Animal Cruelty

By Joseph Logsdon

Vivien hated that dog. Every time he came near her, she left the room. He was everything she hated, and everything she didn't want. He belonged to her husband, so she was forced to tolerate him. She hated animals, to the dismay of her husband, who couldn't get enough of them. If he wouldn't get rid of the dog, then she would have to do it. How would she get rid of him, you ask? Well, that was her little secret.

Coming home from work, Vivien got the surprise of her life. The dog had destroyed all of the furniture, hindering everything she had done. She was not only angry, she was furious. She grabbed the dog, unafraid of what it might do to her. She pulled on his ears, causing him to moan. Before she could do anymore, her husband dashed into the room.

"What's going on?"

"It's that dog, he's ruined everything," she cried.

"Oh, come now, he's just an animal," he stated, petting the dog.

"You're right, he is just an animal, and because he's an animal, he doesn't belong in this house! Why don't you keep him outside?"

"How could I do that? He's not just my dog, he's my friend. Would you do that to your friend?"

"Mike, if the dog doesn't go, I go," she threatened.

"I beg you, don't make me choose. He'll behave, I promise he'll behave. I'll teach him, how does that sound? If it will make you feel better, I'll put him in the backyard. I'll do anything, just don't take him away from me," Mike pleaded, getting down on his knees.

"You're pathetic, get off the floor. I won't say it again; either you get rid of the dog, or I'm gone. I need to know now, not tomorrow," she hissed.

"Why are you making me choose?"

"Really? I have to explain it to you? He's a dog, I'm your wife, and yet you treat us the same. If he does something bad, you praise him, but if I do something, you're on my case. I'm sick of him, I'm sick of you, I'm sick of everything! While you play with that dog all day, I'm at work, making a living. What's your excuse, huh? Now that I think about it, the dog isn't the problem, you're the problem. There, I said it! You want that dog, you can keep him, because I've had it!"

"Honey, I had no idea. It's been hard, not having a job and all. I've been looking, God knows I've been looking. It's a terrible thing, being unemployed. We struggle and search, but for what? I just want to be happy, and my dog makes me happy. You make me happy, so why do I have to choose? He's my dog, he'll always be my dog. I'm sorry, Vivien, I can't choose. You can leave, I won't stop you," Mike whispered, taking a deep breath.

"Well, I guess I've been too hard on you. I'll tell you what, why don't we talk about this tomorrow? It's getting late, I'd rather not argue," she stated, taking a seat on the ripped sofa.

"Things will get better, I promise," Mike assured, kissing her cheek.

Later that night, Vivien planned to do the deed. She would go to the kitchen, find the poison, and pour it into the dog food. The plan was foolproof, or so it seemed. When she walked into the kitchen, Mike was standing by the refrigerator. How could he have known?

"What a surprise, I thought you were asleep. What are you doing up?"

"I got to thinking, why would my wife be up in the middle of the night? Are you planning something?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," she stuttered.

"You're up to no good, I can see that. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Tell you what?"

"You got me a birthday present, didn't you? I should've known, given the way you were acting. Let me guess, it's in the basement, isn't it?"

"Yeah, just let me go get it," Vivien stated.

Vivien walked into the basement, fully aware that there wasn't a birthday present. There was only one way out, and she knew it. If she could pass something off as a birthday present, then she would be in the clear. The basement was dark, so she had to keep her hand on the wall. All of a sudden, something didn't feel right. Someone, or something, was in the room with her.

The dog growled, sending a chill up her spine. She could feel his breath on her face, which made it all the more frightening. She was trapped with a dangerous animal, and the sad thing was, she couldn't save herself. She ran up the stairs, fleeing for her life, only to be stopped in her tracks. The door was closed, never to be reopened.

"Mike, get me out of here," she pleaded, her sweat landing on the door.

"No can do, I'd rather listen," Mike laughed.

"You mean, you planned this?"

"You told me to choose, so I chose," Mike laughed.

"You bastard, I'll kill you for this," she screamed.

"Fine by me, assuming you'll get out of the basement alive, which you won't," he laughed.

The dog lunged at her throat, sending her tumbling down the stairs. She screamed, unable to restrain her fear. What else could she do, except scream for her life?

"Can't we be friends? I was wrong, I see that now. You're a good dog, such a good dog. You want Mike, you can have him, just don't hurt me. Oh, it's no use, it's like talking to a brick wall. Mike, for the sake of our unborn child, let me out of here," she screamed.

"I'll keep the dog, you keep the baby," Mike laughed, enjoying the death of his wife.

The End