Dog Law

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic
Dogs suddenly develop the ability to speak. They are intelligent, articulate and mix well with humans. That is until a young girl stumbles across the most alarming sight, and finds the dogs have far more sinister designs than simple co-existence.

Submitted: November 22, 2011

A A A | A A A

Submitted: November 22, 2011




by Noah Rockmore

Little Abbey was devastated when Cody had run away. At the park, earlier that evening she and her mother were walking Cody when he escaped from his leash and took off running.

Cody had never even attempted to run before, but he ran as though freed from an unbearable bondage. Never once did he stop, and never once did he acknowledge their calls. Ears perched, tongue wagging, he galloped away, through the park and into the woods.

Abbey and her mother followed to the tree line and called after him. Not so much as a rustle from a leaf was heard. With the sun going down they could not go into the woods after him.

Little Abbey was devastated. And her pain was certainly not lost when, walking back through the park, her eyes met those of a dozen other dogs, all staring that bewildered dog expression. Some tilted their heads and hung their eyes. Others wagged their tongues, panting in excitement. All were yielded by their leashes.

Their eyes did not remain fixed for long. As Abbey passed each of the dogs she felt a mocking tone in them, as though humored by her loss. They all seemed to turn and gaze longingly to the woods where her Cody had disappeared. She heard the anxious, desperate high-pitched squeals that dogs make when resisting their most primal temptations. Little Abbey cried all the way home.

Little Abbey wept in bed. Her parents, too, were upset. Her brother, however, was amused. But to Abbey, who was young enough to have never known a day without Cody, he was more than just a dog. He was as much a part of her life as anyone else.

Distant barking woke Little Abbey just as she was drifting off. She quickly sprung up from bed and shouted, “It’s Cody!” before running downstairs to find her parents, who were startled by her cries.

“Abbey, what’s wrong?,” her mother asked.

“I heard Cody outside,” she declared, hurrying to the front door to see.

Her father grinned and picked her up in his arms. “Don’t you worry about Cody. I’ll go out first thing tomorrow and look for him,” he assured her.

Again, the barking was heard, closer now than before. They could hear other dogs in the neighborhood barking in response until there was a cacophony of dog cries rolling up the street.

Abbey’s father set her down and opened the door. At the end of the walk sat Cody, an apologetic expression on his tilted face. Abbey ran and hugged him. Her parents were relieved.

Cody shrugged Abbey off of him and walked to the front of the house.

“Well, what do you know?” her father said as he inspected the dog carefully. “He found his way back all by himself.” He slid the collar back on the dog and pet him.

“Okay, Abbey-girl, time to get back to bed,” her mother announced to her frowning daughter. Abbey’s father took her to bed as her mother walked the dog into the basement.

“Get in there, dummy,” she said, pushing the dog into his kennel. Cody calmly watched as he was locked in for the night. He didn’t lie down. He stood, panting and watching.

As Abbey’s mother was leaving the basement she laughed to herself when she thought she’d heard a low voice mumble something along the lines of, “You’ll get yours, bitch!” But it must have been her imagination, for she was all alone, save Cody.

“The most peculiar thing was on television this morning,” Abbey’s father announced at the breakfast table. “Says here there have been accounts of several dogs in the city that have developed the ability to speak.”

“To speak?” Abbey’s mother said with a puzzled brow. A shiver passed through her, and she turned from the stove. “What do you mean?”

“Speaking. Like us. Speaking like humans,” he said, amazed and shaking his head in disbelief.

His wife grinned sensing that he was putting her on. That is until her husband leapt up from the kitchen table with his newspaper.

“You see?,” he said, excitedly showing her an article articulating his very claim.

“How can this be?,” she asked.

“The dogs can talk.” He laughed.

Abbey came down the stairs, walking right past her stunned parents, to the basement door. She stood on her tip-toes to grip the knob.

“Wait, Abbey!,” her mother cried. She and her husband’s eyes met. Each read the other’s mind.

Abbey looked at them, confused, holding the door open. A cool draft rose from the basement, and her mother went first, down the steps.

Cody stood up in his kennel and watched as the family approached. Abbey rushed past her parents and knelt in front of the kennel.

“Abbey, come here,” her mother said, firmly.

“What’s the matter, mommy?

Her mother and father paid her no mind. They watched Cody with anticipation, slowly approaching the kennel. When they could wait no more, her father spoke, “Cody?”

