He snatched his hand back, bringing the attached dog head with it. He stared in agony and disbelief as the dog’s jaws clamped down even harder, it’s nose wrinkled back in a snarling, sustained growl and eyes glaring at him. The steering wheel jerked in an involuntary reaction to the attack. He started slamming the dog head into the dashboard, trying to dislodge it. As he did, the puppy tails he had stuffed in it’s mouth when he had killed it came to life. They scattered out of the dog head, a few on the floor of the car, a few on the seat, and in a way that would be comical under different circumstance, they rapidly started crawling towards Danny, looking like little hairy worms.
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Danny screamed in horror and tried to brush the puppy tails off his body, but each time he released the steering wheel from his other hands grasp, the car went out of control. The tails were worming their way towards his face...
The Mustang was alternately slowing, then accelerating, then swerving violently as it repeated the process. The Sheriff couldn’t figure out what was going on. He decided to back his cruiser off even more as he figured he might be the one distracting his unbalanced son. He knew that his boy had probably been taking drugs as well as drinking that night. He had found drugs in Danny’s room before...
Believing that Sally was probably ok, Jeff crawled out on the porch to check on his father just as the ambulance arrived from one direction, and the deputy’s car from another. Jeff thought that his father looked like he was dead and he collapsed once again into unconsciousness just before reaching him.
The two ambulance attendants slowly followed the deputy to the house. With his gun drawn, the deputy waved the paramedics forward, pointing to the bodies of Jeff and his father. He called for more backup and then quietly entered the house.
He found Sally wavering on wobbly legs, and then falling to her knees in exhaustion.
“Miss? Is there anyone else in the house? Miss? Miss?”
Sally couldn’t manage an answer. She was lightheaded and confused.
“There’s another one in here,” shouted the deputy to the men outside. “I’m going to check the rest of the house!” He turned back to Sally and said, “Stay right here Miss, I’m going to make sure you’re safe. I’ll be right back.”
Sally was regaining her senses enough to realize what she had done. And she smiled...
Danny let out scream after scream as he continued to try to beat the dog head loose from his hand, and at the same time trying to keep the animated tails from his face. He didn’t know who was following him, so he didn’t dare stop. Finally, one of the squirming puppy tails reached his face and immediately crawled into Danny’s nose. Danny tried to grab at it but he was to late. It disappeared out of sight. As he was distracted by the first tail, a second one shot up onto his face as well. It too wiggled it’s way into his nose, effectively blocking it.
Danny had never known this kind of terror. He was used to antagonizing others with little or no retaliation from them. Even though his nose was plugged, he was still able to gulp huge breaths of air from his mouth in between screams. As he was digging into his nose trying to get it cleared so he could breath better, he looked down on his chest just in time to see three of the puppy tails somehow jump into his open, gasping mouth. Now he couldn’t breath at all...
The sheriff watched in fascination as the Mustang suddenly went completely out of control and ran off the road. There was nothing he could do as he watched the car traveling at over sixty miles an hour hit a tree head on. He slammed on his breaks and skidded to a stop.
He jumped out of his cruiser and ran to the steaming remains of the Mustang. It had practically disintegrated from the impact. He walked to the front of the smoldering ruins of the car and saw that Danny had been thrown through the windshield and was laying on what was left of the hood of the car. His head had been driven into the tree trunk with such impact that it had essentially exploded. There was nothing left. He called for another ambulance and told them to take their time...
The next day, Sally went to visit Jeff in the hospital. When she walked into his room, he tried to sit up.
She gently pushed him back. “You have to lay still. You have a punctured lung. Danny broke three of your ribs.”
“She smiled and answered him. “He’s going to recover. He has a serious concussion and lost a lot of blood though. I just talked to the doctor. Your mom is in with your dad right now.”
“What happened after I got kicked? I don’t remember anything.”
Sally told him almost everything, leaving out her part in Danny’s accident. Of course no one knew about that.
“Danny’s father was chasing him and he lost control. He crashed into a tree and was killed instantly. Sheriff Silva said he will know when the blood tests come back, but he figures Danny overdosed from a mixture of drugs and alcohol, and just went crazy. He thinks Danny passed out while he was chasing him.”
Sally had to know. She had to know how much Jeff remembered from last night. “They said Danny had an unexplained injury. He had a severe wound on his hand. It was a dog bite. Three of his fingers were missing. Sheriff Silva said he never noticed it when he confronted Danny in your house. He couldn’t believe he had missed it. I told him it must have happened when he killed my dog Bunny.”
Jeff looked at her. He stared at her for a solid minute before he finally spoke. “I guess I don’t seem to remember. My head is still a little foggy from the kick in the head, you know? You must be right though, it must have happened when he killed Bunny.”
“Yes. Bunny was protecting her puppies. She was protecting us all...” Sally kissed Jeff on the cheek and left him alone to rest...