Undoubtedly he’s lost most of his lackeys due to poor leadership. The Rottweiler now resembles a bag… more like a wheelbarrow of bones rather than a muscle car. Behind him are only a few, though plenty, of hungry friends.
As he growls I start to back away, up the hill. We are very close to the house.
I attempt to back away but this incites a louder snarl from the bottom of his gullet. My friends behind me are surprisingly ferocious. The twins are barely fazed, letting out boisterous barks from behind me. But they are clearly less threatened than either Cleaver or I. One of the Chihuahuas ineffectually leaps for me and Tweedle Dum snaps his jaws onto its neck, tossing it to the side as it yips. The barks from the twins grow louder but the noise is just a warning. This morphs into growls as more dirty, scraggly dogs start to round the corner of the neighborhood.
Though he’s been poised on his haunches for several minutes, the Rottie has barely moved except to inch forward to keep up with me. It occurs to me that I’m not carrying any food on me, and I smell like gasoline. I cannot mitigate this. Just as Tweedle Dee decides to jump in front of me the Rottweiler leaps for my face and I swing.
I hear a sickening crack as the baseball bat makes a textbook connection with its target. I feel the bone of the skull give way under my rotating hands and like a good baseball protégé, I follow through with my swing.
The body slumps to the ground, motionless. The frigid air is still. Unbelievably, the other dogs begin to creep into the distance.
As I ascend the hill towards our house for the last time, more dark figures come out from adjacent neighborhoods and wooded areas. The peeking moonlight bounces off their eyes, leaving dozens of eerie reflections in the creeping dusk. The hesitant barks begin to be punctuated with howls as I turn the corner and leave them behind, silhouetted by the burning horizon.