As Buster sat down and watched the rising moon with Pasha, he was reminded of all the times he never got the privilege of relaxing.
“So what’s your life story?” Pasha asked suddenly. Buster took a deep breath; this could be his chance to tell someone.
“You’re gonna be here a while” Buster said and started telling his story. He wanted to tell her the truth, the reality As he told it, he started to imagine them vividly.
A family of smallish dogs trekked through the sandy dunes of the beaches, their legs trembling with exhaustion. There are five dogs in all; a mother, a father, two male pups and one female pup.
The pups, who would usually play gaily until the moon won its battle, had their tails tucked under their bodies and any thought of play was immediately dismissed.
The father, whose mood was foul, kept snarling at anything and everything; even an odd leaf blowing in the wind sparked his attention. The mother was in a far more depressed mood, her face wrinkled into a mask of sadness. All five of them had lost the will too live.
One of the pups, the younger male, was determine in every way to save his pack. On the outside he seemed to be a skinny pup with nothing better to do with his life than to wander around aimlessly, pining for the moment death would claim him. On the inside, his brain was buzzing with activity, formulating plans and creating ways to liven up his, and his families, miserable existence.
Once they reached the den, however, the pup’s mind turned off and his limbs buckled underneath him. He rested his head on top, of his sister’s flank and allowed his brother to lay his legs on his back. Once the pups were asleep, their high-pitched snores creating a tune, the two parents backed away slowly, so as not to wake their offspring up. The pair trotted across the stretch of sandy beach that separated them from the spiky reeds that were gathered like an army a little way off of the pub. Their heads feel instinctively to the ground, their noses twitching in the effort to detect prey.
The mother, her belly grumbling with hunger, took a tentative step into the reeds, her body trembling and her heart in her mouth. She crouched low to the ground, so low the reeds were easily taller than her. Her mate stood nearby, wary and on the lookout for danger.
As soon as he spun his head round to face a noise behind him, the female was grabbed by a hairy pair of paws, which could only belong to something inhuman, but not quite dog-like either.
The female was pulled headfirst into the reeds and the male was attacked by another hairy beast. The beast jumped out behind him and sank its teeth deep into his throat. For what seemed like ages, the beast held onto the male, its curse infecting its victim. Once the monster released its victim, the male gasped for air, his wind pipe severed. Blood poured from the wound like a red river, spilling out onto the sand until the male was dying in a pool of his own blood.
All hope seemed lost and, as the male saw only the redness of his own life force, he closed his eyes and begged for death. The pain in his throat was terrible, like he had drunk a mouthful of saltwater and then swallowed one of the knives at the café. For a moment, he was overtaken by the pain and the suffocation, but then his breath returned and he gulped down the salty air. The blood had stopped flowing and the pain had ceased, but he noticed that his body was changing. First, his muzzle lengthened and the pain returned. He felt as though his muzzle was being pulled apart and snapped. Once his muzzle was long and whiskery, his spine started growing and bending. He could feel the vertebrae trying to push through the flesh of his back, but he couldn’t yowl in pain; his neck and windpipe were reshaping. His legs yanked themselves out of their sockets, and he felt as though he was being pulled apart. Whilst all this was happening, his heart was working overtime; his lungs were struggling with the loss of air and the build up of carbon dioxide. His kidneys and liver failed, as well as vicious claws pushing through his toes. The pain was almost too much, he, may as well of had the whole world of pain upon his shoulders. But it was over quickly.
Now in his new form, the male howled with anguish. He could breathe again and the horrific agony was now no more than a gentle throbbing.
He suddenly realised he had forgotten about his mate and that she had been attacked too. As his mind returned to him his body returned painlessly to its normal size and he raced over to the clump of reeds.
Both of the monsters had disappeared.
He found his mate lying, just like had had, in a puddle of red liquid. Her throat was torn and he fur stuck out in blood-caked clumps. Breathing was difficult for her, and every breath became more desperate as she hung onto life.
The male observed her wound and discovered that in the bloodied mess, he could see her throat, a dark red tube. The muscle around her gullet was torn and he was sure he could see some white among the red, maybe a bone.
Although she was still alive, she was slipping away fast. The male took the opportunity to say his proper goodbyes, and he lifted his head. He carefully set it down onto his flank and soothed her by running a paw over her head.
“I love you, Monty” the female rasped.
“I love you too, Flower” Monty sobbed.
“Finish me, please, the pain is too much” Flower managed, the sentences a task in themselves.
“Take care of our children” she added.
“I will” Monty promise.
“I’ll miss you, but heaven will be like a holiday from this place” Flower said, referring to the beach.
Monty laughed good-heartedly, trying to cheer her up. Flower winced in pain and Monty shifted towards her, sunk his teeth quickly into her exposed throat and pulled away.
