Copyright © 2018
All Rights Reserved
Tylor Kranyak
Author of Legacy of Krazatan
The Dog
     Rachelle came home after a long day of work. Her feet were killing her after waiting on tables for the entire dinner rush, and so did her ass thanks to that full table of frisky business men who had had a little too much to drink. She didn’t complain about it, though, since she knew she’d get a nice tip out of them. If they had skipped out on their tip she would have cried sexual harassment, but she had made an extra fifty dollars waiting on those horndogs so there was no need to make a fuss about it.
     She opened the door to her house, which was empty at the moment. Her roommate, Sherry, had been away all weekend with her boyfriend. She was due home sometime tonight, but until then Rachelle had the whole house to herself, and she was going to make the most of it. The first thing she would do was put on some soft music and run a hot bath, then she would just lay there and soak for as long as she could keep her eyes open.
     Something was amiss, however. Her roommate’s dog, Cammie, was nowhere to be seen. Usually the mutt was barking her head off the moment anyone so much as knocked on the front door. Rachelle wasn’t a dog person, although she didn’t mind having Cammie around. The golden retriever was very well trained, compared to some of the other dogs Rachelle had seen, that is. Plus, Cammie functioned as a good doorbell, if nothing else. The absence of the dog’s barking was strange, so Rachelle started looking around the house. “Cammie!” Rachelle called, “Cammie, where are you?” She checked all the usual places the dog liked to spend her time: her dog bed in the utility closet, under the kitchen table, in Sherry’s room; but to no avail. Figuring the dog would come out in her own time, Rachelle went to her own room to change into her bathrobe.
     And that’s where she found Cammie laying on the floor, surrounded by torn wrappers from Rachelle’s secret stash of chocolates. The dog didn’t move an inch, didn’t breathe. It didn’t take long for Rachelle to fully realize how much shit she was in. Sherry had asked her to look after Cammie while she was gone. Now, here she was, dead in Rachelle’s bedroom.
     She had to think of something, quick. Her roommate would be back any moment. Maybe she could convince Sherry that the dog had run away. Yes, that was it, Cammie had run out the front door the moment Rachelle opened it and chased after a cat. Dogs hated cats, right?
     First thing was first, though, Rachelle would have to get rid of the body. She rushed over to her closet and dug out a large duffle bag. It was something her last boyfriend had forgotten to take with him after they had broken up. The man had been a huge sports nut, hockey specifically, so the bag was large enough to carry all sorts of sports equipment. She never liked the bag, and she had been trying to come up with a good excuse to get rid of the damn thing. She would have thrown it out months ago, but Sherry was one of those environmental types who hated seeing anything go to waste.
     Rachelle struggled to stuff the dog into the bag. It took some shoving, but she managed to fold the legs in enough to close the zipper. She lifted the straps over her shoulder, but the damn thing weighed a ton. If she wasn’t careful she might end up breaking her back. It was fine, though, all she needed to do was get it to her car. She would drive to a secluded area and drop it in a dumpster or something. She was just reaching for the front door when she saw the blare of headlights turning into the driveway.
     “Shit!” She turned and quickly made her way toward the back door, or rather as quickly as she could while lugging a fifty-pound dog. She had always told Sherry that the girl fed that animal way too much. There was a subway station not far from the house. If she could make it over the backyard fence without being spotted, she’d be home free.
     She made it outside, stopping only for a moment to cover her tracks by locking the back door. It didn’t really matter, though, since she ended up tripping over just about everything in the yard while trying to maneuver through the darkness. Still, she managed to make it to the back fence relatively unscathed. Using all her strength, she lifted and pushed the bag over the fence. She climbed over it soon after, taking extra care not to rip her work clothes on the top of the wire fence in the process. She ended up falling on her ass on the other side, but the bag broke her fall. She lifted the duffle bag over her shoulder again, groaning loudly from the strain. As she made her way toward the street, she heard Sherry’s voice from the house calling for Cammie.
     Rachelle walked for a block until she found the entrance to the subway. She had to fight with the bag as she made her way down the stairs, all the while trying not to lose her footing and trip or knock into any of the passersby leaving the tunnel. It occurred to her that she probably looked very suspicious dragging around a huge duffle bag that was too heavy for her to carry. All she could do was hope that subway security didn’t stop her.
     She made it to the train moments before it left the platform. She wasn’t planning on going far, just to the next station. It would be far enough that even if Sherry scoured the neighbourhood for her “lost” dog, there’d be no chance of her stumbling upon the remains of her pet. Rachelle did feel bad, though she wasn’t about to let anyone find out about the result of her negligence. Sherry would kick her out of the house in a heartbeat if she found out, and it would be hell trying to find a new place with rent as cheap as that house, especially with the economy as it was.
     Rachelle got off at the next station, though now her biggest challenge was getting up the stairs to street level. She just about resigned herself to simply dragging the bag up the steps when a voice behind her asked, “Excuse me, do you need help?”
     Rachelle looked over her shoulder to see a middle-aged man. His hair was cut short and he wore a brown leather jacket. He kind of reminded her of one of those horny business men from her shift. She debated on whether or not she should accept his help, but she knew there was no way she was getting the bag up those stairs without making herself look like a complete fool.
     Handing the bag to the man, she said, “Thank you, I’d really appreciate the help.”
     The man grunted as he heaved the bag over his shoulder. “Jesus, this thing is heavy,” he said as he led the way up the stairs. “What do you have in here?”
     Rachelle tried to come up with something that would explain why the bag weighed so much. She couldn’t tell him it was a dead dog, it’d just freak him out and she’d be back to trying to lug the thing up the stairs on her own again. He might even call security on her. After a moment, she said, “Computer stuff.”
     The man eyed her suspiciously. “Computer stuff?”
     She nodded. “Yeah, lots of it. I’m bringing it over to a friend’s house, she’s trying to build her own computer for- Hey!”
     The moment their feet touched the top step, the stranger took off at full speed down the sidewalk, taking the bag with him. Rachelle instinctively started to call for help, to get someone to catch that street thief, but then paused as a slow smile crept onto her face. She couldn’t stop herself from chuckling as she imagined what that man’s face would look like once he opened his bag. That would teach him not to steal from others.
     She made her way back down the stairs to the platform. She stopped by the security kiosk to report the theft, if nothing else than to add insult to injury to the thief’s unfortunate luck. The stations had cameras all over the place, so they’d know if the man ever came back to prey on anyone else. She caught the next train and started thinking up her cover story on the ride back home.