Act I - Heating up
You named her Cecil without any real reason. At first, you weren’t too sure about owning a dog; your income and apartment were cramped enough, so a pet was probably not on your priority list. But a friend was. It happened years ago, it was raining when she came to your door and started to whimper, as if she already knew you, as if you had been waiting for her, so you let her in. The next morning you found her small body snuggling next to you and decided that free heating and some company was worth a shot. That morning you also noticed that she was crippled. Her rear left leg… had been cut off. The vet told you that she was born with it, yet it was there no more.
She was friendly, silly, really droopy and fluffy but she was also loyal, jealous, easily excitable and a glutton. In some ways, she was both the best friend you ever had. Her chummy tail wagging and jumping whenever you came back home was all you needed to get through the monotonous life that encased your days. Taking care of her gave you a reason to wake up every morning. It also gave you a reason to cross the bridge on your way back home without looking down at the mourning river.
You were happy, more importantly, she was happy. And for a time that was all that mattered.
Then came the rumors. The tremors. The silent rumbling. As if the sky itself were growling in the middle of the night. You didn’t use to watch a lot of TV, but you started streaming news shows in your computer. They denied it all at first, but eventually it went out of hand, and nobody could deny it anymore.
The day you saw a map of the ‘affected areas’, you noticed that your house was right in the middle of a massive red dash of ‘danger’. You packed what little things you had: your computer, some clothing, your favorite t-shirt, a small bag of dog food and left for the closest shelter before hell broke out. The skies above you were dark, and the noise that had once been a rumble was now a full-blown growl coming from below the shaking earth. As you reached for the gates of a shelter, a sign said: No animals.
You are too far from the next shelter and they may have the same rules anyway. Going back home won’t be easy, so you look down at Cecil and are faced with a single question: Your life, or hers?