Note: This is a short story I wrote based on true events during my trip in Chicago. Enjoy!
“Blow! No Blow! NO!”
What’s with him? I just fed him a few minutes ago. If Mrs. Reynolds finds out that I let her precious dog eat a half chewed up hotdog on the street, they’ll never hire me again.
“Hey, stop it! You are making my headache worse.”
Sigh. I knew I should have saved that last bone for him. He usually listened to me after I gave him a bone. Who did I give the last bone to? Hmm… Was it Jazzy? No, that couldn’t be. She was before the Pack. Phew, the Pack… I still couldn’t believe I pulled off the Pack today. Six dogs at once?! Who does that? That was wild. Everyone thought I was crazy for even trying. Look at me now. “Wild Willy coming through!” As the neighborhood kids would say when they see me. It was hard work to control a pack of dogs. Good thing I had been working out; those sled pulls were super helpful.
“Let’s go get some food ok?” I said to Blow. He smiled and gave me a nod of approval.
I never thought I would pick up dog walking as a side gig. The hours at the butcher shop were already tough, but I knew that wasn’t enough. I wasn’t going to make it by just chopping meat. I had to make more money, but who was gonna hire a dude like me that smelled like meat everyday anyway? It turned out, dogs of course. I still remembered Blow following my every movement as I waved a piece of bone, much to Mrs. Reynolds’ bewilderment.
“He’s never behaved like that in front of a stranger before.” She said. “Would you like a job?”
“Sure.” I replied, a little perplexed…
“Good thing I ran into you Blow.” I said to him. “Or I might have turned out to be a drug dealer.” I snorted. I petted him on the head, and he started to growl towards the other side of the street.
“What is it buddy? Leave those girls alone. They are wasted.” I saw two drunk girls stumbling around the block on the sidewalk. There was a pack of people following them, seemingly aimlessly. One of them was limping, struggling to keep up.
“What’s with him?” I said to Blow. I looked closer and realized that man was wearing a big walking boot. “Maybe he got into a fight or something. I wonder what happened to the other guy.” I shook my head and shoved that thought out of my mind, and hurried us towards the restaurant.
A few minutes later we finally arrived. I gave my order to the bartender and waited at the bar. I could tell Blow was getting impatient.
“Soon buddy. I’ll let you have some of my taco meat. It’ll be glorious.” I said to Blow. He gave me a long stare as if to dare me. He liked to play these staring games. I complied…
“What’s his name?” A voice came from the next table all of a sudden.
I looked up and see this lady beaming at Blow. She reached out her hand to stroke his fur and pet him.
“His name is Blow.” I answered.
I could see the lady looked confused. Before I could answer, I saw the man next to her adjusting something on his leg under the table. I leaned in a bit to get a closer look. Abruptly he looked up and straight at me. It was the man in the walking boot! How did he get here so far? He was limping in the other direction of the street blocks away. I suddenly felt a chill. Where they following me? I tried to look away from his gaze, but I couldn’t. It was like he was looking right through me.
“His name is Blow?” The lady asked again.
“His name’s Blow. We chop it up and snort it all day long. May as well call him it.” Words just came pouring out of my mouth. That made no sense! I thought to myself. Luckily right then the waiter brought out my order. I hurried us out of there without looking back.
“What a wild night huh Blow?” I said to him after we got away from the restaurant. “Let’s go eat some tacos!” He gave me a happy bark as we walked down the empty street.