The story I’m about to tell you is both cautionary and derogatory. It may leave a smell in your house long after you’ve thrown it away. However, I present you this tale as a warning. There are people out there who use other living beings as pawns in their own delusional game. They will stop at nothing to get what they want, no q
uestions asked. What did this person want? Whom did they take for granted? The complicated nature of this beast eludes the sensibilities of even the most keen researchers. The most damning evidence, to this day, only comes in the form of fuzzy anecdotes from the mouths of emotionally charged victims. This is the story of Dog Girl and her hapless pup.
The Jack Russell Terrier was originally bred as a playful, intelligent, high energy fox hunter. They spent their days barking foxes out of their little burrowing holes as a loyal partner. Dog Girl’s terrier, however, was more like a nuclear shake weight with bug eyes and an insatiable taste for human hands. Don’t get me wrong, the terrier isn’t that bad. Dog Girl, however …
When you see Dog Girl, watch the fuck out. She is one hundred and fifty pounds of meat in a sack, orienting a hidden GPS signal towards the nearest living person. Dog girl will break through every barrier you put up in order to talk at you about her nonsensical daytime events, usually under the guise of being led against her will towards you by her tiny dog.
“Whoopsie!” she playfully shouts while linebacker-sprinting towards your fear-paralyzed body, the bait dog cascading off the brick sidewalk behind her, “My dog just HAD to see you. She has a mind of her own. Too friendly.”
She turns her back to you and tightly wrings her hands before logging the next lie into her speech catalog. “She loves people. She’s so aggressive! She might be small but she pulls me around all over the city!” The terrier nervously licks your hand before jumping towards you, eyes expanding out of its head while the leash is pulled back with haste. This continues while you suck the flame through your cigarette like you’re trying to taste the tar. Maybe you were having a thought-provoking conversation with a friend about the job market, the potentiality of automation in the fast food industry, or the new corduroy trend. Dog Girl cares not.
She can smell your low self esteem. She prays on those who are kind-hearted and open-eared. If you can handle such an arresting presence without immediately macing her, you may find yourself in a one-way conversation about how many chips the dog ate when she wasn’t looking, or how her other twenty pets are fairing in such trying times. Usually, this is where the intrusive thoughts begin to creep into your mind. You might imagine an alternate reality in which you kick sharp gravel onto her shins before running into your salty apartment. Perhaps you would grab the dog and immediately call a local animal rescue unit. You may fantasize about saving the dog long after the initial encounter, letting the guilt sear the back of your neck as you imagine the pet getting road rash every time it’s dragged out for a walk. But this is not about your perceived guilt or daytime fantasies. One day, Dog Girl went too far.
Dog Girl had gallivanted up and down the avenue all day. Carefully maneuvering icy puddles of urine and trash day debris, she had frequented the usual gabbering holes – a coffee chain, a burger joint, the park, and the bus station. Her dog, Dixie or whatever, intensely sniffed every snow bank and candy wrapper it passed. People sped past her on both the road and sidewalk, averting their eyes to focus on something less demanding, like the hot sun, or a pissed off sheriff in the opposite lane. She only stopped for two reasons: Chatter and crosswalks. If nothing qualified itself under either criteria, she continued with the tenacity and intensity of a person on fire, but with less urgency to put it out, like a person who was on fire because their crack lab exploded and really did not want the police to get involved. She looked down only briefly to confirm that her dog was chewing on a Dunkin’ Donuts drinking straw, rather than a syringe.
This day in particular, Dog Girl took a different gibber-route. As Dixie’s eyes exponentially grew under the pressure of a tightly pulled leash, her owner was scouting out the perfect victim. A young man, 25 to 31 years of age, slightly taller than her but with a darker complexion. He seemed unfamiliar to the area, she noted, as he whipped out a comically expansive map and studied it with a crinkled brow. Looking around, she attempted to identify a nearby car or friend associated with the stranger. Nothing. Before she could gather her thoughts, the unthinkable occurred.
“Hey, do you know where the cheap grocery store is around here?” The man’s gentle but inquisitive voice startled her. Rarely did Dog Girl have a person willingly engage her without hesitance, but this was fresh and unacquainted meat we’re talking about. Dixie shook with excitement while she licked at his shoes.
“Oh, who’s a sweet dog?” He knelt down to pet her vibrating skull. His forearm absorbed the energy as he felt carpal tunnel developing in his wrist.
