Don't You Love Your Dog

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    Dont You Love Your Dog

    By R.T. Martin

    January 16, 2019

    There is a man in a yellow jumpsuit standing in the

    snow outside my basement peephole.

    I see his filthy boot and gun-barrel. Im silent as I peer

    out the four-inch cavity exposed after I removed the aluminum

    ducting and insulation for my dryer vent. I hear him taking a

    piss, whistling the new Anthem.

    His comrades, two Tenders in yellow jumpsuits, are across

    the road confronting my neighbor Albert in his driveway. The

    Tenders are pointing at the ground and shouting demands in

    Ahahuascan, the new language of the World Government.

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    Alberts wife and chubby teenage son are huddled together

    in the snow under a Nascar sleeping bag. Albert is being

    prompted at gunpoint to lay his collection of guns down on his

    driveway. The Tenders have one of those creepy metallic Dog-

    Bastards for troop support - its the size of a Ford Fiesta -

    AWG's latest model - a mechanized kill-machine. The Dog-Bastard

    has poised itself between Alberts family and the doorway of

    their house. A blue light radiating from the transparent dome on

    its head signals a passive status.

    Albert is pissed off. Hes going on and on about the

    Second Amendment and rations and the AWG and poisoned food -

    he's eye-popped and shirtless. The giant bald eagle tattooed on

    his heaving beer-belly looks as if it's going to launch off his

    jiggling gut at the jumpsuits. Albert spits toward the jumpsuits

    and storms back into his house for another armload of guns, he

    kicks open his screen door and comes out with a gigantic

    American flag draped over his shoulders, wearing it like a

    poncho.

    The Tender outside my peephole sprints across my yard,

    crossing the road to warn his comrades, shouting Svat! Svat!

    Svat! He points his rifle toward the Dog-Bastard and focuses a

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    laser-pointer beam at the blue dome on its head.

    The dome on the Dog-Bastards head flashes from passive

    blue to stop-light red, a grinding-whizzy sound like a Gyrotron

    at the county fair erupts from under its ribs.

    Albert snaps his right hand out from the poncho. He

    produces a sawed-off and drives the barrel into the head of the

    nearest jumpsuit, making it disappear into an explosion of blood

    and skull, splatting his comrades face-shield like pizza

    toppings. The man attempts to clear the gore from his facemask,

    spreading blood and gristle across the plexi-glass like a bug-

    smeared windshield.

    The sprinting Tender fires a haphazard rifle-shot - blood

    spurts from the eagles head tattooed on Alberts belly. The

    impact drives the fat man backward into a snowbank like a star-

    spangled garbage sack.

    The Dog-Bastard leaps forward and straddles Alberts

    body. A twisting piston is thrust from its ribcage, plunging

    into Albert, punching through his stomach into the snowbank -

    skin - intestine-coil - flag-scraps - snow. Each time the piston

    retreats back into the Dog-Bastard's body, it pulls back pieces

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    of my neighbor.

    January 17, 2019

    I am hiding this handwritten testimony in a plastic

    sandwich container, buried in the bottom of my empty water

    softener salt-basin; the same basin that I hid inside last week

    while the Tenders cleared my house.

    My hard drives were wiped clean by an electromagnetic pulse

    six days ago, erasing my original computer journal and my

    electronic contact with the rest of the world. The news-feed is

    gone. We have gone Radio Beijing.

    The Tenders took Abby - I took that the worst - my dog.

    They found her whimpering under the stairs when their Spiders

    scanned the basement. I nearly bit a hole in my cheek stifling

    my rage, silent in my salt-tub. The Tenders forced resident work

    crews to board up the windows, I am trapped inside my home.

    After the outbreak of the Sceptre-A virus, an imaginary

    disease concocted by the AWG, Americans were encouraged by the

    media to get vaccinated against this fictional virus. Like most

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    of the then-obedient population, I received the flu shot after

    we were warned about the spreading epidemic. Holdouts who refuse

    the shot are being hunted down, sent to camps and processed.

    The vaccination is taking charge of my will. I feel larvae

    in my mucus - a pulsing virus in my blood - tapeworms under my

    eyelids - I feel their intelligence - re-assembling. My body

    has become a hive.

