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Captain of the Guard: Man’s Best Friends

September 6, 2019

He faced a huge, three headed dog.

Its body was the size of a cow with huge feet, the term often used to describe their size would be dinner plates, or serving platters, but at the moment Cedric was not really thinking about food, or dinner, except perhaps the small part of his brain that hoped he wasn’t going to be dinner.

Its heads resembled a mastiff’s but were unsettling in a way Cedric couldn’t pinpoint. It was black, but not a glossy black, but matted and graying.

“Oh my.” Vul breathed. A gloved hand went to his lips, which he then moved to the left side of his face and started scratching absentmindedly.

“Interesting,” said Alstone. Cedric started. He hadn’t seen the wizard come in.

“How did you get in?” Cedric chided himself immediately for his poor choice of words.

“I have my ways.” The charlatan twitched his eyebrows and flicked his fingers as if he was casting a spell, or perhaps trying to get rid of a particularly sticky booger.

Cedric grunted. His ways were either sneaking in or more likely paying the silver.

One of the dog heads was busy wolfing down what looked like a slab of raw meat. It stopped eating when it noticed the three of them and growled a warning.

The head on the animal’s right glanced over at it and said, “Stop that. That’s no way to treat our visitors.”

The middle head nodded in agreement, “I really wish you wouldn’t.”

The head that was busy eating just growled again.

Cedric congratulated himself on not saying something inane like “You can talk.” And instead mustered a polite “Hello.”

The dog that growled, Cedric preferred to think of it as a separate dog and not a separate head, dropped the piece of meat. “Get a good look so I can finish eating.”

“Now, now, Pookie, that’s not the way to act.” The head of the animal’s right said.

“Don’t call me that,” Pookie snarled and went back to rending the meat.

“It’s the name mom gave you.” the head on the animal’s right said sweetly.

Pookie growled, “Mom’s a bitch, she always liked you two best.”

“Mom’s pedigree is the best and she loved you.” The middle head was affronted.

“If she loved me, she wouldn’t have named me Pookie, she could have named me Cujo, or Killer, or Rex even.”

“It could have been Fluffy.” The head on the animal’s right pointed out. “I think she named you Pookie, because she could see how softhearted you are.”

Pookie roared, “If you weren’t attached to my body I would rip your throat out, Emile.”

Both Cedric and Vul took an involuntary step backward. Al, though did not seem phased.

“Temper, temper.” Emile chided. “It will be our undoing.”

“You two are my undoing! It isn’t me that insists on listening to the music.” Pookie’s voice took on a sarcastic sing-song tone “Oh, let them play a little bit.  I like the music, it sooth’s my savage heart.” Pookie bared his teeth. “Which one of us keeps eating the honey cakes? How many times are we going to fall for that one? Huh? Shall I count? Three so far! Off to dreamland we go each time.”

Emile pouted. “At least it isn’t that awful raw meat, it upsets our stomach.”

“I’m fine with an upset stomach.” Pookie snapped. “At least I don’t have a hankering for sweets, like someone I know. Wouldn’t be here now if you liked meat like a proper dog.”

“We’re not a proper dog.” The middle head pointed out.

“Don’t I know it,” Pookie muttered, a paw covered the meat possessively.

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