Thursday, February 8, 2024

Pauly Pittman and the Pit Bull (Part 1 of 3 Parts) blog post #639

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Hope you enjoyed the conclusion of last week’s “Garlic and Crosses and Silver Backed Mirrors.” Had fun writing it.


Today, we have the first installment of another three par short story. Without further ado, let’s get to the story.




Pauly first noticed the dog late in the school year when the worst of the winter was behind them—except for tricks Jack Frost still had in store for them—but before the spring winds really warmed things. Up on the county road waiting the school bus to come, Pauly noticed an animal sitting on his haunches eyeballing him from across the road. When the flesh on his back quit goose pimpling, he recognized it as a dog, not some wild creature come to claim him as a meal. Unless it was a mad dog. Was this the time of year for them? Did mad dogs have a season? He guessed it was a pit bull, and from stories he’d heard they came in close behind a rabid dog. Pretty near wolf level.

But maybe the thing wasn’t an ordinary dog. It had just appeared. Hadn’t been there one moment, and then there he was big as you please. Pauly’s goose flesh reappeared, quelling his urge to click his tongue and call the animal over.

They studied one another from opposite sides of the dirt road until a yellow school bus rolled over the hill and came to a stop between them. For some reason, Pauly’s butt puckered as he scooted through the bus door a little quicker’n usual. After finding a seat beside his best friend Billy Bills, he twisted to look out the back window. No dog. The roadway was clear.

“That’s weird,” he mumbled.

“What’s weird,” Billy wanted to know.

“That dog.”

“What dog?”

“Sitting on the side of the road.”

“Didn’t see no dog. Kinda dog?” Billy asked.

“Dunno. Big one. Probably one of those pit bulls.”

“Oh, they can be mean. I hear one tore an arm off a kid over in Middleton.”

Pauly curled his lip. Billy hadn’t heard any such thing. It was just one of his stories.

“What did it look like?” Billy asked.

Like I said, big. Kinda gray and tan. This line went right down the middle of his face, and on one side it was tan, and on the other, gray.”

“Yeah, sounds like a pit bull. You said weird. What was weird about it?”

Pauly shrugged. “Dunno, really. I mean, it wasn’t there, and then it was.”

“You mean it just ran up?”

“Naw,” Pauly said with a shake of his head. “It was just there. Didn’t see it come up or anything.”

“Uh-oh,” maybe it was a shapeshifter.” Billy was part Navajo.

“Do shapeshifters turn into dogs.”

Billy let out a breath. “They turn into anything they want to.” He studied the seat in front of them a minute. “But I never seen one turn into a dog.”

Pauly punched his shoulder. “Yeah, like you’ve ever seen one.”

“Well, my grandpa has. And my uncle too.”

They argued over shapeshifters all the way to Ecton Elementary some five miles down the road.


That afternoon, Pauly’s mind wandered as he fought to keep from dozing, thanks to too much to eat at lunch and his sixth grade teacher. Mr. Hasterton spoke in a  monotone unless he was talking about football. Then he sounded human, not like one of those metronomes in the band room that went click-click in a measured beat. On the few nights Pauly didn’t drop off to sleep the moment he got to bed, he wished his teacher had been there to give one of his lectures. That woulda put him out like the light bulb in the barn when Pauly pulled the string on it. A glance out the window brought him wide awake.

In the shadow of a cottonwood at the edge of the schoolyard, he made out the shape of a big dog sitting and staring at the window like a guard dog put on alert. The pit bull… if that’s what it really was.



Well, here we go again. Last week “vampires,” and this week “shapeshifters,” perhaps. Or maybe it’s just an ordinary dog. But even so… a pit bull? Are they vicious or big cuddle buddies? You can get into a big argument over that. At any rate, we’re not sure exactly what the animal is yet. Let’s learn more next week.

 See you then.

Stay safe and stay strong until we meet again.

Now my mantra: Keep on reading and keep on writing. You have somethingto say it!

Please check out my BJ Vinson murder mystery series starting with The Zozobra Incident and ending with The Cutie-Pie Murders.

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X: @dontravis3

See you next Thursday.


New posts every Thursday at 6:00 a.m., US Mountain time. 

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