He hung up the phone before the receptionist could regurgitate the same thing every veterinary office has told him: “We’re sorry, but we’re over capacity and understaffed.”

They’d ask if he wanted to make an appointment for the following week, but the tone had underlying currents of ‘stay away’ nor were there hours to wait, let alone days. His Frenchie’s face was swelling—fast.

As he carried his dog to the car, his neighbor—the same grump who bitched to the HOA about every bark he heard—said, “That’s a window spider’s bite.”

There was an emergency 24-hour pet hospital an hour away, and after he reported what his neighbor had told him, the dog was tested, injected with the necessary anti-venom, and already showing positive signs from the treatment by the time he pulled back into his driveway. 

“My dog died five years ago from the same thing,” the neighbor explained when he returned home.

The afterglow of bonding over their best friends didn’t burn for long since his inbox, only two weeks later, was stuffed from the HOA with more complaints.

Prompted from Six Sentence Story Word Prompt at: https://girlieontheedge1.wordpress.com/2021/10/17/sundays-six-sentence-story-word-prompt-182/.

Prompted from Eugi’s Weekly Prompt at: https://amanpan.com/2021/10/14/eugis-weekly-prompt-afterglow-october-14-2021/.

Prompted from Fandango’s One Word Challenge at: https://fivedotoh.com/2021/10/21/fowc-with-fandango-regurgitate/.