Once he was sure his mate was dead, he hastily dug a hole and pushed her in, not wanting to explain to their children what had happened. Flower wouldn’t want her children worrying.
He covered up her body with regret, the pain he now felt in his heart much worse than any physical pain or injury. He cried, letting the tears run down his face freely, then smashed his paws against the ground in fury.
“I’ll kill you monsters!” he shouted, repeating a word he had heard humans say to each other in means to offend.
“I’ll hunt you down and send you to the fiery pits of hell!” he screamed in fury. His cursing finished, he padded back towards the den, his head held low and his tail tucked between his legs.
As he stuck his head into the den, he gasped in shock as he saw blood spattered over the walls of the cardboard box. At the very centre of the box, where Mont and Flower had left them, lay three small, blood covered bundles. Two were still, but one of the males was shivering and yowling.
His throat bore the same wound as Monty’s and the male knew what had happened. Without thinking, Monty took his live son in his jaws and set him down outside the den. He then scooped up both his other son and his daughter in his aching mouth and carried them over to the reeds. He dug a hole, next to Flower’s grave and set them in it. He buried them again and muttered a few words. Once his lonely service was completed, he retuned to his only son.
Monty held his child close, wrapping the shivering youngster in what little fur he possessed.
For an age, both Monty and his son sat huddled together in silence.
“It was horrible” Buster explained. Pasha had suddenly stared to make sense of it all.
“Your mother and siblings were killed by those things, and you were bitten too?” she asked.
“Yes, but before you get angry with me, let me finish my story”.
Monty and his unmanned son travelled far the next day, both unable to begin to make sense of the events of the previous night.
Monty named his son Buster and took care of him. One might have mistaken Monty for a mother caring for her pup.
Every day was spent travelling and every night was spent huddled together. Buster was a good pup; he never argued or went against his father, he never questioned anything and he always listened to his father.
Once Buster had reached the age of two months, it was time to seek out a pack who could aid them. They came across many allies, such as a pregnant female who was able to provide Buster with milk, but she soon left after she heard the violent story. They also met up with an elderly hairless dog, who died soon after the meting. One of the last dogs to befriend them was Toby, an Alsatian.
Toby was about three years old at the time of the crossing of paths, but his eyes told of many horrible visions and encounters.
“I know somewhere safe” Toby had insisted. Monty and Buster had agreed to travel with Toby, who had a family of his own to care for.
Toby was like a godsend to the pair, he could relate to them because he could relate to them and could take care of them. He took them to a boat, which housed a friendly man who would sail them over to the safe island.
But once the trio were there, Toby imprisoned them and took them to a rundown building. He threw them in cages and left them for ages. When he did finally return, he told them that they had the curse and that they had to work for him.
Monty refused, so Toby used him as an example for all of the other dogs caged up tat refused.
He forced Monty into a room and set his cursed dogs on him. Buster was made to witness the whole thing.
“He was torn apart” Buster moped, tears filling his eyes “me and him had gown through thick and thin , tough and easy. I saw him, Monty the tough dog, die so easily before my very eyes”. He burst into tears, no words ale to explain his feelings. Pasha, who was unable to be angry at him, wrapped her paws around him and hugged him tightly.
“We are gonna kill that Helldog” she hissed defiantly “we are gonna send him to hell”.
It had been a long time since she had been kidnapped; she was probably just under a year old now, so her feelings had come a long way. She could not understand how he felt, but she had never felt so strongly about hating someone.
A year old she thought. He idea stunning her. Had she really been here for two months? She had been about six months when she had been kidnapped, so that meant she could have been about eight months old. Alsatian would be very old (to her) and Buck and Dosi would be the same age. Oh how quickly a dog’s life went.
As she hugged Buster, she couldn’t understand why she liked him and wanted to help him, rather than hate him. She put two and two together and came up with the conclusion that Buster was the one who had kidnapped her and Princess. But he had had to do it otherwise he would have been killed. Then she remembered that her first season would be coming soon, an important part in a dogs life.
Buster stopped sobbing, his eyes swollen and red. He stood up and led Pasha back to their kill pile.
“So you’re the one that kidnapped us, and you’re a werewolf” she said.
“Yep” Buster yapped simply.
“I should be angry, but I’m not”.
“Good good. Now we both need to take at least three pieces of kill each back to the tree” Buster advised, his mood suddenly switching from a mourning dog to a determined hunter.
Pasha agreed with his advice and selected three fat-looking rabbits, as well as a squirrel. With her mouth full and her air supply almost cut off, she started to navigate her way back to the tree. This was particularly hard considering her vision was blocked by furry backsides and swinging legs. In the end Buster had to push her in the right direction; he had chosen to rest the bodies of the prey on his back instead of in his mouth.
