Issue 1 Issue 1 Fiction

Exorcism@the dog park

By Adelaide Faith

I told her last session, if you look at a group of humans, and they’re smiling, it’s either fake, or they’re out of their heads, on something. I told her to picture a pack of dogs. When I could tell she was doing it, I said, now how do they look? Are they happy? What’s happening with their tails? Can you see?

You can buy sleeping bags for dogs now, and I’m deep down inside my dog’s sleeping bag in the back of the car. My dog is back here too, she’s in the sleeping bag for humans. We’re parked at the side of the road right next to the dog park, and it’s five minutes short of midnight. There’s take out Chinese Chicken to share, but we both have our own water. It’s 2018, the Year of the Dog.

It’s quiet, and I take my phone out of my pocket and open YouTube. I type in: Exorcism of the Bridge@Eastham Rake. It’s mutated audio dialogue, it’s Mark Leckey. I take the lid off the tray, I take one piece of chicken for myself, I give one to my dog. I press play, turn the volume down, make like it’s a background track, some kind of karaoke. And then I start to chant.

In the name of Panhu and Wiro ku, and Goofy the anthropomorphic dog. In the name of Cerberus, Anubis and Fenrir… I invoke all these names. I call upon their powers to start a transformation, to cast out the appendix! Out, non-functioning Jacobson’s organ, out! Out, cone-dominated retina, out! Out, inability to see UV light, out! Out, disappearing of the tail at 8 weeks, out! Out, verbal communication… you’re no great loss. Supernumerary phantom limb, don’t cling to me, golden worm in the ear, come into my mind… this is a bad species, after all.

Everything in the back of the car gets clear, though it’s midnight, and I stop chanting. I sit on my phone to mute it. I see there’s rice everywhere. It’s going to have to be cleaned up, with something, maybe with my mouth. My dog takes the phone from under me and opens YouTube. She searches for something else, the sound of an ice-cream van. She’s always seemed to like that sound. She selects the Mr. Whippy Greensleeves tune. I like it too. I feel like going home.

Adelaide Faith is a veterinary nurse/dog walker from Hastings, UK. Adelaide’s short fiction has recently appeared online at Forever Magazine, Hobart, Maudlin House, ExPat Press and Stone of Madness Press. She is currently writing a novel about obsession, half told through therapy sessions.