“Only if your girl goes, right?” she snapped with her eyes straight ahead. She was pretending to be listening to the professor very well.
Oh, that’s what this is all about, he thought with a laugh. “I have no girl.”
“Whatever,” she spun in her seat to spit the word in his face.
“Excuse me,” the professor interrupted. “Mr. Dallas, since you’re so eager to talk why don’t you explain today’s lesson.” He rested on his heels and crossed his arms over his chest. “Well, we’re waiting.” He motioned to his staring classmates.
“An,” his eyes drifted to Katie, she now wore a smirk on her full lips. She was enjoying this way too much in his opinion. He raised his left brow as he leaned back in his seat. “False.” He shot the professor a carefree grin.
His face darkened as his eyes narrowed. “You make a perfect example of your generation,” he sighed. “As I was saying.” For the rest of his lesson his eyes would pause on Jerry to make sure he was listening. “See you people on Monday. I suggest you read chapter six, because we will be discussing it.”
Great, he thought, gathering his books and binder. “Hey Kat.”
“Katie,” she corrected him as she continued to walk away.
“Katie.” He stopped, sighing at the ceiling. She was gone. Damn it, he lipped without a sound. He dropped his chin and headed out. In defeat, he went home.
“Rover,” he called as he entered his house. “Rover, boy– I’m home.” He dropped his books on the table as he passed by it.
His best friend jumped on him, demanding the attention only a being with two hands could give. “Who’s my boy?” He scratched behind his ears. “Who’s my boy?” His petting stopped when he saw the pile of dog poop in the center of living room. “Damn it, Rover!” He slapped the dog away. “Why do you do this?” Anger fueled him as he cleaned up the mess, once again. He was always doing this these days. “Damn mutt,” he muttered, too tired to yell anymore.
He washed his hands before he went to the couch. He flopped on it and pulled out his weed. Staring at the small sack, disappointment filled him. “What a fucking day I’m having.” He threw the weed onto the table. “What a fucking day.” Running his fingers through his hair, he looked at the far wall, not seeing it.
Sensing his master’s sadness, Rover jumped onto the couch, determined to make him feel better. Wagging his tail, he pushed his way onto his lap.
“Get away from me,” he pushed the mutt off the couch. “Stay the hell away from me until you learn how to use the bathroom outside.” He sat back as depression overtook him. His head dropped into his hands. Sighing, he decided to let it go. “All I need is weed.”
“No, you don’t.”
“What?” His head snapped up as he eyed the room. “Who’s here?” No one was. Rover wagged his tail at him. “Whatever,” he shook his head, as he dismissed what he had heard.
“And the day I learn to use the bathroom is the same day I grow big enough to kick your ass.”
“What?” He jumped up, as the words echoed in his mind. Wide-eyed he stared at Rover. “What did you say?” Please say nothing, his fear pleaded.
Anger drew the dog’s features back as he took small steps towards him. “If you were to shit on the floor you would at least get a chance to explain yourself, before being punished.”
“What?” Fear pushed him back a step and then another. “You talk?” Shaking his head, he looked at the floor. “This can’t be real. It must be the weed.”
“You smoke too much weed.” Anger moved the dog forward again. “And I hate that.” Spit dripped from his mouth. The rage in his eyes pushed Jerry back another step. The chair lay behind him, unseen. “When you get high you always blow that shit in my face and well, Jerry. I must admit I don’t appreciate it at all.”
“What?” Stepping back, his knees hit the chair and knocked him back. “Shit!” He tumbled into darkness.
Rover watched him slip into his world. “Humans,” he breathed. “I should’ve listened to my mother when she said they’re not worth the hassle.” Shaking his head, he followed him into his world. He legs stretched as his arms fell to his sides.
The cold concrete pressing against Jerry’s flesh woke him up. With a heavy head, he pushed himself up. “What the?” He didn’t remember going outside. He was surrounded by plastic buildings and walking animals. “What the fuck?”
The dog couple walking past him stared as if they had never seen a human before. His brows frowned when a cat sniffed the air as it walked passed him. This can’t be real– he shook his head. It can’t.
Costumes, he told himself as he placed a smile on his lips. “Of course, it’s one of those hidden camera shows.” Feeling better, he rose to his feet.
Another cat slowed its pace when it saw the human. Arching an intrigued eyebrow, it continued on its way. Jerry pulled his shoulders back as he faced the striped being. “Great costume.”
