Tag Archives: short stories

Sniffing Out A Friend

17 Jan

dog-print

With his nose inches from the ground, Reilly followed the tracks of his best friend Shadow in the semi-soft mud. Even though he knew his nose wasn´t what it used to, he was sure he would find his friend. This isn´t the first time Shadow disappeared, plus it had rained two days ago making easier work of the tracking.

First, Reilly checked all of Shadow´s normal hiding places. He wasn´t in any of them. Shadow had a proclivity for going on mulberry benders. He innocently called it “gone berrying” but in reality it involved him going into the woods and eating fermented mulberries until he had no idea whose tail he was chasing. He would then return a few days later dirty, hungry and a little ashamed.

Next, Reilly checked a few places Shadowed has wandered off to after having had lost one of the normal paths. Shadows nose didn´t work very well. It had almost been bitten off cleanly by a badger and his internal compass was, at best, crooked. Reilly was at a loss. Where could his friend be?

Reilly figured his friend was not in the woods. Although he was truly concerned, he reckoned “Shadow does vanish often, but always manages to find his way home.” Besides, it was the time of year the bitches were in heat. Reilly couldn´t just let that pass by. He decided to call off the search and take a cruise through town.

After wandering around his favorite back alleys, abandoned lots and unfrequented parks and becoming increasingly frustrated that they were all crawling with more brutes than bitches, he decided to give this search up as well and go home. Along the way he heard the familiars yelps of new born pups. They were coming from under a half rotted porch of a house that years ago hosted a family of much more means than today. He decided to scratch his curiosity and give his blessing to the new parents.

When he popped his nose inside he was flabbergasted by the smell. “You dog you!” he cried as his tail went wild.

“I was gonna tell you but it all went down so quick” Shadow said with a bent smile.  The badger hadn´t only gotten his nose that fateful day. He paused as if he said something important to say and wanted the words to come out just right, “I want you to be the god-doggy” he blurted, his eyes visibly glassy from tears being fought back.

Reilly was taken aback. “I´m just glad you´re alive” he paused “and sure I will! It´ll be the biggest honor of this dog´s decade and change on this here planet” he said, not able to keep the tears lodged in his eyes anymore.

That was the last time anybody ever had to search for Shadow. They always knew where to find him, dutifully taking care of his pups and recounting his adventures in the woods.

The Match

12 Jan

blood-test

The difference between one brother and another can be as vast as if the two have never lived under the same roof. That was the case for Brad and Erick. Brad was a giver and a pleaser. Erick was a taker and a seeker of pleasure.

The contrast was stark as far back as when they were babies.  Erick was always ripping the toys out of the Brad´s hands which was completely unnecessary because Brad would have simply given the toy if Erick had shown in the most miniscule level of interest in it. Erick preferred violently taking the toy because he would not want to see Brad feel any of the pleasure in giving. Decades of adulthood passed without the two having any contact. This ate at Brad and the latter fact delighted Erick.

One night both brothers received a call. The call came from the same person and had the same information. Their father was dying and both were being requested to take a donor compatibility test.  Brad relished in the opportunity to be a hero. Erick loathed the idea of being so inconvenienced and shuttered at the thought of a needle tearing a hole in his skin and penetrating his vein.  Besides, the thought of his mother being widowed and alone slightly tickled him.

As Brad sat in a thumbing a magazine, waiting his turn to have blood drawn, a disheveled bearded face plodded though the waiting room. “It couldn´t be” Brad thought to himself.

The man plopped down beside him. “Hey shithead” he said.

Brad fought a tear that was burning his eye with will to run down his face.

“Erick! Hey brother! You look, um good!” Brad said.

“No I don´t. But neither do you so we are even” he snapped, fighting the urge to smile. He didn´t want Brad to even dream that he was happy to see him, though he was a little.

“So, how´d they convince you to come?” Brad asked.

