“Shivering in her failure of a raincoat, she sat down dejectedly on the stoop, when she spotted them. Shuffling up the street, the overly tall man had an ominous presence; someone she would normally avoid. He was dressed in a washed-out black suit that was ripped in places and his face seemed to be as dark as the sky overhead. She shivered into her coat but couldn’t take her eyes away. He was walking a sprightly Pekingese dog with a shiny sable coat and laughing eyes. The two were so mis-matched that she was compelled to watch them walking towards her.
Suddenly, the man’s eyes looked up and he stared her down with a look of pure darkness, “locked out, missy?” he hissed, tongue rapidly licking his dry lips.
“Yep. Just waiting for the key.”
“Aren’t we all?, ” he laughed and sat down on the stoop beside her. As he did so, the dog bounced up into her lap and panted hazily.
She darted a quick glance at him. He looked even more ominous up close. There was a smell of something. Something she couldn’t put her finger on but it wasn’t good.
“Seen you around here a few times, ” he smiled a crooked smile at her, “sitting on the street isn’t recommended, you know. You might end up speaking to people like me?” he wiped his nose on his sleeve at this and shook his head, “I am a disillusioned man and my only companion is a Pekingese doppelganger. You should avoid us, you know…”
She laughed, “I work with disillusioned men every day, sir, so I’m well used to it!”
Shaking her head, she stood up and started to walk down the steps, the Pekingese dog leaping ahead of her. His mention of “doppelganger” had disconcerted her. She had always thought that a doppelganger was a harbinger of bad luck in fairy stories. Well, maybe she needed to be a little more positive.
The man watched her walk down the steps ahead of him and he licked his lips again. Every single time. Every time, he warned them with the truth and every time, they laughed and petted the mutt.
The Pekingese Doppelganger.”
[This is an excerpt from a short story that I wrote earlier this year to match the original ink drawing that I created (below).]