Inspired by Mel Brooks making fun of Nazis in, The Producers, I decided to try something similar with 500 words of flash fiction based, I'm sad to say, on a real-life event.
SHORT FOR BEELZEBUB
by Bill Fullerton
Belle, short for Beelzebub, was the small-to-medium sized by-product of a brief but turbulent liaison between a vicious Rhodesian Ridgeback and a brutal Catahoula Cur hog dog. Her distinguishing features included powerful shoulders, a ridge of bristle-like hair along her spine, dark mottled fur, one milky-white “glass” eye, a paranoid disposition, and an all-consuming desire to protect her human family.
On the night in question, her family was out when two cousins named Jerome and Moose began digging a hole in the front yard, the first step toward leaving a warning from the local Klan in the form of a burning cross. Inside her pen in the backyard, an outraged Belle had heard the noise and was frantically digging her own hole. Nobody messed around with her family’s house.
The cross had just gone up when the men spotted a dark, snarling projectile hurtling their way. Moose grabbed the post-hole digger they’d used and began doing his best to hold off the mad menace while Jerome hurried to set the cross on fire.
Sporadic cries of pain made it clear Moose was having uneven success in avoiding Belle’s teeth. Once the cross began burning, he fought a desperate holding action as Jerome led the retreat back to their truck.
Reaching that sanctuary, Jerome jumped in, cranked the engine, opened the passenger door, and then waited, with some impatience, as his associate lurched backwards into the cab while trying to deny Belle any more samples of his flesh. Once inside, Moose yanked in the protective digger. This sent the handles smashing into the windshield. He ignored Jerome’s angry protests and focused on slamming the door shut before Belle could follow him into the crowded cab.
Headlights began approaching. While still upset about his busted windshield, Jerome stopped complaining and gunned the engine.
It flooded and died.
They had the good luck to be facing downhill. Jerome yelled at his Belle-scarred companion to get out and push. At the moment, however, Belle was doing her best to scramble in through the still open passenger window. This prompted a counter-proposal that Jerome get the hell out and push himself. To his credit, he grasped this logic and complied. As the oncoming headlights got nearer, the truck began inching downhill.
That’s when Belle became aware of the new and very vulnerable target of opportunity standing outside the open driver’s door. She raced around the truck and pounced on Jerome’s unprotected left leg. He responded with a short but sincere string of obscenities, jumped back behind the wheel, and yanked the door shut, just missing Belle’s open jaws and bared teeth.
With remarkable agility for someone suffering from several fresh leg wounds, he shifted into low and released the clutch. The motor backfired, then caught. As they raced away, the burning cross seemed to give them a slow parting bow that ended with it toppling over onto the well-kept lawn.
Left behind among the exhaust fumes and shreds of denim, a small-to-medium sized, mixed-breed dog watched the retreating taillights and bayed in savage triumph.