“The girl I´m banging said she wouldn´t put out for a while if I didn´t at least take the goddamn test. Even if it comes back positive, she ain´t gonna know” he answered.  The woman he was referring to is his live in girlfriend of five years.

“In that case, I hope I´m a match” Brad chuckled.

“Me too!” Erick roared with inappropriate and slightly forced laughter, sprinkled with a smoker´s hack.

Both men left the clinic with a band aid covered cotton ball on their forearm.  For the next few days Brad waited by the phone with waves of anticipation washing over him. Erick stayed drunk and even forgot why there was a dirty band aid clinging to his arm.

Neither had received a call but Erick´s arm had grown purple and painful to the touch. Brad´s impatience grew to epic proportions. Brad even tried calling Erick even though he knew it was of no use. Even if the number was correct, Erick would probably not answer it anyway.

After a heated, yet typical drunken fight, Erick’s girlfriend walked out promising never to come back.  Went it got this far it meant she´d be gone for at least a week. Usually, Erick relished in these recesses and basked in his freedom, usually getting drunker or higher than usual. This time he wouldn´t. Not even vodka and vicodin could mask the pain in his now swollen, multi color arm.

After seeking for more than three days, Brad finally acquired Erick’s address.  He would not rest until he knew that either he or his brother could be a possible donor. When he arrived to the house he was taken aback. Brad´s living conditions were even worse than he expected. “How could someone live like this?” he thought to himself.

He knocked on the door. No answer. He thought he heard moans coming from inside and they sounded like Erick. He slightly pushed on the door. It was enough to open it. The door did not close properly, let alone have a lock. Erick was on the floor. His face was white and covered with sweat. One arm was raw and swollen, it looked as if it has been burned. It was the arm the blood sample had been taken from. The smell was overwhelming.

Brad said in horror “Let´s get you to the hospital. That arm don´t look so good.”

“It don´t feel no good either” Erick replied, “Ever since that goddamn test. Knew I shouldnt´ve  done it. That bitch tricked me” he was drunk and Brad could smell it over the stench.  “That asshole, son of a bitch of a father of ours is finally gonna get his way after all these years” he stammered.

“What do you mean?” Brad asked.

“Bury one of us! Especially me, the fuck up” Erick said, eyes rolling into the back of his head.

Brad convinced his brother to go to the hospital.  “You have an HAI Mr….”  the doctor trailed off. He couldn´t make out Erick´s last name.

“English, doc” Erick moaned.

“Hospital acquired infection, sir” the doctor replied. He continued ” It´s spread all through your body. Given your lifestyle it has already ravished your weakened system. Let me talk to your brother outside” he said with a forced smile and led Brad to the hall.

There he gave Brad the news that his brother would probably only live for another week. Brad took the news hard and asked if he could be the one to break it to his brother.  The doctor obliged. Erick took the news almost as a relief. There would finally be relief from the pain of his ailment and from the pain that was his life.

Erick was sent home with a smorgasbord of drugs to act as a bridge over pain from the current moment to his eminent death.  One day, high as a vulture with a good draft under its wing, he answered the phone.

“Is this residence of Erick….” the voice trailed off trying to make out the last name.

“Yeah, yeah, sure is” Erick answered.

“I have some good news and some bad news” the voice said.

“Hit me” Erick said.

“The good news is, you´re a match for your father” the voice informed.

“Go on, you said you had some bad news” Erick said with a smile.

“Yes, well, due to the infection I´m afraid we can´t use you and your brother is not a match” the voice said.

Erick sat there in silence with a smile from ear to ear.

“Sir….sir….” the voice on the phone called until there was an audible click.

“This is a great day to be alive” Erick said as he slipped a morphine strip on his tongue,  popped a rainbow of pills and washed them down with cheap vodka.