“Excuse me pet,” he hissed. His lids lowered with disgust.
He took a step forward to face him. “You heard me, great costume.”
“Costume?” His head fell to the side in thought. “What’s a costume?”
“This is.” Without warning, he lunged forward to rip the head off the costume. Hissing, he extended his claws. Jerry felt them dig into his upper arms. “Shit,” he cursed. He desperately searched for the bottom of the mask. There was no bottom. Zipper, there has to be a zipper, he told himself. Fear gripped him.
The cat’s hair stood on end as it snapped at his neck. Ducking, he circled around it. No zipper appeared. Before he could rip off his shirt, he bounced around to face him. “You shall pay for that human. How dare you touch me!” His eyes filled with burning silver fury.
“Human? We are both human man,” he smiled, shock numbing him.
“How dare you!” He rose to his full height to tower over him. His claws rose into the air, ready to strike. “You shall die.”
Swallowing his fear, he had no idea what to do. His blood was already dripping down his arms. “There he is,” a deep voice yelled. Jerry heard footsteps rushing towards him. He was too scared to turn away from the enraged cat before him.
“He attacked me,” the cat pointed at him.
With his brows frowning, he finally turned. Stern dogs in uniform and carrying nets, glared at him. “We’ll add it to his charges,” one assured the cat.
Pleased, the cat nodded.
"Charges? What,” stunned he stared up at them. “Where am I?” It’s a dream, he thought, still refusing to believe.
One of the dog cops tightened its hold on the net. “So human,” he snarled the title. “Are you going to come along with us easy or not?”
He smiled, making him appear scarier than before. “Good.”
Slowly, they moved in on him. They’re going to take me in, he realized. Fear shot through his body, making him move. He ran the other way.
The dog cop’s smile dropped from his lips. “He’s going to make it hard.”
“Don’t they always?” The other one sighed.
Jerry turned many corners, in hopes of losing them. Fear filled him every time an animal person pointed at him. Stop it– they’re going to get me, he wanted to yell at them but instead he just turned another corner. The streets started to empty, allowing him a moment to breath and look around.
The buildings looked hard– smooth and most were colorful like legos. No, he told himself as he refused to believe what he was seeing. Feeling overwhelmed, he moved forward, up the stairs. His legs pinched in protest. Years of sitting on the couch hadn’t helped him in his run. Staring at the shiny surface, he couldn’t help himself from moving towards it. Reaching out, he watched his hand slide down the cold plastic surface.
“Oh my God.” He leaped back, regretting the sudden movement the moment he did it. “It is plastic.”
“Of course it is,” a seductive voice laughed. “Did you believe we would be as barbaric as you humans, and use wood?” Questions painted his face as he drew closer to the curtain door. “We would never destroy trees for our own selfish needs.” Pushing the soft cloth aside, he was faced with a saucy female cat, spread across a sofa. “Hello,” she smiled up at him. Stunned, he was unable to move. “Come in, before the pound finds you.”
He walked in, letting the curtain fall behind him. “What are you?”
“A pussy.” Gracefully she pushed herself up, allowing a white furry leg to slip out of her satin nightie. “Cat.”
“Where am I?” Since his blood had slowed, he was able to feel the wounds on his arms. The deep cuts, that were open to the world, stung.
She smiled, un-nerving him with the willing sex he saw there. “My place.” He watched her body move as she climbed the stairs, moving towards him. Her flesh that was exposed (if you call it that) seemed to move on its own, like water. He couldn’t take his eyes off of it.
“On what planet,” he breathed arms stinging.
He shook his head. “I’m from earth,” he pointed to himself. Looking down, he was stunned to see the blood dying on his arms. Those cuts are going to get infected, shit, he thought, distantly.
“There are many worlds on earth.” She was halfway across the floor now. She couldn’t wait to touch him. Her last pet had died on her. But this one looked stronger–– the deep wounds on his arms didn’t seem to bother him at all. “You, what’s the word?” Her body was close enough to brush his with her fur. “Primates are not ready to know of them yet. But perhaps, one day, you will be.”
His breathing slowed as he pressed his back into the wall. “Why am I here?”
She smelt good. She laid her hand against the wall, pinning him. “You must have pissed one of us off.”