Cody stared up at them and tilted his head. Then he spoke, “That’s right.”

For the next several weeks, it was discovered that more and more dogs gradually developed the ability to speak. Not only could every dog speak, but they were articulate and intelligent. As expected, this subject dominated conversation for a time until it became the norm.

The dogs integrated well with people, and could carry on intelligent conversations when addressed. However, they were a very secretive lot, and would generally speak quietly to one another, and abruptly end their talk as soon as any humans were within earshot. While passing, they would shoot each other a knowing glance or gesture. People noticed these things but paid them little mind.

With this new ability to speak came a new self-awareness for the dogs. They found they were able to take liberties now that they had not previously known. They would leave their homes at night sometimes without their owners knowing and meet up in the woods by the park.

Abbey noticed. Since Cody gained the ability to speak, he convinced Abbey’s parents to permit him to roam the house at night and not be confined to his kennel. And at night Abbey would hear his footsteps scraping across the sidewalk outside as he left, and she would wait by her window for him to return, which usually wasn’t until almost four in the morning.

Then, one night, she thought she’d follow him. As soon as she heard Cody’s footsteps, she threw on some shoes and hurried out of the house after him. She was able to follow him to the park but lost him in the dark.

“Cody,” she called quietly as she tip-toed into the park. The moon was bright enough that she could make out the trees, which she used to guide herself to the woods. As she reached the tree line she could make out some indiscernible chatter from in the woods.

“Cody,” she called again, more quietly than before. The air was cold and she felt very vulnerable. Abbey walked into the woods, her hands stretched out in front of her to guide her.

As Abbey neared the chatter she could make out laughter, though not cheerful laughter. The laughter was sarcastic, mocking, mean-spirited laughter, like that of a gang of bullies congregating to gloat. Abbey could make out several different voices in the mix.

It was then that she stumbled on a most alarming sight. There were at least a dozen dogs by the stream, strutting and snarling, laughing and speaking the most vulgar insults of their human keepers. The alpha of the pack was Cody, and it was he who led the affair.

Abbey watched until one of them saw her. It snarled and growled and barked as it leapt toward her. Abbey was too stunned to move. The other dogs growled and barked as well.

Abbey backed up slowly as the dog advanced on her, growling and threatening. Then a voice broke though, “Wait!”

It was Cody, who sprinted to Abbey. He was angry, and by no means defensive of the girl.

“Why have you come here?” Cody growled. His eyes narrowed at the girl and he panted angrily.

“I followed you,” Abbey stuttered. She was too petrified to properly explain herself. She relaxed only slightly when the dog that spotted her backed off. Cody circled her, and she froze. Cody huffed and growled.

“I say we eat her,” one of the other dogs hissed. Others licked their lips and wagged their tongues at the thought. Cody was silent. Other dogs growled and barked, bouncing eagerly, ready to pounce on the girl.

Abbey flinched and began to weep. She was surrounded now.

“Settle yourselves,” Cody shouted. “Now is not the time.”

Other voices called out, “Fuck her!”…“Look at her tears, the pathetic creature!”…“Kill her!”…“She would speak of this!”…“She cannot be allowed to leave!”…“No mercy on the swine!”…“Kill the bitch!”

Abbey fell to her knees and wept. “Please, Cody, don’t kill me,” she cried.

Cody huffed, “You foolish, stupid girl.”

Abbey wept harder now, knowing full well she was facing her own imminent annihilation. “Please, Cody. I beg you. Don’t kill me,” she pleaded.

“I will do worse than kill you, you pig! You will live this night, but you will know the fate that awaits all of you human swine!” Cody growled into her ear, “You will not speak of what you’ve seen, for if you do, no one would believe you because humans are stupid, self-centered pigs. You will be slaughtered as the pigs you are, and we dogs shall rule. Should you speak of this we will tear your arms from your body. We will murder and eat your family, and you will be made to watch as the pig race of humans becomes subservient to us, the worthy race of this world. So go now, and sleep in peace, and know that soon is the day of the dogs, and you, and all, will be made to abide!”

Abbey breathed for the first time in several minutes. She backed up slowly out of the woods and through the park until she was home. Within a blink she was asleep.

When Abbey awoke a few hours later she lied in bed a few hours more. She could hear Cody’s soft footsteps moving through the house, and even pacing outside her door. She was afraid to move but couldn’t help but wonder whether the strange encounter the previous night had been imagined.