“Umm, that’s Dixie…” Dog Girl began. The apprehensiveness she felt from this chance encounter was cutting off any discussion topic she had conjured up previously. She eyed the man up and down like a Slim Jim. Her mouth salivated with words while dribble merely slid down her lower lip. It was now or never for her to lock this in. What to say? How long would he stay? She stared into a brick building across the busy street. The silence grew thicker.
“Uh, yeah, but do you know where the grocery store is? It’s okay if you don’t.” The man prodded again in his gentle jibe. She wound her head around with slow certainty and spoke in complete monotone:
“Yes. I know exactly where to go.”
Dog Girl clenched her fists. A thick cloud slowly drew over the cheery sunshine, casting a dramatic shadow under her brow. “Follow me.” All at once, she charged ahead towards an unfamiliar street. Startled to attention, the man shook his head and jogged towards the puppy dragging behind her. As she charged forward, the noise around her began to fade until nothing was left but the rapid whooshing of her own blood. The edges of her vision began to blur. As if his body was trying to warn him, the man realized he had been fondling his old pocket knife with increasingly sweaty fingers. It had been given to him by his crass Uncle. They weren’t on particularly good terms. Dixie looked up at him with watery, swollen eyes. He felt a small twinge in his kidneys.
“Wait, are you sure it’s over here?” He pressed. Dog Girl coughed into her leash gripping hand and stared ahead. The gentle coastal breeze became intervals of bitter gusts, kicking up sand into pedestrians’ faces. Not even the dirt caking her eye could wrangle her off this dark path. She mumbled ‘I know where I’m going’ several times before the man gave up on asking to clarify what she said. Suddenly, she took a sharp left. The man stopped. He felt for his phone. Gone. It was actually on the dirty sidewalk a few feet back, but the feelings of loss and helplessness pulled him towards the strange alley. He just wanted to save a few cents on bad beef. Jesus Christ, this society is beyond redemption.
Before he could even focus on the fact that he had been led into a dirty, dead end alley, he was an inch away from Dog Girl’s face. Her mouth was moving, and noises were coming out. The noises were not loud, and the words seemed comprehensible. She wasn’t speaking necessarily fast, but it seemed as if several sentences were being said at once. A pure information dump. The dump came fast and hard, and it messily pummeled his face. He felt his whole body getting hot.
“Oh, I’m sorry, my dog is just so curious. She just loves people. The other day I went to the store and she jumped on probably six people. The people were so startled by how aggressive and curious she is! She smells something in your pocket. I have pockets, but they’re just sweatpants, so they’re not very safe pockets, they just let everything sag inside them. Yeah, I went to the store the other day, and Dixie was eating grapes! Dogs can’t eat grapes! I think they’re pretty bad for dogs. Yeah, but she only ate a couple, so you think that’s okay? She isn’t sick or anything, she was acting a little funny earlier, but I mean, she’s ALWAYS acting funny, she’s just a really aggressive dog! She’s so bossy, she just walks right up to you and does whatever she wants! She just barks and sniffs and barks and sniffs. She’s sniffing you some more right now!”
A death grip was firmly placed on the blade within the man’s back pocket. His fist shook with such intensity he was getting denim burn. He knew in his heart that using his crass uncle’s knife would produce a negative outcome. Nothing paints him as the victim when his attacker has a knife wound. But his forearm and elbow had other plans. Although his brain couldn’t quite fathom the danger he was in, his body was more than prepared.
“Oh wow, she’s shaking so hard! She must be so excited. Like, a few weeks ago, she jumped on some lady’s lap at the bus stop, and I was like, Dixie! Bad girl! But the lady didn’t seem to be bothered by her so she just kept licking at her and licking, it was probably the most she’s ever licked in her entire life.”
All at once, a thread within the man’s brain snapped, involuntarily guiding the hand out of the pocket, gripping the knife, and stabbing Dog Girl in the shoulder. He blinked. The knife stuck out, clear as day, from her gushing arm. She made a kind of face, like wincing or eating the last of a sour candy, and pulled out the knife with no resistance. She slowly handed it back towards the man, who was quivering and clearly pissing his pants. Clasping his bloodied weapon, he locked eyes with this grown woman cornering him in an alley. He reminisced about the stew he was gonna cook up for Uncle. Uncle loved his carrots cut into thick circles and beyond soft. There was a meat sale today.
