for Museum and Library Service Finalist

The Empty Side of the Bed

The Empty Side of the Bed by Jen Doktorski (a Short Story Contest entry) 

Bernard ambles down the block tethered to a small white terrier he used to call That Damned Dog, because it chewed his favorite loafers, woke him at 5 a.m. for walks, and wormed its way into the bed between them. Now, as the evening shadows grow longer and the streetlights click on, he calls the dog “Honey” because it’s what he used to call his wife and holds the six-foot-long purple leash tighter.