Foul Play at the PTA by Laura Alden
The house was quiet. Only a tick-tick-ticking from the kitchen clock broke the silence. That and my own heavy sighs.
This will never do, I told myself, and slid off the family room couch. You’ve done nothing but sit around all day. Do something worthwhile with your time, why don’t you?
I padded upstairs, walked around the master bedroom, eyed Jenna’s tidy bedroom, then Oliver’s room, which was made comfy with a great pile of stuffed animals in the far corner. There were things to do up here, but I didn’t feel like doing any of them.
Step by step, I went back down the stairs. Wandered around the living room in a circle until I realized I was leaving a trail in the plush carpet. Couldn’t think of anything I wanted to do in the study. Looked at the pile of dirty laundry by the noisy washing machine. Went into the kitchen, heaved a sigh at the refrigerator door, and ended up where I’d started, on the couch.
The TV remote was on the coffee table, but it was new and I wasn’t sure I could work it. If I was smart, maybe I could watch Jenna and figure out how to—
My ears perked up. What was that? Was it…? Oh, please let it be them. I haven’t seen my family in so long, please let them be here.
I tumbled off the couch and hit the floor running. Through the family room, past the stairway, down the hall and into the kitchen just as the door to the garage opened and my family came in.
“Hi, Spot!” Jenna tossed her backpack to the floor and dropped to her knees to give me a big hug.
I slurped a big wet kiss on her cheek. Home! They were home!
Oliver bounced inside. “Look at his tail. He must be happy. Why, Mom?”
“I suppose he missed us.” My mistress gave me a pat on the head as she walked past. “Hey, boy. Did you miss us?”
My bark was loud.
“Guess the answer is yes,” my mistress said, laughing.
Of course I’d missed them. They’d been gone, hadn’t they? But they were home now; that’s what counted. And maybe, just maybe, they wouldn’t go away ever again.