Photo by Ashwin Rao (via The Angry Hourglass Round 15)
Dog Eat Dog
The streets are silent as his paws trot, searching for amblers to befriend. He is lonely again. Wants to play. He makes friends easily, given half a chance – a brief grin and deal done, if he’s lucky. Though there are fewer bodies out and about than there used to be. The parks and open spaces are empty, unoccupied, in the fading light. Sign of the times. Dinner time now, which might explain things. His jaws are salivating with the thought, lolling tongue dripping. Fresh meat! He is hungry too; needs a friend to help him out, for the night. Tomorrow he can try someone else. That’s the deal. How it works. His routine is practised now, having run it through once or twice. Maybe a couple more times than that, truth to tell.
He does it when he needs to. If he needs to. He needs to a lot. The only way to keep from stringy and starving. He looks for the young ‘uns. That’s what he needs. The younger the better. The older ones are hard – made so by their experiences; times passing. Brittle. Unyielding. No good to him or for him. He knows that. Those he steers clear of. They mostly ignore him, anyway, non-receptive to his gambolling and grimaces. Sometimes they group together; something he skirts warily. Outnumbered means captured. He likes giving them the run around. Has no desire to give it up. Not now. Not ever. Stay several steps ahead, that’s the plan!
He looks for slow shufflers; those he can catch up to. The guaranteed meal. They are the ones he can use his grin on. Sticks to known pathways; clear entrances and exits. Avoids the back alleys and housing; it smells strange there. Off.
It is hard to track how long has passed since the beginning. The thing which brought them down. The people; his previous owners. They lay everywhere, for a while. Didn’t want to play; before they rose. No desire to then, either. None, save to feed. Two can play at that though. They taste good enough, the young ‘uns. At least, he’s suffered no ill effects he knows of yet.
Another piece of flash fiction written for The Angry Hourglass "Flash Frenzy" flash fiction challenge. The photo prompt is shown above. This one became a post apocalyptic take on zombies and flesh eating dogs from a fairly innocuous looking photo... Clue in the title, maybe! ;)