By Mike Stevens
D.D. Mansfield woke from a sound sleep to hear a loud crash in his driveway. There was someone, or something, prowling around in the dead of the night. He immediately thought of the expensive antique car that he was lovingly restoring out in his garage. He had several thousand dollars, not to mention several hundred hours, invested in that car, and now someone was out there, messing with it. Well, he wasn’t going to allow that to happen! He sprang from his warm bed, hurriedly pulled on his jeans, grabbed his loaded 12-gauge, and ran to the door. Sneaking silently across the wet grass, which was freezing on his bare feet, he approached the garage. He peered through the window, eyes straining to pierce the pitch-black veil, but he couldn’t see anything. He could, however, hear someone near the car.
“Hold it right there!” he shouted into the dark. Nothing but cold silence came to his ears. “Alright, I know you’re in here. If you don’t come out of there right now, I’m going to shoot!” Still, the garage was silent. He started towards the light switch on the nearby wall, and saw a shadow running towards him, barely glimpsing it in what little light had broken through his night-blindness from the distant streetlight, In a panic, he screamed,
“Stop, you b*****d!”; adrenaline flooding throughout his body. He whipped up the 12-gauge, and, pulling both triggers, and sent a blast of deadly pellets fanning out from the barrel of the shotgun. All was silent as he stood there. He knew he’d hit the car with his panicked blast, but he hoped to have hit the intruder also. He reached to turn on the overhead lights. Fully expecting to see a body lying in a puddle of blood by his prized car, he saw nothing but bits of grille, glass from the shattered headlights, a cracked windshield, and several jagged holes in the body of his once-valuable automobile.
He had finally found something to eat. His empty stomach growled at him, as he used his fangs to haul the unopened bag of dog food across the cold concrete floor, towards his anxious, watering mouth. It had been days since he’d eaten, and he could barely contain his excitement. Food, and it wouldn’t be long! All he had to do was rip open the bag, and he’d be in paradise; but wait, the damn bag seemed to be caught on something. It was the wheel of this hunk of s**t right in his way. The same wheel he’s just finished pissing on. Oh no! He greedily ripped at the bag. Why wouldn’t the fricking thing move? He clawed at the bag, but it was stuck fast. Suddenly, he heard a voice that didn’t sound too happy. He froze in alarm. Maybe if he stayed real quiet, the man would go away. But then he heard it again, and thought it wasn’t very bright of him to stay here, and now he was trapped. He could see light from behind where the angry man was standing; his way out. He scampered towards it. What happened next was hard for him to understand. The angry man yelled something, there was a tremendous crash, a blinding flash, and something went by his head, he could feel the breeze on his fur as something barely missed him, then he heard glass breaking, shards of plastic and metal hitting the concrete floor, and he didn’t wait around to see what it was all about. He darted by the man where he stood, the light from the streetlight coming through the open door glinting off something the angry man was holding, then he was out in the open air.
Rosa-Lea Geargrinder was having one hell of a hard time seeing the road. It was dark, and rain slapped her windshield in buckets. She was trying to find the turnoff for her friend Lucy’s house. She’d only been here once, but that was in broad daylight, on a crystal-clear day, and now it was dark and the rainstorm didn’t help her vision any. Was that it? She just couldn’t see! As she was peering with straining eyes to see, a blur appeared along the side of the road, and suddenly, a black shape darted into the road, right in front of her car.
“Holy s**t!” she screamed, and yanked the wheel violently to the left, trying to miss the dog. The car veered left, and she quickly yanked the wheel back to the right to compensate.; only she had overcompensated, and the car flew off the road into a muddy field, rolled several times, and Rosa-Lea felt a surge of adrenaline course through her veins as the car pin wheeled, end-over-end, at last coming to a stop right side up. At first she was so shaken up, she just stared out at the open field, until she slowly realized she’d just been through a car wreck. Then, panic gripped her. She’d been wearing her seatbelt, but, after a wreck like that, she must be injured. Frantically, she felt everywhere, but she felt no injuries. Miraculously, she was fine. After first worrying about her health, she then thought about her car. On wobbly, unsteady legs, she got out of the car, first having to jerk the door back and forth, and stood up. She couldn’t believe her eyes. Where before stood an almost-new, expensive automobile, now it was reduced to a hunk of worthless s**t. Her beautiful car had been ruined. Wrinkled chunks of metal littered the path her rolling car had followed, all the way to where it now sat. She knew she should be happy to escape uninjured, but, her car!
Victro had been lost for a week, and he looked around him at the vaguely-familiar landscape. He had traveled all over, and at last was looking at someplace that looked sort of familiar. He struggled as to which way he should go. He knew he was close, and if he made the right decision, he’d be home tonight. There, that tree just across the road; it looked like the tree at the entrance to his driveway! All he had to do was cross this road, and he was home. He started happily across, and---; the sound of screeching tires caused him to stop and quickly reverse direction. As he watched, a huge mass swerved around him and went sailing out into a field, where it rolled several times, before coming to rest. Then, a lady emerged from the mass, stood looking for a long time, then saw him and began screaming at him. He at first wondered why she was yelling at him, then quickly lost interest. Home, he was almost home!
Freddie Lawson was sweeping off his driveway. He had to hurry, before the sullen skies opened up, and a driving rain deluged him. As he was finishing up, he happened to glance up, and saw a familiar figure trotting through the yard towards him. Victro! His dog was barking with undisguised happiness. He had about given up ever seeing him again. Victro had run away about a week ago, and he’d searched everywhere, to no avail. As he remembered this, he was suddenly angry. All this time he’d been worried sick, and apparently Victro had just been out tomcatting.
“Victro, where have you been? Bad dog!”
Suddenly Victro stopped, looked at him, turned around, and trotted away. What?
“Victro, come here, you stupid mutt!”
He recognized the familiar woods, and soon was traipsing through his own backyard. Then he heard a familiar voice. It was his master, Freddy. “Victro!” came the joyful cry from his master. His tail was wagging with happiness, and he was barking out of pure joy. Then, he heard his master use a tone of voice which he only used when he had misbehaved. He didn’t know the rest of what his master had said, but he knew the meaning of “bad dog!” He’d get in trouble if he kept going towards home, so he decided not to keep going, and turned around. He didn’t need this.