Plugs

Luc Reid writes about the psychology of habits at The Willpower Engine. His new eBook is Bam! 172 Hellaciously Quick Stories.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

Trent Walters, poetry editor at A&A, has a chapbook, Learning the Ropes, from Morpo Press.

Read Daniel Braum’s story Mystic Tryst at Farrgo’s Wainscot #8.

Bad Dog

by Luc Reid

“I thought you said the dog was dead,” Eddie said.

“I said you didn’t have to worry about the dog anymore,” Pete protested. “You think I’m going to kill a dog?”

Eddie smacked Pete in the face and shook his head in disappointment. “Pete, Pete, listen to me,” Eddie said. “It’s not a dog. It’s my ex-wife, reincarnated into a dog by that damn priest over on the other side. If we don’t take care of her, then this whole interdimensional smuggling operation we’ve worked so hard on … are you listening to me?”

Pete was rubbing his forehead with his hand, looking down. He nodded a couple of times without looking back up.

“… then this whole operation is going to come crashing down around our ears. Is that what you want? You want this to turn into fuckin’ La Guardia?”

Pete shook his head, still not looking up.  Eddie frowned, unconvinced.

“Hey, listen to me! Look up! Eye contact!” Pete looked up. Eddie hit him again. “Dead dog or La Guardia. Your choice. What’s your choice, Pete?”

Pete murmured something.

“Speak up, Pete! I’m not hearing you!”

“Dead dog,” Pete said quietly.

“Say it like you mean it.”

“DEAD DOG!”
 

“That’s more like it.” Eddie put his hand on Pete’s shoulder. Pete flinched, but Eddie just patted him. “You’re a good kid, Pete. You’re an asset to me when you listen. But you’ve got to listen, OK? So now go kill that bitch.”
 

#
 
Pete locked his apartment door behind him and whistled.

“Here, puppy!” he said without conviction. “Come on, girl!”

Nothing. He discarded the grocery bag in which he had a saran-wrapped, styrofoam tray of New York strip and peeled back the plastic. “Come on, puppy! I got something for you.”

The dog padded out into the hallway, all lolling tongue and wagging tail. Pete threw down the steak and watched her launch into it with a long face. After a moment, he took out his gun and aimed, wincing. Then a shot rang out, and Pete dropped to the floor with a red hole in his forehead.

Irene looked up from her steak. “Nice shot.”

“There just better be as much money in this smuggling thing as you claim,” said the shooter from the kitchen doorway.

“Don’t worry about that,” she said. “Now let me finish my steak, and then we can go take care of Eddie.”

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