Friday, February 8, 2013

The Devil's Picturebook no. 6 - Two of Spades

Two of Spades - scandal, gossip, danger of deceit, change, removal, loss of home, division

     When I was eleven years old  my dog was stolen by a the crazy family. We had an Irish Setter named Josh who went missing one day. After a few days of searching we got a phone call - seemed a family just a few miles away had found our dog. They said he was starving and had the mange and that they had vet bills of over two hundred dollars. He was safe at their house and we could come get him, we just needed to bring cash to repay them for all the bills. Starving and the mange in three days! My dad ask around and a few other neighbors had similar stories of rescued starving and manged dogs - it seems this family had been regularly finding animals in dire straits. That afternoon my dad and I went to the house, scoped it out and came up with a plan. The plan was simple. He would go to the front door and talk to them while I snuck around back and grabbed Josh. 
     We rolled up inconspicuously in a white LTD and parked on the side of the house. Looking over the yard I was nervous, the dirt lawn had a six foot fence around it and was strewn with trash and dog shit. The family of eight or nine standing on the porch looked desperate and empty eyed (when I first saw Deliverance I had a moment of revelation). My dad went up to the front porch and began talking to the family. I hid in the back seat of the white LTD. After a few minutes I crept out of the car and around the back of the fence. There was a second gate there and I slipped through quietly. I then began negotiating the piles of dog shit.  I saw Josh tied to a skinny pine tree near the house's back porch. As I came up to the house I could see there was no furniture inside, just trash and more shit. I could hear my dad talking using a strange voice I'd never heard him use. It must have been his espionage voice. It took forever to get across the yard. I finally got close to Josh and - with perfect timing - he barked. Irish setters bark loudly.

     This sent the eight year old running through the house towards me. I untied Josh, grabbed his collar and bolted. With the distraction of the eight year old yelling unintelligible things at me or his parents - I couldn't tell - dad had an opening to run to the car. We all three jumped in, Josh really enjoying the new game. Dad sped off in our white LTD leaving the family looking forlornly through the six foot fence. In all the confusion the simple plan had worked - we got away cleanly with Josh. Fairly cleanly - it took a long time to get the dog shit off my shoes.

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