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Pancho wasn’t the smartest dog, but he was adorable. He was a Pomeranian. Not too big, not too small. Just the right size. Cute enough to make you smile and cuddle him real tight. The only annoying thing about him was his bark. It was sharp and shrill, and bit into your ears. And once he started, he just couldn’t stop.

Mom said Pancho reminded her of dad. Or maybe Pancho was dad. The old man had passed away a year ago. His liver had finally given up on him. Too much booze and mindless chatter. Dad could talk about anything with anyone. In fact, he didn’t need someone to have a conversation. A lengthy monologue was fine by him.

The man would sit in his chair on the porch and talk to the sky above and the ground below. And that’s what Pancho did too. He’d spread himself out at the exact same spot and bark for hours together. It’s a good thing our nearest neighbor lived a half mile away, or else they’d have a thing or two to complain about.

And when Pancho tired of his barking, he’d roll over on his back, legs in the air, and sleep for a few hours. That’s what dad did too, but his arms and legs stayed in a more decent position. It wasn’t just the barking and odd hours of sleeping that made us think the old man may have come back.

It was the way Pancho stared at dad’s picture in the hallway. His fluffy white head tilted upwards. His soft whimpers barely audible. It was unusual. We often tried to snap him out of his daze, but he’d growl and bare his teeth. If it really was dad, then his nature hadn’t changed much.

Mom was convinced that Pancho was her deceased husband. So she treated him the same way she treated dad when he was alive. She fed Pancho and stayed out of his way, smacking his bottom if he crossed the line of doggy manners, or relieved himself anywhere but his designated place by the rose bush. Beyond that she simply ignored him.

One day, I found Pancho and a scrawny, black pooch in a compromising position. The two of them were enjoying the heat of the moment. My mom shouted from somewhere behind me.

‘See, I told you it’s your dad! Loved getting it on with any sleazy woman! Damn son of a bitch!’

It’s his fault that she’s blind now. She can never forgive him. Sightless Eyes Cry Too when torn between love and hate.

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44 Comments on “Dad Came Back as Pancho – Flash Fiction Story

  1. Old habits die hard. Not even in death. Good story. I am a firm believer in rebirth and how we carry our “nature” along with us.

    • This is so true. I believe that there is a pattern that sustains itself and reemerges. Hope Pancho can live a better life than his former human days.
      Thank you so much! 🙂

  2. We share a strong bond with the person we care the most.
    They might not be with us but, their glimpse will be with us forever.
    Very well penned, tarveen.
    Truly wholesome.

    • Thanks so much, Tanishq. 🙂
      Bonds surpass the cycle of life and death. And how, where, and when do we encounter past acquaintances is probably some celestial calculation. Hope Pancho can find new love in the same home. Or maybe grudges outlast relationships.

  3. Jeez Terv, FCS dog Ralph would never frisk with a floozy. He’s very choosy…I’ve banged the acceptable way to act into him…..As have with Priscilla…..All at FCS are proud of them

  4. Such a touching story, and giving one some food for thought regarding one’s habits…
    You writing is always drawing the reader in, Terveen.

    • It does seem like the cyclic nature of habits is hard to break. Though this is a work of fiction, I’m sure there are real instances vouching for this.
      Thank you so much, Patricia! 🙂

  5. This is a fun story. Because sometimes people just see what they want to see. Pancho could just be a dog doing what dogs do. But maybe there’s some comfort in seeing a lost loved one in a child or even a dog. Great story, Terveen! Really creative take on reincarnation and individual reality tunnels.

    • Thanks so much, Tony. 🙂
      It’s really about what our hearts and minds tell us. Sometimes, one could weigh heavier than the other. And many perceptions are influenced more by emotions than rationale. Pancho could just be any ordinary dog doing his doggy thing. But it’s the people around him that think differently.
      And who knows, maybe Pancho is dad on the rebound. 🙂

  6. Hahahaha. That’s an awesome story, Terveen. Reminds me of how our actions leave a lasting impact on each other and this planet. Love it, my friend. 😊

    • It is tricky and funny and maybe a bit weird. But there is something beyond what we know and see. A cyclic rhythm to life. Coming and going, again and again.
      Thank you so much, Jeff. 🙂

      • Not weird at all. I know about this space you are pointing to, the seen in the unseen. Agreed, cyclical, indeed. Yes, just like that, again, and again. You’re most welcome, Terveen. Always. 😊

  7. So, wait…if Pancho wasn’t the smartest dog and dad was Pancho, did that mean that dad wasn’t the smartest dad? Pretty cruel thing to say about the departed/reincarnated, don’t you think?

    “Mom was convinced that Pancho was her deceased husband. So she treated him the same way she treated dad when he was alive.” – Nope. Not touching that one. Sometimes a mind goes to places it shouldn’t ought to go (also ignoring the kinky ramification of smacking bottoms. Whatever the pair of them get up to in privacy of their house is their own affair).

    On a more civilized note:

    I didn’t know mindless chatter led to liver failure (guess I’d better give that up right now), and there’s nothing wrong with talking to oneself. Some of the most interesting people I know have very productive conversations with themselves.

    Nicely done, Terveen!

    • Thanks so much, Rhyan. 🙂
      You always provoke so much laughter. Now that shouldn’t lead to any failures as such, I hope. I think many relations just can’t end even when death comes along and takes the person concerned away. Could be a great positive or negative influence.
      Or maybe visualizing a departed soul in a cute Pomeranian is a way to feel joy or just simply gloat. Whatever the reasons for seeing Pancho in dad, the man/dog has a solid place in the home again.
      And people who talk to themselves are quite brilliant. I count myself among them.

  8. Dad’s spirit still hovering around. Seems like he’s still got some unfinished business or he’s just not left completely.
    well put Terveen

    • It seems like it. Probably wanted to have a break from human life and all the effort that goes into it. A dog’s life…not so bad.
      Thank you so much. 🙂

    • Haha! It would be a very uncomfortable situation. And imagine if dad figured out that he’s being treated better now because he’s a dog. Wicked… 🙂

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  10. Lol … just picturing the two dogs doing their thing and the mom believing it to be her deceased husband.

  11. Hahaha, the ending is wonderful. Now you make me think differently whenever I see a dog in our neighborhood. LOL. And now you make me think some of my relatives too.

    • Lol. Omg! I hope I haven’t opened a Pandora’s box. I think I’ll never look at a Pomeranian the same way again.
      Thank you so much!
      And I think of some relatives too. 🙂

      • There’s a dog that barked a lot in our neighborhood. I wonder if he’s the embodiment of somebody who’s very talkative. LOL.

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