Aphelion Issue 224, Volume 21
December 2017 / January 2018
 
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Doggy Door

by Jeff Dosser





Wayne smiled proudly as he stood and kicked the doggy door he had just installed. It swung freely to and fro, "snicking" quietly with each passage past center. He whistled Lilly over but she seemed to have no clue what to do with the new device.

Wayne opened the door, gesturing for her to enter, but the pup simply bounded about, tail wagging. She seemed to know something was expected of her and was eager to please but ignorant of the request.

Karen stood leaning against the kitchen island watching the show and smiling inwardly. Men can be so stupid, she thought. Finally, impatience overcame humor and she stepped in to help.

"Wayne, you have to show her how to do it," she said.

Grabbing Lilly by the collar, Karen led her reluctantly to the new door. Then, pushing her head into the opening, Karen shoved until her tucked tail vanished from sight. From inside the kitchen, she could just make out Lilly on the opposite side of the opaque divider whining pitifully. Karen tapped the door with her foot and in she came. After two more shoves through the hole, Lilly had it and it quickly became a game: in and out, in and out.

"Great, what have we started?" Wayne laughed as the frisky dog chased across the kitchen floor and back outside.

"She'll settle down soon," Karen replied. "Just like kids, it will get boring soon enough."

Following Wayne into the living room, Karen snuggled in close on the couch as they pulled up the latest recording of Big Bang Theory. Out in the kitchen, the dog's claws could be heard skritch-scratching across the floor as she raced around the island. Occasionally, the new doggy door snicked open and closed.

As the episode ended, Karen noticed that Lilly had become quiet; too quiet. With kids and dogs that either meant trouble or sleep and it was far too early for sleep. Crawling to her knees and glancing into the kitchen she screamed, grabbing Wayne, who half jumped out of his skin.

"What?" he exclaimed, following Karen's frightened stare and pointing finger.

There, in the kitchen, tails wagging sat Lilly and what can only be described as ...a blob dog. Partially transparent, the blob dog was vaguely electric blue with yellow pulses of lightning flowing through its limbs... like... like heartbeats.

"What the hell is that?" Karen asked clutching Wayne's arm.

"I don't know. But look at Lilly. She doesn't seem to be scared. In fact, she has that happy, stupid look...that look she gets when she's in a good mood."

Karen hadn't noticed, being too frightened herself, but Wayne was right. Lilly did have that happy, stupid look dogs get. Although there was no face, per se, on blob dog, even 'it' gave off a happy, stupid aura.

As if on cue, the two took off around the kitchen, and after a handful of skritch-scratching circles around the island, they sprinted out the pet door.

Leaping to her feet, Karen ran to the back door and swung it open. She saw... nothing. The backyard was the same as always, short mown Bermuda grass, the flowerpots in the corner, but no dogs, especially no blob dog.

"Where are they?" Wayne asked stepping past her.

"I don't know. She's never been able to hop the fence." Karen said.

Wayne stepped onto the patio for a closer examination. Karen maintained her death grip on his arm as she joined him. Together they searched every corner of the yard. No dogs.

Returning to the back door, Wayne suddenly halted. "Karen, look." he gasped.

"What?"

"The door, look at the door."

Karen studied it for several moments. Then it struck her what he was seeing, or more precisely, not seeing. There was no pet door on the outside. The back door was as smooth and regular as ever.

She and Wayne stepped cautiously into the kitchen. Sure enough, there was the new pet door on the inside. They examined both sides of the opening several times before they were convinced of what they were seeing. On the inside... pet door, on the outside... nothing.

Wayne swung the door shut and joined Karen by the island. Together, they watched the doggie door. They did not have long to wait. Abruptly, Lilly shot out of the opening, followed by blob dog. Once more the two raced through the kitchen, stopping to jump up Wayne's leg, causing quite a shout when the blob dog did this, then disappearing through the small opening.

Karen looked at Wayne in beetle browed confusion. "What does this mean?" she asked. Before he could answer, there was a scream and a familiar yelp coming from the other side of the doggie door. Out shot Lilly, tail tucked.

Karen gave Wayne a confused glance then dropping to her knees. She held the doggie door open and peered inside. On the other side, there looked to be two large blobs holding blob dog by the neck. They were standing in the center of... a blob kitchen. The larger of the two creatures was holding what can only be described as... a blob broom.

Upon seeing Karen, the blob holding the broom emitted piercing shriek. Karen to sprang back in surprise, the door swinging closed behind her.

"What was it?" Wayne yelled, grabbing her by the arm and dragging her away from the portal.

"I'm not sure," she said, "but I think we'd better block that opening."

Wayne rushed to the garage and returned with a 2x4, which he promptly nailed across the doggy door.

After that, Karen would squint distrustfully at the opening whenever she entered the kitchen. Lilly, however, appeared to miss her friend.

Often times she could be found lying near the opening, whining quietly. Sometimes, they could hear a whining reply from the other side.


THE END


2017 Jeff Dosser

Bio: Mr. Dosser is an ex-police office and software developer living in the wilds of Norman, Oklahoma. His fiction has appeared in Bewildering Stories, Down in the Dirt, and the Hindered Souls Anthology.

E-mail: Jeff Dosser

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