Good Boy

The dog murderer couldn’t have been older than twenty-one. She had soft, pink skin and a veil of invisalign over her teeth, gapped like a Swiss model. She looked like the star of a video I was fond of by Maybe it was the same girl. This could be common -- I wouldn’t know. There could be a direct porn to veterinary vocational pipeline.

The dog had dog hemeroids. He had dog cancer. He had a litany of ailments that made it hard to be a dog. So my mom put a hit on him. She paid $600 to have the dog murdered, cremated and returned in a dog urn. They come to your home which I was told makes the execution more civil. My mom and sister and I sat on the floor petting Cashew until it was time and on the floor I thought about two things: The first thing I thought about was how incredibly attractive the dog murderer was. Even had she not made amateur sex videos, her scrubs betrayed enough of her body that I could tell it was the stuff of male fantasy. I forgot the second thing I thought about.

She sat down with us on the floor. Blind? she whispered. I looked into Cashew’s milky, cataracted eyes that had overseen so much of my childhood, now smudged camera lenses. Mostly, yeah my mom said. The dog murderer nodded sage-like and rifled through her duffle bag. I thought she might pull out a handgun. She didn’t. She was very professional.

As the sedative was administered and Cashew relaxed over our communal laps, my sister started to cry. Then my mom started to cry. I couldn’t take my eyes off the dog murderer’s tits. Only made more arousing that they were obscured by so much polyester. I wondered what she did on weekends. When she wasn’t euthanizing family pets. She probably laughed and drank and danced--read in a nook by the window or something. Cashew watched her with his murky, all-knowing gaze. His angel of death. Perhaps the company orchestrated it this way. They wanted the last thing the animals saw to be beautiful.

My mom took my hand as the needle juiced up and the final shot was prepared. The dog murderer cooed good boy to Cashew and blood flowed to my crotch. The smell of synthetic chemicals and medical regalia was aphrodisiac. I shut my eyes and tried to think about something horrible. I thought about putting my dog to sleep while my mom held my hand. But with my eyes closed all I saw was XXXploitedTeens. POV: The dog murderer on her knees. I was scratching behind her ear. She was kicking her leg. Then my sister yelled ohmygod! Do you have a boner right now?! I opened my eyes. My family balked. Cashew’s killer regarded me like a sick Labrador.

I excused myself and sequestered in the bathroom, my grass-stained lacrosse jersey flung over the shower rod.  Spashing water on my face didn’t help curb the desire. It was a waterfall. A locker room shower. A hot summer rain. I tried to focus on the nude photo of my pregnant mother which hung over the toilet but my hand involuntarily crept towards my sweatpants, through the flap of my boxers. Don’t sully this moment I told myself. Go back to your family. Exercise restraint. Respect. Maturity. I imagined the nurse doggie-style and finished in a decorative towel.

When I returned the living room smelled of amonia and my mom and sister were holding each other crying. The dog murderer was carrying a Cashew-sized bundle out the door. She boarded a sprinter van with my oldest friend. You’re a pervert, you know that sobbed my sister. I said yeah I knew and I thought about two things: The first thing was what if Cashew’s heart stopped at the same exact moment I came into the hand towel? Two lives extinguished on polar ends of the cycle. An instance of pleasure and pain, then nothingness. I forgot the second thing I thought about.

Madeline Cash is a writer and co-editor of this magazine.

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