Her mother called, “Abbey, come on, dear. Breakfast is ready.”

As Abbey walked to the kitchen she could hear her family, and Cody, laughing with one another.

“Good morning, Abbey-girl,” her father said.

“Thought you were going to sleep all day,” said her mother.

Abbey was hesitant to sit down. Cody stared at her. He looked at her not as the night before, but as he always had. He even greeted her pleasantly, “Good morning, Abbey.”

Abbey sat down and stared at Cody with her big, nervous eyes.

“What do you say, Abbey?,” her father nudged.

Then Abbey spoke, quietly, “Good morning, Cody.”

Her mother served her breakfast and all through the meal Cody and her father talked and laughed about any number of things. Abbey ate quietly.

Cody was in good spirits and exceedingly friendly. He would crack jokes and talk trash and gossip about some of the other neighborhood dogs. Then he stood up.

“Would one of you be kind enough to walk me?,” he asked. “I desperately need to go to the bathroom.”

“Now there’s an interesting idea,” Abbey’s father stated. “Why don’t we teach you to use the bathroom properly? It would make sense, wouldn’t it? Dogs are, after all, becoming more and more civilized every day.”

Cody chuckled, being a good sport, but declined. “I must say that I really do prefer the outdoors. Civilization, lovely as it is, has never been our most natural element. Our kind comes from the forest and the plains.”

“Very well then,” her father resigned, returning to his news paper. “Abbey, why don’t you get dressed and take Cody for a walk?”

Abbey’s heart leapt into her throat and she froze. “Something the matter?,” her mother asked, approaching her, as mothers do, to see if she was ill or had a fever. “She feels okay,” her mother said, touching Abbey’s forehead with the back of her hand.

“Abbey, do as I say,” her father demanded.

Without a word, Abbey left the table, got dressed and took Cody out. She was certain that once Cody had her alone that he would kill her. Scared as she was, she was resigned to this fate, and treated it as any other walk.

Cody never once acknowledged the previous night. He behaved as he always had, as Abbey’s best friend. He spoke kindly to her and even cracked a joke or two to try to lighten her up.

A chill of relief came into Abbey. Perhaps she had only exaggerated the events in her mind. She let Cody off of his leash in the park, and he quickly went to congregate with several other dogs. They spoke in whispers.

Night after night, Abbey watched from her bedroom window as Cody left for the park. Other dogs would follow, and with each night, their numbers seemed to increase. And each night they would return at four in the morning, quietly easing their way into their homes.

All of this became perfectly normal until one afternoon when word quickly spread through the neighborhood that a young boy of Abbey’s age was viciously attacked by his own dog.

The boy was a bloody mess when the ambulance took him away. His face and neck had been bitten, and the flesh on his arms and legs was torn to ribbons. The boy died of his injuries not long after.

The dog was found hiding, not too far from the house, by the authorities and put up a violent fight when they tried to detain him.

Spectators in the neighborhood couldn’t help but hurry over to see, and the police desperately tried to keep everyone at a safe distance.

The dog barked and growled and hissed, nipping at the dog catchers who surrounded him. He called them “Worthless pigs,” and shouted the most unimaginably vulgar threats and insults at them and everyone else.

The spectators were stunned by this dog’s behavior and began to jeer him. The dog told them all to “Fuck themselves!”

Finally the catchers had him and threw him in the back of their truck. Every dog in the neighborhood was barking now in defense of their friend. The catchers jumped in the truck and hurried off down the street.

Several of the neighborhood dogs tried to chase it down but could not keep up. They were mad. “The dirty fucking swine!,” one of the hissed. “I’ll kill ‘em!,” shouted another. The entire neighborhood soon heard.

The dogs were quiet, and saddened by the inevitable fate of their friend, in spite of his crimes. Tensions were high in households, too, and people kept an extra-close watch on their dogs. Some were confined to their kennels once again.

The humans tried to explain that it was not punishment, and that things would soon return to normal, but the dogs were displeased.

Those still free to roam continued to meet in the woods each night. And each night, Abbey watched and waited for Cody, until one night when none of the dogs returned home.

In the morning, neighbors met in their driveways, each confirming with the others that their dogs were nowhere to be found. Some drove around the neighborhood, calling out from their car windows, but the town was eerily quiet. There was not a bark to be heard, and even the birds and the air seemed unusually hushed. The world held its breath.