Sheep to the Slaughter

4 Jan

sheep-to-slaughter

Filipe got into boxing as a way to get back into shape when he turned thirty. As a high school athlete and college wrestler he stayed in good shape without trying too much until around twenty eight years of age. He had been completely inactive for a few years. When he saw himself shirtless in a photo, he shuttered. “Time to get active again” he thought. He tried going back to his old lifting routine from his high school and college days. It bored him. He found himself dreading his gym days. When he was younger it was so much more fun. Then again, the results came fast and he was always surrounded by friends.

One day as he shuffled into the gym he saw a sign for private boxing classes. He went right to the receptionist and asked about them. A week later, with a brand new pair of gloves and boxing shoes he showed up for a freebie class. An hour later, in much more pain than when he started, he was in love. Boxing turned into Muay Thai, that turned into Jiu Jitsu and a love for martial arts was born.

Felipe got a job offer in another city. Upon arrival, there was a lot to take care of and no time to train. He would get in twenty minute workouts in his garage. He would skip some rope and hit the heavy bag for a few rounds followed by some calisthenics. He was by no means a real fighter, but he was trained by good instructors so he moved with good form.

*   *   *   *

“How we gonna get another fighter on such short notice coach?” Angel asked. He had just received the news that his next opponent dropped out due to an injury.

“Don´t worry, one drops out another steps up” Samuel said knowing full well that was not true in this case. Angel was a dangerous fighter, sure to go pro one day. It was hard to find someone willing to step in the ring with him in the amateur ranks full of hobbyists. “Don´t worry he repeated”

*   *   *   *

One day Samuel was out walking his dog when he heard the familiar thump of a shin on a heavy bag. Thump. Thump. Thump. He noticed a fairly in shape guy kicking a heavy bag in his garage.

“Turn your hip over more. You´ll get more power” Samuel said as he approached the man.

Filipe took his advice. THUMP. “My last coach always had to remind me” Felipe said smiling at the stranger. “Do you train?” he asked.

“I´m actually a trainer, my name is Samuel, nice to meet you” he said.

“Felipe, nice to meet you. That´s really cool. I´m new here. Can you recommend a good gym?” he said.

“Yeah sure, the city´s full of them. How about you come over to where I work?” he asked.

“Great! I´d like that” he answered.

“How much do you weigh by the way?” Samuel asked pretty much already knowing the answer.

“I go up and down a little but I hover around 175” Felipe answered as he took a card from Samuel´s hand.

“Address is right there. Come any time after 6. I´ll be there” Samuel said already working out a plan in his head.

“I´ll be there” Felipe answered.

*   *   *   *

“You just be quiet and let me do the talking, alright?” Samuel said.

“Sure, but I don´t think some guy off the street will just take a fight with a week´s notice” Angel said with a worried look on his face.

“Hey Samuel!” Felipe said as he walked through the door with a big smile on his face. He was truly excited to have found a new place to train.

“Hey buddy, why don´t you get changed, wrap your hands and warm up. I´ll hold some mitts for you” he answered.

Filipe did just that and about twenty minutes later he was in the center of the ring doing as Samuel asked.

“Jab, jab, hook” Samuel ordered. Felipe obeyed.

Angel looked on. His heart sank. Sure this guy could move but he was so clearly amateur. For sure he would not take a fight let alone with such little time. Furthermore, it made him feel bad, the idea of beating up a civilian. There was no honor in that.

Felipe wrapped up his work out, said goodbye to everyone whom he had endeared himself to greatly. Everyone at the gym truly liked his contagiously positive attitude.

“What do you think?” Samuel asked Angel.

“You´re not even still thinking about me fighting him after that! I´ll kill him. Won´t even be fair. I don´t like this” Angel answered.

“It´s an easy W. All fighters do it to pad their record. This fell from heaven” he answered.

“God ain´t delivering no sheep to the slaughter anymore, Sam” Angel said, worried that all his fight prep will have been for naught simple because his real opponent hurt himself training. There was not another event for over six months for him to compete in.

