Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Collar from Hell - free short stories

The sweat dripped off of Harry’s soaked forehead as he pushed his aging body to its limits by forcing it to jog in his neighborhood. The 45 years he had been alive had taken its toll on him. A small gut hung over Harry’s waistline that prevented him from seeing his feet clearly. It seemed to have formed in a short period of time over just the last five years. Harry was determined to rid himself of the spare tire, but was beginning to think it was perhaps not worth such painful effort. He had only begun jogging in the last month or so but he was already begimiing to dread the Sam alarm clock telling him to hit the streets mnning. This morning was no different than the previous days, since several neighborhood dogs had chased him for part of his trek around the neighborhood. Generally, Harry was not afraid of dogs because he owned a massive rotweiller himself Sometimes he would taunt the dogs by barking back at them as if to say, “Leave me alone, I am bigger than you!” Most of the dogs were of the smaller variety and just yipped and yelled a bit, struggling with their legs speeding along trying to keep up with him as he ran. Occasionally, there would be a larger more ferocious canine attempt to frighten Hany. After outmmiing a small wiener dog earlier, Hany’s eye was caught by a gleam from the dim early morning sunlight that had been reflected off of an object in the grass just off of the side of the street. He slowed and noticed the gleam was from a jeweled leather collar for a larger dog. It had several spikes along the center with glittering diamond like gems surrounding each spike. It was made of two pieces of hefty leather sewn together with thick thread. It appeared to be almost new with very few scratches and wear. Harry wondered who the poor owner was who bought their big puppy such an expensive collar only to have their dog remove it at once. “This would look good on Sugar,” harry thought to himself while slipping the collar in his pocket for his own dog. He completed his morning run and arrived home exhausted. After taking a shower and getting ready for work, Harry fed his dog for the day. While Sugar was eating he unbuckled the cheap nylon collar that was around her neck and replaced it with the much meaner looking spike collar he had found. Almost immediately after he had buckled it in place, Sugar stopped devouring her food and cocked her head slightly looking strangely at her owner. She began to back up while shaking her head in attempts to remove the new collar. “You will get used to it, Sugar.” Harry said while closing the sliding glass door to his back yard where he kept his big dog. Harry went to the office while not giving another thought about his dog for the rest of his workthy. Sugar’s problems, however, were just beginning. Little did she know it would be her last thy on this Earth. Shortly after her master left, Sugar began to act very bizarrely. She began jumping straight up in the air to heights she was never able to before. In fact, one leap caused her paws to clear six feet in the air! After her legs became tired she began running in circles of about 10 feet in diameter, leaping occasionally as high as her tired muscles could propel her. Next, she began running backwards, turning at 90 degree angles to form an almost perfect square. This action was so bizarre that Hany’s neighbor noticed and began peering in disbelief between her window blinds. She was so amazed by the backward rumiing, square forming dog that she came outside on her back porch to get a closer look. After about 5 minutes of the neighbor gaping wide mouthed at Sugar’s behavior, the dog just collapsed. Since she was concerned about the dog’s health, she walked up and leaned over the chain link fence that separated the two yards. Sugar did not move. The neighbor began to whistle at the collapsed pooch in attempts to make it rise. Suddenly, Sugar snapped to attention with a flash. She turned around in a 360-degree circle and then pointed her head directly at the woman. Startled by the massive dog’s quickness, she backed up a step or two. Sugar took off growling and barking at the top of her lungs. She easily cleared the small fence in a single leap and sunk her sharp teeth into the neck of the neighbor. It was only a short time until the lady stopped struggling having had her windpipe crushed in the powerful jaws of the deadly dog. It all happened so quickly and unexpectedly that she had little time to react. Sugar had never in her life attacked anyone in her life until now. She seemed to have a distant stare as she dropped the lifeless neck out of her mouth. The woman’s body collapsed to the ground and did not move. Again Sugar began to leap wildly in the air for no apparent reason. However, this time nobody was watching. Once again the same pattern emerged after the jumping