The Pup

The image shows a pencil drawing of a full moon.
Eduardo Suré; Full Moon, 2018; Graphite

One bright and clear Saturday afternoon, Pamela was at the playground at the park in her neighborhood. The nine-year-old girl was surrounded by younger children; but she climbed over, under, and through the playground equipment alone.

Pamela stayed there for a long time and did not give any sign that she was getting tired of playing. Parents gathered up their children and left. More children arrived. Then, children went home. There were times as groups of people arrived and left that no one was at the park, but her. It was during one of those gaps between crowds that a stranger approached her.

“Hi, little girl,” the man excitedly said as he walked toward her. The overweight man wore a scraggly beard, a worn brown cap, and a stained black polo tucked into his blue jeans. “Have you seen a puppy come through here? Chocolate color. Super cute.”

“No,” she replied. “Sorry.”

“Maybe you can help me find him,” he said. “Would you?”

“There isn’t a puppy here, Mr.,” she said.

“I bet you’re right,” he said. “He’s probably back at the parking lot waiting by my car. You’re so smart! Please help me catch him before he gets run over. C’mon! Let’s hurry!” The man jogged toward the lot and Pamela followed.

The parking lot was empty when they arrived, except for a van. The heat of the afternoon may have sent people inside or perhaps it was dinner time, but no one was out. There were no kids at the park. There were no adults taking a walk. Pamela was alone with the man.

“Little girl!” he exclaimed, “I think I see my puppy under the van.”

“I don’t think so, Mr.,” Pamela replied.

“Sure, I do,” he said. “I bet if we look behind the tire, he’s right there. He’s probably scared.”

Pamela’s face conveyed doubt as she walked toward the back of the van. She squatted down to look under it. There was not a puppy by the tire. Suddenly; the man swung the van’s back door open, picked Pamela up, and roughly tossed her into the back. He slammed the doors shut before she could stand. She pounded the doors and yelled from inside, but she was too quiet for anyone to hear. The man looked around, saw no one, stepped into the driver’s seat, and left the park with Pamela.

It was pitch black in the back of the van. The cab and the cargo area were separated by a solid wall. Pamela stumbled around trying to find a way to escape. The back doors, were locked from the outside. They were the only possible exit. Finally, the heat exhausted her and she sat on the floor wet from her own sweat and tears.

When the van stopped, Pamela prepared herself to run out after the doors opened. She heard the driver’s door slam shut and she readied herself. However, the man did not open the back doors. He left her sitting alone and blind from absence of light.

It was night when the man finally opened the doors. Even with the doors open, it remained dark inside of the van. The van was inside of a barn, which was a little more illuminated. The most illumination was outside of the barn where the full moon lit up the night. Since the light source was behind the man, Pamela could not see his face. She could tell that he held in his right hand something that looked like a pipe with a forked end. After seeing it, she quickly scooted back into a dark corner in the van.

“Come sit over here,” the man said as he patted the floor at the open end of the van. Pamela did not move. “I can make you sit here, but it’s really going to hurt.” She saw an electric arc flash at the end of the pipe.

“I want to go home,” Pamela said weakly.

“You’re home now,” he said. He tapped the van’s floor with the rod he was holding. Pamela crawled over and sat at the edge of the van. “Extend your arms out with your wrists together like this.” She complied. He wrapped duct tape around her wrists.

“Please let me go, Mr.” Pamela said before he put duct tape over her mouth. He reached out with his left hand to direct her toward the house. After she did not move, he tapped her shoulder with the rod.

Pamela jumped from where she sat onto the floor. She walked out of the shadow inside of the barn and into the light of the full moon. The weight of it seemed to be too much. She stumbled to the ground onto her bound hands and knees as if she meant to crawl.

“Get up, girl,” he ordered. Pamela’s back rose and fell as she took fast shallow breaths. She clenched her fists. He placed the cattle prod against her back. “I said, ‘get up!’”

Pamela turned her head and faced him. She no longer had a human face: she had a wolf’s. The duct tape the man had put over her mouth was in her snout and muffled her menacing growl.

The man dropped the cattle prod, turned, and ran behind the barn. Pamela continued her transformation. Fur grew over her body. Her muscles grew. She became strong enough to rip the duct tape around her wrists. She used her sharp claws to remove the duct tape from her mouth and revealed large sharp teeth. When she stood up, she looked ridiculous wearing a little girl’s dress many sizes too small.

Pamela bent over to sniff the cattle prod. Then, she sniffed the air. She followed the man’s route to the back of the barn. There were woods behind it, but no clear path into them. It did not matter: she had his scent.

Pamela moved quickly through the woods. Her fur protected her from branches and thorns. When she spotted the man, she slowed down and moved quietly. She remained close to him without his noticing her. He stopped running and walked. She stalked him easily. When he began to cross a meadow, she closed the gap between them.

Pamela moved quietly behind him and got as close as she could. The man turned to look back and saw her. She growled. The man stood his ground, so she intensified her growl and snapped at him. She wanted his heart to race.  The man turned and ran. She chased him. She caught him. She bit his neck and ended him.

It took Pamela most of the night, but she found her way home before the moon set. The lights in her house were on when she arrived. She hesitated to announce herself and sat at the back door for a few minutes. Then, she scratched at the door until an older woman came to open it.

“Where have you been?” the old woman asked. “Your parents are still out looking for you. Get yourself inside right now, young lady.” She closed the door after Pamela went inside. Using a higher pitched voice she asked, “Look at what you’ve done to that dress! Whose blood is that?”


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