by E. Lillith McDermott
"Have you noticed that dogs don't howl anymore?" She paused the movie, a sub-par remake of War of the Worlds, walked to the window. He slid off the bed, followed. On the street below, another firetruck and a police car slow-rolled their way through the four-way stop. The red and blues flashed across her face. He leaned against the wall and watched the emergency strobes turn her into an alien goddess--skin reflecting purple, eyes sparking red.
"I guess I never thought about it."
She stared into space. "I remember, when I was a kid, how the neighborhood dogs would howl. They'd start with the sirens, but they'd go on forever. Off and on all night. I used to lie in bed and pretend it was a symphony--or a movie soundtrack."
He stepped up to the window, followed her gaze down to the neighbor's dog. The Rottweiler sat, head cocked, watching the disappearing vehicles through the fence slats. "Maybe we've bred howling out of them." Turning away from the animal, he studied the way the fading colors made the yards look foreign, like a Martian landscape.