Mike is a long-time supporter of procrastination and enjoys doing as often as he can.
A Regular Thing
Buster sat by the river, watching objects float bye. The river was low, but something upriver was knocking stuff into it. A human body drifted bye. Seeing people dead had become a regular thing for the dogs; in fact, it had been more than three days since they saw a living human. Buster spent the first three years of his life in a small bag being carried around by his human. Being around people was just natural to him. Rosie didn’t care if they ever saw another human. She was a Great Dane that spent most of her life in a small room being used as a puppy factory in a puppy mill. Her people sold her family away from her. Five days ago, this unlikely pairing of a tall and short dog met and started on their way when they met another two dogs, a Rottweiler/Pitbull mix named Rex and a Bichon Frise named Dot.
Three days ago, a strange-looking human vehicle went by with a strange but familiar scent for Rex. He had met a human child and had saved the boy from being killed by a pack of deer. Rex felt the boy could be trusted, so they had decided to try and find him. Rosie, while not wanting anything to do with humans, decided she was better off with a pack than on her own, or as Dot said, “I guess we’re together.” The trip that should have taken maybe a day was now on their third with one small problem, Buster was little even by pug standards, and while he had a lot of energy, he couldn’t go the distance. On their first day, he had let Rosie carry him in a bag, but after that, he wouldn’t go near one.
On their frequent rests, Rex would go ahead and scout what was in front of them. A few times, he suggested they change directions to avoid large herds of deer and squirrels. Dot could see both Rex’s and Rosie’s frustration in just how slow they were going knowing she was also a part of the problem. Rosie wouldn’t complain; she had no interest in finding any humans. Rex came back frantic, screaming, “run, go now.” Rosie grabbed Buster by his collar, and with Dot trailing behind her, they ran for an abandoned truck. Buster barked in anger while nearly choking from the collar. Rosie jumped into the bed tossing Buster into the cab from the pass-through window in the back. Dot followed him in, and the two larger dogs got down, trying to hide.
At first, there was nothing, then a rumbling started. The ground shook, and the sound grew louder. None of the dogs looked up, knowing they would be seen, but they could smell the deer. The herd took ten minutes to pass by. In the distance, Rex could smell a new smell. The smell was strange to him but somehow familiar. Taking a chance, he lifted his head and saw another dog, then two more dogs. As a guard dog, Rex knew what other guard dogs looked like or how they acted. All three were German Shepherds, with two of them being tan and black and the third a white and black. The three dogs were circling a deer who was stomping at the dogs. The white dog asked Rex, “do you want to join us, brother?”
The deer saw Rex and jumped over the dogs. Rex jumped, catching the deer by the neck and using his weight and momentum spun the deer’s head around, feeling its neck break as he nearly twisted the head off. The other dogs jumped biting at the deer. The white Shepherd asked, “holy ravioli, how did you do that?” Rex said with a mouth full of deer fur, “I’ve had a chance to practice that, and it’s my signature move.” Dot laughed. One of the Shepherds turned to the truck, growling. It said, “who’s in there?” Dot looked out the truck. The Shepherd said, “Oh, a bait dog.” The other two German Shepherds laughed. Rex wanted to ask what was so funny when Rosie stood up. One of the dogs whistled, another one said, “dam girl, where you been hiding.” Rosie said, “in your dreams and only in your dreams, dog.”
Rosie pulled Buster out of the cab through the window as he barked in anger. The white Shepherd said his name was Toe, and the other two were Tic and Tac. Tac said, “just let that bait dog go and come down here, baby.” Buster jumped down and ran over to Tac. He said, “just who are you calling bait…… and what’s bait?” Toe said, “the masters used small dogs like you to train us to…….” Tic started to jump up and down, saying, “get the bait, kill it, kill it, get the bait.” Rosie growled. Dot jumped down from the bed. Tac whistled, and Tic said, “yeah, I would mount that…. Oh yeah, we got ourselves a good time tonight.” Rosie said, “we sound more and more human every day.”
Rex told the Shepherds they were following a scent looking for a human he had saved before. Toe asked if they wanted some company on this quest. Rex wasn’t sure what the word quest meant, but he liked the sound of it. Of the three, Toe seemed to be their leader and the smartest. Tac was a horn dog, and Tic was hyper. Rex didn’t like the feeling of these three, but they were dogs, and they were stronger together. Buster was less than thrilled with them coming. Toe looked to the east, saying how there was a large group of humans in a cage. He said, “if your human was looking for other humans, then he went that way.”
The large group of dogs went east with both Rex and Toe in the lead. Neither dog said anything with both keeping their eyes on the road. Rex made a note to himself on how the other two shepherds stayed in the rear behind his group. Tic was a jumpy dog and had a hard time with how slow they were moving. Dot and Rosie felt something off with the way Tac was watching them. After a few hours into the walk, they needed to take a break for both Buster and Dot. Tic spent the time running around the group, both irritating them while keeping an eye out for any danger. Tic kept saying, “stay low and get the throat, stay low and get the throat.”
Toe watched Tic as he ran with a grin on his muzzle. He said, “the humans gave him something when he was young that made him like that. It was supposed to make him a better fighter for the game.” Buster asked, “game?” Toe looked away, almost like he didn’t hear him. He turned back and said, “something the humans called fight club. We were to fight other dogs and animals so the humans could watch a superior species do what it was meant to do.” Dot asked, “fight?” Toe, in a sort of gleeful tone said, “kill.” Tac said, “I hate them all. We had no choice, no voice, and no value past our ability to kill. I hope we never see another human again.” The dogs grew silent as they watched the manic Tic run around chasing a butterfly then his tail.
