Flash Fiction: “Golden Treats”

I wrote this story around the start of this year’s Olympic Games. Apologies in advance for associating with whatever contrversies or incidents may have occurred since then.


Golden Treats, by Alexander Paul Willging

Word Count: 394

Everyone was lining up to watch the track and field events at that year’s Olympic Games in San Diego. At the hundred-meter dash, almost everyone was cheering for the runner second most favored to win: Rusty from Team USA.

Of course, it wasn’t hard to love Rusty. He was, after all, a golden retriever in a jersey. Thanks to a loophole in the rules, the Olympic Committee had no reason to object to having dogs participate in any of the games. They’d been impressed at how well Hermann, Germany’s very own German shepherd, had done at the shot put test.

As he bolted across the track, Rusty panted and galloped ahead of the competition. He almost fell behind the runner from Kenya, but that was only because he’d been thinking about his visit to Sea World the other day. His coach—and owner—had taken him to the otter exhibit. Rusty had been so ready to chase the otters, but Greg had yanked on his leash and reminded him that it wasn’t nice to bark.

Rusty couldn’t help it. He just got so gosh darn excited about everything!

With a bark, Rusty charged ahead, overtaking the runners from both Kenya and China. All he had to do was imagine those otters ahead of him, and off he went. Just the boost he needed! He could almost see them now—

His ears perked up. Something two miles away from the track had grabbed his attention. It was strange. Almost sounded like the horn of a car.

But no, Rusty’s ears went flat. A growl rose from deep within his throat.

It was a mailman. Somewhere, two miles away from the stadium, someone was driving a mail truck. He could hear it. He could smell it. Rusty was mad enough to go chasing after it—

Then he heard Greg blow his whistle. A whistle that only dogs and canine Olympians could hear. Rusty snapped back into focus. He let out another bark and scampered ahead. He even passed Natasha Ivankova, the exceptionally strong runner from Russia and most favored to win.

Later, as he stood on the podium to receive his gold medal for the US, Rusty’s ears perked once again. Somewhere, he was sure, a squirrel was running underneath the bleachers. But then Greg shoved a bacon treat into his mouth, and he forgot all about it.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Thanks to my supporters on Patreon for their contributions that make stories like this one possible. This story is dedicated to Links Drop.

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