“Then take it easy on him. Just move around with him, touch him up enough to get a W” he said.

“I ain´t never gonna go pro like that. You know that” Angel said. He was right. In this town, the promoters want knock outs. To get noticed, you must be ferocious.

“It´ll keep you active kid” Samuel said. Samuel was very convincing. So much so that he convinced Angel to go through with it. He also convinced Felipe to as well. It was a constant goal of Felipe to compete and besides, Samuel told him it was a charity MMA event and everyone was going to go light. It was more of an exhibition than an actual fight. Samuel told him he might get tagged a few times but he could take it to the ground and no one would get really hurt.

*   *   *   *

On the day of the fight, Felipe was a little nervous but very excited. He posted about it on the internet and gave the link where the fight would be broadcast online. He was truly going to realize a dream.

Angel on the other hand felt sick. On one hand, he could just move around with Felipe, showcase his technique, take him to the ground and try to submit him without really hurting him. But that would not advance his career in the slightest.

It was time, no turning back at this point. The two men walked to the cage. As it clanged shut, Angel had a bad feeling. Felipe had butterflies in his stomach but was enjoying the moment.

The two men were given instructions by the ref and they were sent to their respective corners. Samuel told Angel to go with his gut and do what he thought was right. Felipe´s corner, and friend and employee of Samuel told him to move around and take it to the ground if it got hairy.

The two men met in the center of the cage. They touched gloves. Immediately Felipe felt the sting of a solid jab but it had only been thrown half speed. It didn´t hurt that much. His confidence grew. He was loving this. He tried to throw a jab of his own and was quickly countered. That one stung a little more. He tried to throw a combo he worked on with his coach a few days ago. The first two punched missed completely but Angel wasn´t expecting a third from this amateur and it caught him well. It even rocked him a little.

Angel threw a kick to the body but caught the point of Felipe´s elbow. He didn´t feel the pain in the moment but his frustration grew as did his rage. “Fuck this” he thought. He closed the distance. He put Felipe in a clinch. With both hands behind Felipe´s neck he launched a knee to his solar plexus. Felipe blocked it. Instinctively, with Felipe´s hands lowered he quickly launched another knee up higher. This time it connected.

Angel had never felt anything like this before. It was as if his knee made contact with a bag of rotten oranges, just smush. His knee had gone right into the eye socket of Felipe easily crushing all the fragile bones in the orbital socket. Felipe fell as if a sniper had got him right behind the head.

Angel could barely make out the shapes around him. The world was a blur. All he saw at his feet was an abstract outline of a man with a halo of red growing around his head. As the ref got between him and the thing on the floor waving both hands in the air the only thought that he clearly could make out was “God forgive me”

 

 

Home Is For The Birds

28 Jul

birds

Pilot and Skye had a beautiful home, high up in the trunk of a dead tree. A wood pecker hollowed out an already rotting part in search of a meal. He found what he was looking for and abandoned the site when the food ran out. It was  a perfect home for a young couple of swallows.

One day Pilot went out to look for some food. He gave Skye a kiss on the beak and went his way. He flew almost a full mile until he found a promising location. He looked around for a perch to assess the area. He saw a branch with a wide angle view of the ground below.

Already on the branch was a beautiful female swallow.  Pilot thought he should maybe find another branch but she waved him over with a wink.

“Hello” she said.

“Hello” Pilot said.

“Name´s Libi” she said.

“I´m Pilot” he said, blushing.

“That´s a strong name. Are you a strong bird?” Libi asked.

“Well, not really, I guess I can be” he answered. Libi stayed quite. She knew that silence can drive a male mad.

Pilot´s mind raced, searching for something to say, to break the deafening silence. All he could come up was, “Do you live close?”

“Close to what?” Libi giggled. Pilot blushed again. Libi leaned over and kissed him on the beak. An explosion of emotions rushed over Pilot. The thought that rose to the top was “What am I doing?”

