A short story entitled:
Food For Thought
Tammy didn't want to go back, not now not ever.
Tammy loaded up the trunk and the back seat of the car with everything that she managed to salvage from the small two bedroom trailer.
The last three years of her life had been a nightmare. The death of her father four years before had started the wheels turning in the wrong direction and then her mother died a year later. Tammy spent six months in foster care which hadn't been a picnic either until her brother, Arthur managed to gain custody of her.
At first Tammy thought everything was going to be alright but by then Art had married Drew and things went from bad to worse. With more than enough encouragement from his wife, Art began to dabble in drugs and it wasn't long before the abuse began. It was bearable at first but as it began to occur more frequently and with greater violence, Tammy realized it was only a matter for time before they killed her, either on purpose or accidentally.
Tammy was tough and it is possible that she could have endured it a while longer if it hadn't been for Belle. The sweet yellow lab was nothing more than a punching bag for her brother and Drew didn't bother to feed her most of the time. Yeah, maybe she could have lasted a while longer but she was pretty sure Belle couldn't.
She slipped on her backpack and grabbed Belle's leash. The yellow lab would never be hungry again, not as long as Tammy was alive anyway. The backpack was filled with the few valuables her mother had left behind and whatever money Tammy had been able to find hidden in the trailer. It wasn't much but it was enough to get them into California before dark.
Tammy climbed behind the steering wheel of the old Chevy Cavalier and scratched the ears of the dog in the passenger seat next to her. Behind them the last of the trailer burned in the early morning dawn.
It had been six months since Art and Drew disappeared and not one single person had stopped by to see where they were. Someone might come looking eventually, they might even wonder whatever happened to good old Art and Drew.
They wouldn't find them however. They were completely gone.
Belle belched softly in the seat next to her, her tummy full and round once again. Tammy laughed, and realized how ironic it was that while Art and Drew might not have cared for Belle when they were alive, in death, they cared for her more than they would have ever imagined.
Tammy pulled away without giving them another thought leaving the dirt lot and the burning embers behind.