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Demon Dog Treats

by David C. Kopaska-Merkel

(Sequel to "The Ham Sandwich of Destiny," by Kat Beyer)

At first Crystal thought the guy in the café was hitting on her, which distracted her from the funny taste of the sandwich. The guy seemed nice enough, if a little eccentric, dropping into the seat across from her and not even introducing himself. She got out fast, though, when he started babbling about sandwiches with souls!

By the time she got home she was sure the sandwich had been spoiled, but she had to walk Demon anyway.

"Hi Britney." Britney was walking a pair of shaggy squat dogs for Mrs. Nyimso.

"Morning Crystal," Britney giggled.

Britney had the most irritating laugh. She probably didn't even know the dogs she walked every day were the physical manifestations of tibetan spirit messengers. "May they eat her bowels," Crystal muttered, rubbing her cramping stomach. She left Demon in the apartment with a stern injunction to eat any shi dogs that might show up, but to leave the furniture alone. She'd have to run to make it to the botanica in time, and she was definitely feeling queasy. At a stoplight she saw a parade of translucent floating figures clad in saffron robes. They were crossing against the light. Could food poisoning cause that?

Madame was already raising the shutters when Crystal panted up to the door. "Crystal, good morning. I've got some concrete statuary in the van. I want you to set it out where the big Euphorbia used to be."

"Yes ma'am."

Crystal was already inside the van when she realized the statues were shi dogs. Why was Madame buying Chinese spirits for a Mexican magic shop? She jumped back, but one of the statues caught her ankle. She fell heavily, got off one good blast from the whistle around her neck, and concrete jaws closed on her wrist. She heard barking, rapidly growing louder, then the shi was yanked away from her arm. She screamed and doubled up around her ravaged wrist. As soon as she could, she began pushing the pain away. When she looked up Demon was chewing on concrete gravel and Madame was standing in front of her. "You will have to pay for the statues your dog ate." Crystal nodded. As doggie snacks the shi were kind of costly. The apartment door would be expensive, too.

"Now let's take a look at your injury."

When Madame touched Crystal's wrist she looked up sharply. "Are you pregnant?"

The end

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