady replies gravely. Bella is not like herself. She is not able to jump up and greet us with joy. She is lying down, and having fluids pumped into her body every second. As Mum talks to the vet, I pat Bella constantly, as if to tell her it's going to be okay. Her Amber eyes are the only alert thing about her, but all the same they look terrified.
“I think we'll have to do it.” Mum says gravely finally. I shake my head. How could this be happening? But Bella is in pain, so it is the best thing for her. I give a final pat and then I leave the room. I will miss her.
With this piece of writing I was learning to evoke an emotion through show-not-tell in present tense. I think it went well because I got the writing part done in one session AND it was all in present tense. For example: ‘But right now I am just an innocent 10-year-old girl, sneaking salami one-by-one from the fridge’. My next steps are to ask for critique from an EXPERT to help improve my writing.