Tag: dogs

Flash Fiction: The Last Saloon

Courtesy Fotopedia

After an unfortunate false start last night, I re-rolled for Chuck’s flash fiction challenge “Another Roll of the Dice“. The new rolls gave me the “Grindhouse” genre, with the elements “a troublesome dog” and “a hidden compartment”.


The road stretched out into the inky darkness, pierced only by the headlights of the purring 1960 DeSoto Adventurer plunging into it. Deke knew he had to get out of town, and fast, before the law came down hard on him. It didn’t matter that the bullets they took out of the poor guy were all silver; they’d see it as murder, not the supernatural pest control that it was. Still, a wife (well, widow now) and kids were safe, as was their town, and they’d never have to fear a full moon again.

Zeke perked up from his place in the passenger seat, looking out the window. Deke put his foot on the brake, just a little.

“What is it, boy?”

Zeke’s tail thumped the leather seat, and he began to pant. He was excited by something. Long years on the road had taught Deke to trust the bull terrier’s instincts, and he pulled into the saloon parking lot. The Adventurer rattled to a stop, and Deke stepped out, followed quickly by the dog. Deke looked down at Zeke, his hands on his hips.

“Can I count on you to stay on the porch?”

Zeke cocked his head to one side.

“Yeah… I thought so. Just don’t be a menace, okay? Be nice.”

Zeke responded with a short, upbeat bark.

Inside, the saloon was lit mostly with neon lights. Pool balls clacked on their table in one corner. Deke found an empty table near the back wall and sat where he could see the rest of the saloon. His waitress, tall and curvy with long dark hair, walked up moments later.

“Get you something to drink, sugar?”

“A cold bottle of beer, miss, if you don’t mind.” He put a few bills on the table, and she took them to the bar. Deke had to pull his eyes away from what her hips were doing to focus on the rest of the saloon. His thumbs tapped the buckle of his belt idly, and he took a deep breath.

You’re just keyed up from the werewolf fight. Calm down. It could just be a seedy bar.

He heard the bikes outside moments before the riders entered. Three men, all broad-shouldered under their leather jackets, and a woman walked right up to the bar. Deke’s waitress returned, and he could see her smile was a bit less natural this time.

“What’s your name?”

“Rachel.”

Deke smiled. “That’s a good and lovely name, for a good and lovely lady. Rachel, what can you tell me about the foursome that just walked in?”

Rachel glanced nervously at the bar. “It’s best if you don’t ask.”

Deke leaned forward. “If it’s trouble, I might be able to help.”

Rachel took another glance, then leaned over to whisper to Deke. He tried to ignore how she looked.

“They tore up a lawman who came ’round here a few months ago. All he did was ask about a few missing person cases. Next thing you know…”

She shook, visibly. Deke laid his hand on her wrist, the silver rings on his first and third fingers catching the neon lights.

“Outside there’s a white DeSoto. I want you to go and open the passenger side door, then the glove compartment. Don’t do anything else, and do not get in the car. Do you understand?”

“Not… really.”

He smiled. “It will be all right. Just trust me.”

“Rachel!” The bartender’s bellow was unpleasant. “Flirt on your own time!”

Biting her lip, Rachel nodded at Deke, then dropped off her tray as she said she was taking a break. Deke watched the bikers more closely. The moon was still full, and their arrival was on physical vehicles. That narrowed the possibilities considerably. He finished his beer, stood, and approached the bar to hear what was being said.

“I’m telling you,” the female biker was saying to the bartender, “now that the furball’s gone, there’s nothing to stop us now. His territory’s ours for the taking.”

Deke whispered a quick prayer, then tapped the closest biker on the shoulder. “Pardon me.”

The burly man whirled, clearly ready for a fight. Deke’s fingers flicked the clasp of the hidden compartment on his belt, and the vial dropped into his hand. His thumb popped the tiny cork, and a snap of his wrist put the contents in the biker’s face. The hissing was immediate, and the biker fell back, screaming.

“Holy water,” the woman said, looking Deke up and down. He smiled, and he heard Zeke barking outside.

“I had a feeling. You lot always squabble with werewolves over good hunting grounds.”

She lunged for him, and he stepped back, but not far enough to avoid having his shirt clawed open. His silver cross spilled out into the air, and the trio still standing stepped back. Zeke bounded into the bar, grabbing one of the bikers by the ankle in his powerful jaws. Deke grabbed a nearby chair and smashed it against the bar. The one unfettered male biker came at him, fangs out, a deadly undead missile. Years of training and less than favorable scraps put Deke on his back, a shard of wood aiming up. The improvised stake found its target and the biker rolled away, grabbing the wood protruding from his chest.

“Zeke! Fire!”

The dog let go of the ravaged throat of his victim and shot outside. The female hissed, stalking Deke as he stood.

“You won’t leave here alive, holy man.”

“Who said I was alive in the first place?” Deke pulled at the hole in his shirt, showing the scars across his chest. “One of your kind killed me a long time ago. God brought me back to make sure your kind never rules the earth.”

“I’ll send you back to your god right now.”

Zeke returned, a can of lighter fluid in his jaws, his tail wagging. Deke smiled, producing his matches.

“Ma’am, with all due respect, I think you’ll be getting to where you’re going first.”

Flash Fiction: The Unexplainable Photo Challenge

Courtesy Buzzfeed.com

“Sport.”

No response.

“Sport.”

“Mmmmmf.”

