A story in honor of Halloween, I present to you;

An Unauthorized Autobiography

By Steve Swanson

       It was a dark and stormy night. The skies burned black with fire and the wrath of a vengeful God. A night of grave portents and evil misdeeds. A night a puppy was born at the Daisy Hill Puppy farm. A beagle, black and white and cute as can be. As in all things a beautiful exterior hides the interior. And the interior was strange indeed.

     I woke screaming with my eyes shut tight, into this new bright, crowded world. There were seven of us, all wet with my mother’s fluid. She was exhausted but we were not to be satisfied. My brother Spike crawled towards her waiting teat but it was the largest teat and it had to be mine. I pounced on Spike, Spiked him you could say if you were one for puns and I am not, and drove him into the ground. He was undersized at birth and I would make sure he would stay slim forever. I suckled on that teat and was content. Until the round-headed kid came.

     He was looking for a pet. Instead he got me. Did he ever gain my love? Gain my trust? Perhaps, sometimes I almost wish I knew his name but fate denied me that chance. He died before I could bring myself to ask; he died trying to kick a football. The little girl that held it upright pulled it away from him in mid-kick. He slipped on the grass and landed on his head. He hit a rock. The blood flowed freely.

I could feel his pain but I could not help him. I was in Germany and the Thrice-Damned Red Baron was on my wing. The fate of the known world rested on the shoulders of this Flying Ace and I could not let them down. Even to save the Round-Headed kid.

     His little sister kept me to remind her of the brother she had lost. Apparently a brother she did not like very much as evidenced by the fact my food dish went empty for hours at a time.

     I retreated into my own world not realizing I was becoming more and less than a dog. At first I was an attorney, then a writer, then a tiger stalking my prey. In time I believed I could talk to birds and finally I gained another identity altogether. Aloof and apart from my pain; I was Joe Cool. Nothing could hurt me.

     People started to realize I was changing and that brought on another problem; a psychiatrist. For dogs. They believed I was a dog. Those fools! I allowed the tiger to roam free. The psychiatrist’s blood was splattered all over the couch when I came back to myself.

     I sit here now in this metal cage, a door at the other end of the hall. A door where people and dogs enter and only people return. It is the end. The only solace I can take is they allowed me to keep my typewriter. Perhaps trying to be a writer made my mind go wrong. Or perhaps it was all the rejection letters. I shall never know.

     I want to write the greatest novel the world has ever read but I can never get past the cliché that began my life: After all it was a dark and stormy night….