Microfiction – 020/365

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Dog Day Afternoon

In a breath Andres was up on his feet. “Come on,” he said, “I want to show you something,,” and off we went.

In a couple minutes we had ridden over to Gramercy Place between 4th and 5th, and came up the sidewalk to the front of big old two-story house sandwiched between two slightly younger apartment buildings, six-story brick structures, the kind with visible iron fire escapes descending from the rooftops. It’s huge porch fronted a neatly trimmed yard bordered with decorative wood picket fencing that stood about a foot-tall.

“This guy used to be a customer,” Andres told me, “but he couldn’t keep that dog from tearing up the paper.”

“What dog?” I asked, as I straddled my bike.

Andres pointed toward the shadowy porch, and I strained to focus into the dusky light. My eyes finally found another pair of eyes — a doberman’s — locked on mine and looking straight back at me, and I half-gasped at the fierceness I found in them. A predator/prey acknowledgement flashed through my thoughts: “This thing had been waiting for us.”

“I hate that dog,” I heard Andres say and I saw an anger in his eyes that matched the dog’s, leaving me momentarily in doubt as to who terrified me more.

Then came the growl, canine exhaust from its low-rumbling engine of hate that revved higher and throttled louder with each passing moment, and it was clear the dog was the winner of my discontent. With my heart jack-hammering in my chest and sweat suddenly leaking from every pour, I fought valiantly against wetting myself as what felt like about a thousand chills shot from the back of my neck to the crack of my ass in record time and every hair on my body stood up as if I was suddenly electrically charged.

Then the dog came. Shooting toward us from out the gloom of the porch and down the steps into the afternoon sunlight, the beast was a huge, sleek, jet-black weapon of mass destruction that ripped off hellacious barks as it broke the fragile distance that had previously been between us.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with laonstage.com, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."