Dogwood could never recall how he arrived in this godforsaken place.
All he knew was, each day – on a well-oiled, exceedingly accurate tick by tock schedule – he was eaten.
They always let him marinate for a few hours first. Hogtied, gagged, and fettered at the bottom of an exceptionally large stockpot. By his estimate, his devourer was particularly fond of salt.
‘Poor bastard; he’s gonna get high blood pressure.’ These musings often kept Dogwood distracted from the fact he was spending an awfully long time drowning in a citrus and garlic ocean.
The first time he’d been dragged out of the pot to his dinner guest… well, Dogwood had put on quite a show. Kicking, screaming, and riddling them with holes from a barrage of rhythmically strung together vulgarities.
The ‘Things’ had never cared. With a grunt and a jerk, they would inexorably dump him on the serving dish with a side of roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli.
‘I fucking hate steamed broccoli,’ he thought impotently.
Today, though… Dogwood had a plan.
He wasn’t sure why it took him this long. His mother would know why; that old bat always knew the answer. When Dogwood had gathered the courage to scale a tree to the very top, waving his arms from the zenith like a banner in post-battle victory… she’d been right there when he slipped and fell, breaking an arm and his collarbone on the unforgiving retaliation of the earth below.
‘It’s because your head’s too damn big, boy. Too heavy to be up that high.’
Or when Dogwood had been a wee lad and pissed his bed. Grimy wool was bad enough to sleep in. But for good measure, throw eight ounces of acrid yellow urine on it for a real ‘third world country’ experience.
His mother knew just what to say and do then. “Such a chicken shit, boy. Even some nonsense in your dreams makes you piss yaself.” Then she’d made him sleep on the cobblestones outside.
Such a treat, ma’.
But today – Today! – mama would be vindicated.
The Dog (another blessed nickname from his loving dam) flexed every muscle he could. Granted, after so long at the bottom of a gigantic fishbowl of taste bud delight, his one rep max had probably slid into the abyss.
His goal today didn’t require much strength fortunately. Just focus.
Muscles constricted. Sinews swelled like thick cords through his juicy flesh. His abdomen twisted up in knots. His back rippled – his latissimus dorsi popped out fleshy wings of grotesque muscle for the world to behold (useless ‘wings’, he always thought; couldn’t even glide).
His glutes tightened up, sending pops and crack through his spine.
With a scream, Dogwood took the biggest shit of his life, laughing all the while.
“You’re a shit eater if you eat me now!” he howled through his gag, writhing in the sewage of his oppressor’s ruined supper.
He glanced victoriously through the fishbowl, letting the joy dance across his stinging eyes. After all, if opening your eyes in a pool of chlorine is bad… one can only wonder what it’s like to swim in orange juice for the sightseeing.
Outside of the tank he could see them. With their coat-like aprons, their spectacles, their clipboards and their bottles to keep him sedated for the feeding.
Even the pig itself was here, pinstriped suit and a leather box to take home any morsels it couldn’t finish at the table.
‘Eat my shit!’ he laughed again, ignoring the men as they jotted down notes, shaking their heads.
The Pig sighed and took a bite from a Subways Cold Cut combo.
This week’s Garage Fiction prompt was provided by Jinn…
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for in the realm of the dead, where you are going, there is neither working nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom. – Ecclesiastes 9:10
These weekly scenes & stories are part of an ongoing project codenamed “Garage Fiction”. Since January 2015, three writers (Nicholas Brack, Dogwood Daniels and Jinn Zhong) have committed to writing a flash fiction or scene each and every week. We post on Fridays and dissect on Mondays via podcast. Listen to the episode here: