The set-up: Mark (our Hero) is describing an attempted date with Laurie to his best friend, Shelly.
“So, everything looks all set, right? The car, the cash, the reservation, I've done a dry-run by her house so I know I can find it.”
Shelly's full lips compressed into a tight line as she tried not to let her smile get out of control again.
“Yes, I remember looking for Peggy's apartment for an hour and a half that time,” I almost snapped, “and, as you pointed out, I try to learn. So everything's set and ready, as far as I can make it. New pants and my favorite shirt-”
“The blue cotton button-down?”, she interrupted.
I shot her with my finger across the table.
“That's the one.”
“Good choice, that looks great on you.”
“Thanks. So.... all set right? What could go wrong?”
Her eyebrows rose in a silent question, like she was afraid to ask.
“I get to her house, right, park at the curb, and start walking up to the front door. I'm running through kind of a mental check-list one last time, looking for anything I missed, when the thing that I missed came around the side of the house at me.”
“Laurie never mentioned that she had a dog. I never saw a dog on my dry-run to the house. I didn't see the damn dog now. But he saw me.”
“Her dog attacked you!?” Shelly's eyes were huge now, the concern in them having chased out her earlier mirth. “Was he big? Did he bite you?”
“I wish it were that simple” I said. “ I was walking up her front walkway, going over that list in my head, like I said, and I don't think that dog barked a warning, or if he did I didn’t hear it. The first I know of this dog he's about five feet away from me charging from my right.”
“Omigod!” I hadn't thought Shelly's eyes could get any bigger, but they had.
“Wait. There's more. So the dog's suddenly right there and charging and barking... and I panicked. I didn't look, I didn't think, my body just reacted and I bolted to the left. I think I was somehow planning on getting back in my car, or something, but I never got that far. The first or second step I took landed in a big pile of dog dirt. A freshie. I don't know if I actually did a full flip, but I DO know I hit the ground hard. Flat on my back. Knocked the wind out of me, and as a bonus, the back of my head smacked down right on the cement walkway.”
“Wait. So I'm on the ground, and my head feels like it was split open, and I'm SO not breathing, I'm trying, but I'm not breathing, and I was kinda considering that I might be dying. And then the dog got me.”
“Wait. So I'm lying there, dying, and suddenly there's all this snarling and barking and teeth snapping at my face. At my face. I couldn't move, like to get up or anything, so I just tried to cover my face with my arms and roll away. But the dog was there. No matter where I rolled the damn dog was there! It was like there were three of them! I don't know if it was trying to pin me down, roll me back over or bite me but all it was getting was my shirt. My favorite shirt, and it's being shredded.”
I held up a hand in a “stop” gesture.
“So. There I am, rolling this way and that on the ground, with my shirt all torn up, the wind knocked out of me and a possible concussion, and the dog's all over me.... and then the dog just stopped. The barking and everything just stopped, and the teeth went away, and in the quiet I can hear Laurie saying “Oh my God, are you alright? Bad Mitzi, bad.... Mark? Are you ok? Jesus I'm so sorry.” Stuff like that. So I rolled over and looked up and she's right there standing over me. I never even heard her coming with the dog making all that noise. And she has the dog. And I get a good look at it for the first time. Laurie was holding it.... and you know I don't know dogs, but it was a white fluffy thing about...”
Here I held my hands about 12-14 inches apart.
“Yes. I kid you not, this damn dog is smaller than your cat.”
“No way....” Her eyes were watering.
“Exactly. So, Laurie has this little demon dog tucked under one arm, and she leans down and kind of reaches to me, like she wants to help me up. So I lean up and start to reach for her hand and she suddenly yanks it back, and her eyes get all big, and she kind of covers her mouth and nose with her hand and just stares at me. So I looked down at myself..... and you remember what I slipped in at the start of this fiasco?”
“Oh God NO!!”
“Exactly. I slipped in it, and while the lapdog from Hell was after me I was rolling around in it. So she's looking at me, sitting on the ground, wind still knocked out of me, semi-concussed, shirt all savaged by a dog I could almost hold in the palm of my hand, and covered in dog crap. And she kind of holds up the dog, like she's offering it to me, and says “Um..... this is Mitzi.”.”
Shelly was just staring at me, her eyes huge, her mouth a tight, flat line.
“You may laugh now.”
She burst out laughing.
Not exactly Horror, right?
Talk to you later!