Dogs VII

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The ship had arrived the day before last.

I’d passed by it a few times, the vessel at anchor in the marina. Guards were posted at the dock, the sailors wearing a fashion of uniform I’d not seen before. It made me think of years past of ships blown in from a stray gust of Hollow air or when the gods felt it was time for a bit of jest.

When I heard a dog howl this morning, I was reminded what the little god had said to me.

She liked how I cared for her puppy’s kind.

The howl rooted me to the street, and I cocked my head to listen.

A moment later, the howl erupted once more, and words followed.

“Shipmates!” the creature cried. “Help!”

The unseen speaker went to continue, but it yelped instead. The whine and cry that followed left no doubt that the creature was a dog and that dog needed assistance.

I left the road and walked down the long steps to the dock. The eyes of the guards never left me, and by the time I reached them, they both had chambered rounds into the breeches of their rifles.

I had the Colts up by the time they had their rifles at their shoulders.

“I’ll be going aboard,” I told them. “I heard a shipmate call out in distress.”

“Move along,” one of the men said. “Else, you’ll be feeding the crabs ere I finish drawing breath.”

I shot each man in the chest, twin expressions of surprise on their faces as they collapsed, rifles falling from dead fingers.

Stepping over the bodies, I climbed the gangplank and went in search of the dog.

It took me only a minute or so to find him, and everyone save the dog’s master ran at the sight of me.

The dog’s master was also the captain of the ship, and I found them both in the captain’s quarters.

The man, seated at a table littered with correspondence, looked up at me with disdain as I entered the cabin. He glanced over at his dog and shook his head.

“He needed a beating,” the captain stated and returned to his paperwork. “And so I gave him one.”

Stepping forward, I struck him full in the mouth with the butt of a pistol. Shattered teeth bounced across the table, and as he slumped in his chair, I put both barrels against his forehead and pulled the triggers.

I carried the dog home.

#dogs #horrorstories

Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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