Edmund, Fitz, and Gordon

Gordon Morris sat at the kitchen table, cracked a Dale’s Pale Ale, and grinned at the stand-off taking place on the far side of the kitchen. Edmund, the family’s pet duck, stood erect with his wings held wide and his emerald-green head weaving menacingly from side to side.

Fitz, their yearling golden retriever, looked from the food bowl to the duck and back again and whined. 

Edmund twitched his wings. Fitz took a step back, the whine continuing as if he were an inflatable life raft leaking air, and looked at Gordon. 

Gordon pulled on the Dale’s. “You’re gonna have to work that out for yourself, Fitzie.” 

A dull rattle drew the attention of dog and man. Edmund gobbled several kibbles from the dog’s food bowl, drank messily from his water dish, and sauntered into the living room.

For several moments, nothing moved in the kitchen except Fitz’s twitching eyebrows.

His belly close to the floor, Fitz crept toward the food bowl. Unfortunately for him, the clicking of his claws on linoleum ruined the attempt at stealth. The pup managed only a mouthful of Purina before an irate and airborne Edmund, quacking bloody murder, crashed into Fitz’s head.

Fitz yelped, bolted through the doggie door, and fled to his doghouse, which sat in the backyard under an iridescent spiral of wind chimes hanging next to a bird feeder spilling over with sunflower seeds. Exiled to the yard, Fitz began to howl. Behind him, clouds built in the humid late afternoon air hanging over Lake Superior.

Gordon’s wife, Maggie, stumbled through the doorway from the living room to find Edmund standing triumphant amidst scattered kibbles and spilled water. Still emitting the occasional annoyed quack, he smoothed his ruffled feathers with his beak. 

Gordon rubbed the back of her neck. “Good nap?”

Maggie rubbed sleep from her eyes. “Yeah, until whatever the hell just happened happened.”

Gordon saluted Edmund and drained his beer. “You know what they say,” he said, tossing the can into the recycling bin. “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the duck.”

Prompted by Margie (duckling, spiral, great lakes)

Leave a comment with a living thing, an inanimate object, and a location and I will write a story based on your prompt and tag you when I publish it.

Photo by Kerin Gedge on Unsplash

Jim’s Taco Fund

If you love this piece and you’ve ever tossed some coins to a subway saxophonist or a fiddler playing on the street, please consider sending a few bucks my way—a fiver would cover a day’s worth of tacos. Or, for $3, buy me a coffee!