A collection of short stories, mostly written for 'Screams!'
| His Master
The dog lowered it's body towards the ground as it heard the approach of it's master. There had been no food or water for two days, and in spite of the fear of what might be to come, the dog still wagged it's tail in hope.
The man opened the enclosure and called the dog to him. Eyes looked in a hope that soon faded as the dog saw no sign of a bowl of food or water. At least the man did not seem menacing for once. Warily, the dog moved to its master's side.
"Right, now you should be good and hungry," the man said. "That should get your hunting instincts going. Now, find a trail and make a kill. A dog that won't hunt is no good to me."
As if sensing the man's foot raised, ready to give it a kick, the dog sprinted forwards. Water! Just a dirty puddle but it would do to quench his thirst. The man came lumbering towards him, cursing under his breath but again the dog moved forward before his master was close enough to reach him.
Sniffing the ground and the air, the dog's nose caught a scent. Fox; he was sure of it. Perhaps his master would feed him well if he managed to hunt the animal down. Trusting his own instincts and ignoring the shouts from his master, the dog began to track the scent.
Sometimes it grew fainter and the dog would have to sniff around to find the direction that the fox had taken. It never took more than a couple of seconds so the distance between himself and the man was maintained.
The hedges grew thicker and the grass much longer. The dog could sense that he was almost upon his prey, so strong was the scent. He ignored the brambles that scratched at his legs and his face, and pushed forwards until he found himself in a clearing. In front of him was a vixen and two young cubs.
The dog stood completely still. He knew what his master wanted him to do, but as his eyes met the terrified ones of the fox he knew he could not do it. His master might be a killer, but he was not. By the time the man caught up, the dog stood between him and the foxes.
"What the hell are you doing?" the man roared. "Three for one! Get on and kill the vermin, would you."
The dog growled, but the focus of its anger was the man.
"Jeez! Do I have to do everything myself? Fair enough." He swung a rifle round from his back. "You're useless. Lucky I have enough bullets to include you, eh." And he laughed.
The dog took everything in; the shaking of the fox and cubs, the movements of the man. He wasn't a killer, was he? As he launched himself at his master's throat he realized that perhaps he did have it in himself after all.