    January 18, 2019

    Three holdouts on snowmobiles are trying to open the fire

    hydrant across the street. A flannel-clad man is twisting on the

    spigot with a huge wrench while his companions keep watch for

    Tenders, their snowmobiles idling in the street.

    Szee-szip-szee-szip-szee-szip sounds come from the north,

    out of my line of vision. The two men keeping watch hear the

    coming threat, arming themselves with chunks of re-bar. Entering

    the frame are several mechanized Spiders. The pumpkin-sized

    daddy-long-legs tippy-toe within four car lengths of the

    holdouts - the Spiders halt - their blue eyes switch to red.

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    The holdouts haul ass to their idling snowmobiles. The

    Spiders spring from the pavement. The shrill sszzzzzeeeeee

    blasting from the Spiders is in a frequency that shatters the

    icicles hanging from my roof. Two of the holdouts make it to

    their snowmobiles as the flannel-clad man takes a swing at the

    nearest Spider with his wrench. He is overtaken by two of the

    insects at his waist. The first Spider scrambles up his back,

    contorting the screaming man into a kneeling position. The

    second Spider skitters forward with an extended leg tipped with

    a syringe. It drives a needle into each of the man's legs, his

    lower extremities become frozen in place while his torso

    thrashes around in a semicircle, making him gag and croak,

    flailing in a mad aerobic exercise.

    Abandoning their companion, the two remaining holdouts

    accelerate their snowmobiles out of view with three Spiders in

    pursuit, their surgical red eyes focused on their prey.

    It's dark. I cannot see the flannel-clad man pinned in the

    snow, but his damned croaking is making my blood pop like

    seltzer bubbles.

    Headlights from an approaching vehicle reveal the flannel-

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    clad man into my frame once again. I see the front end of a

    converted mail truck, its filthy headlights illuminating the

    flannel-clad man in a sick yellow glow. Two Tenders in yellow

    body armor approach the man, chattering to each other in

    Ahuauascan. They place an egg-shaped beacon in the snow at the

    man's knees, blanketing him in a red aura. One of the Tenders

    karate-kicks the poor guy in the chest, snapping him backward -

    then forward, like a kids bouncy toy. The laughing Tenders

    return to the mail-truck and leave the scene.

    I need water. I am running out of matches, candles,

    battery life. I ate my last can of kidney beans. Writing is very

    difficult. My hands feel like they belong to someone else. I am

    enamored of the beautiful red beacon, glowing in the street.

    Szeet-Clomp-Szeet-Clomp - approaching from the west. A Dog-

    Bastard with two Spiders march into view behind the flannel-clad

    man. Hes writhing in the snow like an insane living statue.

    This Dog-Bastard is the size of a Jersey cow with its skin and

    muscles removed - a silver-framed monster of perfection with

    rubber tendons. It stands behind the man and extends a long

    tubular siphon. It drives the translucent tube into the man's

    back. His croaking erupts into an agonized scream.

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    The Dog-Bastard sucks gore through the siphon into a

    deflated sac hanging from under its backbone. The red dome on

    its head pulses like the cherry-light on the roof of a cop car.

    The man becomes a flannel-clad husk - his juices draining

    in chunks through the siphon into the Dog-Bastards expanding

    sac.

    The metallic beast retracts the siphon, dropping the

    flannel-clad mans withered body into the snow like a blown-down

    scarecrow.

    A Spider tippy-toes past my peephole.

    I am so very quiet.

    January 19, 2019

    I drank the last of my water. I was going to scoop snow

    from outside the dryer vent hole with a measuring cup duct-taped

    to a broom handle, but I thought against it. Any movement

    outside the house will alert the motion-detecting drones

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    scanning the neighborhood. The egg-beacon is still glowing its

    red invitation outside my peephole. Its radiation has melted the

    snow in a perfect circle, I tentatively reach my arm through my

    peephole to feel its warmth.

    I felt a beetle scurry across my skull. It's using my scalp

    as a bed-sheet. I know it is...I know it.

    I sliced the palm of my hand open on a piece of sharp

    copper breaking apart frozen water pipes. My hand hurts less

    than it should. My blood is thick - a pale pus oozing out. There

    are tiny silver dots that