Howling Dogs

 

 

My wife and I live at the end of a dirt road in a small valley deep in the forest, with a big garden outside, just near to a creek. Besides some distant neighbors, and the mail lady, we seldom have cars come down our road. Most of the year we go to bed to the sounds of the crickets, peeper frogs and katydids. We awake to birds singing. We think of it as idyllic. We have lived here for three years. About six months ago some people moved into a house on the crest of one of the valley ridges. Just close enough to hear their dogs howling fiercely. We at first found that a bothersome addition to our paradise, but no more than a small irritation.

Then it got worsts.  The owners of the dogs began letting the them roam late afternoons and evenings. We began being awakened by their barking and howling, as they roved our forest hunting our beloved deer, foxes, skunks, possums, raccoons and their kin.

I took to cursing these dogs terribly. I was very bothered by our loss of solitude and tranquility, but, being a civilized person I drove up to the house a few times, until I was able to catch the couple at home. I went to the door and rang the door-bell. The woman who opened  the door was very stiff,  with a very unfriendly look. I stated my concerns. She did not seem very interested or concerned. Her husband came and stood beside her. He felt somewhat aggressive, a business person who decided that country-side was now his new playing-ground. I tried to explain that hunting was illegal hereabouts, and that their dogs were disruptive to everyone, especially to me. They matter-of-factly stated that they had moved to the country to be able to have dogs. Then they dismissed me and closed the door in my face.

I endured the noises a while more. Then one afternoon, as the sun was setting, I was hiking out in the forest and I spied a mother deer and her young fawn. I sat down and watched as they nibbled leaves. Then, like banshees, the dogs descended on the young fawn and ripped it apart. They did not eat it, instead they race off after the escaping mother. I was shocked, but still decided to follow them, only to eventually see them catch her and kill her. Again, they left the carcass and raced off for more pray. My fears had been confirmed. They were brutal killers who killed just to kill. I went home and told my wife. We were both unnerved. The howling seemed to get worse after that.

About three weeks later I was walking in the forest as the sun was setting, and the dogs came out of nowhere. Going for me. One bit my leg. I kicked it with my other foot and grabbed a large branch and began swinging it wildly. The dogs stood their ground. They saw my leg was bleeding and wanted to finish the kill. I kept swinging the branch, while I awkwardly bent down and managed to clutch a large rock. I aimed, and hit one of the dogs in the nose, splitting it and drawing blood. He stopped growling and whimpered some, but the other dog became more aggressive. It advanced on me. I struck it hard on the nose and my branch broke and it kept coming at me. I tried to hold it off with my broken branch, but tripped as I backed up and fell backwards. My right hand fell on another rock, I picked it up and smashed it into the dogs open mouth. It yelped and ran away with his partner following. I limped home. My wife urged me to call the sheriff. I lodged a detailed complaint and they said they would investigate. Nothing seemed to happen, however. I called twice more with the same response and no results.

A few weeks later I had to be away a week on business. I have left my wife alone. She had always been fine with being alone. But, this time she called me on the sixth night I was away, and she was very shaken. She said that the dogs had come up our stairs and tried to claw their way into the house, howling all the time. She had locked the door and searched for some friendly sort of neighbor’s phone numbers. The neighbor couple had come to the house after a long agonizing time. Together the three of them had eventually chased the dogs away.

When I returned home I was terribly bothered. But, I just couldn’t come up with a plan. The howling seemed to have increased to most hours of the day and even louder in the early dark mornings. We kept pipes by our door and carried them on walks, and even walking to the car. We considered buying guns, but this was so against our principles that we just couldn’t. The idea of shooting and animal was disgraceful.

However, the dogs and their howling took over our lives and permeated everything we did. It seemed like it would never end. I would even jump out of bed from dreams of the dogs in our house, tearing us from limb to limb. I felt I was possessed and going mad.

Then one day the howling and barking just stopped. I felt off balance and confused. I drove by the house of the owners of the dogs, but could not see any sign of the dogs. I took to roving the woods and did not encounter them, or even hear them. They still haunted my dreams, but with time that began to lessen. Then, one day, while hiking far from our house I stumbled upon the decomposing remains of the dogs. I got on my knees and examined them. Something had gnawed on them, but more importantly their skulls seem to be crushed. It seemed that someone else had had enough.

Nearby there were a couple rocks with what must have been the remains of dried blood on them. And, oddly enough, by the rocks was also a handkerchief, looking just like one my wife and I shared. It too had blood on it. I thought this was a strange coincidence. Walking away from the scene I almost stumbled over a lead pipe. I was really confused, but in the end, I decided life is strange. The dogs that had so ruined our quite paradise were finally gone.

Yet still sometimes I awake at night, and think I hear their howling. Then, I find myself wondering if mean dogs have ghosts and if these ghosts are unforgiving?

(This is my attempt at fiction. How did I do?)

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Michael Peter Langevin is the Co-Publisher/ Co-Editor with his wonderful wife Sofia Karin Axelsson, of The Echo World print Magazine of Virginia. TheEchoWorld.com They also co-operate LangevinAxesson Marketing a Social Media promotions and public Relations company. Their logo is "Let us help the world know you better." Michael was the publisher/ editor for twenty-seven years of Magical Blend Magazine. He has authored three books: Secrets of the Ancient Incas, and Secrets of the Amazon Shamans (Career Press) Spiritual Business, (Hampton Roads). He has lived and traveled extensively in Latin America. He has danced and studied with Shamans in the Andean Mountains and the Amazon Jungle. He leads workshops in reclaiming Rituals and Ceremonies to enhance your life. Michael Peter has a BA in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Social Work and Family Therapy. He is presently working on his fourth book tentatively titled Magic, Insanity and Lust.

3 thoughts on “Howling Dogs”

  1. Great story. I like to read short stories on websites. Wee also p[ost short stories on site and also narrated versions.
    We also post our novels chapter by chapter while being written.
    it has built a huge base of eager buyers when books finally published.

  2. Wow what a thrilling story. I am glad it was just fiction. ! Very enthralling and kinda creepy. Be careful out in the big bad woods. Well written, you got me !

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