The journey back to the tree, although a short one, was hard work for both dogs; every now and again Pasha would trip over a root or get her foot stuck in a hole. When the tree did finally come in sight, Pasha and Buster were both overjoyed. But Buster’s expression soon turned to alarm as he saw not one dog, but four dogs. Pasha had seen this too as she bounded over to the small group assembled at the bough of the tree.
“Alsatian! Dosi! Buck!” she called at the top of her lungs, dropping her kills.
“Pasha!” all three of the dogs screamed as they turned to face her. Pasha reached the group and was soon smothered in hugs and playful hits.
“I can’t believe its you” Buck laughed. Dosi and Alsatian were both speechless, their body language showed excitement.
Buster stayed back, wary of what Pasha’s friends were like and jealous about how he was no longer the only thing on her mind.
Alsatian’s ears pricked as he swivelled his long-muzzled face in the direction of Buster. Without a second though or a warning, Alsatian sprang towards Buster and pinned him down on the floor.
Buster yelped in surprise and tried to free himself, but all four of his ;legs were pinned down by Alsatian’s own.
“Who are you?” Alsatian spat.
“I’m Buster” Buster introduced himself defiantly.
“What are you doing here?”.
“None of your business!” Buster barked, his hackles rising in anger.
“Stop it!” Pasha insisted as she barrelled into Alsatian’s flank, with little effect.
“Are you the rat who kidnapped Pasha?” Alsatian growled, his teeth starting to show as his lips were pulled back.
Buster spied a scar on Alsatian’s neck, it was a scar that had nearly healed and had formed a neat lump. Buster immediately knew what it was as he had one too. It was the mark of the werewolf.
“So you’re a werewolf too?” Buster grinned.
“Yes, what’s it gotta do with you” Alsatian snarled, his claws digging into the soft flesh of Buster’s front legs.
“I am one too” Buster whispered quietly.
“So, I can turn into one and kill you easily” Alsatian threatened.
“No, my friend, you couldn’t. I am not blind; I know you were only half bitten. The wound is small; meaning only half of the werewolves tooth went in” Buster explained “I am full werewolf and could easily kill you”.
Alsatian grunted with displeasure. He stepped off of his prisoner and walked away. Although buster was free, he felt as trapped as a caged animal with all of the others staring at him. The young female that looked just like Pasha was watching him intently, as if trying to work out his next move. The young male was eyeing him suspiciously; he was obviously siding with the Alsatian. Pasha wasn’t looking at him at all, but glairing angrily at Alsatian.
“So he kidnapped you?” the young male broke the silence.
“Yes, he did. But he would’ve been killed if he had not listened to his orders” Pasha explained “he is my friend, more of a friend than you will ever be”.
The male looked at Buster with a look of pure envy. Buster stood up and bared his teeth at Buck, a sign of leadership. Buck did not submit to Buster, but instead challenged him with the same look.
Not wanting the challenge to go unmet, Buster started circling his challenger and both knew that a fight for dominance was about to begin. Pasha knew it would not be a boisterous puppy fight; everyone in the group was well beyond that. Buck reared up on his hind legs and smashed back down hard into Buster’s side. The Doberman pinscher slashed his paw around ad clawed at Buck’s face. Buck was distracted long enough to give Buster the chance to leap on top of him and claim leadership.
Defeated and humiliated, Buck wriggled free and padded back over to Dosi. Dosi sat in front of him protectively and Pasha knew what her sister was saying. It was obvious that Dosi had fallen for Buck, but this could end in disaster.
Papillion tried and failed to break free of her cage. She slammed her weak frame against the bars, but this only achieved sore ribs and discerning looks from her mother and siblings.
Her mother, Sandy was lying curled up in the very corner of her tiny cage, her skinny body quivering and her eyes closed.
Within a month of arriving at the islands, Russell, Papillion’s brother, had died from starvation and disease. Husky, her other brother, had become blind in one eye. Papillion tried her hardest not to recall Russell’s terrible death, but the scene kept playing in her mind.
Russell was ill, very ill. For the first few weeks he had been allowed to live with his mother in her cage, but the guards could see he was going to die. A weak dog had no place in their pack so they threw him into his own cage, despite the screams from Sandy. For the next two days Russell survived and Papillion had let herself think he would live.
But on the third day of living on his own, Russell’s disease ridden body had fallen silent, his receding stomach no longer rising and falling. As soon as Sandy had seen this and shouted, the tiny body was taken away and dumped somewhere.
Papillion sighed heavily after the scene had finished replaying for the one hundredth time.
She couldn’t cry anymore; the tears were gone.