I was taking shelter from the rain again, watching from my unimpressive alleyway of a lookout the monotonous faces of each human passerby. All the same as the last, all indistinguishable and unimpressive as each other. I couldn't pick one to follow. I couldn't find a person like my last owner.
My injuries were returning, slowly. Patches of my fur were starting to fall off today. I hoped it wouldn't take as long as last time but that was becoming more unlikely with each passing day.
"Failed again, did you?"
A silhouette revealed itself in front of me, bathed by the repulsive lights of turquoise, green and pink. A doberman, a bit on the skinnier side, but with sharp prickly ears and a deathly shade of black fur. His shadow cast over the entire length of the alleyway, reaching up to the wall behind me.
"I don't need an 'I told you so'."
"I'm not here for that," he replied, the voice that echoed in my head was deep, authoritative. One laced with the wisdom of millenia. "You are not doing your job."
"Yes I am."
"It is not your job anymore to baby the humans, Mout. They are beyond saving. Need I remind you that you work for me now."
"As if you'd pass up the chance to lord that over me, Anu."
"The world has changed. The humans are now many. They willingly destroy themselves with their lives of apathy and self-destruction, and we must be there to reap them when they are ready."
There was a time, long ago, when that wasn't the case; a time where we guided and nurtured them into peace and prosperity.
"Their sickness is spreading and we must be there to weed out the sick. The petulant governor's actions are of little concern now, but they might be if we do not hasten. There's no more time for your little side projects anymore."
"That woman you were with, how long did it take? Two weeks? One?"
"Two days. That is the efficiency all under me are expected to function." I could hear the thin veneer of smugness beneath his baritone voice.
I wanted nothing more than to scratch those annoyingly perfect little ears into shreds. Two days… The woman didn't stand a chance. He didn't give her any time to get up on her feet. It disgusted me to the bone.
"You like this town, hmm? Your little kingdom of death and despair. Beating humans while they're down must feel pretty good for you, Anu."
It was futile to rebuff him but I did anyway. I was under him, but he could only do so much with his authority thanks to the length of my lineage. It's how I've been able to act with autonomy for so long.
I had to do all I can to deny the disgusting new role I was given and the duty it came with.
"I offer the humans the gift of death and the release of their suffering. You may have birthed them with the primordial waters but now they come to me in droves." A car passes by, its headlights illuminating the alleyway, spilling away the toxic neon colours and exposing his features for the world to see for just a second. His eyes deceivingly sharp, his composure filled to the brim with self-assurance.
I hated it.
"It has already been decided. You yourself were present when the new order was passed." He points his snout at my figure. "You cannot fight it any longer, Mout. You see how you are tied to me now."
"I still have time," I say defiantly. He doesn't respond, though I see the tips of his ears given an imperceptible twitch.
We say nothing, the moment stretching onward, tension on a tightly wounded string as we simply stared at one another, pulling on it as much as we dared.
"I do my duty, as do all others. Now you do yours." He finally spoke, turning away to the main road. "Or your own time will come."