Short Story Fiction
Paybacks are a Bitch
By Scott Gese

He was abused to the brink of death but his time had not yet come. There was unfinished business to attend to. Paybacks are a bitch.

paybacks are a bitchMichael Dziedzic/unsplash

His name was Palmer Scree. Anyone who came into contact with him distanced themselves as soon as they got to know him. He was a good-for-nothing thief and a liar. A lowlife. A worthless human and a drag on society. No one had a good word to say about Palmer Scree.

Even his own mother had disowned him after he stole her most valuable possession. The wedding ring of her late husband. Palmer fenced it for twenty bucks. When she confronted him about it he told her straight out he had taken it and sold it. He refused to tell her who had it. The incident broke her heart but he didn’t give a shit.

Palmer also owned a dog. A beautiful purebred German Shepard he had named Bad-Ass. He planned to teach the dog to be mean and protect all the goods he stole from the houses he broke into.

He had no idea how, nor the patience he needed to actually train a dog.

Over a few short months with no success to show for his minimal effort he lost interest. Bad Ass was fast becoming a burden. Nothing more than something he needed to take care of. He chained it to a tree in the back yard where it remained 24/7. He paid little attention to it. Fed it scraps once a day when he remembered. Whenever it barked, Palmer would beat it and berate at it until it cowered down and shut up. Like most things about Palmer. He was not a good pet owner.

It was mid-Summer when it happened. The police showed up at Palmer’s door with a warrant for his arrest. He was taken into custody. It was at this time the authorities discovered Bad-Ass in the back yard chained to a tree.

He hadn’t been fed in several days and there was little water available to him. He was so thin you could count his ribs. He was on the brink of death. Not much more than a flea infested bag of skin and bones. Under fed, under weight and unloved.

Animal Rescue picked him up and took him back to their pet hospital for an evaluation. As for Palmer, he was convicted and given a light sentence of six months in county lockup and two years probation.

Animal Rescue made the decision to try and save Bad Ass. The first thing they did was give him a new name. He would now be known as Shep. They cleaned him up and began to feed him a special diet to help him gain weight and strength. It took several months of intensive care and constant attention. With a lot of love Shep started looking like a normal well cared for dog. After six months it was decided Shep was physically healed and it was time to put him up for adoption.

There was a man named Wayne who was looking for a dog. He wanted a German Shepard. He felt a dog like this would give his home and family some added protection against unsavory types who might try to break into his house. Especially if he wasn’t around.

He had been stopping by Animal Rescue on a regular basis for several months. The workers had come to know him by name and knew what he was looking for. Wayne was told about Shep just after he had been brought in. He was allowed to visit with him on several occasions. When the decision was made to adopt him out, Wayne was the first person they thought of. They gave him a call and he was there before they had a chance to hang up the phone. The paperwork was filled out and Shep now had a new home with people who loved and cared for him. It was a slow process to get Shep used to his new owners and unfamiliar surroundings. They loved him and eventually Shep began to love them back. Over time he became very affectionate toward everyone in the family.

Shep had been living with Wayne and his family for close to a year when it happened.

It was the middle of the night. There was a rattle at the front door as someone tried the handle. It was locked. Shep heard the noise from his bed at the end of the hall. He had chosen the strategic position in order to protect the people he had grown to love.

Shep kept quiet. He sensed something about the intruder that kept him from barking. For some strange reason he didn’t want to scare him away. He waited patiently as the intruder jimmied open a window and quietly crawled through.

Once he was in the house Shep went into action. The intruder didn’t know what hit him as the fully grown and very fit dog pounced on him knocking him to the ground. Palmer screamed as the dog started biting him in the face and on the neck and arms. The commotion brought Wayne flying out of the bedroom armed with a 9mm.

He flipped on the light and ordered Shep to stand down. He sat by Wayne’s side growling and baring his teeth. He was ready to attack once again as soon as Wayne gave him the go ahead.

The intruder was in pain from multiple bites. Wayne ordered him to the floor as he pointed the handgun at him. The intruder did as he was told.

The police were called. They showed up quickly and arrested… You guessed it… Palmer Scree.

As they walked him to the front door Shep took advantage of the opportunity. He lurched forward and sank his teeth deep into Palmer’s ass.

Palmer never knew he had once owned and abused the dog that attacked him. Shep on the other hand knew exactly who he was attacking. It was payback time and Shep took great pleasure in dispensing every painful bite.

© Copyright 2023 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.


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