Swallows are hard wired for monogamy. They take a mate for life. This went against thousands of years of evolution.

Pilot pulled away. “I cannot do this! I already have a female”

Libi said with a devilish look, “You do and you don´t now”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the moment you return home, your “ex” will smell my pheromones on you, so you don´t. But, you have me now” she said.

Pilot wanted to protest but he couldn´t. She was right. Dejected, Pilot asked “Where do you live?”

“I don´t have a home, dear” she answered. “You have to make one for us”

“Oh great…” Pilot thought.

Over the course of a week Pilot made a home just as good as the one he left.  Two days after, Libi kicked him out.

“I thought we were going to be together forever” Pilot said.

“That´s so old fashioned. That instinct must have passed over me” Libi said.

“What am I going to do?” Pilot cried.

“I don´t know. Do the same as the others. Go crawling back to your old home” Libi said.

“Others?” Pilot asked.

“Yeah, the others that I tricked into building me a house. I´m just going to flip it for some quick cash” Libi said.

Pilot wanted revenge but realized this would just get more of her pheromones on him. In fact, he was so busy working, he hadn´t had contact with Libi for days. He flew off to see if he could get his life back.

The Long Way Home

27 Jul

*note from author: I debated long and hard if I should post this or not. If you choose to read on, you´ll see it is pretty graphic. X rated, even. A part from a few details in setting, the story is fiction despite the opening line. I really want to make that clear. The exercise was to write a fist person, raunchy story. With that said, reader discretion is advised.

party

The following story is factually true. Take into consideration it is being told through the distorted lens of a drunken teenage boy. Seventeen years already has history distorting powers. Let´s take into consideration the alcoholic soup the story swims in. Reader discretion advised. Enjoy.

It started off as a typical Friday night. Warm ups included whatever was the cheapest thirty pack of beer the store had to offer and taking turns on the gravity bong. The gravity bong for the uninitiated is simply the most ridiculous homemade device for smoking marijuana. Google it. Ours was a one gallon milk jug in a bucket of water. The same bucket we used to clean the house. Who am I kidding, the house never got cleaned.

We were good and wrecked when somebody suggested we go to frat row in down town New Brunswick, New Jersey to “get fucked up”. We were all attending an educational establishment too embarrassing to mention here, so we piggy backed the party scene at Rutgers University. We decided I was not sober enough to drive so someone else, who was probably equally inebriated but could hide it better, did.

At this stage of my life, Friday and Saturday nights had two purposes. Get wasted on whatever I could get my hands and cumming. The former happened regularly, the latter, at least at the hands of others, not so much. We got to the party and I set my internal radar on drugs, alcohol and any girl with self esteem low enough to touch me. On this fortunate night, I scored on all three fronts.

As I said, full recollection of this story is impossible but some things are still clear. The girl I struck up a conversation with was blond, so skinny she could elicit pity and had awful teeth. I remember the teeth because this is a pet peeve of mine, but I was talking and she was listening so I looked away. I remember playing a few rounds of beer pong when she suggested we find somewhere a little more private to enjoy each other´s company.

The Rutgers frat houses are strange structures. They are the old mansions of Johnson and Johnson executives from a century gone by. They are full of little hidden hallways, staircases and rooms that are hard to imagine what purpose they once served. We found an unoccupied room that only fit a bunk bed. You had to contort you body just to get into the thing. Bingo! We found our love nest.

We started making out and I managed to get her clothes off. She was too drunk to get mine off so I was obliged to help. I don´t remember much from this passionate encounter but I remember a few things. First, we did not have sex. As you will see, it would have better if we had because I would have been able to break her evil spell, get away from her and the rest of the night would not have gone down the way it did. We were then interrupted by a chubby fellow and told to leave the ex slave´s quarters immediately.

