T’D BEEN GOING ON FOR WEEKS, that unbearably loud, incessant barking. Emanating from somewhere behind his apartment building, it’d usually start around 11 or 12 at night, which was inconveniently right around the time he’d be attempting to go to sleep.
The barking had an impeccably distinct tone to it. It was earsplitting, thunderous and bass-heavy, and at the conclusion of each “whoof” was a sort of high-pitched squeal, akin to nails running down a chalkboard. And it was rapid, too, sequential like semi-automatic machine gun fire, pausing for only brief intervals of perhaps 10 to 20 seconds, creating the comforting illusion it’d finally ceased, before resuming relentlessly for hours on end.
For the first couple weeks upon its unwelcome debut, he’d tried to locate the barking’s point of origin. Though he could quite audibly hear it, every time he looked out his window and peered around, he couldn’t see a dog anywhere. He’d even set out on foot a few times, late at night, groggy and bedheaded, in only a bathrobe and slippers, hoping to find the four-legged offender and have an angry word or two with its owner, but his searches were always to no avail.
Finally, after three weeks of sleep deprivation, he looked out his bedroom window and saw… it, that dog, the mangy piece of shit that’d been so painfully preventing his rightful entry into the realm of REM sleep. The creature he’d come to refer to as simply “That Fucking Dog.”
And a truly mangy looking mutt That Fucking Dog was too. Running around wildly in a loosely fenced yard full of mangled old wheelchairs in back of a ramshackle little slanted roof home, just adjacent to the rear of his apartment building, the animal looked to be in nothing other than a wretched, pitiful state.
It was tall in stature, appearing to be a Scottish Deerhound, but it had a curiously long, angular, rat-like face and floppy tongue that flapped around like crazy as it barked its lungs out. Its gray shaggy fur was quite unkempt and probably home to an entire species of fleas and various other blood-sucking parasites. The offensive canine’s physical manifestation was made even more unsettling due to it looking extremely emaciated and something being wrong (i.e. possibly deformed) with its front left leg and it was running and galloping in circles around the wheelchairs with a disturbingly peculiar gimpy bounce as it barked and barked mercilessly under the flickering light of a semi-operational streetlamp.
Having finally located the miserable beast, all his recent thoughts of putting a violent end to its continual disturbances started to come to a boil. Instinctually he thought of shooting it, but bludgeoning it to death with a baseball bat or other blunt object would give him greater personal satisfaction. Rising out of bed, he went into his closet, reached into his toolbox, and pulled out a hammer. This ought to do the trick, he thought, while That Fucking Dog’s barking only amplified in volume as he approached his apartment’s exterior door, hammer in hand.
by James Carney