LONG AWAITED. MUCH REVERED. CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED
This is the third installment of the FIRST EVER Heist Novel Written by a Dog.
You would better yourself immensely by reading this and wearing deodorant consistently. Trust me.
THE QUICK AND THE DEAD MINDS
Maximus Gary, Labrador Saboteur calculated his position. There were storms brewing within Chez Salty and there were storms that had yet to burst. Maximus Gary would not describe this situation as a crisis, but it was time to bring the heavy guns to the fore.
Where most people became panicked or emotional in crisis, Maximus Gary remained calm. There was no “Fog of War” for him. He was able to individually discern all the moving parts. He was able to separate the facts from emotional attachment and hyperbole. He prioritized a critical path of events as naturally as a Newfie slobbered. It was as if his well-conditioned mind could slow down time. The more the pressure mounted, the more time slowed. It was a natural and beautiful gift that a military Biped would pay millions of Bully Sticks for.
Maximus Gary broke down the complex situation’s moving parts as such:
1) If this whole thing falls through, there were two seared scallops with bacon in The Forbidden Closet that no one knew about.
2) The fridge doors needed to be closed immediately.
3) There was a broken platter in front of the fridge. All traces of it needed to be removed immediately.
4) Wiener dogs ran panicked throughout the house. They needed to be brought to heel or neutered.
5) Auggie and Teddy were fighting and needed to be re-purposed.
6) All the relevant food was out of the fridge, but laying in a useless, obvious, giant, pile at The Depot.
7) The food needed to be moved to the Lilac Tree immediately and without one Biped laying a single eyeball upon it.
8) Buddy completed his mission and was still in his original position. He needed to be re-directed.
9) Bipeds were moving around upstairs and would soon be foraying downstairs.
10) Liana was immobilized, in pain, and in the foyer. Unfortunately, she would still need to be kept immobilized.
11) Don was walking about the house like a fat, angry, stinky, dangerous walrus. Goo Goo Ga Joob.
Maximus Gary dropped the spiral ham on the run when he saw Ginger cowering behind a huge fern in The Great Room. She was too small to help move any of the food containers out to the Lilac Tree. But she must have other talents.
“You!” snapped Maximus Gary. “Wiener! Whatever your name is! If you want even the tiniest bit of this food, you’ll help me stave these Bipeds off! Show me what you can do!” Maximus Gary didn’t wait for an answer and charged back to The Hot Zone.
Ginger snapped out of her shock. She looked at that luscious pile of Biped food and understood the breadth and scope of what was at stake. Maximus Gary had given her clarity over the situation as he had many dogs over the years.
As Maximus Gary ran across the The Living Room/Dining Room to the Hot Zone, she heard Don yell “MAX!” Don took a couple lumbering steps…
Ginger realized exactly what needed to be done. She shook off her fear and ran like a bolt of blue lightning directly into The Living Room and saw the sluggish Don- fresh off the couch. She made a mighty leap and squarely hit Don in the “low – hanging – Fruit – of – the – Looms – if – you – get – what – I – mean,” with all the momentum her 17lbs could muster.
Don screamed in pain. He doubled over, grabbing his crotch with one hand and suspending his body off the floor with the other.
Ginger uprighted herself and ran to The Foyer where Auggie and Teddy were still circling and regarding each other with vicious intent. She slowed her pace, looked each of them in the eye and said, “GET THE FOOD OUT.” When they only gaped at her, she showed her teeth and growled.
Their jaws hung low and their eyes bulged at what they were witnessing. Ginger squared off, crouching, ready to spring and teach them a lesson with her nasty little dachshund bite.
“Who put you command?” grinned Teddy maliciously. “May I have his name and rank, Love?”
Undaunted, Ginger darted forward and bit him on the leg. Teddy howled and withdrew. Ginger stood her ground as Teddy backed up uncertainly and eyed her warily. Auggie stared in shock.
Abruptly, Ginger pivoted and ran into the Living Room where a groggy Don was clumsily trying to get to his feet near the couch.
She ran over quickly and bit him squarely on his butt. Don shrieked and fell. He grunted as his head hit the corner of The Living Room table. Then he crumpled to the floor like the hothouse flower he was. After a brief twitching of his left foot, he was still. Ginger had knocked him out.
Ginger turned and raced to confront the growing mass of confused Bipeds gathering upstairs.
Auggie and Teddy watched her run up the stairs with a shard of Don’s underwear hanging from a lower tooth. Teddy was astounded.
And Auggie was hopelessly, helplessly in love.
LIVE, LAUGH, LIANA
Liana was in her pajamas and laying on The Master Bedroom stairs. She was in a lot of pain. A LOT of pain.
