Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Fiction: The Dark Place

Now for something a little longer.

This story is a little sad, and I use offensive words over and over again. But it felt right for the mood I was trying to capture.

Our beagle Terence was being his usual unruly self, and that put me in a foul mood. So foul I thought of doing bad things. But then I thought what would a simple-minded animal be thinking anyway?

Hence, the story below.

I do not like the dark.

I have been here for what feels like forever and ever. My fur is sticky and I smell very bad. I have been sleeping in my piss and in my shit. I want to go out into the sun to run with the green grass between my paws and to wag my tail and to bark how happy I am. But all I have is my piss and my shit.

I remember days when I had meat and bone in my dinner. Master would throw down scraps from his table and rub my head and scratch my jaw and tell me how good I am. And I would chew my bone and look at Master and I knew how proud he was.

Now all I have is moldy bread and water. It does not taste very good. It tastes like my piss and my shit. But I eat and drink anyway, because I am hungry and thirsty. Maybe the door will open, and Master will come, and I can have meat and bone for dinner again. And I would chew my bone and Master would be so proud of me.

But now I only feel sad.

One day Master came home angry. I knew he was angry because he hit me and kicked me. Maybe I did something bad. I don't know. I told him I would be good, very good, but the more I barked, the angrier he became and he hit me and kicked me. He hit me so bad that he hurt my leg. Now I cannot walk with my leg, and I have to hop and skip with the other one. When I lie down I have to lie on one side, because it hurts. I lie down on one side in my piss and shit.

I feel very sad.

Master held me by the neck and took me to this very bad place where it is dark. I do not like the dark. I was hurt and I snarled and I bit Master and he hit me again and again. I am sorry, Master, so sorry. Then he closed the door and it is very dark and I do not see the sun anymore. And all I have is my piss and shit in this dark place.

I whined to master that I was very sad, that I was sorry, and that I would not be bad anymore. But Master got angrier and hit the door with a stick. I wish Master could understand, but Master could not. I still feel very sad, but I try not to whine anymore, because Master only gets angry.

It doesn't matter if I whine, because Master doesn't hear me anymore. Master just throws me stale bread and water, which tastes like piss and shit. And he leaves me in this place which is dark. I do not like the dark.

If Mistress were here she would open the door and hug me and kiss me and we would go out and play in the sun. If there is anyone in the world I love more than Master, it is Mistress. She smells good and her hands are soft. They taste sweet. I know. I licked them once. They taste better than meat and bone, and they taste better than the stale bread and water which taste like piss and shit.

I have not seen Mistress for a long time. I miss Mistress very much.

Mistress would take me hunting every night. She would put the rope on me, and I would sniff out game. Mistress was always very slow, and I would pull and pull, even though it hurt my neck. Mistress would laugh, and she would rub my head and tickle my jaw and I would feel very proud. Mistress loved me more than Master did, and I loved Mistress more than I loved Master. I miss Mistress very much.

Maybe when Mistress comes she will let me out of this dark place, and we can go play chase like we always do. Maybe, with my bad leg, she will be able to catch me. Mistress is so slow she is never able to catch me. It's a game I love, and Mistress loves it, too. I run and I run and I run and she can never catch me. Oh, she tries, but she never can. So all she can do is call out, and I get excited and run some more. It's such good fun.

I miss Mistress very much. I love her more than I love Master. All I have now is piss and shit.

But I am afraid of the Big Bright Noisy Thing. More than anything in the world, even more than Master now, I am afraid of the Big Bright Noisy Thing. It growls like a big angry animal and it runs faster, much faster, than I can. The Big Bright Noisy Thing, so angry, and so noisy. Mistress and I were playing chase, and the Big Bright Noisy Thing rumbled by. I ran and ran, and the Big Bright Noisy Thing kept chasing me, and Mistress came, and the Big Bright Noisy Thing came and hit her.

The Big Bright Noisy Thing stopped, and Mistress was under it. Strangers came out of the Big Bright Noisy Thing to look at Mistress. I was afraid but I was very brave. I smelled Mistress' hand, and it was wet and sticky with blood. Mistress wasn't moving, even though I licked her face. The Strangers made frightening noises, but I wasn't afraid. I stayed with Mistress even though she wasn't moving.

Then Master came to see Mistress. I heard Master howl. And I knew Master was sad.

They took me away and I didn't see Master or Mistress for a while, for a long while. I missed the meat and the bone, and the long nightly hunts, and the games of chase, and the pats on the head and the rubbing on the jaw. But I still had my good leg, and I did not sleep in my piss and my shit.

Then one day, Master came home and he was very angry, and he kicked me and he beat me. Maybe I did something bad, but I don't know why.

Then he put me in this dark place where the sun doesn't shine. All I have is piss and shit.

I do not like the dark.

Just so you know, I didn't do actually do anything to Terence, okay? My perspective changed after I put myself in his shoes...er, paws.


  1. Now I am suddenly wondering how Panda feels...

  2. That was amazing. Kind of cathargic as well. Love the sub-plot(?)

    Don't show it to PETA though, they'd have a field day.

  3. Thanks, Clair and Rusty. I was trying to go for the dog's point-of-view, one with very simple concepts of Good and Bad, and with no concept of causality whatsoever.

  4. The use of offensive words and imagery is actually central to why the story works as it is. It would have had a lot less impact if it were less harsh.

  5. Now you make me wish I could write like you and Sacha do...


  6. Aw, thanks all for your thoughtful comments.

    Sean: coming from a writer like you, the comments mean a lot.

    Clair: well, I guess you just gotta get to it. You won't know till you try.