Barrier by K.S. Trenten
He wore white gloves, which he wouldn’t take off. As long he kept them on, the boy’s soul would remain trapped in the dalmatian.
“Do you want to remain a dog forever?” he demanded of the boy. He pointed the piano. “Play for me and I’ll remove the gloves.”
The dalmatian didn’t answer. It lay curled on the floor. It refused to acknowledge the man.
“You brought this on yourself!” he snapped. He tugged at one of gloves. It was uncomfortable. The spell was uncomfortable. The cloth scratched at his skin, a reminder that they didn’t belong on him. Just like the shape of a dog didn’t belong on the boy. “If you’d agreed to stay with me, to play only for me, I wouldn’t have had to do this!”
The dalmatian didn’t move.
“I taught you everything!” The dog’s attitude was infuriating. “You could have been a star, but you chose to run away with that low life scoundrel!” He pointed a finger at the dog. “Do you really think your so-called relationship with that boy would have lasted? He would have tired of you in a year. Your career would have been ruined!”
The dalmatian raised its head to look at the man with liquid eyes.
“Yes, you think I’m being cruel, but I’m the only one who’s ever truly cared about you!” he raved. He clenched his gloved hands into fists. The cloth almost seemed to burn into his palms. It hurt. “I picked you out from an unremarkable group in which your talent would have been ignored and unappreciated! I introduced you to the world! How do you repay me?” He pointed his finger at the dog. “You leave me for the first pretty boy who waves his buttocks at you!”
The dalmatian let out a faint whine, an imploring whine.
The sound send a shiver down the man’s spine, chilling his anger, his righteous indignition.
“No one has ever cared about you as much as I do,” he said. He looked away from the white and black muzzle of his former protege. “You should have been mine. Not that boy’s.” He couldn’t hide the pain, which trickled into his voice. “Why did you choose him instead of me?”
The dog rose to his feet. He made his way over to his former master’s side. He shoved his nose into the man’s hand.
The man couldn’t feel the sensation through the cloth. The glove was a barrier between them.
It had always been a barrier, no matter how he hoped it would bind them together permanently.
The boy within the dog whimpered again. Crying out for release.
The man closed his eyes and pulled the glove off his hand.