It didn't seem important, but it was to become the most important sound he'd ever heard. And yet, at the time he heard it, he had no idea of what would unfold, how his life would be turned upside down by the noise, nor how he would come to dread hearing it.
The dog barked and stared at him with doleful eyes, and he knew exactly what he wanted, out. Staring at the view outside his window, Hamish groaned and walked to the closet. Donning the heaviest jacket he could find, he reached for the leash and Poseidon erupted. A thirty pound ball of fury engulfing him in pleasure.
"Sit doon ya daftee, or Ah''ll no git the bloody leash oan, and wi'll no be goan oanywhaur"
They crunched down the gravel path and turned left into the lane leading to the woods, past the newly ploughed fields, looking vibrant and healthy before the winter's frost set in. A frost that would turn them cold and hard. He shivered thinking about another winter in this tranquil valley, far from the madding frenzy of the city. Quiet, peaceful, home. And so, off they went for their constitutional, past the fields, into the woods on the hills. He let Poseidon off the leash, and he walked, lost in reverie at the beauty that surrounded him.
He considered himself lucky. Lucky to have landed in this neck of the woods, lucky to have his family, lucky to have his dogs, lucky to have his life, just all around lucky. Puddles rippled with falling raindrops as man and beast trudged on through the avalanche of water falling all around. Cloud covered hills stretched into the distance, the first of the winter storms nestled just over the horizon, waiting to unleash it's venom on the valley. But for now it sat there, silently threatening.
And so the boys trudged back to the empty house. The fire was on, but the logs were burning low.
"Best git yoan fire stoaked up afore the ithers git back boy"
Poseidon shook, and the walls splattered with the mud from his wanderings.
"Haw you, ya daftee, noo Ah goat tae clean yoan aff."
Poseidon shook again. Hamish shook his head and laughed to himself. He was lucky.
An hour later, things were calm. The walls had been cleared of the mud of Poseidon's pleasure, the fire had been stoked and the first glass of Macallum had been poured. They should have returned from their trip, but Hamish wasn't worried. It was a trip to his mother's after all, and the kids were always pleased to see her and let the pup run riot through her herb garden. He'd pay for that in the morning when she rang to bemoan the fact. He could hear the words now;
"Hamish, you really need to talk tae yir bairns aboot respecting ither folk's things"
As the phone rang, Hamish smiled inwardly.
"Hamish, it's Lachlan at the station. There's been a terrible accident"