All In All

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: July 02, 2019

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Submitted: July 02, 2019

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All In All

 

Bud’s balls itched.

Nothing to get worked up about, he thought, standing and stretching. He ambled down the hall to the bathroom.

Yesterday was a blur, and he’d slept in fits, but other than this little hangover he felt all right. He just needed a drink. Belching afterward, he stepped toward the living room, then stopped. Rheumy eyes and a curious case of bed head stared back in the tall hall mirror. Whatever. His reflection seemed to grunt back.

Behind his likeness, a furry, gray creature poked out from under the sofa. Bud whirled and saw that it was only a wadded sock, so he moved on.

The blinds and window above the sofa had been opened wide—another sunny day. He sauntered over and sat sideways on it, leaned toward the screen, and breathed deeply of the mountain air. Ahh! That’s the stuff!

Movement outside—the big, buff black guy next door again. Artie.

Artie lived with his woman. He swaggered over and gave Bud the old “You wanna fight, suckah?” glare, like Mr. T.

 “Piss on you,” Bud said, low.

On this side of the glass, Bud was as tough as he wanted.

Before Artie could react, his woman hollered, “Artie, get in here and eat.”

Artie did, which Bud found a little relieving.

Swingin’ dicks aside, Bud had to agree with Artie on one account: Food. But there was only the same old stuff in the kitchen. He was still sleepy, anyway, and the sofa was oh-so sunny-warm and comfy. Just do it.

He gave the crumb-covered coffee table the once-over, as well as Jon’s all-but-eaten candy bar—tempting, but no—then sprawled back, yawning and stretching his legs. Oh, yeah! He lowered his lids. Sunbeams bathed Bud’s belly, drifting him away, the easy breeze and far-off sounds floating him through a high Colorado summer.

He awoke to full dark. Where’s Jon? He’s never this late. He peered out at the moonlit street.

All in all, he and Jon had it pretty good. They made friends wherever they went, the other guys in the band liked Bud, and Jon and the bass player, Kenny, were always laughing it up. Sure, the grub was iffy, but the car was big, and there was always a place to flop. Good times. Best of all, though, was flying down the highway with the windows down, and yelling their heads off at cows along the fence lines. What a life!

His balls itched again, and stung, like that time he’d been bee bit down there, and Jon had taken him to—The doctor!

A fuzzy memory from yesterday: “Hey, Buddy!” Jon said, like always. “Wanna go for a ride?”

Bud’s slowly peered down. His eyes shot open and he bolted upright. My balls! They’re gone!

 

Jon cradled his basket of laundry under one arm, turned the knob, and shouldered the door open. “I’m home! Kenny’s bass amp crapped out, so we had to find a music store. Hey, check out my new drumsticks. They glow in the friggin’ dark! Bud? Bud?”

Yellowish moonlight skewed the window’s shadow against the far wall. Jon peered into the darkened living room. “Hello? Hmm.” He stomped his feet on the mat, flicked the kitchen’s bare bulb to life, dropped his basket to the floor, and tossed his keys to the counter. “This’ll get your attention.” He plucked the grease-spattered bag from atop the newspaper he’d spread over his folded clothes. As he bent to do this, however, the neighbor’s Rottweiler growled and charged the fence, ten feet behind the open door.

Jon whirled and slammed the door shit. “Damn!”

Slurping sounds emanated from the living room. He turned, squinted into the darkness. “Bud?”

Bud’s luminescent eyes stared back.

Jon’s shoulders slumped. He sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, Bud. I truly am. You okay?”

 

Yesterday, the doctor had smiled, reassuringly. “Don’t worry, just give him these and let him rest for a few days. He’ll forget all about it.”

“I sure as hell wouldn’t,” Jon had replied.

The veterinarian chuckled. “Well, dogs are different—they reset to zero, so to speak. He patted Jon’s shoulder. “My assistant will help you carry him out.”

The deed was done, paid for in cash, and Jon was now a “responsible” owner.

Wishing he could undo it all, he stared into the darkened living room and dumbly wondered if there’d been anything in that disclaimer about betraying your best friend. “Responsible, my ass.”

As if to reiterate this, the big terrier glared from the sagging sofa, then lifted one hind leg and resumed licking at the sad sac stitches where his ‘boys’ had so recently roamed.

Jon pulled the dog cone out from under the table. “Hey, don’t do that. You wanna wear this again?”

Bud glared.

Jon threw his hands in the air. “This sucks, yeah, and I feel for ya, but the twins are gone, Bud, and they ain’t comin’ back. You’re just gonna have to make the best of it. Anyway . . . .”

He switched the end table lamp on, then glanced at his watch. “Ooh, it’s that time.” Remote in hand he clicked the TV to life, just in time for the Gunsmoke theme song. “Great,” he said, sarcastic. “A screenshot of James Arness’s ass. Just what we all want to see at dinnertime.”

He pulled the scarred table’s solitary chair out and sat. “Well, I got you two burgers, Bud.” Held them out. “This one is for Lefty Loosey. But see this belly buster? This bad boy’s for Tighty Righty—you kind of favored him.” He saw his sock under the sofa; he’d been looking all over for it.

“Well, Bud, you wanna eat, or not? I got cheese fries.”

 

Bud stopped, mid-lick. Eat? Cheese? “Cheese!” he woofed.

All-forgiving and forgetting, Bud bounded over to his one true friend. “Cheese! Meat! Fries!”

 

Jon scratched Bud’s scruffy head. “Take it easy, okay? You gotta heal. And, of course . . .  Eat!” He widened his eyes, growled at Bud, then barked like crazy, they how they did at cows on the highway.

 

Bud barked back. “Bacon! Burger! Cheese!” He woofed and wagged and drooled for more—cheese fries, two at a time, all gulp, no bite. Yes!

Stuffed, satisfied, and bellies near bursting, they belched in unison, then sat on the sagging couch—friend and master.

And, as Matt Dillon shot the bad guys, Bud curled, closed his eyes and believed again.

This is the best!

His balls itched, though.


© Copyright 2019 J. E. DeHart. All rights reserved.

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