WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
“It was the faint sound of tiny footsteps that set him off that cold day in 2016” Louise said to the huddled group of keen and curious children gathered outside the restaurant.
“He didn’t quite catch it at first, but as the steps grew steadily louder, he found himself drawn closer and closer to the inky grey fog that blocked out all other sights, but never the sounds” she continued, sensing that her story was prickling away at the tender necks of her audience. She closed in for the kill
“Whatever he hears, he sets his sights on seeing, whatever commotion is going on, he intends to give you something to shout about, he…he…”
She set eyes to the right of her, waiting for something to come into gaze. Shortly enough, she got what she wanted. Bang on time.
The individual turned the corner, entered the street, and froze in his tracks as he saw the gathering before him.
“Not again” he whispered.
“…He’s right there, he’s come out of the fog, and he hears everything you’ve been up to” Louise cried out, pointing her finger at the remaining kids.
“Do you know where your parents are? Because they’re wondering just what it is their kids did last summer…YOU know, now so does HE, and no matter what you’ve done, he’s gonna say it’s ok. Don’t trust him; because it’s not gonna be ok. Never. EVER.”
The panicked kids saw this as their moment to depart in a hurry, scattering in a variety of directions, and out of sight of the perplexed police officer.
Bob peered out of the restaurant window to see nobody there except Louise and the cop. He stepped outside.
“Can I help you Officer?” he asked.
“Yes, please sir, could you kindly put a leash on your daughter?” he asked
“Leash jokes now? Oh you’re sick” said Louise.
“What’s this about?” said Bob.
“Yeah, ask and he’ll tell, Rudy sure as hell can’t at the moment” said Louise
“Louise, honey, Rudy’s fine, he was looking for you this morning, where were you?” asked Bob.
“I was down at the pound, I was looking for Chester” she said
“Whatever for?” said Bob.
“To treat him like the dog he is” said Louise.
“Yes, that’s what I was coming over to talk to you about. They figured it might as well be me that came to see your folks after we caught you harassing the animals on the CCTV cameras” said the cop, looking rather flustered as a kid crept up on him and kicked him in the leg before scurrying off.
“ONE animal and boy what an animal, an animal this cretin let back into society after declaring it wasn’t dangerous”
“Oh, so that’s why you’re telling all these haunting stories about the guy is it?” Bob realized, kneeling down and gripping a shaken Louise’s shoulders. “Louise, calm down, he’s just part of the system is all, he was the one releasing it back to his owner, and the people at the pound had declared the dog was safe. Blame them”
“Take on the whole system? Are you nuts, I go after things one piece at the time. Tear down the whole wall and society gets twisted a lot quicker, there’s no control over that, and you know me Dad, I’m a control freak”
“And someone who obviously cares enough for the men she controls in her life to take things too far with people who have jobs to do and need people to trust in them” said Bob, trying to instil some wisdom in his daughter.
“I have things I need to do, can I trust you to keep an eye on your daughter while I patrol the area?” said the cop.
“Sure, sure, just, the next time, try to be around kittens next time”
“The ones in trees?” said the cop sarcastically
“Yeah…well you don’t need to be snarky about it”
“Don’t tell me what my needs are, you need to focus on your daughter’s needs” argued the cop.; Louise stuck her tongue out at him.
“What exactly does my daughter need?” said Bob.
“Discipline for one thing” said the cop.
“Oh I’ve been as patient as I can be with you; you don’t want to see the wrecking ball, no sir”
“It’s true, she knows where one is. Construction sites just a couple of blocks back. She’s been in the seat. Had to pry her from it. She knows how to move it. I was a bit slow” said Bob.
The cop threw his hands in the air and opted to storm off, realizing his words were falling on what he gathered to be deaf or plain ignorant ears.
“Rudy almost died dad” Louise said, a little hint of dread in her voice.
“Minor scratches Louise” Bob reassured her, “He thought it was a pretty exciting moment when the dog went for him”
“Yeah, but he’s an adrenaline junkie, which is going to kill him if he doesn’t realize that soon” said Louise
“Hey, you’ll be there to hold his hand, and his inhaler, if he needs it, you know? You two are glued to the hip; you’ll pull him back from the edge”
“Yeah, but I totally wanna jump off the edge myself sometimes, just don’t want to smash any cupcakes on the way down” Louise said, partially giggling as some assertively positive thoughts got the better of her and sent a ticking sensation to her tummy.
“He can handle it, not everything’s sugar, sometimes there’s a lot of spice, that’s you that is, come on, let’s resume adding actual spice to our way of life” Bob joked, hoisting Louise up on his shoulders and carrying her back into the restaurant to prepare some spicy chicken burgers.