The burn off from the horror show that just took place in an abandoned furniture store, dead of night, rose like slow steam off a Florida highway after a late afternoon summer shower. No nightmare of mine ever saw the slaughter of a raging female canine and 6 puppies in the name of survival, let alone the survival of the human race.
Jaya’s face spoke the torment and rage, guilt and disbelief we all felt; blood spatter, mixing with sweat and anguish, smeared our faces, our clothing, we were spent. “What the fuck was that”! more statement than question, her outrage was met with silence as each of us tried to process the residual energy from the preceding violence; exhaustion had turned the rest of us mute and in that brief moment came the sound of an eerie, whimpering echo from the back of the store; “shh-sh, listen“… Jaya moved swiftly, deliberately towards the direction of the sound; armed with guns, large knives and a baseball bat, we followed, fanning out as we approached the store’s back showroom.
Approaching the far corner of the showroom, the sound growing louder, Jaya signaled suddenly to stop – a patch of golden fur was sticking out from under a couch skirt; wielding a 3 ft. piece of mahogany from a shattered table top, she reached out with it and lifted the skirt – cowering and trying its hardest to disappear into the microfiber of the skirt was a golden retriever puppy – “Don’t fucking touch it Jaya! we just slaughtered its mother and siblings, kill it”!
“Wait – it’s not growling, its whimpering; look at it, does it look like puppy turned cannibalistic monster to you? why didn’t it go Cujo like the rest of them”?; already thinking this might be the key to the world’s survival, she reached in cooing, as if reaching to pick up an infant: “here, baby, don’t be afraid.. there, I’ve got you, it’s ok…” whimpering slowed, Jaya gingerly took hold of the trembling dog…