Her blue-veined, brown spotted, crepey hand shook. But her eyes were bright and stared at him as her fingers closed on the plastic bag.
“Is this it?” She asked, drawing it near her face for a closer look, then pushing it back toward him.
“Yes, ma’am, that’s it. He wasn’t a very big dog.” The man remained behind the desk with his arms folded.
“I mean the Ziploc bag. I thought it would be in a container, at least.” She raised the bag to his eye level.
“You said you wanted the ‘Bargain Service,’ remember?” The man smirked a little and made bunny-eared air quotes. He thought that would answer all her questions.
“This doesn’t even have his name on it.” She wasn’t done yet.
“Let me fix that.” The man took the bag. Fished a black Magic Marker from the inside pocket of his jacket and laid the bag on the counter, smoothing a place to write. “And his name is?”
“Was!” She said, staring intensely at him.
“How do you spell that?” He had the marker poised.
She looked at him the way one would look at dead fish on the beach. “His name was Robby, R-O-B-B-Y, he’s dead now.”
“Of course. That’s an unusual name for a dog.”
“His full name was Robert, the same as my late husband.”
“I see.” He said, not sure if he did.
She blinked twice and said, “There was my sweet, loving Robert and Robert the bastard.”
He smiled again and said, “Yes, sometimes small dogs can get a bit nasty.”
She thought about striking him with her cane, “The dog was the sweet one!”
“Of course,” He replied, but sounded like he didn’t mean it.
“My husband never liked the dog and kicked him if he tried to jump up. He didn’t want to get his clothes dirty.” The hand not holding the bag clenched into a tiny fist.
“Of course, and how are you planning to dispose of Robby’s ashes?”
“I’m going to scatter them.”
“You’re planning to scatter him at the dog park?”
“No,” She said, clutching the bag more tightly. “I’m going to dump him all over bastard Robert’s grave.”