TOO Many Dogs

The Dogs are disgusting. Too many of them, they’re well trained and marching in straight lines. When they want to be sick, they point east to falling AIR-O-PLANES and beg us with sense memory to chase down what we shoot from the sky. I scream at them. We’re Terrorists! Not Cannibals! They shrug and think we’re wasteful.

The Dogs are disgusting. They eat out of the gutter and they’re rude and they don’t care who was there first. I was there first. The man, he was shuffling down the sidewalk, sticking the sharp crusty bread into his face. He was careless, and he cut the corners of his mouth ragged, and he went mad. Roaring, a spot of blood landed on his sandwich. Screaming, it dropped to his shirt. He hated this part of the story, the part where he wasn’t even allowed to eat his fucking sandwich, and he called God terrible names and sent curses and threats rattling skyward. This sandwich was an insult and he threw it back in god’s face.

He wasn’t a scientist, that man, he can’t measure things like where God’s face is or how hard to throw a sandwich in it. It was streaking straight up when faltered twenty feet in. Slowing it stopped, zero point zero acceleration, until gravity took hold and arched it back on to the street, the wind tearing it apart on the way down. The lettuce got free early on and was wafting the slowest, still airborne when the meat splashed in the mud. It was dry, and brittle like a leaf. I checked, he was gone, screaming and bleeding terrible about God, so I got set and judged the angle, waiting. This was going to be delicious.

And the disgusting dog smashed into me, the fucking thing threw a full body check. I skidded through the sludge filling the pocked street, full of sharp unrepaired canyons, my shoulder tearing open and the mud lapping inside. There I was when seven of them, sprinting in rhythm, clobbered me on their way to the rest of the sandwich. The body-tackler was already choking down my lettuce. After a quick vote, some show of paws, they carved it in perfect sevenths with their sharp claws and neatly swallowed. I hate those dogs and I’m not the only one.

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There are towns, outside the fence, where the dogs aren’t so well protected. There, they have canvasses painted with marbled street scenes, detailed down to strings of black ants and beetles glued on for authenticity, then laid over the deeper divots. Our city dogs are not so stupid, they would deftly pluck the delicious wasted bugs off the tarp let some idiot human fall in, but these are stupid, poorly trained country dogs who hobble through, ragged, halfbred and hungry, and who fall in and cry.

The townspeople are wicked. The crying doesn’t make their hearts sing with compassion, to let the poor dogs out. Instead they grab longer pikes with joy and stab the squealing mongrels from the pit. A grimace, a laugh at the poor weeping dogs, then they lit them on fire and…

And you don’t try that here, where the thugs have class and weapons, strict orders and War College encyclopedias horded away. The problem is not dogs because dogs are forever and infinite. It is your hope for no dogs, for a free lunch, for more besides to hope at. STOP looking to the sky for manna of dried up lettuce to drop, SUBMIT to the animal hordes, because you hope for a second and your shoulders ache, and your shirts rupture, the sandwich rips your throat open, your guts hang at your knees and you go mad. You laugh in the face of a dead dog and let him soak in oil until he’s stuck back on his pole, and lit on fight, to send a message, to light the corner by the depot and keep your storefronts free of hooligans for one, two nights at best. It all depends on how long you soak him, or on how hard you can hope.