The Final Hour

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Building Trust

I see Logan and walk up to him, “Do you know where Grace is?”

“She’s over by the dog shed, over there,” he answers, pointing past me.

I walk over in that direction, hearing talking from inside. I lean in close to the door and listen. “If she doesn’t improve, she’s going to be the new dog food,” I hear Grace say.

“I think she’s already had plenty of time, I say just finish the job already,” I hear a male voice say.

“We’ll give this new girl a week, if I don’t see a certain amount of improvement, I’ll finish the job,” Grace adds.

Suddenly, I hear footsteps walking in the direction of the door. I knock before they can get to the door. The door swings open and I am face to face with a skinny guy maybe mid 30’s and Grace standing behind him, “Welcome to the job,” he comments, walking past me.

“Are you good to go?” Grace questions, gesturing for me to come in.

“Yeah, my leg is a little sore but I took the painkiller so it should kick in soon,” I explain, stepping into the building.

“Good,” She comments, “I never caught your name.”

“Alya,” I add.

“Alya, well, I’m assuming Jake told you mine?” She clarifies.

“Yeah, he told me pretty much right after you left,” I comment. “So, where is this pitbull you were telling me about?” I question, looking around the building.

“She’s in one of the back rooms, come with me,” she answers, waving her hand for me to follow.

We walk down a hall and in each room we pass, there are makeshift kennels and pens with dogs in them. All of them are sleeping and seem content. We find ourselves stopping at the end of the hall, the last door on the right. One of the floorboards beneath us creaks and on the other side of the door sounds like hell. The dog is barking and just by the sound of her, she sounds like she’s foaming at the mouth.

“You know, it is possible that she’s rabid,” I explain, stepping back from the door.

“It’s crossed our mind, she seems to have some brain cells, she hasn’t bitten more than 2 people, so I’m just hoping that you can get through to her,” she adds.

“Well, how am I even supposed to get in there,” I ask, beginning to get nervous.

“That’s for you to figure out, I have business to attend to,” Grace replies, walking off.

I watch as Grace leaves, she opens and closes the door behind her. I turn back to the door the dog is in I put my hand to the door, inhaling and exhaling. I wait for the dog to stop barking. I hear receding steps from the door and I open the door, just enough to slip in and close the door behind me. I look across the room and see this medium-sized female pitbull, standing, looking at me. Her hackles are pointed as tall as possible. Her eyes are wide and I can see the whites clearly. I slowly sit on the ground and put my hands on my legs.

“You’re okay girl,” I say softly, watching her as she continues to growl, “Just relax, I’m not going to hurt you.”

The dog’s hackles slowly lower and her growls become non-existent. She sits down and just watches me.

*****

After about 20 minutes, she stands up and slowly walks over to me. I sit perfectly still as she walks up to me and sniffs my hand. She looks up at me and makes eye-contact, holding it. The dog licks my hand slightly and then walks away, back to her side of the room. I look out one of the windows, seeing Logan. The look on his face is unhappy and seems to be jealous. I look back at the dog and ignore Logan.

I stand up slowly but as soon as I begin to move, Stella’s body tenses. “Honey, what happened to you. Why are you so afraid?” I question out loud, “I’m not going to hurt you, I want to be your friend. I’m friends with your new one, I know you don’t know what I’m saying or what I call him, but I promise you I’m friends with your friend, Major.”

I move once again, only this time, Stella just looks at me, cocking her head to the side. I slowly turn the doorknob and inch my way out, shutting the door behind me. I turn around to see Logan, and he has a scowl on his face.

“You know, I was next in line for this job and here you come, swooping in, taking over,” he comments, crossing his arms.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I never said I wanted this job. If you wanted this job so bad then why don’t you try and take it tough guy,” I comment, getting closer to him.

“Don’t think I won’t girlie, you don’t scare me, I can break you like a twig,” Logan adds.

“Well I got some news for you, buddy, you should be scared because you have zero idea what I’m capable of,” I comment, getting closer to his face, “and don’t even think about touching me or any of the dogs in here, because you will be dragged into hell and you won’t have a way out." Logan scowls at me and steps to the side. I walk past him and leave the building.

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