A Plan By Dogs

Do you know about the NYC Midnight writing competitions? They do occasional short story and screenwriting challenges and I usually try to participate and rarely rank.

But! Recently I did rank: I got honorable mention for a spy story I wrote. Since I don’t know what to do with it, read it below. It’s called “A Plan By Dogs.”

Before he—The Stranger Wet Hole Man—arrives, we will execute the plan.

We have talked about this for days and the plan will work. The Stranger Wet Hole Man comes once a week, on Day Off mornings, after the night where They Stay Up. That is when he comes, as he does every week. We will go out, in The Yard, and we will find time to do our typical business—but then we will deviate before early feast.

Red Fox will start. He will set off a series of events that will get us behind The Stranger Wet Hole Man’s obstacle, into the area where he works, where the buried treasure Tugger has spent a week attempting to ferret.

Red Fox will start vomiting. Red Fox will vomit and vomit as a result of eating all the nuts when They Stay Up. They will come home from Outside, will change their clothes, will take us to The Yard, deliver late feast, and begin the same series of events every They Stay Up night: watch little screen, watch big screen, eat snacks (including nuts) from small table, watch small screen, take food from Food Man, and continue watching big screen until they are asleep on the screen room sit bed. When they sleep, Red Fox will eat the nuts. Red Fox is the biggest. He can eat the nuts without any bother and deliver them back—Whenever.—just as quickly.

On the strange occasion that they do not eat nuts, we will all have to sacrifice late feast. Red Fox will eat our food and store it in his stomach for vomit material.

Resuming. While we are in The Yard doing our typical morning business, Red Fox will bring forth the nuts and deposit them into the Wet Hole. This will cause problems. The Big One will complain and yell at Red Fox. Red Fox will run and hide. Big One will chase Red Fox and the rest of us—Catamaran, Dingo Dingo, and Tuna—will pretend we do not notice. We will continue on with typical business. If we scatter and are distracted by the Big One, we will get pushed inside and the plan will not succeed.

Please note that Big One will be furious with Red Fox so prepare for loudness and anger. Red Fox will be scolded, potentially struck, but Red Fox will not be harmed. Red Fox is the biggest and strongest: he will survive this. He has survived worse. Do not be distracted by how the Big One bloats himself to punish. That is just a means by which to assert temporary power. It is fleeting. We all know actions as such are a mask for his sheepishness. Do not bend to this behavior.

Big One will eventually catch Red Fox, carrying him inside. He will still be yelling. As he goes to enter inside, Catamaran, you will do what you do best: get in the Wet Hole. Swim. Spread the nutty vomit of Red Fox around. Make sure it is spread. Swim in and through his vomitous jetsam. Drink from the Wet Hole as you do so, if you please, but spread it. Make the Wet Hole filthy with more than water.

Big One will stop what he is doing and yell at you too. You can handle, Catamaran. Just keep the swim going. That is important. You will need to resist play during They Stay Up to conserve energy so that you can execute this plan without exhaustion. Whatever you do, keep swimming.

The Stranger Wet Hole Man should arrive shortly thereafter. I know this because this is how they distract us and this is what I tell you every Day Off morning: we get early feast when The Stranger Wet Hole Man tends to the Wet Hole—in his area, where Little One threw Tugger—to distract us from his presence. They don’t want us to distracting him by saying hello. They do not want us to bother him—but we must bother him. It is our obligation to bother him today via spreading vomit in the Wet Hole.

And remember why we are doing this: we need Tugger. Tugger is what gets us through our days when they are away at the Outside and we are alone, here. They have ignored our cries. They have ignored our signals. They have ignored the fact that they left Tugger in his area, out of reach from Dingo Dingo’s arms, in what we can only assume to be a hole or some sort of depression in the ground. We must fetch it with the backhanded help of The Stranger Wet Hole Man. We must take matters into our own hands.

At this point Big One will have carried in Red Fox. Catamaran will be next, still swimming. Dingo Dingo will pace the Wet Hole, screaming at Catamaran. Big One will have a dual obligation: to get Dingo Dingo to be silent and to get Catamaran dried and inside. He may have to get into the Wet Hole, he might not have to, but I want you to know that it is not our job to save him if he does. Typically, we have to watch them and make sure they are safe in the Wet Hole—but not today. You two distract him.

At this point, I will hide behind the bush by The Stranger Wet Hole Man’s area. I trust that the plan will continue—Big One hassling Dingo Dingo inside, Catamaran being extracted from the Wet Hole—as The Stranger Wet Hole Man arrives. When you hear his Moving Home arrive by the whine of its slowing to a stop, abandon the theatrics in and around Wet Hole.

Dingo Dingo, you lead. Go inside if you haven’t been corralled in by Big One.

Catamaran, if Dingo Dingo goes inside on his own accord, follow. Get in there. Big One will assume I am in there too and continue on with early feast, to distract us. If Dingo Dingo is already inside, Dingo Dingo will signal by jumping at the yard door. If you see that, abandon swimming and go inside. At this point, our job requires us being inside, with or without me. Big One might not notice and continue toward early feast or he might search for me. What matters is he lets The Stranger Wet Hole Man do his job, explaining that the Wet Hole is full of filth, by turning off the Wet Hole’s low groan from whatever contraption he does that with in his area. The Stranger Wet Hole Man always turns Wet Hole off before doing anything, leaving his area exposed. The longer it is exposed, the easier my job will be.

When The Stranger Wet Hole Man exposes his area, I will dart from the bushes, behind him, to Tugger. No, I do not know what it is like in there. No, I will not have time to explore or to look for Quackers or Round Thing. I have to sole obligation to restore Tugger. We need Tugger for our sanity and for our continued intel operations with Golden Boy across from our home. We are a week behind on communications, having not sent a single signal in days about the welfare of Big and Little One. We know Golden Boy’s Ones are safe. He has no idea how ours are.

In the best case, I will pull out Tugger, dragging its ropey ends to the door, where I will wait for Big One to let me back in. The end.

In the worst case, I will be contained by the area—and you will need to help me. We all must cry. I will cry but, as we know, my size only allows for only so loud of a cry. I will need you to help alert Big and Little One of my location. They will release me.

If for whatever reason I am left in this area, so be it. That is the risk we take in this field.

Photo via.

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