“What? Who?” His eyes darkened in thought.
“But don’t worry– I never let anything happen to my pets I don’t do myself.” Her green eyes slid over his toned body, pausing on the lower parts before rising again.
“Pet?” Thought left his eyes as anger filled him. “I’m a person, not a pet.”
“In this world you are,” her eyes laughed at him.
“No, I’m not!” Gathering his strength, he pushed her away. Her roar sent chills up his spine. Oh God, crossed his mind more then once as he tried to runaway.
“Where are you going?” she hissed as she jumped onto the wall ahead of him.
“Ahhh,” he fell back a step.
Her claws dug into the carpet, holding her place. Her lips pulled back into a dangerous grin. “I didn’t say you could leave pet. Though I must admit I like your spirit."
Horror pushed him back a step as he stared. She leaped off the wall, knocking him back. Frightened, he watched her rise to her full height. “I will enjoy breaking you. Why so frightened,” she asked in a light tone, mentally playing with him. “Don’t you like me?” She frowned at his shaking head. “Well, you should. While your women only have two nipples, which I know you humans like.” A smiled curved her lips, revealing her dagger teeth. “I have eight.” She ripped her nightie open to show him the truth of her words. “It shall be great fun for both of us.” Her nails shot out.
“No,” he whimpered, tears filled his eyes. He pushed himself up onto his elbows. In the middle of the room, hanging from the ceiling, was a huge ball. A ball he could move.
He looked at her as he gathered his strength. Her lips were pulled back in an angry snarl. Her upper body was lowering, and it was the only warning he had of her attack. He rolled back as he kicked her away. Twisting around, he took off to the ball– the big beautiful ball.
Her roar moved him faster than he thought was able to move in his tired state. He dropped underneath the ball as he tossed it behind him. It caught her in the chest and knocked her out of the chase. A curtain that was hanging around the corner caught his eye. He could really escape. Climbing over the couch, he got out. The cold air was the best thing he felt all day, hell, all his life.
“Huh.” He was yanked off his feet.
The dog cop smiled. “You’re mine.”
The other dog cop locked his hands behind him. Tired and sore, he gave up. Keeping his head down, he allowed them to easily lead him away. This sucks, he silently whispered to himself as he was pushed into a cage built into their truck. Other stray humans stared at him. No words were spoken just their fear was shared between them. This really sucks, he thought again.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” Jerry tried to explain to the court, feeling helpless.
The pit bull judge slammed his gavel onto his tabletop. “Hush human, I shall tell you why you’re here. Now,” his eyes narrowed on him. “Sit.” Looking away, he sat down. “Bring in the plaintiff,” he told the snake bailiff.
Plaintiff? His head turned to see who had put him on trial. The door opened to reveal a well-dressed weasel lawyer leading a dark brown mutt. “Rover?” He shook his head with disbelief.
They took their seats across from him. Jerry couldn’t take his thoughtful eyes off of the plaintiff. Angry fire filled his eyes. How dare he accuse me?
“Hank.” The weasel nodded to the judge.
“Sam,” he smiled back.
Great. He slumped in his seat as he realized– a fixed trial.
“So Sam, what are the charges?” He clasped his paws in front of him.
“Ah,” he nodded. “Such a common charge these days,” he mumbled to himself. His face and eyes hardened as he looked at Jerry. “How do you plead?”
“Yes– plead.” Jerry stared up at him, trying to be patience. “Do not play coy with me human. I know you understand, after all, this court system is based on the one from your world. Though you are an uncaring race, that is blind most of the time, you are an intelligence race none the less.” He looked down on him. “Now, tell me your plea.”
“Not guilty,” he managed to whisper.
The judge sighed. They always pleaded not guilty. At the core of all humans, they were basically the same– blind, stubborn, and just down right insensitive. “Okay Sam,” his thick eyebrows rose. “Present your case.”
Smugly, he smiled as he nodded. “I call Rover to the stand.”
“Rover,” the judge repeated, shaking his head at the name. “Humans, we should name them all Hairless.”
“Place your hand on the book,” the bailiff ordered, as he held out their book of laws. Rover held his head high as he laid his furry paw on its cover. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth or your life be gone?”
Strange, Jerry thought.
“I do,” he whispered, struggling to keep his head high. He didn’t want to do this, but he no longer wanted to be mistreated. Oh, what a sad day this was turning out to be.
