Russell A. Mebane - African American Science Fiction Writer

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Excerpt from "Squirrels & Puppies"!

I just wanted to share one of my stories from my current book "Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales".  It's one of my favorites to read.  It contains the puppy part of the title "Squirrels & Puppies".  Yes, this is pretty much the tone of the stories in my book.  Some are a little darker. 

Doggie Death Panel

        Our Mama’s been so good to us.  It’s a shame we’re going to eat her.             

In you, LORD my God,             
I put my trust.  

          She’s been reading Bible verses at mealtime instead of feeding us.              

I trust in you;             
do not let me be put to shame,  

         “I swear,” Sasha says, “If she reads another Bible verse I’m going to tip her over myself.”  
        “Patience,” says Poopsy.             
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
          There are five dogs in this house: Sasha the Maltese; Knickers & Mittens, both Yorkies; Poopsy the Pomeranian, and me.  My name is Mr. Tinkles, and I’m a short-haired Dachsund.
  will ever be put to shame,
 but shame will come on those
          Those annoying verses are being read by our Mama.  I’m not sure what her age is in dog years, but she’s definitely old. 

who are treacherous without cause.
May the Lord bless the reading and the hearing of His Word.
          She takes her cane and steps away from her podium.  We all follow her as she shuffles away         from the  living room and off to her room.  She shoos us away and closes the door.  

          Poopsy turns to us.  

          “The bitch must die!”  
Quiet, Poopsy!  Mama’s trying to sleep! 
          “You shouldn’t call Mama a bitch,” I admonish.  

          “Why not?  She’s part of our pack, right?  We’re all dogs here.  Sasha, are you a bitch?”            

          “Yes, I am”  

          “There you go.  If Sasha’s a bitch, then Mama’s a bitch, and that bitch must die,” says Poopsy as we trot back to the kitchen.  Its barren cabinets argue in favor of Poopsy’s statement.  

         “Amen to that,” Mittens chimes in.  

          “But why do we have to eat her?” I ask, “She’s been good to us.  We may be hungry now, but at least we’re warm.  It doesn’t seem right to just kill her and eat her.”  

          Sasha looks over with an inquisitive look.  She’s rolled on to her furry, white back and Knickers the Yorkie is thrusting inside her, dominating her human-style on the faux linoleum floor.   “What do you mean by ‘doesn’t seem right’?” Sasha asks.  

          Poopsy scoffs at me, “It seems Mr. Tinkles subscribes to the human notions of right and wrong, even if our survival is at stake.”  

          “Our survival is not at stake,” I reply, “We’re resourceful.  We can find food in the neighborhood trash.”            

         “Bump that.  I don’t eat trash,” says Mittens.  

         “Unh, me neither,” grunts Knickers.  He’s almost done with Sasha.            

        “Have any of us tried eating crap?”  

         “We have to eat food before we can eat crap, Mr. Tinkles,” says Sasha as she rolls over onto her belly.  It’s now Mittens’ turn to dominate her and he hates doing it human-style.  Mittens believes the doggie way is the best way.  

          Poopsy is pacing the floor looking at me.  “Why, Mr. Tinkles?  Why, oh why, would you prefer to eat trash and doo-doo over fresh, bloody meat?”            

          “I don’t know.  It’s just that Mama’s been hungry too.  She could have eaten us by now if she wanted to.”  

            Mittens stops his coital thrusting.  “That’s because she’s a stupid human and not a dog.  Our way is the best way.  Remember that.”  

           “See?” Poopsy barks, “Mittens understands.  We do what we do to survive.  That’s the doggie way.  That’s what keeps our race alive.  I love humans as much as the next dog, but when they stop doing their job, they get eaten.”  

            “But Mama’s happy doing things the human way.  She refuses to cook and eat us even when she’s hungry.  She was happy to give us food before she would eat, even though she leads our pack.  She’s even happy now, reading those Bible verses with a rumbly tummy.”  

            Poopsy tilts his head as he stares at me.  “Happiness?  You believe this human notion of right and wrong will bring you happiness?  Look at Mittens over there.”  

          “Yo!” says Mittens.  

          “Mittens, are you happy having sex with Sasha?”  

          “Yes, sir, I am.”  


          “That happiness is fleeting, Poopsy,” I reply, “Mama is happy all the time.  I can smell it.”  

         “You know what?” Poopsy says as he walks over to Sasha, “I need some happiness too.”  Poopsy snarls and snaps at Mittens.  “Get off her!  It’s my turn.”           

          “But I wasn’t done yet.”  

           Poopsy snaps at Mittens again and holds him on the ground.  “It’s my turn,” Poopsy growls.  

           “Leave him alone!” I bark.  

           “It’s okay, Mr. Tinkles,” comforts Sasha, “I was ready to have Poopsy dominate me.”            

           “No, it’s not okay.  He wasn’t done yet.  That’s wrong, Poopsy.  You’re wrong.”  

