“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
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?
Thank you for the feedback… somehow I wanted to make the dog more human than the men… but I certainly understand your point….
It isn’t mercy killing.
Indeed no mercy… quite the contrary.
Good one. And congratulations on your sense of adventure!
I think Friday Fictioneers is the best of places to try it.. 🙂
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 🙂
Ha.. wolf and canine is close…
Great job 🙂
Thank you 🙂
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.
Ah… my intention was that the dog understood that the men had raped and killed a girl… hence her smell on their skin… But yes a 100 word limit was hard for such a story.
oh, I missed the rape completely. Now I’m reading again with a whole new viewpoint. Thanks!
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.
Ah.. yes that’s the problem of “show not tell”
So effective, Bjorn. Made me a bit sad since I am a dog person but you definitely got me into the mind of the poor stray.
Oh yes, we treat our foulegged friends with too little kindness sometimes… especially if they are witnesses.
Well done, I got the murder picture and the dog POV was interesting
An exercise of mine that I love to do.
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
I think there is at least one who might refuse to be the butcher… but maybe he has less to hide.
Good job with a great sinister feel to it. POV of dog makes it all the more powerful.
A dog is an interesting perspective… we do allow them to share secrets we would never tell…
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.
Ah.. sometimes it’s hard to give enough to keep the surprises coming.
Quite an articulate dog and a unique take on the prompt. I did enjoy it. Wonderful.
I think they are very articulate usually, maybe we just don’t speak doggish well enough
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.
The cape is a stumbling thing, both literary and metaphorically
You know, it certainly has the dog attitude. Very well-done, Bjorn! If our dogs could actually talk …
I think we might not want to hear what they are saying though..
I agree. That’s why I don’t have any pets.
I had to read it twice to understand but I think it works. I definitely picked up on the rape and murder.
Ha.. yes some of the hints were a little bit obscure… and if I ever write a novel on a dog I must make it clearer so you don’t have to read the novel twice to get it.
It’s ok to make us work for it.
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.
Having seen dogs mating it can look like consent is not the biggest care for dogs..
Everything was crystal clear to me. Six feet under and mating gave me the right clues of a sinister nature of those men. In my book this is a success.
Thank you… it’s actually me testing out a few things for a longer story I will write.
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.
I really wanted to confuse a little…and who knows, maybe dogs are a lot smarter than we think ..
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.
Good… I’m in the process of writing a much longer story.. a little bit like Boulgakov’s Heart of a dog…
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.
But a superhero cap would trip a dog too 🙂
If I’d known ahead of time that you’d be writing from a dog’s perspective, I might have anticipated a happier tale–this one is so creepy! But great!
I think a happy dog tale would be less of a challenge… 🙂
I read it over again, once I got to the end and realized it was the dog narrating. Well done!
I think I might hint earlier about four legs… 🙂
I knew immediately it was a dog and I am not very quick. lol
Great to know… maybe the title helped…. 🙂
Nope…didn’t read the title until last.
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.
Thank you.. this is an experiment for a story I will write… I know you have experimented with texts here, so I will continue to do that.
Trust a dog to sniff out the villain but not looking good for canine sleuth right now.
I think he will get it and escape… hopefully the villains will get caught.
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!
I see a dog that is a little bit like an old professor or something… and I do love to alliterate
Great inter-species action, well done!
Thank you … we should always stretch ourselves writing I think.
found it a bit intriguing, but that was perhaps intended
Indeed intriguing was intended.
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. 🙂
Ha.. yes I’m not a dog person really… but I tried to think as one.
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.
That’s the real challenge in 100 words to show details like that without really telling it… at one point I thought about him crushing a dogend.. but I thought that would make it too obvious.
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.
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.)