Not Evidence of Anything, by Anne Bartles
My new puppy is a Vampire. This is really inconvenient for me. He’s not housebroken, and he has no manners. Every night when I go to bed, he sinks his needle-sharp milk teeth into the flesh of my big toe. There must be some kind of happy juice in his mouth because it only stings when the tips of his little white teeth puncture my skin. Then, all in a rush, I get this sweet relaxed high. That’s why I don’t kick him off me. I know I should. I mean, what happens when he’s 90 lbs and has the strength to break my bones, or rip out my throat? But he’s so little and cute, with his fat widdle belly and stubby tail. He’s only a little bigger than my foot and his fur is soft and thick like a chocolate colored stuffed animal. Also, he has the worst puppy breath ever. My feet smell like puppy breath. I love how he holds my foot between his big soft paws when he nurses on my toe. He makes these cute little puppy suckling noises, like a cross between a grunt and a whine. Then of course, he has to go out in the middle of the night. If nothing else I will housebreak this dog!
I’m a little worried. Last night I was out with Waddles. Yeah. I named my Vampire puppy “Waddles”. Go ahead and laugh. I dare you. Anyway. It was around 4 am so I was totally not awake, just standing there in my ratty pink bathrobe holding onto the leash, waiting for him to hurry up and go. Because of course, he’s a puppy so he has to sniff everything first. Then I saw my creepy old neighbor Mr. Dimmit peering through the loose boards of my back fence. His nasty-ass trailer is next door to my much nicer place. I don’t know if it was just a really strong smell or if something about me is changing but I swear! I was on the other end of the yard from the guy and I could smell the booze on his breath like he was kissing me. I could actually taste it. So gross! I was all ‘why is this perv staring through the freaking fence at me anyway?’ I mean, yeah I’ve got big boobs, and yeah my hair looks great like always, but I’m in my bathrobe and I know I probably have smudges on my face where my eyeliner rubbed off. Then my arm gets yanked by a tug on the leash, so I look, and Waddles is all the way at the end, lunging towards Mr.Dimmit in an unfriendly – OK a hostile way. My puppy’s eyes were glowing red. Why did it have to be red? I mean green or blue would be kind of cool. Spotlight eyes would be useful. Red is all stupid horror movie and kind of lame. I decided to bring him inside, and just hope Mr. Dimmit didn’t notice his eyes. I had to drag him. That little dog is strong! Once we were finally inside, I peeked out between the slats of my kitchen blinds. I could totally see Mr. Dimmit flat out staring right over the top of my fence at my trailer. Creepy!
Waddles looks like he grew overnight. I know all dog owners probably say that, but I really mean it. He looks way bigger this morning. Must be a growth spurt or something. Meanwhile, my big toe looks like hamburger and I’m exhausted. Puppies are a pain in the ass. After I wrapped up my toe I couldn’t get it into my shoe, so I put on my pink bunny slippers and some sweats, and took Waddles for a walk. He was pretty sleepy. During the day he acts like he’s drugged. But it turns out that W-A-L-K will wake even the living dead, if the living dead happens to be a dog. And of course we ran into Mr. Dimmit on the street. He was drunk, and stood way too close to me like always. So he’s all, “Good morning Ashley,” and then Waddles tried to growl at him, Except, it came out like a cross between a growl and a bark and a whimper. Not very scary. Mr. Dimmit jumped back anyway and looked freaked. Stupid drunk perv. Anyway… He mumbled something and took off. Glad I didn’t have to stand there and make drunk small talk while he tried to use my boobs to hold himself upright. That actually happened once. For real.
Waddles is huge. Like, actually huge. Still a puppy though. He looks exactly the same, but inflated. I get dizzy if I stand up too fast, but I think I’ve figured out a solution to that problem. It happened because I can’t take him for a walk anymore- he just drags me down the street. He’s too big and I’m too weak. Yesterday I gave up, and just let him loose in the back yard. Before you know it two squirrels and this young raccoon climbed down out of the tree, and walked over to him really slowly. I could see them shaking with terror and trying to resist, which I guess was sad. It took less than a minute for him to drain them dry. Then three more squirrels turned up, and a dove. I threw the little bodies in my recycling bin, under some leaves. The trash man better not tell on me. I cannot afford another ticket. Hopefully this means Waddles will leave my toe alone tonight. I’ll sleep with my bunny slippers on.