“Sit.” With his job done, the bailiff turned to walk away.
Sam rose. A cocky smile lightly pained his features. “Rover.” His paws were clasped in front of him as he strolled to the front of the court. “I don’t wish to waste anymore time of this court’s than I have to.” He tilted his head in Hank’s direction. “Why don’t you explain for this court why you are pressing these, all too common, charges against this,” he glanced over his shoulder to look at Jerry. “Human.” His eyes narrowed as he turned away.
Sadly, he looked at his four-fingered paw. He ran his right paw over his left one. “I’m tired of him mistreating me.”
"When he comes home.” Distress covered his face as he remembered. “Upset. I want to make feel better.” A smile lifted his thin black lips. “Let him pet me for fun.”
“And what does this human do?”
The smile left his face as his eyes filled with a far away gaze. “Push me away.”
“How does that make you feel, Rover,” he asked in a soft, understanding tone.
“Hurt.” His head dropped in shame.
“Does he care?” He accusingly pointed his claw at Jerry. Staring at his paws, Rover shook his head. “I did not hear that.”
“No,” he choked, too hurt to sit here any longer. He was stuck. Their law bound him in his seat until Hank released him.
Sam nodded to himself as he rounded on his heels. “So, he neglected,” he made sure to emphasis the word neglect. “How you felt?”
“Wait.” Jerry jumped up. “I remember that day as well.”
“You should– it was today,” Sam joked as he pulled his head back.
“It was,” he paused. “Yeah, well, I wasn’t neglecting him. I was punishing him.” His shoulders fell, he suddenly felt bad. “He shit on my rug again, and that can’t be allowed.” He met the weasel’s eyes. “You must understand the concept of punishment.” He saw no mercy in them and knew this weasel wanted his blood. “I mean,” he shrugged. “You have trials.”
“Yeah.” He raised his head.
"Did you shit on his rug because you didn’t like him?”
Questions wrinkled his face. “No.”
Sam kept his eyes on Jerry as he continued his questioning. “Then why?”
“He wasn’t there to take me out, and in that world I’m unable to open the door myself.” He bowed his head, not liking how many eyes were on him.
“So, he neglected you?”
“Yes,” he whispered.
“I was in class,” Jerry whined, feeling very small right now.
“How long are your classes human? One hour? Two hours? All day?”
“What?” He pulled his head back. He did not understand his line of questioning. “I’m not on stand here.” He pointed at Rover. “He is.”
He smiled, revealing his pointy teeth. “Of course you are. In fact, you’re the only being in this world that is.”
“But,” he shook his head, not understanding. He looked up and met Rover’s big eyes that had always trusted him to do the right thing. Did I, he asked himself. Would he have put me on trial if I had been true to his trust? “I didn’t know.”
“I’m sure you didn’t.” Sam rolled his eyes. “But you should have. Animals, all animals,” he stepped forward, demanding that the human look at him. “Just as you are one, have feelings and thoughts. And just because your kind is at the top of the food chain.” A hiss escaped him. Jerry suddenly wanted to run. “Because of your guns, and only because of your guns.” His lips pulled back as his jaw opened.
Wide-eyed Jerry stepped back. He’s going to attack, rang in his head.
“Sam,” Hank calmly intervened. “Get control, and make your point before I throw this case out.”
Reason re-entered his eyes. “Sorry,” he tugged on his tie. He relaxed before he looked back at the human. “Doesn’t give you the right to neglect our needs, and natural rights. So, my point,” he bowed his head at Hank. “Is that– not knowing is not an excuse he can use in this case.”
“Agreed,” Hank said, ruining the trial for Jerry with that one word.
He smiled because he had made his point. “I have nothing more to say.” He walked back to his seat.
“Human,” he called in a cold voice.
“Jerry,” he corrected, as he kept his eyes on the plastic wall.
Tired, he looked up. His arms were starting to hurt again, the medicine they put on it was wearing off. “My name is Jerry. If you’re going to condemn me at least have the decency to use my given name.”
“Decency? Do not speak to me of decency. Your species has driven whole breeds of animals into hiding in this world, because of your lack of that word, so do not expect it from us.”
Sighing, he looked away. He knew he was screwed.
“Is there anything you would like to add before I announce your punishment?”
