Sunday Snippet, Flash Fiction, Walking the Dogs by Bill Chance

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas Cathey MIller, Cathedonia (click to enlarge)

Walking the Dogs

Craig was out for his daily constitutional, walking a figure-eight through the park a few blocks from his apartment. As he came across the little bridge he saw a woman walking two pit bulls on the path before him.

Because of recency bias he couldn’t admit to himself that she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, but he was sure he had never a woman more beautiful. It was a hot day and she was wearing shorts and an old-fashioned halter top – Craig didn’t think he had seen one of those in a decade. She wore it well.

Her dogs were friendly and as he bent of to pet them he decided to say something.

“What are your dog’s names?”

“Neetzy and Young,” she said.

“Do you mean Nietzsche and Jung?”

“Yeah, that’s sounds right. My ex-boyfriend named them.”

“Are they his dogs?”

“They were ours. Now their mine.”

“So the two of you picked out two dogs?”

“Yeah, he had a cat when we met.”

“A male cat?”

“Yeah.”

“Let me guess, it was named Murr. Tomcat Murr.”

“How did you know? That’s what he called it too, Tomcat Mur. What a weird-shit name.”

“A lucky guess. I was going to say Shrodinger for a second.”

“Shrow-dinger… he would talk about a cat named that. But I never saw it.”

“Did he have a box?”

“Yeah, he said Shrow-dinger was in the box but he was afraid to look in it.”

“He didn’t know if it was alive or dead?”

“That’s right, how did you know?”

“Technically, it was both alive or dead, at the same time, until you open the box.”

“You are as crazy as he was… as he is…. I don’t think there was a cat in there at all. I threw the box out, but I never looked inside. It felt light.”

“You said ex-boyfriend. What happened?” The woman was so beautiful… but he found himself wishing he could meet her ex-boyfriend.

“Oh, I said he was crazy. And it wasn’t just the cat thing. They took him away. He’s in this big hospital… out in the country.”

“Is it on the top of a mountain?”

“Yeah… have you been there?”

“No, never heard of it until now.”

“Well, you sound a lot like him. The doctors told me he would probably never come home from there. You remind me of him a lot.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

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