R.I.P. bunny slippers. He did not like those being in his way. Last night feels like it lasted forever. It ended with me locked in the bathroom, while he took out his toe denial frustration on the bunny slippers in the bedroom. Now there are bits of bunny slipper all over my bed, floor, walls.
To be honest, I’m writing this from the bathtub. He’s still out there. I’m waiting for the sun to come up. He’ll go all sleepy then, and I can come out. I hope there will be a lot more squirrels today.
I talked to my friend Marcie who said to try giving him pig or cow blood, you can buy that. So I drove into town, and got some at the supermarket. They looked at me funny but they had it. He kind of liked it. Right away he got all excited and was wagging his butt and jumping all over me. But when he tried it, he gobbled it for about a second, then stopped and gave me this really sad hurt look. It just broke my heart. Then he slunk off with his head hanging. He didn’t even finish it. Being a mom is so hard.
OH MY GOD, Mr. Dimmit is a Vampire Hunter!! I know this because he’s dead on my floor and there is a -I swear to God- a wooden stake on the floor next to him. Waddles is the size of a pony. Still such a totally cute itty puppy though. Someone (and I pause in my writing here to glare at Waddles, who does not look even a little guilty) ripped out Mr. Dimmit’s throat. Thank goodness Waddles seems fine. He’s not freaked out or upset at all. It’s got to be stressful having a mean drunk perv try to kill you. Clearly, he’s very resilient. He’s sort of eating a kitchen chair. Which would be less weird if the chair was made of wood, or plastic, but it’s a metal folding chair. I think he must be cutting his big dog teeth.
Anyway, I went through Mr. Dimmit’s stuff, and found this letter from the FBI. Turns out Mr. Dimmit totally knew Waddles is a vampire dog, and he wrote to the FBI about him and got this letter back. They basically told him, in a really nice way, that they thought he was crazy and should seek professional help. So when he got that letter, I guess he snapped or something, and came to try and kill Waddles himself. Which was not only really offensive, but also a big mistake. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the body though.
In other news: Our neighborhood is running inconveniently low on squirrels and I now sleep in my bathroom. I replaced the bathroom door with a steel door. As I write this Waddles continues to gnaw happily on my kitchen chair, surrounded by shiny little bits of metal, and I’m re-thinking that bathroom door. Interesting. I just put my bare foot near him, and he didn’t even look up. Maybe he’s not hungry anymore, or maybe he’s just having too much fun eating the chair. Maybe its time to start working on discipline? I don’t want to start too early and traumatize him.
Waddles likes to dig. The body problem is solved, as long as no-one goes into my backyard before the grass grows back. I’m so tired I’m about to drop. Off to the bathroom. Waddles still seems pretty content, but I’m not taking any chances.
I went shopping! My favorite purchase above all is my new set of leather dog collars that have these wicked spikes on them. They are pink and beautiful, and they keep Waddles from ripping out my throat when I’m asleep. I wear three. It’s so helpful having a secretly dead neighbor who gets a pension check every week. It’s easy. I just go over in the middle of the night and help myself to his mail. I had hoped to replace some of my tired old furniture with stuff from his house, but wouldn’t you know, he really was a drunk and his shit is nasty. It smells like stale booze and cigarettes and armpit. And the predominant color theme seems to be “brown crud”. So, no thanks, at least my house is clean.
I think (I hope) Waddles has outgrown toes and other body parts. Ever since he killed Mr. Dimmit he’s only gone for my throat. The new metal bathroom door has a hole chewed in it, so I gave up on that and went back to sleeping in my own bed. He did try to rip out my throat a couple of times, but a friend who has cats gave me this genius idea. Anytime he goes for my throat, I squirt him with holy water from a spritzer bottle and say “bad dog!”. Don’t judge. He only sizzles a little and he heals really fast. Now all I have to do is say “bad dog!”, and he backs right off and mopes in the corner. Well, for a while anyway. Then he’ll try to jump at my throat a few more times, but I really think he’s starting to learn that this is not OK behavior.
This afternoon I took Waddles for a walk. He’s doing better with the leash now that I know the “Bad Dog” trick. I kept the squirt bottle in my sweatshirt pocket, just to be safe. While we were out, we ran into the woman who lives down the street. I think she’s a retired middle school math teacher. I think she used to give a lot of detention. She was taking out her trash, and she stopped to lay into me about my hair, the dog collars (which are now a 24 hr necessity but that’s another story) and she told me I was “bringing down the property values of the whole neighborhood”. We live in a mobile home community! Stupid bitch. So she was all, “blah blah, wasting your life, detriment to society, at your age, blah” when Waddles suddenly gave his first really good growl. I was so proud!
