“God damn it!” the Chief shouted as he got off his radio. “Animal control is twenty minutes out!”
“Shit,” Cole said. “She doesn’t have that kind of time.”
Wade grabbed the Chief by his collar. “Chief! Man, you gotta save my little girl, man!”
“Get off me, scumbag!” Together, the Chief and Rusty slammed the perp on the hood of a patrol car and cuffed him.
“Jesus,” Rusty said. “You believe this guy, Cole? Cole?”
Cole was too busy cocking a shotgun he’d just pulled from the trunk of his cruiser. Steely-eyed and determined, he marched toward the shack’s front door.
“Cole!” the Chief shouted. “You can’t go after that dog all by yourself!”
Cole ignored the Chief.
“Get your ass back here!” the Chief shouted. “That’s an order!”
Cole paid no attention. Rusty grabbed his longtime friend by the shoulder. Cole shook him off.
“Cole!” Rusty said. “You seriously doing this?”
“No choice,” Cole said.
“Did you see that thing?” Rusty asked. “It looked like Godzilla fucked Cujo and had a baby.”
Cole kicked opened the door to the shack, then looked at Rusty. “Come or stay, but I’m going in.”
Rusty drew his weapon. “Alright! Fuck it! Damn it Cole, you got some big ass balls.”
The duo stepped into the kitchen. Old Mongo could be heard growling loudly in the other room. He started barking his head off.
“And I have some tiny balls,” Rusty said as he walked out of the shack. “You’re on your own, Cole-train.”
Cole shook his head. “Figures.”
Old Mongo moved. Cole could hear his big paws tromping all over. He entered the living room with his shotgun pointed out in front of him. Around twenty little plastic bags filled with cocaine sat next to a scale on the table. Neither dog nor girl were anywhere to be found.
“Hey pig!” Wade shouted from the outside. “You do your job yet and rescue my little girl? My tax dollars pay your salary, you know!”
Cole could hear the Chief’s voice too. “Like you pay any taxes. Shut up before I pistol whip the piss out of you, Wade.”
And Rusty’s voice entered the mix. He was on his radio. “Yeah. Gonna need an ambulance. Hell, you’re gonna wanna get the coroner over here. My dumb ass partner’s gonna get his ass ate.”
“Fuck you, Rusty,” Cole mumbled under his breath.
Cole turned a corner and found a stairway. Carefully, he put his foot on the first step. It creaked. The sound traveled, causing Old Mongo, who had already made it upstairs, to bark incessantly.
Cole tried it again. He moved slowly, gently, trying his best not to make a sound. He reached the top of the stairs and found Wade’s bedroom. Empty beer cans littered the floor. Hundreds of risqué photos ripped out of nudey magazines were taped up all over the walls.
“Classy,” Wade muttered.
Outside, the shouting match between Wade and the Chief continued.
“What the hell is wrong with your dog?” the Chief asked. “That doesn’t look like any kind of dog I’ve ever seen.”
“I dunno,” Wade answered. “He’s been real ornery and mean lately, ever since I started feeding him PCP.”
“PCP?” the Chief asked. “The hell would you do a fool thing like that for?”
“I dunno!” Wade shouted. “He’s a guard dog, aint he?! He needs to be alert to guard shit, don’t he?”
“You asshole,” the Chief said.
“Just another day in the life of Sitwell,” Rusty said.
“Shut up, Rusty,” he Chief said.
“Shutting up, sir,” Rusty replied.
Cole stepped into Molly’s room. Old Mongo was pacing about, staring at the bed and snarling. Molly’s little eyes peeked out from underneath the bed and looked up at Cole. Cole looked at the girl and put a finger up to his mouth as if to say, “Shh!”
Now was Cole’s chance. He aimed the shotgun at the dog, hoping to catch him from behind. Blam! The dog was down. Cole walked toward the dog’s body with his shotgun still drawn.
Old Mongo was up and angrier than ever. He charged at Cole, biting into his right leg. Reflexively, Cole put his second and last shot right into the ceiling, then dropped the shotgun.
Cole scrambled on his hands and knees toward the hallway as the dog continued to chomp into his right leg. With his left leg, Cole kicked the dog in the head, buying him enough time to stand up. Blood rushed out of his bite wounds and all over Wade’s pre-stained carpeting. The pain was unbearable, but Cole still managed to move.
Once Old Mongo was out of the room, Molly sprang out from under her bed and shut her door. Out in the hall, Cole drew his sidearm. He pointed it at the dog and got off one shot. Old Mongo flinched, like he’d just been bitten by a fly.
“Aw shit,” Cole said as the giant dog jumped on him, knocking him down the stairs. The pistol flew right out of Cole’s hands. Man and dog tumbled down the stairwell, attacking one another with all their might.
On the floor below, Cole screamed louder than he ever had before in his life as Old Mongo chowed down on his leg. Cole reached for the utility knife on his belt. He unfolded it, then stabbed the dog repeatedly…over and over again until…blam!
Rusty had entered the shack and put a bullet in the dog’s head. Blam! Blam! It took two more before Old Mongo was finally down.
The Chief entered. He looked down at Cole. His young officer had passed out.
“Jesus,” the Chief said. “His leg’s holding on by a thread.”
The Chief pulled off his shirt and held it over Cole’s leg, desperately trying to hold in the blood.
Rusty clicked the call button on his radio. “Maude! Need an ETA on that ambulance! Stat!