The Rat Dog Race
Copyright © 2012 Shelley Adams
The devil is at his door, and her name is Judy.
As if, the day couldn't get any worse.
Finding himself sitting at his desk on the hottest day in July, Gifford stares down at his report, a project he has no interest in.
The air conditioner system of the entire building is busted. Some flock of pigeons decided to make their nests in the electical work and got fried.
He was told that the problems would be fixed in about a week, but he wasn't betting on that.
This should have been a sign of the impending apocalypse, but he was blinded.
The door burst open.
There is a system set up for this very moment. It's called code "Fleeing the Hell Hound." Girfford's assistant, Samantha, hits the buzzer on the intercom but leaves no message. This is his warning to prepare himself. He comes up with a bogus meeting and rushes off without having to say more than the formalities.
"Hello Judy can't talk. I have a meeting. You know business got to rush, rush, rush," than he would be out the door before she knew what had happened.
However, somehow, everything went wrong. The system failed. Maybe it's the heat effecting Sam, or maybe the intercom is busted along with the A/C.
Whatever the case here she is all five foot, hundred and five pounds of her.
The clicking of her heels echo across the room, as she approaches. She's wearing a hot pink summer dress and matching handbag. Her make-up is at its minimum, only half the make-up department. Her deep hunter green eyes are hidden behind large bug-eye sunglasses. Her bottle blond hair hung lose over her shoulders.
He always preferred her natural color brownish red, maybe that's why she changed the color.
He wonders how much of his alimony check went to this outfit, close to a thousand maybe more.
He can't understand they've been divorced for almost five years she's smart so why hasn't she gotten a job. When they first met she wanted to become a pediatrician, children were her life. So why isn't she off tending to runny noses or upset tummies.
Yet on the other hand, its probably a good thing she's not allowed near kids she might eat their tiny souls.
So much of her has changed what has happened to the woman he fell in love with. Where did she go.
Whipping off her sunglasses she glares down at him," Gifford Tabs."
Judy Ellis," he shouts, like he's greating a friend he hasn't seen in a long time putting on a fake smile. She has changed her married name back to her maidden name, another change.
"What are you doing?" she snaps, folding her arms over her chest.
"I'm working," he gestures to his computer. "Really busy can't talk got to go."
He stands up and attempts to usher her out the door.
"Sit down," snarles through her teeth.
He obeys, her training still holding fast.
"Stop messing around," rummaging through her purse she pulls out a polaroid and throws it on his desk.
Picking up the picture he studies it. It shows a small rat dog. The dog is blind folded and the days news paper is on display. In the bottom white section in black marker is written, " Give me what I want or the rat gets it."
"Where is he?" she demands tapping her left foot, a nervous habit. "What have you done to my poor Sparkels?"
He always felt sorry for that dog. Its bad enough that it has to go throw life as a rat dog; but to be a boy rat dog named Sparkels, he would have ran into oncoming traffic.
He hands the polaroid back to her trying to hold himeslf together. "The dog never looked better." "This isn't funny," she snaps. "You were always like this. Everything is one big joke. I know at one point I thought that your pranks made you charming, but we're not kids anymore. And this time you've gone to far."
"I have no idea what you're talking about," he mockingly holds up his hands in surrender.
Closing her eyes she takes three deep breaths. This is something her therapist taught her, to reduce stress. However, when she opens her eyes she looks even more infuriated. She opens her mouth to say something, but nothing comes out.
He stares at her as she opens and closes her mouth, like a fish out of water. "What is it that you want," she finally regains her senses. She shoves the photo back in her purse. "It said give me what I want. So what is it. Do you want to pay less alimony? Do you want me to spend less money on clothes? Do you..."
"Why didn't our marraige work?"
This catches her off guard rendering her speechless, again.
"Is...is that...why you...kidnapped my dog?" She stares at him like he's something gross at the bottom of her overpriced shoes. "We've been through this before I'm an adult and you're and over grown child. It just couldn't work out."
"I'm sorry," he tries to keep his voice monotone so not to betray what he's feelings.
He turns to stare at his computer screen, no longer able to look at her. He pretends to work and a dancey screen saver money smiles at him. At least someone is happy.
Now he's in trouble, this is the face she gave him when she demanded a divorce.
"Judy, sweety," he tries to calm her down before she explodes. "I've been in my office all day. When would I have the time to kidnap your dog."
She takes her time pondering this, as if there is some expanation to how her ex-husband can be at two places at once.
"Then to top it off," he continues. "How would I even get my hands on Sparkels? He's always by your side."
In that giant purse of yours, he thinks but doesn't say aloud.
"He was at doggy training," she smiles satisfied, as if she got him in a trap.
"But than how did I get him out of class, paid off the teacher. She would have called you the moment I shown up."
"But I don't understand, "she looks like shes about to cry. Its never fun when she cries."When I went to his class he wasn't there."
He doesn't understand, why they were younger she would have loved this joke.
When they met he was in the middle of pulling a prank. When she found out what he was doing she wanted to join in, insisting on being the getaway driver.
Okay, he never pulled a joke on her... and is he is days away from turning forty... but that should matter.
Maybe he has gone too far. All the fun has gone away. He didn't mean to hurt her, only mess with her. She might have become the ice queen, but he still loves her.
They barely talk anymore, the only time they get together is to argue.
He's about to tell her the truth when the confusion turns back to anger.
"I don't know why, or how you did it but if Sparkels isn't back by the end of the day I'm calling the copes," she shouts before storming out.
A couple minutes later Samatha buzzes the intercom, "she's gone."
"Did you get the tickets to the doggy trainer."
"Front row like you asked. And the doggy spa."
"Called and said that Sparkles is having a fine time. Oh yes, a slot opened in doggy meditation they would like to know if you want to enroll Sparkels."
"'Sure, why not?" the dog can use some relaxation with all the drama that circles around it.
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