Tac sniffed around Dot. She said, “keep it to yourself, or I’ll take that nose from you.” Tac said, “no, I just smelled something different……. So, puppies, how nice for you two.” Dot looked him in the eyes and saw he wasn’t joking. She said, “no……no puppies.” Rosie pushed past Tac and took a sniff. Dot asked, “what am I, a scent bar?” Rosie said, “I think he’s right. I know that scent, and you have it.” Dot looked at Rex as he slept. Tac followed her gaze. He said, “those are going to be some interesting looking dogs.” Rosie sat next to Dot with her head next to hers. She said, “don’t worry, no one will take your puppies away from you…... I won’t let them.” After a long time of running, Tic stopped and lay in the sun. The silence was deafening. Tac said, “that dog is nuts……. I remember being a puppy. I had my human who fed me, took me for walks, let me sleep in her bed. One day she came home with a new puppy. A bait dog and like that, I was out, in a cage being taught to kill. I hate them all.”
Deer, The Other Red Meat
As night fell, the dogs were on the move again. They spent most of their time in the woods staying close to the road but not on it. Buster struggled to keep the pace as the shepherds tried to speed up. Tac slowed down so he could walk next to Buster. Rex watched over them. Neither dog spoke; they just walked in unison with the larger dog changing his gate to match the smaller dog. After six hours, they stopped again. Toe said how the human cage was just over the next hill. He and Rex went to look the place over. With the alphas gone, the other dogs took a long break. Even Tic was tired. Buster sat next to Tack, who just looked at him. Dot and Rosie joined them, and soon, they were asleep. Rosie whispered, “I hate them too.” Rex and Toe looked over at a pushed down fence and a series of burning buildings with a sign reading Air Force. The humans were gone.
A deer stepped out of the woods. It was alone and not looking for trouble or seven hungry dogs either. Buster stepped out and turned in circles drawing the deer into watching him. The deer looked around, and seeing nothing; it moved in closer. Rex went to make his move when a white streak shot by him and struck the deer with such force it was knocked off its hooves. Two more streaks and the Shepherds were on the deer biting and clawing as it fought to get free. The Deer spun around, tossing two of the dogs off its back. Rex came in and grabbed its throat from underneath. He bit through until a chunk was in his mouth and off the deer. Tic and Toe got back on their feet while Tac stayed on the deer mounting it. The deer fell over.
Learning from their past kills, Rex worked to peel the deer as the Shepherds worked at pulling its intestines out. Buster moved in for a piece when Toe stepped in his way, saying how only those involved in the kill get to eat it when it's still hot. Tic said with a mouth of meat, “no food for the bait dog, kill the bait dog.” Toe glared at Tic, who backed away. Rex said how Buster did his part, but all of them would eat. Toe shook his head, and Tic stood up and got behind him. Toe said, “I think we need to rethink the leadership. I think we all know who should be in charge.” Tic started to chant, “Toe, Toe, mighty Toe.” Tac stood back, just watching. Toe said, “if we are going to find and kill this human, we need to move fast, and that means you listen to me, and we kill the bait dog.” Tic started to jump around, screaming, “kill all humans, kill the bait dog.”
We’re Alphas, Wolves, Lovers, Killers, and Thrillers.
Rex said, “it looks like you aren’t as effective a leader as you thought. You can’t even keep the loyalty of your brother.” Tac said, “he isn’t my brother. Neither of them is.” Tic growled. Toe snapped at Buster, but he was out of his reach. Rosie said, “I don’t think we have a place for any of you.” Toe asked, “stronger together?” Dot replied, “we’ll be stronger without you.” Toe backed away, saying, “I think you are making a mistake……...I am the only dog that can lead this group to the reward……. I’m the master.” Rex looked to the others who just stared back. Tac said, “the boxes promised a great reward if we killed humans.” Toe said, “enough of this crap.” He lunged for Buster, but Buster was small and able to get out of the big dog’s way as he went on past and into the dirt. Rex grabbed him by the throat. Rex was a thickly built dog with a strong jaw. Buster came around and took hold of Toe between the legs. Toe immediately stopped moving.
Rosie asked, “what’s wrong with you? I don’t care for humans either, but you want to kill them as well as your kind?” Tic stopped jumping and said, “we aren’t no bait dogs…...we’re alphas, wolves, lovers, killers, and thrillers. We kill bait.” Toe said how the humans made them special, and it was their duty to repay that by showing them just how special they could be. They were trained to fight each other, kill dogs as the humans watched, but now they will watch themselves die. Toe moved to one side and Tic the other. Tac stood by doing nothing. Toe looked over at him and said, “take your place, brother.” The three dogs were just too much dog for Rex and the others. Tac said, “I won’t kill my pack……. or humans.”
What About You
Tic raised his back, trying to look bigger as he moved in. Tac let out a bark that was definitive in his disapproval. Tic looked at Toe then at Tac. He said something along the lines of no, and I’m out of here, he then ran into the woods. Buster let go and backed away. Dot told Toe he could either go or die at the muzzles of the bait dogs. An alarming cry went out. Rex let go of Toe, and the dogs followed the sound until they found what was left of Tic being ripped apart by a bear. The bear had broken the dog into two and was eating its organs. Toe whispered to Rex, “we better not meet again.” He barked and ran away. Tac asked, “what about me?” Rosie replied, “what about you. You're with them?”
- A Junkyard Dog General, Story One: Rex was a Good Do...
A story from the My Private Global War storyline. Rex goes on a quest to find his owner as the world tears itself apart.
- A Junkyard Dog General, Story Two: Rex and Dot
Rex travels west with a new friend searching for Seve at the end of the world.
- A Junkyard Dog General, Story Three: I Guess We're T...
Rex and Dot meet two dogs that seem to be the opposites of each other.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron