Wolfhound Chapter 5

“He sure responds well to verbal commands,” Carter observed, although watching him skeptically. Reese loped up to Finch and gave him an expectant look.

“I was wondering if there might be any way you could convince the detective as to your true identity,” Finch told him.

“Roo-rowr-rrr?” Reese groaned in dismay, and Carter thought she had almost heard him say, “You told her?”

You’re the one who found them here and dragged me over,” Finch reminded. “And considering our current… difficulty, and what we might be up against, we can use all the help we can get.”

Reese huffed a canine sigh as Taylor came running up.

“Did you call him? All of a sudden he took off,” Taylor panted.

“Oh, I’m sorry about that, Mr. Carter – I needed to discuss something with him,” Finch said. He noticed the strange look that Taylor exchanged with his mother. “Ah… you may want to be sitting down for this.”

“For what?” Taylor asked as he plopped down on the blanket and patted Reese.

“Harold thinks that that dog is John,” his mother supplied for him with a significant lift of one eyebrow.

“What? You mean… badass John?” Taylor responded incredulously.

“Well, yes,” Finch confirmed, resigning himself to the inevitable. “Although at the moment, he’s more of a furry-ass than a badass…”

Reese rolled his eyes and moaned, making both Carters look at him askance.

“He told me by typing on a keyboard that he’d had a… rather unpleasant run-in with a woman who practiced Voodoo,” Finch continued. “She threw some kind of fluid on him, and after enduring a severe bout of pain, he found himself… transformed, into the shape you see now.”

“Wuff,” Reese added in support.

“That’s… That’s just crazy,” Taylor flatly stated.

“I realize what you must think,” Finch said with a sigh. “Either I’m completely off my rocker, or I’m pulling your leg in the most elaborate – not to mention pointless – hoax.”

“You were pretty convincing the first time I interviewed you,” Carter said blandly. “But you’re right: even if you could convince us that John was somehow turned into a dog, there’s not much point to it. Unless you killed him and are trying to cover it up now with this cockamamie story.”

“Ree-woo-reh-hrr!” [“He would never!”] Reese objected.

“I assure you, Detective, that if Mr. Reese were to die, it would not be at my hands,” Finch said hastily. “It’s very possible that he might meet his demise while working on one of our cases, of course – in fact it’s quite probable – but I would be the last person to be the instrument of it. In the first place, I doubt I would be able to murder him, even if I wished to do so; and secondly, I would have nothing to gain from his death and everything to lose.”

“Rawr,” Reese whined, gently licking Finch’s hand.

“Well, you’re my best employee, after all,” Finch admitted, addressing Reese.

“Awr-rohr-rowr-ry rrr-rohr-ree,” Reese replied.

“True,” Finch smiled.

What’d he just say?” Taylor demanded.

“I believe he pointed out, ‘I’m your only employee,'” Finch translated, to which Reese delivered a “Woof!” with his tail wagging. Taylor stared at the two of them, shell-shocked, while his mother pressed a hand against her furrowed forehead.

“He could just be a really well-trained dog, and you could be giving him signals to make it look like he’s responding to you…” she began, but was interrupted when Reese stood up and gave a rather annoyed “Woof!” before walking off.

“Where’s he going?” she asked.

“Honestly, I have no idea,” Finch answered, turning to watch as Reese trotted to the nearest wastebasket. He sniffed it over, then went to the next one, sniffed that, then jumped to place his forepaws on the rim (standing on his hind legs) as he nosed through the trash.

“He’s dumpster-diving. I hope he’s not going to pull out something disgusting,” Carter murmured.

Finch did not respond, but they soon had their answer: Reese came back with a crumpled white paper bag with the logo of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches. While they watched – the two Carters stunned – Reese proceeded to rip the bag by holding it down with his paws and tearing the edges with his teeth until all that remained was the word “John.” He dropped that piece of paper on Carter’s lap, then sat up and looked her straight in the eyes.

“Okay… Okay… I believe you,” Carter slowly stated, swallowing as she picked up the scrap. “Either you’re some kind of genius dog… or you’re really John.”

“Wuff,” Reese said, approvingly.

“Detective, we wouldn’t pull your leg on something like this,” Finch put in, relieved that Reese had been able to convince her. “All I’m asking for is some help gathering information. For example, if you know someone who is familiar with the Haitian gang, or even has a Haitian background, they might have some idea as to how to reverse a… a curse of this nature.”