Through those waves of pain, she couldn’t be sure that little wiener dogs weren’t running around barking at much larger dogs. She couldn’t be sure larger dogs were fighting somewhere in the house. All Liana was certain of was that she just used The Bathroom, tripped over Buddy, and a huge dish broke in the kitchen. She also admitted to herself that she had a visceral urge to tend to that broken dish immediately.
It also became clear to her that Don was being savaged in The Living Room if only because of his sporadic and unusually high-pitched screams.
Maximus Gary ran up to Liana with a waggy tail. What a relief! He put his face close to hers. She felt his cold, wet nose. He licked her. Then he put his nose past her head and spoke to Buddy in the dark Bedroom, making sure to keep his tail wagging.
“Hi Buds! Are you doing good! Can you get up? Do you have to poop? Do you have to pee?”
There was an agonizing pause until Buddy said from the darkness, “Hi Max! Was I a bad dog? Did the plan turn out OK?”
Maximus Gary grinned. There was Old Buddy!
Maximus Gary backed up and licked Liana on the face a couple times again. She clutched him like he was a lifeboat. Then Maximus Gary put his snout behind her head again. “Buddy, you are a good dog! Do you need to pee or poop?”
There was darkness. There was a scrape. Buddy said, “Is there any food?”
“Yes, Buddy. There is food. There is a lot of food. There is a ham.”
“Where is the ham?”
“I need to get it and put it at the Lilac Tree, Buddy. Can you pretend that you need to pee and poop really bad?”
Silence from the darkness. Then, “I was here a long time on the steps, Max. I really do need to pee and poop. I don’t need to pretend, Max.”
There was shuffling from the dark. Buddy climbed laboriously up the two steps into The Foyer. He looked blinded and confused. He saw Liana on the floor hugging Maximus Gary.
Buddy let loose a cow-stream of pee onto The Foyer. He never even lifted his leg.
Liana screeched. She was in a LOT of pain, but she wasn’t in so much pain that she couldn’t get out of the way of Buddy’s pee-spray. She yelled forlornly, “NOOOO!!!! BUUUUUUDDDYYYY!!” and grabbed his collar. Buddy’s stream became a dribble.
She stumbled hastily to her feet and grabbed the garage door handle. She opened it and hobbled down the steps with the help of an ancient hockey stick. She hit the button to the garage door opener and there was a huge sound like some ancient dinosaur waking up as it engaged.
Liana grabbed the dribbling Buddy by the collar and staggered down the steps with the crusty hockey stick. Incidentally, she hobbled so much like Buddy naturally walked they could have won an Olympic medal for the Three-Legged Race.
As they made their way across the garage to the lawn, Liana heard an awful commotion coming from her house. As soon as Buddy was emptied, she would need to investigate.
FOR LOVE AND FOOD
After Ginger ran upstairs, Auggie and Teddy regarded each other uneasily.
Auggie had achieved the same clarity over the situation as Ginger and Maximus Gary. He turned to Teddy.
“You should know,” said Auggie, “that Liana and I are strictly Snuggle Buddies. Nothing has ever happened between us in the years we’ve known each other. In fact, if you jumped up into the bed with us, you could snuggle with her.”
“I think I fancy Ginger!” Auggie giggled like a pup.
“I fancy them both!” laughed Teddy, doubled over with laughter.
“It seems stupid to fight with all that food in The Great Room,” said Auggie, “We can fight after we stuff ourselves with Biped food.”
“For Love and Food!” shouted Teddy.
“For Love and Food!” resounded Auggie.
They High-Fived each other like schooldogs and ran off to The Hot Zone.
THREE KINGS(BURY DOGS)
Auggie and Teddy ran to The Hot Zone and saw Maximus Gary fastidiously grabbing pieces of broken platter with his mouth and sliding them under the refrigerator. He was in big trouble. His tongue had several small, painful, slices on it.
He saw Auggie and Teddy run up to him. They were smiling.
Teddy grabbed a dishcloth from the oven handle. He shoved Maximus Gary aside. Then Teddy used the dishcloth to push the platter shards and food bits under the fridge with his front paws in large sweeps.
Maximus Gary said, “That’s great Redneck Engineering, Teddy!”
Auggie saw the open fridge doors. He looked curiously in the fridge to make sure all the food was out. Assured, he then gently leaped- shutting the fridge doors with paw and not claw, one door after the other.
