Friday Flash Fiction #40 edition. It has been some time since I entered into the foray. It’s run by Cormac Brown and he says:
THIS IS A BLOG WHERE A STARTER SENTENCE IS GIVEN EVERY FRIDAY@12PM PST. YOU WILL THEN HAVE UNTIL THE FOLLOWING TUESDAY@9AM PST TO COME UP WITH SHORT STORY OR POEM. I ONLY ASK THAT YOU KEEP IT; FAIRLY NON-POLITICAL, THAT THE VIOLENCE IS NON-GRATUITOUS, THE SEX IS FAIRLY TASTEFUL, AND THAT YOU ARE RESPECTFUL OF THE OTHER WRITERS THAT POST HERE. ENJOY! IF YOU ARE STILL CONFUSED, PLEASE CLICK THIS HEADER FOR THE RULES.
Now before I get to my story, I think you should head over to Twist of Noir and check out Hilary Davidson’s story. Very, very good.
You want a song too? Ok. Mmmm.
Now my story — please feel free to share your comments.
“I heard footsteps on the wet sidewalk and the sound of keys.”
I heard an engine; I heard my dog’s collar rattle as she trotted off; I heard the exhale of smoke.
It had to end like this. Always had to end like this.
Not to get philosophical or anything, but screw it. All I know is I had dreams. Most nights I’d wake up with a metallic taste in my mouth and sweat on my upper lip. Even a corner preacher who sported a thick beard and dark coveralls told me the end was near.
That night, after hearing his words, I knew it to be true. I lost my appetite. I even had to throw my damn Gyro away, but some stupid mutt was sniffing around the trash so I gave it to her instead. Stupid four-legged creature stayed by my side ever since.
I should amend that; she stayed by my side until the very moment that I found myself lying in the gutter’s embrace, my side aching, feeding the metal grate my hemoglobin and plasma.
She was a good dog. As good as I always imagined a dog to be. This is according to the fact I never actually “owned” one myself. What a piss poor thing to say anyway. “Owning”. As if we can ever “own” a living, breathing thing.
Like, let’s say there is a God or whatever. Does God own us? If so, are we getting trained? A big cosmic newspaper to our ass in the form of a hurricane flooding our community or a fire burning down some kid’s house? If we ain’t owned, and we can wander on down the road without ever looking back, which is fine by me, what the hell we need God for? To wear some collar that proclaims us his?
It’s strange what a man thinks when he’s about to be done with thinking forever.
I ain’t got no regrets. The life I had was fine by me. I had a good sense of intuition that saved my ass more than once. I had some girls. I finally got a dog to walk.
I knew this was coming so I settled into my routine, and gave structure to the skittish bitch. The boys knew right away I had had enough. I never had a routine, and then to have such a regimented clock, well, I think they were relieved. At the bar, I’m sure they said I was a real man. A stand up guy. Braver than most.
I heard the shoes scrape the pavement close to my head. I heard the hammer pull back. I heard a scream and a growl, or a growl and a scream, and an explosion of noise as the bullet pinged off the curb. I turned just in time to see Earl shoot my dog. The bullet entered the chest, but the blood and bone matter exited the back. My dog, she didn’t whine. She didn’t whimper. It took a few second for her to realize she was dead and to release Earl’s forearm from her mandibles.
It was just a mutt, not some fancy German Sheppard or Rottweiler or Pit Bull. It wasn’t supposed to come back. It wasn’t supposed to lay a rotten fang into human flesh, let alone the man sent to kill me.
The next shot entered below Earl’s chin, but the blood and bone matter escaped from the top of his head.
Nobody hurts my dog.