The Ugly Dog #SampleSunday

Here’s an excerpt from one of the stories that will be in my upcoming collection of Lonnie and Tiny stories.

The Ugly Dog

excerpt from “Lonnie, Me, and the Ugly Dog Contest”
by Marian Allen

Me and Mary Lee never had kids, which is probably why we ended up with three dogs, but there was a few kids in the neighborhood – kids of friends of ours – who liked to come around. Mary Lee generally kept a bag of cookies or Little Debbies or whatnot in case one of them dropped in or came carrying a message or something.

So, a week after Mary Lee showed me the contest announcement, I got in from work to find Jack and Ella Maclemore’s youngest, Blaine, sitting in my place at the table scarfing down Star Crunches like they was M&Ms. I kind of eyeballed him, hoping he’d take the message and move, but he just eyeballed me back.

Mary Lee put a cup of decaf and a plate with a Star Crunch on it next to Blaine and patted the back of the chair for me to sit there.

Blaine wiped his mouth on the back of his hand, in spite of the perfectly good folded up paper towel Mary Lee put next to his plate. “You see the news yet?”

Kid’s five and he talks like he’s fifty. Comes of being the youngest, with eleven years between him and his next-up brother.

“No,” I said. “What’s up?”

You never knew, with Blaine. It could be a new Lego toy at the big-box store, or it could be a horse rescue story, or even politics.

“We’re in the contest together.”

“What contest?”

“The ugly dog contest.”

“Now, how is that possible,” I said, “when you don’t have an ugly dog?”

Truth is, Blaine had a dog so ugly, it looked like a burlap bag full of knuckles. I think it’s half toy pitbull and half Gollum with a side of bat. Blaine’s mom, Ella, found it dumped outside the warehouse where she’s night watchman and brought it home, and Blaine and it latched onto each other. It always made Blaine fighting mad if anybody remarked on her appearance – Lucy the dog, I mean, not Ella – so I was surprised he had entered her.

“You’re just being nice,” he said, like he was saying tormentful in place of nice. “Everybody keeps telling me how ugly Lucy is, so I’m entering her in the contest. Maybe I’ll get her a trophy and some special treats and get me some free books.”


A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Describe an ugly dog.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “The Ugly Dog #SampleSunday

  1. joey

    August 27, 2017 at 7:57pm

    Great use of dialect in this piece. Also relate to the age gap defining his maturity, that rings true.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 28, 2017 at 8:18am

      Thanks! The Lonnie/Tiny stories are fun to write. I dated Lonnie when I was a young teen and consider myself well out of it. heh

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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