Maximus was gobsmacked. Yet there was no time to contemplate. He said quietly to them, “All that food in The Depot needs to get to The Lilac Tree immediately or we won’t enjoy ONE SCRAP OF IT. Don needs to be neutered at every turn. Ginger is staving off the Bipeds upstairs, and will need help. Buddy is handling Liana, but may need some help. Meet in The Great Room when those instructions are carried out.” Maximus Gary took a big breath. “And this is the most important thing- Shut the door to the deck when all the food is out of The Depot. BUT DON’T SHUT IT ALL THE WAY. We’ll need to get back outside easily to enjoy all this bounty or the coyotes will get everything.”
Maximus Gary paused and swallowed, “And you know our creed- Leave No Dog Behind. GO.”
Maximus Gary did not have to issue orders twice.
Augustus bolted to The Food Depot and grabbed a plastic container of buttered squash and brown sugar. Then he bounded out the door
Teddy pushed the last of the platter shards and food splatter under The Fridge with the dishcloth and then did the same to the dishcloth. Then he took off to the Depot so Auggie couldn’t claim bragging rights to moving the whole food by himself.
Maximus Gary turned towards The Living Room where Don lay on the carpet. Don was knocked cold, but it was only a matter of time before he began swearing and grunting again.
Maximus Gary took a deep breath and moved out.
UPSTAIRS TO HELL
Ginger ran up the stairs barking like a crazed hyena.That set Zeus off on a mission to out-craze Ginger’s hyena barking.
After a few moments, sleepy Bipeds were chatting in the hall. Small Bipeds asked loudly what was happening from the bedrooms.
Zeus watched Ginger with his super-sensitive, radar-like ears focused on the stairs. When Ginger got to the top of the stairs, Zeus came running over to her.
“I don’t have any time to explain, Zeus. Follow my lead and there will be heaps and heaps of Biped food!”
Before Zeus could agree, Ginger ran under many Biped legs and squared off at a closed bedroom door. She pulled her ears back and started growling and barking at it like Michael Vick was on the other side of it. Taking his cue, Zeus sallied forth, yapping and bouncing like he was a Mexican Jumping Bean on a hot griddle.
More Bipeds came out of the four upstairs’ bedrooms.
“What the hell is in there?” one of them asked, pointing at the closed bedroom door.
“The Morrises,” another one answered over the barking.
The rest of the Bipeds shuffled around uneasily.
“Or a raccoon,” was offered.
“The dogs make it sound like there’s a serial killer in there.”
Zeus raised the pitch of his barking and growled. Running around in jerky, shark-like motions also helped to elevate Biped anxiety.
“Should we go in?” one of them asked.
“Jeff and Jen are asleep,” another one said.
“I just saw a light come on under the door.”
Just as a Biped tentatively reached to knock on the door, Ginger growled loudly and yelped. Then she jumped in the air, twisting and turning. She hit the ground, popped up, and ran crazily in circles. Zeus was confused. He asked her, “Are you mental?”
“Don’t desert me now!” she said. “Distract the Bipeds!” and she dashed to the bathroom.
Zeus ran around after her, barking at nothing in particular. His echoing, high-pitched bark was splitting all the Bipeds’ skulls. Even the ones who hadn’t been drinking to excess.
“What the hell is going on?” asked Jeff Morris, opening his bedroom door.
“Whatever it is, it’s still going on….” said a Biped with a red plastic cup in his hand named Scott Lebow.
Ginger leaped and tore at the shower curtain. In doing so, she shook free the shard of Don’s underwear off her lower tooth. It was about damn time, she thought. She spun around and made for the attic stairs. Zeus beat her there.
His body went rigid. He flattened his ears. He stared intensely up the dark stairs and growled long and evenly.
The Bipeds trailed along after them apprehensively. They were collectively thinking, “Is there some kind of teleporting ax murderer in the house?”
Downstairs, Liana was just opening the automatic garage doors and all the Bipeds flinched, believing the huge unearthly sound was the ax murderer beginning his culling.
Yet there was only Ginger and Zeus barking frantically up into the dark attic void.
The Full List of Sub-Chapters in Chapter III
-THE QUICK AND THE DEAD MINDS
-LIVE, LAUGH, LIANA
-FOR LOVE AND FOOD
-THREE KINGS(BURY DOGS)
-UPSTAIRS TO HELL
-HAM? WHAT HAM?
-SPOONED ON / SPOON DON
-A BUDDY ABANDONED
-THAT DAMN HAM AGAIN
-WIENERS INTO THE BREACH
-SOMETHING ABOUT THE DOGS
-NAUGHTY DIP WITH SARAH
-HUNGER AT THE LILAC TREE
-A FLUSH FLYER
-GREAT ROOM PARTY
-I WOULD LIKE SOME HAM, PLEASE
-THE PENULTIMATE CHAPTER
JUST CLICK THE LINK, DUMMY.