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David V Rome Jr

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The Pet
By David V Rome Jr
Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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The perfect vacation. The perfect family... now they just need the perfect pet. One of four stories from Edge of Darkness.

The house was dark when they returned. Chad was asleep in his room, tucked soundly. Steve’s mother had agreed to watch him for the weekend. She too had already turned in for the night in the guest bedroom. The house was in perfect order as they set their luggage in the living room, carefully not to disturb anyone. They figured that they would put Sugie in the utility room for the night and surprise Chad in the morning. Both exhausted from the drive, retreated to their bedroom and fell fast asleep. Sugie took to her new surroundings almost immediately. After sniffing the area, she ate some of the food Steve left for her in the new dish, though she ignored the water in the neighboring dish. Just before she crawled into her fresh nest of towels, Sugie stood in the center of the utility room tiled floor and generated a warm puddle of urine, completely ignoring the pee pad set down for her.

That morning Steve fought the urge to sleep past nine. He was still tired from the long trip he had made the night before and could easily have slept until noon. However, he knew that Chad would be waking soon and he wanted to have his surprise waiting for him. He went down the hall past the kitchen towards the utility room where he knew he would find Sugie waiting for him. Indeed Sugie was waiting. Steve stopped at the doorway to the kitchen, there sat Sugie next to the overturned kitchen can. She had at some point in the night chewed a hole in the utility room’s door and escaped. She now sat chewing at a thighbone from a chicken Steve’s mother had fed Chad the day before. Sugie paid little attention to Steve as he stood in the doorway stunned by the little creature’s feat. Steve picked her up and she growled a shallow sound that resembled a prolonged belch than anything offensive.
“C’mon young lady, we need to get you cleaned up for Chaddy-boy.” Steve said carrying Sugie to the bathroom.

Sugie remained calm until Steve attempted to put her in the water. She began squealing and clawing at his hands and arms. The sound was startling. It was extraordinarily loud in the little bathroom and echoed through out the house. Sugie flopped back and forth as he held her in the water by the nap of her neck and added the flea dip. Steve closed the door hoping that her cries would not wake Chad up. He worked the thick yellow ointment into the dog’s grayish skin. Legions of deceased and dying fleas floated in the froth that formed on the water. Sugie continued her futile attempt to free herself. Her eyes rolled in her head like black marbles in a cup. Steve’s eyes locked with her’s and than Sugie did something Steve had never heard any dog do. Hiss. She looked dead in his eyes and let out a deep hiss. Steve jumped almost dropping her completely in the water.

Perhaps the dip was burning her, he thought. He also realized that his own hands had begun to tingle and burn. He then realized that the flea dip and shampoo were for animals with a coat. Not fur-free dogs like the Mexican Hairless. The dog wiggled in his grip. Steve rinsed the ointment off while brushing away the remaining fleas that amassed by the stub which once was a tail. Steve wrapped Sugie in a bath towel drying her as he did. She calmed a little, though now he could feel her shaking inside the towel. Then as he reached to pull the towel from over her face Sugie snapped down on his hand. Her needle like teeth sunk into the fatty flesh between his right pointer and his thumb.

A lightening bolt of pain rocketed up his arm into his head. Steve let out a yowl, in reflex he pulled back his hand and dropped Sugie to the floor. She scampered out from the towel and hid behind the toilet. Steve’s hand throbbed in pain as he clutched it with his other. He prepared himself to assess the damage. Loosening his grip, he saw the perfect semi-oval shape of teeth marks outlined on his palm and backside of his hand. Tiny droplets of blood seeped out each hole, the center two marks bleeding the most. He winced in pain as he tried to ball his hand into a fist- making the blood leak more. Steve flattened his hand again picking up the towel and wrapping it tightly around the wound.

Chad awoke to something licking his face, a tiny tongue flicking its way around his face. Warm saliva streaked across his nose and lips. He winced opening his eyes in the morning light. He saw his mother and father standing at the foot of his bed. He went to sit up and the barrage of tonguing began again on his left cheek. Sugie stood on Chad’s pillow licking his face and nuzzling at his neck.

“He’s tickling me!” Chad cried out, giggling at the onslaught.

“Her name is Sugie. And she looks like she really likes you, Kiddo.” Debbie smiled.

Sugie made her way around into Chad’s lap. Then a look came across his face as he looked down at the animal still trying to lick at his face. He stared down at the gray and pink flesh of his new pet wiping the dampness from his lips.

“What is it?” Chad asked with a hint of disgust in is voice.

“She’s a Mexican Hairless dog, Chaddy-boy. She won’t mess with your allergies and get you sick.” Steve recognized the tone of Chad’s voice. It wasn’t what he or Deb had expected. They hoped for excitement and joy. Steve heard the disappointment buried in confusion.

“She’s real expensive.” Deb added realizing her choice of words was not in the best interest of the situation.

“It looks weird. It doesn’t even have a tail.” Chad pointed at the wiggling nub.

“It’s just different son. You are used to seeing dogs with hair on them. She’s a good dog though and we paid good money for her.” Steve said in agreement with his wife.

Chad looked down at the seemingly harmless creature that staring back up at him. There was something about his new pet that was… well more then just different. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it though. Maybe his father was right, maybe he was just not used to the no-hair thing. Chad even felt a shred of guilt that his parents had not only bent their “no pet rule” for him, they also paid good money for the dog. Perhaps he could grow to overlook the odd color and funny shaped head- not to mention the tail or rather the lack thereof. He had indeed wanted a pet and now he had one.

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Reviewed by David Rome Jr 5/30/2007
This story was indeed inspired by a pretty famous urban myth.

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