Skeeter blinked. He hated it when his best friend acted this way. They’d been show dogs together for years. It was how they’d been raised. Training, grooming, shows, repeat. But lately, the pressure seemed to have been getting to Sport.

“Sport, knock it off. The humans are watching.”

“Eh? Fuck ’em. They wanted tricks, right? I got their trick right here.”

Skeeter maintained his position. His master had told him to sit, so he sat. He was a good dog. They rewarded good dogs. He wasn’t sure what they did to dogs who rolled onto their backs after getting their jaws wrapped around the neck of a bottle of beer.

“That’s not a trick you trained on, Sport. You’re misbehaving.”

“Dude, am I talking cat over here? Fuck. Them. I’m sick and tired of doing whatever I’m dogdamn told by these idiots.”

“They do happen to be smarter than us.”

“HA!” The bottle almost slipped from Sport’s mouth. “Your Honor, I object, the obedient slave is showing insufficient evidence. To support my case I submit the sweater he was made to wear last Christmas, the poor state of affairs in our respective food bowls and, oh yeah, the fact that these hairless apes are basically raping their own dogdamn planet for the sake of nebulous concepts like righteousness and profit.”

“Sport, please. You’re embarrassing yourself.”

“I’m not the one they named fucking ‘Skeeter’, I have to catch up to you in the embarrassment department.”

Skeeter didn’t respond. He maintained his position. He was a good dog.

“I mean, what the hell does that even mean, anyway? Is it short for ‘moskeeter’ or something? Nevermind the fact you live on the lower east side and your humans are upper middle class socialites, not backwater rednecks. And if they did name you for a tiny insect with an even tinier probosces, they’re insulting you every time they say it.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Sport hiccuped. “I’m talking about your dick. You know, the thing you ‘clean’ just about every chance you get.”

If Skeeter had been capable of blushing, he’d have flushed red. “That’s highly inappropriate talk for public, Sport.”

“Bullshit! We’re fucking dogs, they can’t understand us. It’s just yips and barks and tailwags and smells to them. Christ, how do these people communicate using only sound? My mind’s fucking boggled.”

“Sport, you’re drunk.”

“You’re darn tootin’ I am. If these dogdamn morons were capable of meaningful communication with us, and they fucking aren’t nor will they ever be, they’d know I’m sick and tired of this bullshit. And don’t change the subject. These control freaks want you complacent and obedient while they put you down every chance they get by intimating you’re lacking in the between-the-hinds department.”

“They’re mistaken.”

“Of course they fucking are. They don’t think you know that. It’s a big dogdamn joke to them. Look at ’em. Bunch of gawping hat-wearing douchebuckets. HEY!” Sport dropped the bottle, got up on the chair and started barking. “I’M TALKING TO YOU, IDIOTS! YOU FUCKING HUMANS AND YOUR SMELLY-ASS CARS AND YOUR STUPID CLOTHES AND INSIPID BABY-TALKING AT US. FUCK YOU.”

Skeeter sighed. He wanted to lay down, cover his ears. But he was a good dog.

“Fuck! Nothing.” Sport turned in place and sat facing Skeeter. “And here I am sauced on a single beer. It’s what I get for weighing all of twenty pounds.”

“I noticed you’d lost weight. Doesn’t that make your master angry?”

“Not as angry as when I start humping his wife’s leg.”

“Sport! You ought to be ashamed of yourself.”

“Have you fucking seen her? If she were a dog I’d be mounting her twice daily. Not my fault that fucking tool doesn’t. Too busy counting up shit that won’t matter when he gets hit by a bus.”

“That’s a terrible thing to wish on anyone. My brother…”

“Yeah, yeah, I remember, went chasing a stick and got pasted by the crosstown. Not his fault or yours so stop beating yourself up over it. The responsible party is the fucking brat who threw the stick. Yet was he put away for it? Was he punished for murder? No! They just got him another fucking dog. I’m grateful I discovered the appeal of booze. I need another dogdamn beer.”

“Look, Sport, I’m your friend. I’m worried about you. You drink too much and your language is foul.”

“Skeeter, no offense, but what the fuck happened to you? Time was you’d be laughing your tail off at me rolling around with a dogdamn beer bottle in my gob. Something’s changed. Something’s eating you. Let’s hear it.”

“I’d rather not.”

“Oh? Okay.” Sport stood again, barking and howling, which registered in Skeeter’s brain as song. “FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUUUCKEEEERS…”

“STOP IT! I’ll tell you. They cut me, all right?”

Sport stopped, blinking rheumy eyes at his friend. “They what?”

“You remember Daisy? She had her pups. Beautiful litter. But none of them met the humans’ standards so they determined my breeding potential was insufficient.”

“Skeet, are you telling me they CUT YOUR FUCKING BALLS OFF?”

“Essentially, yes.”

“FUCK. No wonder you’re being such a toolbox. I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

“How could you? We haven’t seen each other since spring.”

“You realize this means you have even less reason to do what they tell you.”

“They’ve already robbed me of future pups. What more can they do?”

“They don’t understand us. They never will. So they’re afraid of us. They mitigate that fear by leashing us and making us do tricks and talking at us they way they do their wriggling newborn spawn and toss us bones. As long as we do what we’re told and don’t remind them we have as much power and rights as they do, they’re happy.”

Skeeter thought about it. He was a good dog, and they still had cut him.

So he started singing.

“FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, YOU STUPID MOTHERFUUUCKEEEERS…”

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