Chapter Two: ThreeLegs from Usual Muttwits

Listen up fellas, it’s all about power and speed sez Shadow, the black German Shepherd PD.

Uh-huh mutters Jax, the black and tan other German Shepherd PD.

..and intellectuals

Oh-ah

Right, coz timing is every–

Thought yu said it was about pow–

Stick a bone in it and listen Shadow gives Jax the hard eyeball power, speed and intellectuals, wotz measured against–

When’s nosh? Jax starts drooling, sniffing in all directions.

Duncan scratches behind an earflap good shout, Jax, and I reckons that will be the beef and potato kibbles I’m sniffing

Beef? slobbers Jax

Potato? pants Shadow, power, speed and intellectuals all shunted aside.

..that’s right, lads, in soft white rice, smothered in–

Smothered in what? both Jax and Shadow yowl.

In something noshable, init Duncan sneezes.

The three PDs are sitting with their hindlegs handlers at the side of the training ground, facing ten different obstacles they are expected to jump on, balance over, crawl thru and generally zig-zag ’round – at full speed as part of their police training. Worse, it’s looking increasingly lykly that they gotta do all this flip-flopping nonsense before police noshtime.

We’re service fours, dog-dammit, not civvy fours growls Shadow we needs our nosh, first. Nows!

Just not normal, not even natural agrees Jax.

Police work before police nosh is wot it is – and is wot yuz lot signed up for Duncan intones solemnly.

Didn’t sign up a dog-damned thing Shadow spits, not altogether sure wot a sign – beside a road or above a door – has got to do with any of it.

“rightthenDuncan,you’refirstboy,let’skillit” PC Andersen packleader commands.

Own that bitch encourages Jax.

Yeah bitch, own it adds Shadow.


Duncan leads PC Andersen packleader to the starting platform. The big PD Dobermann cocks a token squirt against the corner of the platform before jumping onto it. Sniffing at the ten obstacles spread out in a challenging course and totally dismissive of thems two German Shepherds judging him.

Gonna smash this he pants.

goDuncan,goboy” PC Andersen scritches, unclipping himself from Duncan.

Duncan bursts from the platform


Two leaps forward and ov-errrr hurdle – flat out towards A frame – climbing up, up and over – instant right turn underneath it and crawl, crawl, crawling through tube…

“that’sitDuncan,goodboy!”

..and out! Turning right, picking up speed, two leaps and – through tyre hoop – straight onto cat-walk – up, whoaaa! careful across that plank, mate – and down again, hard right ’round the marker post – full thrust over the bush jump….

“goodboy,Duncan,goodboy”

..back across the starter platform – whizzz – zigzag, zigzag, zigzagging through weaving flags. Bit dizzy, erh, where am–

“ataboy,ataboy!”

Duncan senses PC Andersen wobbling close behind, keeping pace.

Ah, that’s it – turn to towards see-saw – up, balance, balance, down and fast towards – SLOW DOWN muttwit! – control speed to…

“goboy,goboy,GO!”

..scramble up vertical wall, through the window jump – turn hard left and power down towards canvas tunnel

“GO,GO,GO!”

Through the tunnel, right dark in here – keep going – keep go– OUT! and hammer down – to platform. Jump up. Stop!

“ataboy,Duncan,welldone” PC Andersen’s heart beating loud in Duncan’s earflaps “goodboy” he slips Duncan a beef jerky button.

“fortyfiveseconds” some daft hindlegs scritches while Duncan leads PC Andersen to the side of the field.

Right then lads, set yuz lots the bar he grins at the two PDs feel free to fall under it!

Yeah royt spits Shadow.

“NEXT!”

Let the team leader thru Shadow is up and away in one fluid movement, PC Patel wobbling to catch up as best as he can.

“go,Shadow,go–”

Gone! Straight off platform, across hurdle, over A-frame, through tube – fast and flawless. Shoots through tyre, powers away to catwalk and – and misses catwalk.

Wot a muttwit! Jax burps.

“getbackhere,Shadow!” PC Patel is scritching.

Power and speed comments Jax, yawning.

And intellectuals notes Duncan wryly as Shadow completes the remainder of the course.

“fortynineseconds” the hindlegs scritches.

Say nothing Shadow threatens the two fourlegs upon his return nothing!

Absolutely they both grin.

“NEXT!”

I got this, I got this Jax leaps away from the platform. Indecently fast, the black and tan Shepherd is soon happily trotting back to his fellow PDs.

“fortythreeseconds” the hindlegs scritches.

Wot! Shadow bares teeth.

