Barking mad

“If I could wear a cape I would, but I would stumble on its hem. I’m a superhero though, with sense of scent to distinguish details in my palace that you call derelict dwelling.”

Two men — leaning against the fence…

“I know secrets in your smell and the six-feet-under fragrance slipping through the soil.”

One of the men raises a shotgun. Aims but hesitates.

“I know you did it when you mated her. She still lingers on you skin.”

“Just shoot’m Jack”, the other man said, crushing a cigarette butt under his sole.
“It’s plain mercy killing a stray”

To write from a canine point of view was a challenge I put on myself this week. Please tell me if it works. The changing viewpoints of the dog’s monologue and the men talking is hopefully visible.

After two week’s of absence I’m not back at Friday Fictioneers. My vacation in the Arctic north was splendid. We are a blogging community that is managed by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields , and every week some of Internet’s best fiction writers gather to give you the best in 100 words on the same picture.

April 6, 2016

68 responses to “Barking mad

  1. That’s an ambitious challenge you set yourself, The changing viewpoint is certainly clear, and the ending works. The dog’s viewpoint still seemed too human for me. Perhaps if it had been less reflective and more composed of sensory inputs and emotions?

  2. That is an interesting challenge and I think you nailed it. You say canine, I read it as a wolf 🙂 badass attempt I’d say 🙂

  3. Ambitious to take the dog’s perspective – it’s always good to try new things. I liked the six-feet-under smell and I could tell when we were dog (I originally thought fox, actually) and when human. The only thing is I couldn’t quite be sure what the dog was talking about – who mated whom and is “you” the man?

    Maybe this is one of those challenges that would have been easier without the word limit. But I like what you did, and the sense that the talking man was less humane than the dog.

  4. I did wonder about the six feet under, sadly I missed it as the dog talking about the human. But l loved the path you took.

  5. I liked the story, Bjorn. It seems one of the men is a bit more humane than the other. Let’s hope “humane” wins. Interesting POV, I think you did well. —- Suzanne

  6. Good job with a great sinister feel to it. POV of dog makes it all the more powerful.

  7. What an inventive approach! I must say your little explanation clarified it for me. I hadn’t picked up about the rape/murder. Now that I understand it better I think your ‘dog’ voice is wonderful. Well done for taking on such a task.

  8. I liked your story, but perhaps it was the cape that misdirected me. I thought your superhero was a man and had to return and read it again after you told me it was about a dog.

  9. Great style of storytelling. I love the canine point of view. The “mated with her” implied something other than rape but then a dog wouldn’t know if there needs to be consent involved.

  10. What a strange, powerful story! The canine anthropomorphism confused me at first, but things got clearer, after I re-read it, plus read the comments.
    I don’t think the dog could really have understood much, except that it must have smelled the terror and death it witnessed.
    The ending makes me sad.

  11. I love the experimentation of this.
    The dog is ‘too intelligent’ as has been suggested – but for me that’s your choice to make and makes it all the more interesting. And I like the way you combine this intelligence with animal senses such as the smells. It’s called fiction for a reason – and it convinced me! I think this sort of thing works of you really go for it and you’re stylistically consistent.

  12. What a great experiment. I got the murder and the rape on first read, but not the dog. When I read your explanation, it was clear. The superhero cape was tripping me too. I hope your fictional dog is clever enough to know when to run fast.

  13. I didn’t get that it was a dog, but then I’m a bit literal – I thought it was a person who was barking mad! I love that line that starts ‘I know you did it..’ just great.

  14. I loved the language…derelict dwelling and the six-feet-under fragrance slipping through the soil. I think the dog is an English chap or something. He seems very sophisticated, but I like him. Very original take, Bjorn!

  15. I had to do a couple of reads to get it all but I understood most of it on first read. I am after all a very dog person. In my books, my dog is almost human. She is very smart. 🙂


  16. I’m so proud of myself. I actually GOT IT before reading the comments, the rape, the killing the girl, the whole thing. I liked the line about the guy crushing the cigarette butt under his sole. His nonchalant attitude just made the whole story real for me. Great job.

  17. Enjoyable read…A very interesting story and quite a unique way of writing it. I also failed to recognize the rape part, however, now I understand the dialogue of the dog better.

  18. I really enjoyed this Bjorn and loved that it was from the dog’s point of view. The sense of smell and your choice of words were beautiful and revealing. Fantastic take on the prompt! ( I hope the dog survived.)
    Heidi 🙂

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