I pretended to like her for a few more hours with the hopes that she would make that sneezey feeling in my crotch that seemed to be the focus of my life. The party was winding down and I noticed my ride had left. She offered her place to crash. What a coincidence. I wish I could give more details of what happened next but I really don´t remember.

I do doubt we had intercourse because no black out is stronger than an orgasm. No matter how drunk or high I was, I remember them all and file them to be later used in search of manual relief. When I refer to this night in my mind, a message comes up “file empty”. But the story does not end here.

I woke up in a strange place. I was cold. In fact I was shivering. I pulled the covers over my shoulders. Colder yet. What gives. I looked around. I was clearly in a girl´s room but there was no girl. I put my hand down on the mattress. I realized what had happened. Exactly what I feared most as a twelve year old when I slept over at friend´s houses had happened. I made water in her bed, Miss Daisy. It was a gusher too. Everything was wet. My mind raced despite the pounding headache. I thought about gathering my things and jumping out the window. We were on the third story.

I did what any honorable man in my position would do. I pulled my jeans over my pissed in underwear, put the rest of my clothes on and went down stairs. She didn´t even look up from the television. This I remember as if it were yesterday. I told it was fun and it was nice to have met her. I even remembered my manners and told her she had a lovely home despite the fact it looked like a future hoarders episode. It was a few years away from that but that´s ok because the show hadn´t been invented yet. Like the gentlemen I was, I offered my phone number. She told me to write it on the dry erase board on the fridge. It had the grocery list and I felt bad about erasing it so I left it alone.

This was an age before cell phones. I had no cash for a cab and not even the bus. I was a good five miles from where I lived. Talk about walk of shame? This was the Bataan Death March of shame. I put my head down low and took that walk. I threw up a few times along the way but I made it. I was greeted with a round of high fives. I regaled them with my tale and I was awarded the “green hit” from the gravity bong for my troubles.

Good Bye!

21 Jul

Good Bye

As Helen lay motionless in her hospital bed, Walter sat by her side with her slender lifeless hand in his. This scene has repeated itself for the better part of the last year. Helen had a slip in the shower and has been in a coma ever since. Walter holds out hope that she will wake up but deep down he knows the chances are slim. Walter hadn´t told Helen he loved her before the accident for such a long time that he cannot even recall the last time. This regret grinds in his heart.

Sitting in a silent hospital room with the woman he has shared the vast majority of his life has been somewhat of a medidative experience. Memories have come up that he hasn´t thought about since the event occurred. The actual occurances may be slightly curved by the glass of time but to him they happened exactly as he remembered them.

He remembers before shipping off to Europe, the nights they spent trying to be in each other’s company for each moment possible. They would go to the dankest bars as they were the only establishments open into the late hours. Neither drank a drop of alcohol. They just sat in a corner, hands stacked on top of one another regaling each other with stories of the few years they had been on the planet. Now that they have lived many more years and have many more stories to tell, he would give anything to be able to sit in the corner of a dark smokey bar and relive them with Helen.

Like clockwork the nurse comes in to change Helen´s bed clothes. Walter can´t help but feel the pity emanating from her. They have their usual small talk. Then Walter, very uncharacteristically, goes into the story of their wedding day. Although the nurse had a lot of work to do, she was enthralled by Walter´s recollection of this grand, beautiful day. Twenty minutes later, Walter realizes that he was holding her up, apologizes and sends her on her way. The nurse assured him he need not apologize and tried to hide the fact that tears were falling down her cheeks.

The next day, the same thing happened. The nurse came in for her usual checkups and tidying, small talk was exchanged and Walter regaled her with the story of when he returned from the war and how he and Helen celebrated being in each other´s company after such a long, arduous time apart. Once again, the nurse unsuccessfully tried to mask her tears and went ahead with her rounds.

This repeated itself for the good part of a month. The nurse would come in to do her job and it got to the point she would expect a story. She even kept extra tissues in her waist pockets. Walter started to look forward to the nurse´s visits.