Police noshtime, init? Jax looks ’round abouts all innocent lyk before flopping down for a well-earned bit of plumb-bobs nit picking.


“notwiththosecheapbitches,Checkers” sniffy-red Freddy scritches “specialcage,only”


ThreeLegs raises his snout in surprise. Special cage is reserved for very special guests. Expensive ones.


Trot on then, princess ThreeLegs lurches towards the special cage in one corner of the barn.

He waits at the door of an empty cage wotz no different from the others yor pied-à-terre, trot in if yu please

Βία ignores him as she slinks past, sniffing out the cage, earflaps drawn back at the proximity of other males caged along both sides of the barn. They’re all scratching and sniffing at the bars, tongues dribbling goo.


Hello darlin’

Snifz yu

Is that yu, my sweetness, is that me?

Shut it all o’ yers snorts Threelegs blessing yuz with real royalty, ain’t we? Yuz basking pond life peasants

Freddy kicks ThreeLegs out of the way, slamming the cage door behind Βία. “thatshoulddoyoufornow,moneybuttons” he wobbles out on heavy footpaws, leaving ThreeLegs to stand guard.

Howdy doody Scroggy calls to Βία from the cage next door.

Don’t yap at the special guests snaps ThreeLegs.

Why not?

Coz yor slime and coz I sez so, so that’s why not

But I’m a person too whines Scroggy.


ThreeLegs raises his blunt snout no yu ain’t

Whether he is or whether he ain’t don’t stop Scroggy from pushing his brown snout through the bars for a closer snifz at Βία. Finding a sniffy new female, and a fit one at that, attracts all the male fours to strain their owns snouts towards her, close as possible, lyk.


Where’s the track?
Βία asks Scroggy, indifferent to the others.

Track?

The circuit, racing course, arena, or wotevs

?

Right here, darling barks some lusty muttwit, cocking his leg and fragrantly squirting into the corner of his cage.

Enuff yuz animals snorts ThreeLegs, not entirely happy that Βία, his Βία, is surrounded by a barn load of eightleggers-eager, sniffy male fours.

Bee-Ahh don’t ‘preciate yor lurid attentions, init Bee-Ahh, my sweetness? he swivels his head ’round abouts the cages, ensuring his claim to ownership is firmly sniffed in, licked up and well understood.

First off chump, it’s Veeyah says Βία
not bee-ahh. Secondly, I ain’t yor sweetness

Alright, keep yer lid on Fiyyaa repeats ThreeLegs.

Veeyah she corrects him.

Phia….Beyar….foyer…aww, lick’ it! he lurches off to hoots of derision from ’round the barn.

Wotz a circuit, Veeyah? Scroggy asks sitting on his haunches, his short brown fur fluffing through the bars as he presses against thems.

Βία sits beside him on her side of the cage and they explore touching snouts through the bars.

Snifz yu, Veyaah says the Redbone Coonhound.

Snifz yu, too, Scroggy the greyhound replies and proceeds to tell all the assembled muttwits that she’s a Derby-winning champion who’s only interested in sniffing out the track and winning her next race. They listen, panting quietly, some interested in wotz she’s barking abouts but most just wanting a bit of eightleggers.


Daylight is blue purple-sniffing as the bright hot ball in the sky tumbles towards the ground.


For two squirts Βία has been waiting for her hindlegs handler to come find her and curry comb her to a glossy steel, feed her high energy nosh, and lead her off to the track. To race. To win.

Every nighttime he comes without fail. But not tonight.

She waits patiently until all the sticky things that live and grow outside the barn start sniffing high with the arrival of night. The black time fourlegs enjoy most – when hindlegs curl up in their housedens. The time of sniffing out blood lusts, hunting and devouring, and barking it a lot. Everytime the world goes black.

Overhead barn lights snap on, starkly revealing fourlegs moping about their cages forever turning in restless circles and eyeballing the barn door. Beyond the door are memories of a life beforenows. Fourlegs enjoy a simple sense of time. Everything happens in the here and nows. Not past, present nor future. Only nows.

Nows the time to act growls
Βία
nows the time to escape


In mockery of an answer, ThreeLegs lurches into the barn on his three legs, snout held high, hard eyeballs glittering.

Eve-nin’ all me little sitting ducks he bawls at the fours in their cages all caged and captive, are we?

Here we go again mutters Scroggy.

Wot nows?
Βία stirs.

Yu’ll see


Follow Zozo, Jools and the Muttwits crew at their blog, Usual Muttwits

or find them on Instagram: @usualmuttwits and Facebook: Usual Muttwits

Part Three will be published on Wednesday

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She writes alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. Find out more at France and Vincent. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent. Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com.
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