After the last time I attempted to write a story, someone I am reasonably fond of indicated that they would, “like to read more short stories from [V Stringman].” So, while awaiting a lengthy download to complete, I delved on a dangerous journey into my subconscious and emerged with this:
*disclaimer: if you think this story has to do with you or anyone you know, I stand by my previous disclaimer that you’re a &#$@ing liar.
I stirred awake to feel my lover randomly crawl over top of me to get to the other side of the bed. This was alien to me. I always slept on the side of the bed closest to the bedroom door. I think most men sleep closer to the main entrance/exit of a room than their partners. It is a subconscious feeling that the male is there to protect and shield his partner from the dangers of the outside world, even in sleep. Civilized Society tells us that gender roles like this do not have a place in our modern world anymore. I never claimed to be civilized. She understood me better than anyone I had ever known, and she constantly used her understanding of me to find ways to emasculate me.
I was too tired to care and just responded by putting an arm around her while leaning in to smell her hair before beginning to drift back to sleep. That is when I heard it. The sound of dogs outside. Wild dogs that roamed the countryside at night. I crawled over my inconsiderate lover and walked out of the dark bedroom to investigate. She was on her cycle and the dogs had no doubt smelled the blood in our trashcan.
On exiting the bedroom I could smell a different property to the living room than normal. It smelled of the outdoor wind, full of the moisture of a coming storm. Somehow, the front door was not fully shut. I could hear my lover waking up and noticing my absence. She was gently calling to me to come back to bed. I told her to stay where she was, and calmly reached out to shut the front door of the house. This is when I noticed what the wild dogs were truly excited about.
My lover and I both had one cat each. More specifically, she had a kitten and I had a cat that I had inherited from a failed marriage. That cat was the only reason I was still alive… but that is another story. I’ve never considered myself to be a cat person, but this one was mine and I had promised it that I would take care of it for the rest of its life. Civilized Society tells us that promises should be taken lightly and should not be relied upon. I am not civilized. The two indoor cats had smelled the outside world and went to investigate. The wild dogs had sensed them and came to hunt.
Reversing my decision to shut the door, I opened it wide and walked outside. The kitten was not far from the front porch. I ran out and grabbed it by the scruff of the neck, turned and threw it inside before forcefully slamming the door. I was still outside and now stopped to try to get a better idea of my surroundings. The pack of wild dogs were largely ignoring me. They were after my cat, who was cornered about 30 feet away at a metal mesh fence line. The kind a cat can’t exactly climb.
I felt myself mentally transform from my normal cold and calculating self into the primal thing that lurks beneath the surface of all people living in a “civilized” society. I am not civilized, my primal side is something I consciously have to repress to exist in a “civilized” society. Most people will never have to see it, but I can become truly terrifying on the rare circumstances that I am truly angry. I yelled unintelligibly and sprinted straight at the pack of dogs. Only one of them, the largest, even bothered to turn to look at me.
Amid the deafening background of excited barking, growling and cat screeching… the alpha and I ran at each other across my yard. There was self importance and dominance in its eyes, reflected by the pure hatred in mine. Survival did not matter to me, this animal would answer to me.
I vaguely sensed the other dogs in the pack turn away from their target to stare at the impending collision between their alpha and I. With five feet left between us, the alpha leapt on a direct trajectory for my jugular. Without slowing, I pummeled my right fist directly towards it’s open maw with the full weight of my body, as further multiplied by my momentum. The alpha turned its head slightly at the last second and locked down on my right forearm. As we plummeted to the ground together, I wrapped my left elbow and forearm around it’s neck and forced my right forearm, perpendicular and towards the back of its mouth. We rolled to a stop on the ground while I pried my right forearm up and backwards, as leveraged against my semi-headlock of the alpha. Physically unable to let go of my right arm, the dog’s neck strained against the increasingly odd angle I forced it towards. It felt like forever, but it couldn’t have been more than three seconds before I felt its neck snap, made all the more satisfying from the accompanying yelp.
I could hear my lover at the door. She was screaming. I think she was begging me to come back inside, but the sound was a blur to me at this point. She was the only one making sound anymore. I ignored her and stood up, facing down the remaining dogs. I smiled at the rest of the pack and they stared up at me. They stared at me and seemed to shrink under my twisted gaze. I had just destroyed their leader. They stared at me with the same mixture of surprise and fear that I have seen in so many humans over the years. In any society, even predators can have the “deer in the headlights” look when they realize they miscalculated an opponent. I yelled and ran towards them while they scattered, yelping in terror. It would be a long time before they were willing to return to this place.
My rage melted as I looked down at my cat, covered in blood with her stomach open and intestines splayed out. I fell to my knees and cradled her while she bled out. She looked at me with her light green eyes, and mouthed a silent “meow”. Her eyes were slowly closing as I leaned in and whispered in her ear, “Please… don’t leave me… don’t leave me alone.”
I woke up with a start from the nightmare, tears running down my face. My lover was still on her side of the bed. The front door was closed. Both of the cats were inside. I should know, I checked all of these things… twice.
The next day, my lover started an argument with me after I chased off some guys who were trying to flirt with her in front of me (to put it mildly). Civilized Society would tell us that we do not own our partners and should not intervene when civilized predators come calling. I would agree, mutual respect for one another should make the need for intervention unnecessary by either males or females in a relationship. But perhaps my view doesn’t fit in with a “civilized” society.
As my lover began yelling at me in an ever increasing pitch, I recalled the previous night’s dream. I observed the dispersed group of males looking and laughing from the other side of the room. They could have what they wanted. I broke up with her.
Indignant, she screamed at me to explain my decision to end our relationship. I calmly waited until she ran out of noise and the air grew quiet. I could smell the blood in the air as I looked her dead in the eyes and quietly stated, “Our worlds cannot coexist.”