Cider – Chapter 0


“By the way, you might want to fix that clock. It’s 8:44.” (Confused? Click Here)


Cider is chewing on his squeaky toy when he smells something that isn’t part of the normal house smells. It smells exciting! Perhaps it’s even more exciting than the squeaky toy, so Cider goes to find out.

Daddy is out of the house, and Mommy is asleep, or else he would go find them so they could discover the smell together. But that is okay; Cider will find it on his own, and then when Daddy gets back he will be proud.

Ah, here it is!

Cider finds extra treats under the couch cushion! They are the special salty kind, and Cider thinks they are probably good for people and dogs. Cider jams his nose under the cushion to get them out, but he can’t reach them, so he whines impatiently.

But perhaps these are the extra-special treats that he can only eat after he’s played a game like ‘sit,’ or ‘fetch,’ or ‘roll over.’ Cider knows these games very well, but he can’t play them on his own. He’s tried before, but if he plays without Mommy or Daddy, the game is boring, because there is no one to give him treats when he wins the game.

He barks once. Twice. But he shouldn’t do that, because that’s the game called ‘speak,’ and when he plays that game by himself, it becomes the game ‘stop that!’ and if he doesn’t win ‘stop that’ he gets called a bad dog. Cider hates that.

He goes to Mommy’s room. He thinks she is in there, because she is always in that room, but the door is shut. The door is always shut nowadays. He whines again and scratches at the door. Sometimes the door will open when he does that, but not this time.

Mommy doesn’t want to play with the dog. She is tired. She is usually tired.

But that is okay, because Daddy will be home soon. After all, he’s been gone for nearly forever and surely he hasn’t forgotten that it will soon be time to play ‘walk the dog.’ Sometimes Daddy forgets how to play that game, but he’ll remember today. Cider is sure of it.

In fact, Cider will surprise him by being ready to play as soon as he gets home. Yes, that’s it! Cider trots down the hall and sits in front of the door that leads to the porch. He waits. He wags his tail against the floor.

Daddy will be home any minute, and Cider is so excited to see him!


Cider is my cuddle-loving dog from my upcoming novel A Book Without Dragons, and this is his “Chapter 0.” It’s the third in a series that lets you see what my characters were up to in the last few moments before the book opens. Check the other Chapter 0 posts, or learn more about Cider.  

(And hey, while you’re at it, add my book on Goodreads!)

See you next week for an open letter from Cider!



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