No, he thought. Rover, the name drew up memories from deep within his mind. “Yes.” His head rose as hope filled him. “Do you remember the game we play?” Blankly, Rover stared at him. “The one where I go hide under the blanket.”
His eyes brightened as his tail gently hit the floor. “Yes.”
“Describe it for everyone.” The evil look Hank gave him, made him add the word please at the end.
“You hide under the blanket and call me name.”
His brows rose. “And then?”
He smiled as his tail hit the floor again. “And then I try to eat it off of you. Sometimes I find my way into it so I can lead you out.”
“Do you like this game?”
His tail slammed against the floor. “Oh yes, I love it.”
His face softened, making him look like the master Rover had always followed. “Is there any other game we play that you like?”
“Yes.” He leaned forward, his tail pounding into the floor now. “I love it when you throw the ball– or when you hide from me then call my name, so I have to find you hiding in the house.”
“Is that all I do for you?”
“No. You feed me and provide me with water. When it’s sunny, you walk me.”
Jerry smiled. “Do you truly believe I neglect you?”
His face sobered as he thought about it. “No,” he admitted, slowly.
The room gasped as Jerry proudly smiled. “Thank you, that’s all.” He bowed his head to Sam. I’ve won and he knows it, he thought as he sat down.
He rose from his seat. “Rover.”
“Drop your pants.”
“What?” His eyes grew as he looked at the judge for help.
“Sam.” He looked at him, wanting this case to be over already. “What does that have to do with this case?”
“This case is about neglect, not games. By dropping his pants he will prove, for all to see, that this human, while entertaining him at times.” He turned on his heels to look at Jerry. “He neglects his natural rights, such as breeding.”
Shit, was all Jerry could think.
“Is this true,” Hank asked Rover.
“See,” his paw spread as he circled the room– Making sure horrid understanding was in everyone’s eyes. It was. “Neglect.”
“I see,” Hank nodded. “Rover, you may step down.”
Fear held him in his seat. “But I don’t want to press charges anymore.” His big eyes looked up at him.
“Too late– now step down.” Bowing his head, he did. Hank waited until he was sitting before he addressed the human. “Human, we do understand the concept of punishment.” Pride pulled back his head. “Perhaps better than your kind. As your punishment you shall share in the fate you, yourself, have bestowed upon our brother Rover. You shall have your natural rights neglected. You shall have your ability to breed taken away.”
“What?” His head fell to the side. He didn’t understand his meaning. His eyes grew as realization dawned on him. “What?” He rose from his seat, his body tense with fear. “You can’t.”
He smiled. “We will. Guards,” he glanced at the line of waiting men, against the wall. “Restrain him.”
“No.” As they rushed forward, he acted. He grabbed a chair to toss at them, buying him enough time to turn and run.
“Stop,” the cat from the street lunged at him. “You must pay for what you did.” His nails dug into his flesh.
“Ahh,” he cried out as he fell. “Shit.” In his mind, he could see the guards coming after him to take him to the clippers. “Get off!” Pushing up with all of his strength and weight, he managed to get the cat off him.
He heart raced as he spotted the curtain that was un-doubtfully his way out. “Fuck!” he yelled when claws dug into his back. He covered his nuts with his hand as he tumbled forward. The curtain brushed against his flesh as he fell through it. Darkness stole him into its embrace. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the fall.
When he opened his eyes he was staring at his ceiling. Thank you God.
My balls! He sat up too quickly and sent blood rushing from his brain. Dizzy, he checked his groan area. “Thank God.” They were both there.
His body was sore as he pushed himself up. He rubbed the back of his neck. He made his way to the bathroom. His dream had left him feeling dirty, sore, and down right tired. Rover circled his legs, stopping him. Jerry’s body tensed. Am I afraid? He wondered.
Cover grinned up at him. With wide eyes, he bobbed his head at him.
The dog glanced at his empty food bowl.
Swallowing, he looked away. I don’t have time for this. He took a step and then Sam’s furry face flashed in his mind. The weasel’s hard eyes narrowed as he hissed the word human. Fear made him turn around him. Rover’s bright eyes dimmed as he realized his master might not feed him.
“Shit,” he gave in. He hurried across the room to pour him his lunch. “There.” He rushed off to think. He knew he would be able to in the shower. He closed the door.
Rover walked to his food, happily staring down at it. “Humans,” he laughed as he begun to eat.
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