Each knife wound healed within minutes, no scarring. The man spent a good 30 minutes full-on screaming and stabbing Dog Girl in her abdomen and face. Every time the tip of the blade broke her skin, she became increasingly, but mildly, agitated. Why was he interrupting her in the middle of their conversation? The man collapsed from exhaustion. He had used his entire aching body’s strength to stab her, and only got covered in a fine mist of blood. He cried a little bit. He slumped to the ground. Dixie licked his bloody hand. The man’s body heaved with sobs. Finally, they heaved with a twisted, pained laughter. Yes, this was a bad idea. Trying to save money on a meal you cooked with your bare hands. Picked by other people’s bare hands, to feed the mouth’s of your loved ones. This is what you get. You get led down an alley and are tortured into stabbing a person several times.
“What do you want with me?” The man sighed, tears streaming down his face.
“Oh. You don’t want to talk to me?” Dog Girl’s face turned grey.
“No!” The man felt a deep, firey courage boiling in his groin. “You dragged me to a weird alley to talk to me about your dog? Are you crazy?”
“Oh.” Dog Girl averted her eyes out towards the street. She nibbled on a Twix hidden in the sleeve of her shirt.
Evenly sprayed with Dog Girl’s blood, the man gallivanted into the street with his eyes and mouth agape. “Please! Someone help me!” Traffic came to a violent, screeching stop while he ran towards an irate taxi driver. “She’s in the alley! She’s a monster!” He slapped on the hood of a honking SUV. “Please! Someone!” The man pulled the knife out of his pocket and waved it around at the sky. “It does nothing!”
Dog Girl emerged from the alley with nary a ding or nick. Dixie had stopped shaking. The pup was only her owner with a newfound suspicion. On the other side of the street, near the cheap grocery store in plain view, a crowd had begun to form. People were whipping out their phones and whispering with anticipation. The approached the nearest person and cried out, “God, why? Why won’t you people help me!?” The person backed up silently and readjusted the focus on their camera. The man intensified the speed and volume of his warnings. Children began to cry, confused by a bloody screaming man asking for help, and probably the fact that their parents were selling their food stamps for Suboxone. Six or seven people are in that house, on average, at all times. The man ripped off his shirt from his neck and threw it to the ground, grunting with untethered passion. “Have you all gone insane? I need the police!”
On cue, the police rolled up. Without hesitation, ten officers from fifteen different squad cars littered the man’s bare chest with hot lead. He shuddered as each bullet pierced his skin. “Jesus!” he screamed, his throat gargling with fluids. “I just wanted Uncle to be happy!” He collapsed, face first, into the pavement. All at once, the entire crowd screamed “Worldstar!” They began to dress themselves into navy blue cloaks. Someone lit a fire and drew a pentagram into the gravel with meat sale salami. The chanting of Worldstar became more ominous and synchronized.
Dog Girl power walked back home. It had been a long day full of surprises. She let Dixie eat some burgers ditched on a muddy sidewalk before jerking her towards the next destination. She sensed something in the back of her head, like another gentle presence. Her feet and fingers tingled with the erotic ache of post-conversation walking. Yet, she ached for more. She could feel the dopamine depleting from her soggy, pulsating brain. Her feet pounded the pavement, leaving a slight dent. She could still hear the chants and see the fire glowing in the distance. Suddenly, someone bumped up against her in haste.
“Oh, excuse me.” The woman quietly spoke before continuing forward. An incredible heat surrounded the area the woman bumped into. Dog Girl flitted her eyes through the haze of an adrenaline rush – a new target. She waited a moment before following the woman. This time, it would be different. “Whoops! Sorry!” Dog Girl shouted from at least 30 feet away. “My dog.. Ma’am?” The woman began to quicken her pace. “Ma’am? Uhh.. my dog wants to talk to you.” The woman sprinted off into traffic, causing a minor collision in the process.
Dog Girl stood, alone, in the middle of the cold city. Another man quickly walked past her. She grabbed him by the shoulder and jerked him, backwards, towards her.
“What the hell is your problem?” The man questioned with wild eyes.
“My dog. Has a mind of her own. She’s really friendly.” Dog Girl’s mouth began to slack.
Alarmed, the man pushed her backwards before running towards his car, pressing the automatic unlock button on his key chain until it activated the alarm. He sped off with the door open and the alarm still blaring. Dog Girl looked at Dixie. “Let’s go home, girl. Nobody wants to talk to us.” They begrudgingly dragged their legs home.