One day, Walter checked his watch. It was around a half hour until the scheduled nurse visit. As he sat in his medidative state, reliving years gone by, Helen´s head turned towards him. Walter almost fell out of his chair. This was the first movement of Helen, by Helen since the accident. The slightest smile came to her face. Her cloudy eyes cleared for a moment and they pierced those of Walter. She stared mouthing something inaudibly. Walter put his ear to her mouth to hear what she was saying. There was no sound.

Walter knew this was his last chance. He looked into her clear, blue eyes and said “Helen, you are my everything. You gave me three great sons. You made a beautiful home for us. Without you, I don´t know how I could have had a happier life” he saw her eyes clouding again, he continued though the words were breaking up in his throat “Helen, I love you. I always loved you. I will always love you. I´m so sorry I didn´t tell you more often. I´m so…..” The machine Helen was hooked up to let out a piercing beep.

Walter could barely make her out through the tears; the nurse who he told his stories to ran in. “Walter, please go into the hall” she said, sternly but with care and love in her voice.

“But….” Walter resisted.

“Please” she answered. Walter acquiesced.

As he stood in the hall, his legs were so weak he could not stand. Not even after the biggest atrocities he saw in Europe did he cry with such force. Between sobs, he cried to the heavens how much he loved Helen in hopes that her spirit would hear him.

The nurse came into the hall and gave Walter the bad news. Helen was gone. All Walter could think was that he was soon to follow. He felt some relief in knowing that Helen left him knowing how much he loved her.

Pig Deal!

17 Jul

pigs

Sammy and Frankie were at the slop trough. Frankie could tell Sammy was upset. He usually had his snout deep in the slop. Sammy was barely pecking away at the day´s offerings.

“What´s wrong Sammy?” Frankie asked.

“Phil wants to fight before sundown” Sammy said.

“What happened?” Frankie asked.

“Nothing really. Sara, his girlfriend, just got done rolling in the mud and she looked good. I mean real fine. But I wasn´t disrespectful or nothing” Sammy said.

“What´d you say Sammy?” Frankie said with a worried look on his face. “You know how Phil is!”

“I just said ‘looking good, Sara’, that´s all, I swear” Sammy said.

“Man, you know not to do that. Phil is a hot head. He´s gonna kick your ass you know?” Frankie said.

“Yeah, I know. But I didn’t mean nothing by it. She just looked so fine. I felt like she pulled those words out of my mouth” Sammy said.

There was a sudden stir in the pen. Farmer John entered the pen with a rope. He was walking funny as he tends to do when he´s been drinking. He forgot to close the gate behind him. He went right for Phil who was sunning himself on the far end of the pen. He must not have heard the commotion because he didn´t move.

As Farmer John got closer Phil figured out what was going on. Before he knew it the rope was around his neck and immediately cinched tight. He recoiled in horror. Farmer John was drunk but the whiskey only diluted his judgment, not his strength.

“Should we help him Sammy?” Frankie said.

“Well, I´ll get out of an ass kicking if Farmer John takes him away” Sammy pondered.

“That´s not right. We always help each other when we can. Look, the gates open. It´s only him. His helpers ain´t around. We can all make it” Frankie said.

“Ok” Sammy agreed.

Frankie and Sammy trotted up to the back side of Farmer John. Phil felt some relief. For a moment he felt he could be saved.

“Go” said Frankie and with that the two pigs took as big of bites as they possibly could out of the back of Farmer John´s thighs. Farmer John screamed in agony and fell to the mud.

“Run” Sammy said to the stunned Phil. “The gate. It´s open! Run to the gate”

The three pigs ran for the gate and the others followed suit. Phil checked to see if Sara was in tow. She was. He caught a glimpse of Sammie doing the same.

As they made their way to the tree line Sammy turned to Phil and asked “Are we cool?”

Phil looked at him and said “I´m still gonna kick your ass. But we cool”