Doing my best not to let his blood trickle on the floorboards—yet failing miserably—I look over the shoulder of a grinning Meeko as the sun coming through the window shimmers around the outline of her body. In the corner of the room next to my trusty writing desk, I spy an old blanket spread out over several sheets of newspaper that have been in the bathroom to soak up a leak under the sink. Next to the blanket is a bowl of water, and another bowl next to that containing slices of shredded bread. On closer inspection, I see a little water has been added, and a generous helping of sugar sprinkled on top, and on a sheet of kitchen roll next to it, there lies a juicy bone. It’s one that came from a leg of lamb we had the other week. Well, I say we had it, but I don’t like lamb. Meeko knows this, and deliberately cooked it knowing I wouldn’t eat any. All I had were the fries she made on the side, and even then, she helped herself to half.
“I thought you didn’t want me to bring him in?” I ask, perplexed yet at the same time relieved.
“Like you ever listen to me,” she quips.
Wagging his tail in my arms, the boy excitedly shakes as if he knows the change of circumstance that’s occurring.
“And anyhow, his feet are all bloody. Can’t exactly leave him out there to boil on the sidewalk like one of his turds. As much as you think I am, I’m not a monster.”
Smiling at her, I notice how the dog is eyeing her up, and how she, in turn, is trying to suppress that grin of hers.
“I’ve never thought of you as a monster,” I say, “perhaps a troll, but never a monster.”
Rolling her eyes, she goes to retaliate but collects herself by pursing her lips.
“He needs a bath, too. I’m not living with two smelly fucks. One’s bad enough.”
Leaning in, I whisper into his ear.
“I think she likes you.”
Shaking her head, that grin of hers can’t help but give itself away.