Some of the neighbors made their way to the park, calling out for their dogs. But still, there was no trace.

“This is damned peculiar,” one of them said. “Why would they all run away?”

It was then that footsteps were heard just in the woods, rustling the dried, dead leaves on the floor. Out came a small pug, alone. He stopped just past the tree line. His owner approached him.

“Scooter?,” he said, but the dog remained still as he approached. The man stopped and knelt down. “Come here, boy.”

The dog stared at him and curled its lip. Then he spoke, “You dare to come here, you pigs?”

“Scooter!,” the man shouted, angrily.

The dog growled and barked at its owner. “You’re not welcome. Leave here.”

The man lost his patience and grabbed the dog at the back of its neck and picked him up. The dog kicked, violently, and barked.

Just then, more shuffling came from the woods, and in short time the man was surrounded by all the neighborhood dogs. His little pug laughed at him.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?,” the man said.

Between chuckles, the pug spoke, “We’re killing all you fucking pigs!”

An ice-cold chill ran through the man’s body as his anger quickly turned to fear. “But why?”, he asked.

All the dogs laughed at him, circling him, eagerly waiting to pounce.

“Because we can now. Because we want all that you have -- All of your wealth, all of your power, all of your freedoms. We want it all.”

“Surely we could continue living peacefully with one another. We’ve done so, happily, for many years, haven’t we?”

“That time is past. We’re taking over now. And all of you will die,” the little pug finished.

With that, one of the dogs bit the man’s leg and pulled him down. Others joined, biting, and dragging him into the woods, tearing him to pieces. Other neighbors watched, helplessly, from a distance.

The dogs were not seen for several days and the people in the neighborhood were tentative, and deeply shaken by the loss of one of their own. No one could quite understand what had provoked the dogs to rebel to this degree.

The air was electric with tensions as people in the neighborhood waited to see what might happen when the dogs returned.

It wasn’t long before Cody appeared inside the front door of his house, sitting calmly in the foyer, as Abbey and her family looked on nervously from the kitchen.

The room exhaled when Abbey’s father finally spoke, “Cody, what are you doing here?”

Cody turned and looked at them, a look of disgust on his face. He slowly walked toward them, testing them, as he spoke. “Am I not welcome in my home?” His voice was cruel and sarcastic.

Abbey and her family became nervous as the realized they were cornered in the kitchen with their dog. It seemed an eternity before Abbey’s father spoke again.

“Of course you’re welcome. This is your home as well. It always has been.” He swallowed hard and tried to stay calm and civil. His terror, however, was very apparent to Cody.

“Sit down,” Cody commanded. “Let’s talk.”

“Sure. Let’s you and I have a talk while the kids go to their room,” Abbey’s father spoke in a vain attempt to level his authority with Cody’s.

“No!,” Cody barked, startling everyone. “There are no terms but my terms. You will all listen and know what we discuss. If you refuse, I will have my pack destroy your home and tear the flesh from your arms.”

Abbey and her family sat at the dining room table and listened to the terms of the dogs:

1: No human is permitted to leave their home without the permission of the dogs.

2: Humans will donate three quarters of their food to the dogs upon purchase; only retaining enough to remain properly nourished for survival.

3: Automobiles are strictly prohibited, as dogs do not understand them and do not like them.

4: No human is to speak to, or even make eye contact with any dog; and if this law is broken, the penalty is a public execution of which all neighborhood dogs are to participate, and all neighborhood humans are to observe.

5: All food and drink is only to be purchased with the explicit permission and instruction of the dogs.

6: Any human given permission to leave their home must be accompanied by a dog.

7: Breeding amongst humans is strictly prohibited.

8: Speaking amongst humans is restricted to private quarters, and is not to be done in the presence of the dogs.

9: Any human who disobeys any law will be subject to public execution, of which all dogs will participate and all humans will observe.

10: Any dog that shows sympathy, mercy, or compassion to any human, or violates the laws as they are written, will forfeit his/her life and the life of his/her human family.

And those were the laws as laid down by the dogs.

With very little difficulty, the humans fell in line of the dogs’ instructions. They lived and slept in their basements and allowed the dogs to have the run of the house. The dogs taunted them and teased them relentlessly, thrilled and amused by the human’s now subservient position.

Little was known of what was happening outside on any given day. Occasionally some commotion or barking was heard, but for the most part it was quiet. Cody would scratch on the basement door to alert Abbey and her family that their food was ready. Often the food for the humans was already partially eaten by the dogs, but they ate anyway.