spell and Sugar began running in circles, and then backwards in perfect squares. She collapsed again, lying still as if she were dead for hours. Eventually, Harry returned home from his work. He knew something was wrong from the start since Sugar was not pawing at the back door trying to get in to lick her master as usual. Stepping up to the glass door, Harry was horrified to see the neighbor lying dead in her backyard with Sugar lying seemingly unconscious next to her body. Harry slammed the door open and immediately whistled to his dog. Sugar jumped up like a bolt of lightening turning in a complete circle and pointing straight at her master. Grass flew in the air as Sugar’s powerful legs tore into the turf propelling her with great speed towards her owner. She leaped over the fence and quickly closed the distance between them. Harry was taken by surprise to see his dog act in such a bizarre manner. Before he could step out of her way, Sugar was flying in mid-air at full force with her jaws open straight for his throat. Quickly, Harry threw up his right forearm and shoved it into his mad dog’s jaw. Sugar clamped down with all her strength sinking her teeth in deeply and locking like a vice grip to her victim. Harry screamed in pain, as his shirt quickly became crimson rag doll. He could not believe she was acting like this. She had never done anything like this before. Harry could not support the 100+ pound pooch with only one arm. He dropped her down to the ground below hoping he could break free from her jaws. “What the hell are you doing, Sugar!” he screamed backing partially through the open sliding door. Sugar did not react to her master’s voice except to clamp down even harder. Harry backed up and placed his crazy dog’s head in line with the doorframe. He quickly slid the door shut smashing Sugar’s head in between the wall and the door. She let out a sharp yelp and let go of his arm. Hany quickly shut the door and backed away from the glass in fear clutching his bloody arm. “What the hell has gotten into that crazy dog?” he shouted as he examined his badly crushed right forearm. Sugar began leaping great distances in the air once again just outside the door. Hany stared in amazement not knowing his dog could practically fly. As Harry thought, “This dog has snapped!” Sugar began to mn in circles. Hany quickly grabbed his cordless phone and dialed 911 while watching the bizarre behavior. He explained to the police that his dog went crazy and bit him and the neighbor badly. Shortly thereafter, the police and an ambulance arrived at Harry’s house. The police officers were amazed to see a large full- grown rotwieller running backwards in perfect square patterns. They looked at Harry’s bleeding arm and decided not to take any chances and went to get their shotguns out of the squad car. Harry knew Sugar would not see tomorrow when the two officers raked their shotgun’s slides chambering a round. He loved Sugar greatly, but knew he could not own a dog that behaved in such a manor. The paramedics stayed clear as the two policemen split up and went around each side of Hany’ s house to encircle the bezerk dog. Just after they got into position Sugar dropped unconscious before their eyes. The police radio clicked to life, “Maybe it died...” one of the cops grunted to the other. The other cop instinctively let out a sharp whistle to see if the dog would respond. Of course, Sugar bolted to attention as she did before. She spun in a circle and immediately flew full force snarling as she floored it and showing her teeth as she headed straight for the whistling cop. The officer’s shotgun quickly pointed at the rapidly advancing overgrown puppy. Booming like thunder, it spit out a powerful load of buckshot with full force. The bulk of the pellets tore deeply into the crazy dog’s chest, some completely penetrating her. The shot owed Sugar but did not completely stop her. Boom! The gun spoke again belching more of the deadly round lead balls. Boom! The other officer fired striking Sugar in the rear legs knocking her off balance and down into the dirt. Finally, the effects of the shots began to accumulate as Sugar struggled to get up, but fell back down on her side. After a brief moment of anguish Sugar succumbed to her wounds. The officers approached her with extreme caution, not knowing exactly what to expect. One of the pellets had torn a hole in her new collar to reveal hidden electronics sewn in between the layers of leather. Somehow the collar was able to control the dogs actions. When Hany learned of the electronic device he was very upset and angry with himself for even picking the stupid thing up. The officers took the collar as evidence and Harry never really knew how it worked. Eventually, he got another dog to replace his beloved Sugar, but vowed never to put strange collars on any more of his pets.


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