Baracuda by Wellington Lambert

He called me Barracuda, yelling, “straight finisher, throat and kidneys,” while a screaming mob circled as we entertained them with our savage death.

His throat is soft.

There’s a pile of dead bait dogs buried just beyond the barbed wire fence. The smell of rotting meat teases us. We are tied outside with heavy chains to build muscle; muscle fed with hormone shots and not much else. We are kept permanently starving; just enough food to live, barely. We would eat ourselves to end it, but our instinct to survive does not give us the luxury of suicide.

His blood is sticky and sweet.

I could see him eating at night, staring out the window, stuffing his face. I knew I would eat that face; I wanted it to stay fat, fat and juicy.

I popped the eyeballs in my mouth. The face is unrecognizable. Who’s the boss now?

I was adopted during the pandemic. A time when everyone wanted something soft and forgiving. We have been bred for unconditional love; it’s how we get food. At first, we just followed you around. In the old times, your waste was our prey. Then we created a relationship. Now, we are the waste. Who knew love was disposable.

The hands are crunchy, not much meat.

My adopted family welcomed me, fed me, walked me, loved me. We would sleep together, play. I grew, and grew, larger than expected. I was still a pup inside, but my appearance as an adult was unexpected. When the pandemic ended, everyone was released, back into their normal schedules, their busy lives, their lives without me. Walks were reduced to once a day by someone I didn’t know, coming and going. The parents were too busy, and the kids lost interest. Eventually I was let go, dropped off at a huge building and put into a cage.

His arm is mostly fat.

I was picked up from my shelter by a new owner. I was chained in the backyard. Some food was placed just out of reach and soon the howling and whining of the newcomers faded. His need to be viewed as a merciless owner was quick and painful. Reward was only less pain, nothing more. I realized soon enough I was being used for my size and strength to inflict horror on my own kind. The darkness I felt inside turned into a hatred for him I could taste.

Now the lips, no more yelling, no more screaming…just a soft gurgle.

How many times I’ve watched him train other dogs. Well, not really train, just torture. Leaving us in a pool to swim or die, moving through the water as each dog slowly surrenders to the welcome embrace of liquid heaven. I would have joined them, but my instinct to fight was too strong. I could crawl over my dead competition to get out.

His body is twitching; good, he is still alive.

I know what you’re thinking, “Why aren’t you eating the organs first? That’s where all the nutrients are, you silly pup.” You would be right, but this pup has other plans. After months of abuse, I want him to suffer. I want him to know he was defeated by the prize possession he thought he actually possessed. He is too simple to know that I have a soul and right now my soul speaks for all the dead dogs buried in his backyard.

The calf is chewy.

His mistake was thinking I wouldn’t fight back, but I was loved once, and I know the feeling. He didn’t contain the drug that would give me the high I needed. Once you are loved, you chase it forever.

Now the chest and abdomen—game over.

I had a plan. I knew after a successful fight he would drink and start to wobble. His voice would get louder, and he would assume a connection with me that was not there. I used this to my advantage, wagging my tail and licking his disgusting tattooed hands. There was rain that filled the backyard with mud that he could not move through. This happened once before, and he caged me inside. There is a brief moment of taking my chain off to push me into the cage. This was my moment. One click of the leash and it was on. He went down quickly. The surprise in his soon to be eaten eyes was a reward I would and will gladly die for. I could hear his voice inside my head. “Straight finisher, throat and kidneys.”

 I did not disappoint.

 Good boy.

Picture of Wellington Lambert

Wellington Lambert

Wellington Lambert resides in a tiny cement-walled room, resembling a bunker, shielded from the chaos of his four teenage sons who consume everything, including his sanity. His writing provides a much-needed reset for his mind. He is a visual artist living in Kingston, Ontario.

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