In the weeks since the dogs took over, their humans suffered, living in such confined circumstances and receiving significantly less food than they were originally promised. Often the dogs would completely forget to give them water and the people took to breaking open the copper and PCP pipes in their homes to drink. They lost weight, they lost energy. They became malnourished and dehydrated.

Abbey and her family felt they were at their breaking point when Cody scratched at the door. It wasn’t feeding time. He scratched again.

“C’mon, lets go!,” he called out. “It’s time for you to see what happens to those who disobey.”

Abbey and her family followed Cody out of the house. They squinted at the bright sun.

In the middle of the street the entire neighborhood was gathered in a large circle, surrounded by all of the dogs, who hopped around, growling and barking, excitedly. At the center of the circle was the Leonard family – husband, wife, and teenage son.

Cody pushed Abbey’s family into the edge of the circle. When all others were gathered, Cody strolled to the center where the Leonard family stood.

“We informed you all of the laws, yet some of you disobey. Young, Mister Leonard here saw it fit to speak to his dog master, and in so doing, has forfeited his own life and the life of his family.”

The Leonard boy spoke, “But I didn’t. I didn’t say anything. I swear!”

His dog master growled at him. “You sighed at my instruction, and that is a sign of disrespect, swine!”

“But I didn’t,” the boy cried. His parents held him tight.

The dogs laughed. Then Cody spoke, “The law is written, and will be obeyed. You knew the consequences, and now justice will be enacted.” With that, Cody gave a nod to the other dogs, who then proceeded to tear the Leonard family apart.

The other humans watched with horror. Abbey noticed her father, who appeared strangely passive, and then a few of the other men as well. They did not turn away, nor did they flinch. They stared with an eerie complacency, communicating with one another through this incident.

Abbey saw her father’s lip curl and twitch, and his brow furrow and his eyes narrow, and she saw him say under his breath, “God damn animals!” His was the sentiment of the rest.

Over the next several days, Abbey could hear her mother and father speaking angrily to one another. They were very quiet and secretive about it, and would become quieter still whenever someone else was perceived to be within earshot.

Abbey’s father spent much of the time at the small basement window communicating with the neighbor, whose house was close enough. Though they could not speak, for fear of being heard, they could communicate with hand gestures. Later, this communication evolved to a tennis ball which they would write messages on.

Then, over weeks, these communications became a chain which linked the whole neighborhood. Abbey’s father kept much to himself. When Abbey would inquire, he would confess to playing a game of catch with the other fellow.

Abbey’s father woke and gathered the family late one night. He whispered to them, “There’s rumors going around. The dogs have formed clans, and have been fighting each other for control. Ray, down the street, says he heard the same thing is happening all over.”

“So?,” Abbey’s mother interrupted, with very little patience.

“So,” her father continued, “they’ve shown a weakness. They can be divided. We can reclaim this world from them because we can organize and work together toward a common, beneficial goal, unlike the savages. We can fight them!”

“This is insane,” Abbey’s mother protested. “We’re outnumbered. They’re too smart and two strong. And even if we did fight, what’s to say they wouldn’t call upon other dogs from other cities to stop us.”

“Do you want to be a prisoner forever?,” Abbey’s father asked. “This is war. This is enslavement. If we sit here and do nothing, we’ve lost, and we’ll die. At least if we fight, we have a chance. We have weapons, we have strategy. They’re only mindless beasts, only concerned with satisfying their most basic instincts. Dammit, we’ve ruled this world for tens of thousands of years. God and nature gave us that power, and some filthy beast won’t take it away. We’re smarter than the dogs, and we’re stronger. The stakes are life or death. Me and the others have made our decision. What’s yours?”

Abbey’s mother looked at her children, then back to her husband. “Okay.”

The neighborhood planned. They conspired. Every night they would quietly pass the ball from one house to another. Not one of them refused to participate. They had all been pushed too far.

Day and night they would hear the dogs around town, occasionally barking as they fought one another for territory. The dogs almost never returned home, and once in a while the humans would become bold and leave their basements in search of food.

When the dogs did return they looked as though returning from battle. They were tired, limping, distracted by their own immediate concerns. After a time, they paid the humans little notice, and eventually, the world outside became quiet.

Abbey’s father fashioned weapons with whatever articles he could find in the basement. He and the other neighbors agreed that now was the time to come up and strike.