Well, middle school teacher lady (I forget her stupid name) got all zombie-like and quiet. It kind of reminded me of the squirrels, and sort of freaked me out, so I dragged him home. Eating people in self-defense or to protect me is one thing. But not in public in the middle of the day. Right after sunset he had to go out again. As soon as we were outside, Waddles dragged me down the street to her house. He stopped right at her house, and just stood there and growled. You could feel the growl in your bones, it was that kind of deep vibration. It took forever, but eventually he gave up and trotted home with me.
Now it’s three am and that same lady is in my back yard staring at my house. She’s just there in the dark, swaying back and forth in her bathrobe. Waddles keeps pawing at the back door and whimpering. He’s giving me sad puppy face. I’m not sure I want to let him out. I’m also not sure I can stop him from going through the back door if he gets frustrated enough. It seems kind of harsh, but at the same time, I’ve got to feed him something. And, she is very annoying. There’s plenty of room in the backyard for another big hole. I think I’ll let him out. I mean really, how much bigger could he get?
Very early Thursday:
This is not good, and I’m totally freaking out. Waddles ate the lady, and I guess he was still hungry after, because he’s GONE. And he broke the back fence into pieces when he took off. He ran right through it! No more fence. So at this very minute, right out in the open, in my yard for everyone to see, is a freshly filled in grave, and next to it is the body of an annoying ex-teacher. I don’t know what to do now. I don’t think I can fix this. There will be questions and I can’t explain. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck! I need a drink and I’m out of everything. I’m going to Mr. Dimmit’s for some of whatever it was that he drank. Then I’ll try and find that stupid dog.
Just got back from running around town all night with a spray bottle of holy water crammed in my pocket. Couldn’t find Waddles. There’s a house at the end of the street with the front bashed in and a dead guy on the lawn. There’s a barbie bike in the grass at the side of the house. I don’t know them. I didn’t go in. I can’t face all that. I just can’t. I saw a bunch of other houses that had doors or windows smashed in. One house had a really big hole. I don’t want to think about how big that hole was. I don’t know what to do, so I’m just going to wait and see if he comes back. I didn’t see any people walking around at all. You’d think someone would have come out about the noise.
I have to be quick. The town is on fire. I don’t know how that started. It wasn’t me, I swear it. I don’t understand how this all got so fucked up so fast. It’s windy today, and I think the fire could burn the whole town. I don’t think there’s anyone left to care, or call for help. I think they’re all dead already. Waddles is asleep in the backyard. He is unbelievably huge, about half the size of my yard. Giant black leathery wings are growing out of his back. They’re spread out around him like a tent, or a cave. I thought about trying to stake him with part of the back fence. I’m not a horrible person! He is evil, and I can’t control him. But he’s too big for me to kill. The fire is headed this way and I think it will get him while he sleeps. I’m mostly sure. I hope it does. If he tried to fly with those wings the wind would be insane. I bet it would blow down the house if he tried. I’ve got my most important stuff packed and I’m going to throw this diary in the fire on the way out of town. Bye diary. Thanks for listening. It’s been weird.
Note: Evidence bag contains partially burned journal of unknown female, one of numerous items found in the aftermath of the Smithtown incident. FBI agent Jones logged this journal into evidence as part of an ongoing investigation into the possible homicide of multiple Smithtown residents. A widespread fire and apparent tornado damage to the community occurred concurrent to the alleged homicides. This makes it impossible to determine the exact origin of the journal. However, this journal clearly delineates the fantasy life of an immature individual. It should not be considered pertinent to the case for which it was put into evidence. This journal is not evidence of anything. In case any future investigator should start to think otherwise, they should feel free to discuss their thoughts with Agent Jones directly. He has been removed from field work and currently manages the evidence storage locker in Nome, Alaska.
Like many horror writers, Anne Bartles works in community mental health. Several cats currently allow Anne to live in their home, in exchange for kibble and her silence. She is fairly sure this story isn’t true, but plans to not adopt any puppies in the near future, just to be safe. After all, in an infinite universe, everything happens somewhere, right? She hasn’t been published yet, but based on the above-mentioned infinite universe theory, keeps trying.
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Tags: Anne Bartles, horror, humor, vampires