Last week I took on the 2017 NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. I got tossed in with a group of writers who would be taking on the same genre, setting and include-this-object, as myself. Challenge 1 for me was genre – Horror, setting – Dog Show, include-this – pasta. Yes, I’m no horror writer. But they explained this could take on a supernatural tone. Needless to say, I just tried to have fun with it. Hopefully I do well enough to move on! I’ve already been given some constructive criticism that’s lead me to believe I could have used less characters and description unless I expand past the 1,000 word limit that this challenge had. … Maybe when I write my book, an expanded version of this story will be there! Enjoy!
What Happened at the Dog Show?
The annual Loviboro Dog Show was at it’s intermission. Moments away from the Best in Show portion of the event.
The dog show has become a huge event every fall. It’s grown into a charity event that funds many good causes in the community.
This year, the show committee served a pasta dinner during the intermission. Everything from homemade lasagnas, spaghetti and fettuccine Alfredo, salads as well as breads and sweets.
The handler for Essie Tealson’s beloved Welsh Corgi could be spotted feeding Sugar a small portion of meatball from her spaghetti dish. On-lookers were shocked. The pup’s handler, Gracie Woodshed, must know the dog gets oddly hyper when presented with beef.
This year’s surprise entrant was Jessica Pennyworth’s Yorkie, Peanut. The dog is seriously cute. But, the little one has real spunk. She will go bonkers at the sound of a mosquito near her ear. Many wondered why Ms. Pennyworth would subject her puppy to the judgment and order of this dog show.
Peanut was being surprisingly docile this evening.
Chris Barry’s little french bulldog, Pepe, was bouncing around playing with a little ball during the intermission. This seemingly normal activity is a must for Pepe.
No one likes to talk about the event two years ago in which Pepe dragged his handler through dozens of chairs to get to a ball that was securely lodged underneath a leg holding up a table with several large cakes atop it.
Boomer the greyhound was chewing on a bone and a St. Bernard named Bernie was looking around, every once in a while glancing and licking his lips at a little girl enjoying an ice cream cone. Bernie could be heard whimpering when the little girl finished the cone, but noticeably antsy when her mother cleaned off the stickiness.
The room started to bustle as emcee Mikey Rains, a local television weatherman, asked for attention in order to let the handlers know it was time to prepare for the Best in Show portion of the evening.
Ball clinched in mouth, Pepe scampered to his handler who hooked his leash as they moved behind stage. Boomer and Bernie attentively caught up with their handlers.
Sugar licked Essie’s face as she hiccuped. Gracie apologized to Essie for the mistaken meatball slip-up. Essie rolled her eyes and let her know there would be no problems if she brought home a winner.
Gracie bowed apologetically, but as she and Sugar made their way back stage, Gracie could be seen rolling her eyes and smirking.
Gracie was Essie’s assistant. A bit flighty, Gracie had become a challenge for Essie as she was spending more time with a new group of friends. This group was known for meeting in a wooded area for several hours most weekends. During their meetings, strange things happened. Talking animals in the courtyard, bloodied body parts showing up in random buildings that would catch fire became regular.
Essie did not seem bothered by her assistant’s extracurricular activities. She just demanded that Gracie take care of Sugar. As well as everything else.
Jessica Pennyworth held her beloved Peanut. Curious as to how tame the little guy was acting, she whispered in his ear. Peanut blinked and moved toward his handler, Chloe Belle.
Chloe, a 22-year-old English major at the local university, was new to town. Her mother, Anna, was one of Jessica’s oldest friends. Anna was apprehensive to have Chloe meet up with her dear friend Jessica when she moved to Loviboro.
Chloe was a little different. She enjoys reading and holds many thoughts that are as unique as her wardrobe. But, Chloe and Peanut seemed to hit it off when they first met over the summer. Peanut’s whole demeanor seemed to change. For the good, Jessica thought.
Jessica was so pleased with how little Peanut was behaving she entered the pup in the Loviboro event and could practically taste the victory of taking down her rival, Essie. Anna knew this was important to both Jessica and Chloe so she made the trip to see this event first hand.
Mikey Rains introduced each dog in the Best of Show event while a local dog advocate, Lizzie Freemont, judged the pups. Boomer was first and dazzled the crowd with his poise.
Bernie was next. He was calm and cool but the little boy on the second row was eating an ice cream cone. Bernie was disqualified for knocking the child over and taking his treat.
Next up was Pepe. His handler had him focused on his ball and the pup amazed. Chris cheered as he saw this as a victory for Pepe.
A row of ladies from Essie’s Sunday School Class could be seen clutching their pearls as Chloe and Peanut were introduced.
The crowd watched in apprehension as Peanut impressed Lizzie with her moves and focus. Peanut was amazing. Everyone was impressed. Chloe even turned a few heads.
Essie could be seen huffing. A delight for many in the crowd, especially Jessica.
Gracie stepped out next. She appeared pink, splotchy and a little sweat could be seen on her brow. She nervously looked over at Essie, shrugging as the crowd could hear Sugar hiccuping. The dog sluggishly came out on stage. Horrified at her precious dog’s appearance, she screamed at Gracie to find out what she had done.
Gracie dropped the leash and ran back stage yelling what sounded like gibberish but moments later the little corgi, morphed into a demented wolf like version of himself. Fangs flashed at the crowd as Mikey Rains appeared to be shaking. Sugar smelled the fear on the local celebrity and growled. Rains dashed off with Sugar chasing behind him, snarling. Rains fell and Sugar attacked. Children screamed, dashing for their parents.
During the commotion, Lizzie crowned Peanut as Best in Show with Pepe and Boomer following second and third, respectively.
Essie balked and the crowd ignored her tirade as police were chasing Gracie who could be seen morphing into a dark cloud of smoke and glitter.