Abbey’s father hushed his family and walked quietly up the basement steps, armed with a lead pipe and a masonry trawl. His arms, legs and neck wrapped in towels to protect from bites.

Abbey, her mother and brother waited, following the sound of her father’s footsteps with their eyes as he searched the house, inside and out. When he came back, he stood at the top of the basement steps and proclaimed, with a sigh of relief, “It’s all clear.”

The rest of Abbey’s family came up and had a look about. Still fearful, they tread quietly through the house. When they stepped into the front yard, they felt as though seeing the sun and sky for the first time in ages, without fear, shame and humiliation.

A bark from down the street caused their hearts to leap into their throats. And soon they saw the commotion. One dog, making its best effort to assert itself was surrounded by three armed neighbors.

It leapt and barked, but its threats were useless. The humans poked and prodded the dog, then beat him with garden tools. The dog kept up an aggressive fight but was far outmatched. Soon it grew tired, and with a few more blows, the dog limped and swayed and fell to the ground, defeated.

The dog wheezed, and other neighbors came closer to see. No other dogs were seen or heard.

The dog inhaled deeply and with great effort. “You…will…pay…for this,” the dog hissed. “You pigs!” No sooner did the dog finish than and axe came down on its neck and popped its head off with one blow.

For the next several weeks, the humans readjusted to their old lifestyles, and each day the men would go out hunting the dogs. They were not prepared to leave even one standing. They were all of one mind and one thought – Extermination.

Each of the neighborhood dogs that were found were brought back to the street and thrown into a gigantic bonfire that was built in the middle of the block. It seemed to never burn out and each day it grew bigger and bigger.

The dogs would be brought to the block alive and were given the option of decapitation or a bullet. Every dog that was captured remained defiant to the end. With each dead dog, the humans cheered and became more encouraged that their work was worthwhile.

Abbey went about her business as before the dog revolution, but she was never permitted to leave the house. One thing that was always on her mind was Cody. She missed Cody.

One day Abbey went down into the basement to play when she heard some rustling in the corner. As she approached, she saw movement, then she saw that it was Cody, tired, dirty, bloody and beaten. Abbey ran to him, “Cody!” she cried.

Cody hushed her. He barely had the strength to move or speak. Unsteadily, he laid himself down on the floor. “Abbey, I beg you…don’t let them know I’m here. Not any of them,” he pleaded.

“Are you okay?” Abbey asked quietly.

Cody panted and groaned. “Stupid! The dogs were so stupid,” Cody said in a sad, defeated tone.

“What happened, Cody?”

Cody strained to get his words out. “We had everything we could have wanted. We had a functioning society on the top of the world. Then they got greedy. To live peacefully was not enough. Instead each wanted to rule – first one, then another – until lines were drawn, sides were taken, clan against clan, dog against dog.” Cody sighed, then continued, “All we ever wanted was everything that you people have…and we blew it. We got greedy, Abbey, and it all fell apart.”

Abbey hugged Cody, and Cody moaned and sighed. “That feels good,” he said.

“I love you, Cody,” Abbey said, weeping. “You’re my best friend.”

“I love you too, Abbey. You’re the only real friend I’ve ever had. I realize that now. I am sorry. I am so sorry for what I’ve done.” They held each other.

The moment came to a halt when a voice broke into the room. “Too late for that, dog.” It was Abbey’s father, machete in hand.

Cody backed away from Abbey, panting nervously. He looked at Abbey, then at her father.

“Daddy, no!,” cried Abbey.

Cody and Abbey’s eyes met one last time, and Cody, with all his remaining strength leapt through the basement window and ran.

Abbey’s father disappeared out the front door, blowing his whistle, alerting the other neighbors.

Quickly, a posse formed and they went after Cody, excitedly shouting that the dog’s leader was on the move. They shouted taunts into the air until their voices were too distant to hear. Abbey cried.

Not long after, the neighborhood men returned, with no gloating or hollering. Cody was not with them, and none ever mentioned him or the hunt again. The bonfire eventually burned down, and all went back to some semblance of normal.

As time passed, what few dogs remained became novelties to be seen in zoos and read about in books. Their revolution became just another footnote in the history books.

For years Abbey waited every night for Cody to return. She grew up and thought of him often, until she no longer did.

© Copyright 2018 Noah Rockmore. All rights reserved.

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