“I’ve got a friend in the Organized Crime unit who’s dealt with that gang before… I could give him a call and see if he’s ever heard of… something like this.” She pursed her lips for a moment. “I don’t want him to think I’ve lost my mind, though, so I’ll have to be careful how I ask him.”

“I understand completely,” Finch assured her. “Any information you get would be most appreciated. There’s not a whole lot about their practices posted on the Internet.”

“I wouldn’t think so,” she agreed. Taylor simply stared at Reese.

“Awr-rowr, ree-roor-rowr,” [“Harold, we should go.”] Reese said, standing up.

“What? Oh, yes – I suppose we should be going,” Finch replied, struggling to get to his feet. Reese slipped under one of his arms and braced himself, obviously offering his support. “Are you sure? You may be large for a dog, but I wouldn’t want to hurt your back…”

“Wuff,” Reese answered, not budging, so Finch gingerly put some weight on Reese’s shoulder and hoisted himself up. Taylor jumped up to help him, too, at a nudge from his mother.

“Ah, thank you, Mr. Carter… and Mr. Reese,” Finch said, straightening out his wrinkled pant leg. “I’m sorry we interrupted you on your day off, Detective. Enjoy your picnic.”

“No problem,” Carter said with just a hint of irony. “And if you figure out how to… get John back to his usual self, give me a call.”

“You’ll be the first to know,” Finch told her, while Reese picked up the lead and the bag with the bone so Finch wouldn’t have to bend over for them. “Ah, yes. Let’s get that back on you, shall we? No sense tempting fate…”

Taylor was still staring at Reese as he finally got up the nerve to ask, “So you’re… you’re really John?”

“Woof,” Reese answered, smiling his doggy smile.

“That’s just… messed up,” Taylor muttered.

“Rehr-ree-awowr-reh,” Reese replied. When Taylor turned to Finch, confused, he supplied the translation again.

“I believe he said, ‘Tell me about it.’ I’m sure even Mr. Reese has never experienced anything like this before…”

“Woof!”

Leaving the still-stunned Carters behind, they made their way back to the sidewalk.

“Awr-rowr?”

“Yes, John?”

“Wahr-for-rawrf?”

“What’s for lunch? I was thinking we could go to some pet-friendly restaurant. Let me check to see what’s around here…” Finch brought out his cell and did a quick search. “There are several in the area… How does the Avenue A Café sound? They have dog-friendly burgers on the menu – I think they must be low sodium.”

“Woof!” Reese responded with enthusiasm.

“Come to think of it, you must not have had breakfast,” Finch realized. “I’m so sorry, John – I could have at least given you something to snack on at the library. Well, we’ll rectify that soon.”

The café was a relaxed neighborhood hangout, and the waitress made much of Reese as soon as they walked in.

“What a great dog! We don’t see too many of them here in the City, but I’ve always loved the larger breeds,” she gushed when she brought a bowl of water for Reese. “So handsome, so… regal. Like a king – the king of dogs!”

“He certainly is,” Finch agreed, with a fond smile that lit up his features. Reese grinned and set his chin on Finch’s knee, begging to be petted. With a slight chuckle, Finch obliged. “Yes, you’re a good boy, aren’t you, John? A vewy good boy!” Reese snorted in laughter but did not remove his head until Finch had given him a thorough scratching, his eyes closed as he enjoyed the contact.

His Doggie Burger Deluxe was brought out along with Finch’s Blackened Chicken Salad, but Reese wolfed his entrée down in no time flat. To Finch’s query, “Would you like something else?” he merely pulled out the chair across from Finch and parked his furry hindquarters on it, placing his forepaws on the table.

“Ran-fyoo, Awr-rowr,” he said. “Ar-feer ruff-feffowr.” [“Thank you, Harold. I feel much better.”]

“You’re welcome, John,” Finch responded with another smile.

“Is he talking to you?” the waitress asked in shock.

“Of course. He always keeps me company at the dinner table,” he demurely said before handing her his credit card.


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2 Comments

  1. Jules

     /  2012/09/09

    “More furry ass than badass” LFMAO! Love how when they’ll talking to each other, Finch translating like it’s no big deal.

    Reply

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