            Poopsy lets Mittens up and stands still.  Then he speaks.    “You see what this human notion of right and wrong does, my friends?  It makes dogs turn against each other.  It makes them forget the natural order of things.”  Poopsy turns towards me, teeth bared.  “It makes them question authority.” 

            Poopsy leaps upon me with rage and fury.   

           “You’re wrong!” I cry repeatedly between his awful bites.  

           Poopsy tosses me aside and snarls, “I’m right, and do you know why I’m right?  It’s because I am the alpha male and I will rip out your throat if you defy me.”  

           I stumble as I pick myself up.  I glare at Poopsy.   “You’re wrong.  You should have let Mittens finish and you shouldn’t eat Mama.”  

           Poopsy’s tail rises as I feel my own tail curl downward.   “Looks like Sasha gets a break tonight.”  

          “Really?” Sasha yips.  

          “Yeah,” says Poopsy as he stalks closer to me.  I try to run away, but Poopsy is too quick.  I kick my hind legs as hard as I can, but Poopsy just bites my neck and forces my head to the ground.  He’s mounting my buttocks.  I try to turn over to kick him with my front paws.  It’s too late.  He’s inside me.  It hurts.  

          “The bitch must die.  Say it!” he growls.            

          “Mama’s in charge!” I whine.  

           He thrusts inside me.   

          “The bitch must die, Mr. Tinkles.  Say it!”   I bare my teeth at Poopsy.  He dominates me more.  He doesn’t stop.  It burns.  I wonder if this is the place Mama talked about from her Bible.  I think it was called Hell.  An eternity passes and Poopsy pulls out.   

          The other dogs are asleep on Mama’s couch.  Poopsy is licking his penis, looking for any bits of fecal matter or blood he can find on it.  My body is shaking and I shut my eyes.  I try to forget what just happened.  Poopsy looks up from his phallus cleaning.   

          “She might be happy, but she’s getting weaker.  It won’t be long before she falls down.  For your own sake, you should eat with us.  You used to be stronger.  Think about that.”  

          Poopsy the Pomeranian walks off to join the Yorkies: Knickers and Mittens, and Sasha the Maltese on the couch.  I stay on the cold kitchen floor.  Tonight it’s more soothing than the couch.  Mama’s going to die soon.  Poopsy’s going to kill her.  My pack mates are going to rip open her entrails and lap up her blood.  The pack was happy once.  When did it all go wrong?  What is “wrong”?  What’s the “right” thing to do?  

          Am I powerless?  

         Morning comes.  Mama shuffles over to her podium.  She opens up her book and begins to read.             
Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
          Sasha sighs.  “Is she gonna fall down or what?”

 according to your great compassion

 blot out my transgressions.

         “I smell weakness,” says Mittens.  
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
        “I think that’s sickness,” says Knickers.  

For I know my transgressions, 
and my sin is always before me.

        Poopsy looks at me.  “I smell food.  Right, Mr. Tinkles?”
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;

        I look away.  I have my own plans.  
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.

       Mama’s knees start to wobble.  
May the Lord bless the reading… and the hea—
      She falls.  

      “Hold her down!  I’ll get her throat!”   

      The pack acts quickly.  Mittens and Knickers bite and hold down her hands.  Sasha climbs onto Mama’s chest and barks at her.  
       “Who’s alpha bitch now?” is Sasha’s vulgar refrain.   

       Poopsy goes for Mama’s throat.  It’s not a sight I stay around to see.  I have to put my plan into action.  I curse my ears for hearing her last words:  “I’m sorry.  I’m so sorry.”  I don’t need to worry about that now.  Mama kept her house locked tight, but she would always leave a kitchen window open to let fresh air in.  I just need to break through the screen to get outside.  I break through and hit the ground hard.  My short legs aren’t made for jumping out of windows.  I’m dazed.  I need to shake it off.  Phase one of my plan is complete.   

        Phase 2:  Flag down a human.  There’s a group of human children near the house.  I just need one little girl to follow me back to the house.  It’s a shame what she’ll see when her curiosity leads her back through the window.  A little, brown-haired girl takes the bait.  The authorities are called.  I’m tired and hungry.  The excitement’s too much for me.  I pass out.  

        I wake up to a woman in a white coat shining a light in my eyes.  I’m okay.  I’m at the vet.  She may have taken my testicles while I was out, but I don’t care right now.  I’m alive and I didn’t have to eat my Mama to do it.   

        I look around and see my former pack mates.  Their muzzles are covered in blood.  The humans look at them with disgusted expressions and keep mentioning the word “euthanized”.  A human in a greenish uniform smiles at me and talks to me.  She sounds like Mama used to sound.  I think she says something about a “nice family”.  I wonder if I did the “right” thing.   

Buy "Squirrels & Puppies: Dark Morality Tales" - now in the iBookstore!

3 Comments to Excerpt from "Squirrels & Puppies"!:

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custom on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 3:35 AM
good post.
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