• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

Jackie and Brian

Jackie had set up zoom quizzes with her family, had drinks nights with friends, and even tried a virtual blind date. But it wasn’t the same as feeling the warm blood of another creature close to her.

She began to court her spaniel, Brian. Brian used to be just her pet, a good walking companion, a significant but worthwhile household expense. Cheaper than a therapist or gym membership. They had always watched TV together but now Jackie has been setting his bowl on the table so that they can dine together. Brian has bathed whilst she brushes her teeth. Brian has licked away her tears and cried with her. Tonight, she invited him into her bed and they talked into the early hours before falling asleep naked in each other’s arms.


A month later, the restrictions were lifted. Jackie arranged to meet the virtual date on the terrace of a newly re-opened restaurant. When she returned, at 2am, unsteady from fizzy wine, Brian was waiting in the hall. Jackie ruffled his head clumsily before stumbling into her bedroom and closing the door.

Brian went back to his hairy dog bed under the stairs. It had been beautiful to taste love, if only for one cycle of the moon.