This story tries refusing the tedious curve of rising action/spasm/falling action for a few
reasons, but mostly because it's about a dog.
Its setting is the end of the late Anthropocene, so much death all around.
The dog loathed moving. All the neighbors called him "Dogalog," for, still as a log, he lay
in a trench almost all the time because he'd always been there.
Dogalog's face seemed eager: the apparent sweetness of passivity. Neighbors
sometimes called him Rufus—pity, since all names mask, box, or smash a life a little.
His ever-present rut in the earth lay somewhere beyond the home of his master, who
was originally named Carl Driggs, in later years becoming Carl Diggs, for, with age as with teeth,
men lose letters from their names.
Carl Diggs mentioned the dog to the neighbors leaning from their windows, and he let
them know: "That hound obeys me." One homeowner called out and waved kindly to Dogalog,
as if any creature can exist without a tissue of absurdity. Then Dogalog licked himself where
most do, tenderly.
Carl Diggs checked his watch. Diggs' body and eyes, and the earth, impelled him to
believe that time flows forward as a river, though time does not do this; in Carl Diggs' view, the
story lagged; it had no beats. A powerful injunction bore down, insisting that action and conflict, masculine-style, must play throughout its pages, moving the story on, so Diggs cried to
the dog, "Get out of here!"
So Dogalog ran to a tree. When does a story fail for its structural lack? He put his hands
on the tree's skin; another neighbor hollered from the sidewalk, "A tree is like a story! It springs
up with fruits! And funguses too which are parasites that fasten to their hosts!"
Looking back at Carl Diggs, trapped in the story, seeking another one to which he might
run, Dogalog scrabbled at the tree's skin; he ran to the grasses. Surely Diggs wanted the story to
have a denouement! Yet no story can fully express or contain our living, and the parts of life that
don't fit into methodologies spill from the sides, similar to the aggressive blue mold which
advanced threateningly toward the characters from the confines of the story's structure; it crawled toward hapless
Dogalog, each of them in fact born innocent—
In the days after this, the dog traveled to Pasadena. He found a house. He said: "Well
I'm not doing anything else—I might as well get married!"
So Dogalog met Debbie Hansen, a quality individual. He married himself out of the story
and away from Carl Diggs.
Was it real?
Certain people from history simply stand out, and others are better for knowing them.
Debbie Hansen was one of those. Prepossessing, disarming, she elevated all living things. She
girded the story. For a while it went on living.