Diana's Life Tips #34: Don't Skip School to Chase Supernatural Dogs

Submitted into Contest #78 in response to: Write about someone who keeps an unusual animal as a pet.... view prompt

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Funny Fiction Drama

Diana’s eyes fixated on the blurry shadow of a dog around the corner made of lockers. It was near the end of the fifth period. The hallways were empty—and perfect for confronting whatever supernatural creature was beyond that corner.

She had bet Owen from her AP Bio class that it was the ghost of whatever they’ve been dissecting. Taking a step forward, Diana could already feel that cold, crisp five dollar bill in her hand.

And even better, if this was that scoop that finally got her a serious article in the school’s paper, hearing Rachel Wreath begrudgingly grant her that was all she ever wanted in life.

Pressing her back to the cold metal of the lockers, she crept around the corner with a big “AHA!” in mind, but it turned out to be disappointed “nothing?”

With a huff, she blew the bangs out of her eyes and stomped away. The bell chimed overhead. Her stomach whined as she headed to lunch. There goes her five bucks for ordering the good lunch option which meant she got…

“Mystery meat,” Diana mumbled as she sloshed forward in the lunch line, eyeing the red and purple (?) substance before her. 

Mystery meat: the definitely expired, never gonna be retired ‘delicacy’ of Saint Richards High School.

She pushed it with her fork and swore it pushed back. “Ugh, we should be dissecting this in AP Bio instead of dogs.” Diana halted as a harrowing thought crossed her mind. What if this was what they dissected in Bio?

That couldn’t be too far off considering the school’s budgeting skills. Come on, five grand for bowling balls while the art department paints with their fingers? They don’t even have a bowling team! Not since the ‘Double Strike Incident’ anyway…

Something plain evil was happening at Saint Richards High School.

“I don’t know who could ever stomach this,” Diana said as she walked over to the trash can on the deserted side of the cafeteria. “I’d rather go hungry than be poisoned by this. Or worse, have it take me over from the inside like that parasitic fungus that infects ants.” Diana paused right before she dumped it into the trash. “On second thought, this could be my new scoop: ‘The Mystery Inside the Mystery Meat’. Anything to move up from the daily tip column.” 

A sly grin grew on Diana’s face. Mrs. Minks, the AP Chem teacher, always does like a challenge. Though, when Diana took AP Chem last year, Mrs. Minks’s only challenge was trying to prevent her eyebrows from blowing off.

Spoiler alert: Mrs. Minks failed. Seven times.

Just as Diana pivoted to the direction of the chemistry classroom, a rustling from behind the trash can grabbed her attention. Quietly, she squatted and peeked around the corner to find a… Doberman?

Well, it’s not the ghost that Diana suspected, but it’s not exactly normal either. In fact, it was glitchy? That's not right.

Every time it moved its head, a different image of three heads appeared like that lenticular Christmas card Diana got from her creepy, now-cut-off uncle. Life tip: never tilt it left. 

Just. Don’t.

Diana is still in therapy for that.

The glitchy Doberman didn’t notice Diana at first. He was far too occupied by stuffing his face with mystery meat that other students threw out, but were too high to get it into the trash can correctly. “What are you…” Diana whispered under her breath as she stalked closer.

This time, the Doberman did notice her words and took off bolting.

“Wait!” Diana cried. Too late. He was gone.

***

By ninth period, Diana has five prior failed attempts, a new plan, and a good feeling about it (that might just be a second hand high since failed attempts #4-5 were right outside the stoners’ bathroom on the second floor).

Smirking, Diana hid herself in a lower locker and peeks through the slim slants. In front of the locker rested her plate of mystery meat while a net rested in her hands. She was gonna catch that glitchy Doberman. Here’s to plan #6.

After a few minutes, a shadowy figure rustled into view, followed by eating—or choking—sounds.

Now.

Diana burst from the locker and chucked the net at the shadow blob.

“What the heck?” The blob cried.

Todd?” Diana cried as she stared at the school’s second favorite stoner. Their favorite stoner didn’t wear the mascot suit upside down to five football games. “What are you doing? Oh, ew, Todd!” She noticed him eating the mystery meat. “You don’t know what that is or where it’s been! Don’t eat it.”

“Neither does anyone else. That’s why it’s a mystery meat,” Todd said.

“It was on the floor.”

“You act like that’s the first time it’s probably been there.”

“You still disgust me.”

“You can only change who I am with love and support, not shame.”

Diana rolled her eyes. “Great. Now where am I gonna get more bait? Lunch is over and I don’t know if that Doberman will be here tomorrow.”

“You mean… that Doberman?” Todd pointed at the glitchy Doberman at the edge of the hallway, drooling with eyes on the leftover morsels of mystery meat on the ground.

Yes.” Diana leapt to her feet as the Doberman turned to dash away.

“Not again,” Diana said as she got into a starting marathon position then took off after him.

Her sneakers thudded against the hallway’s tiles as she bolted after the dog. Her eyes glanced at one of the walls’ clocks. A few minutes until the ninth period ends. If the halls get flooded with students, she’d never be able to follow him.

Damn. Diana gritted her teeth and tried to speed up, but the hunger fatigue was getting to her. She nearly slipped and wiped out as she turned a sharp corner. Wiping the sweat from her forehead, she started again just as the bell chimed. Diana cursed since without Noah’s arc to save her from the flood, she was screwed.

Sweaty, hairy, and BO-blasting bodies shuffled Diana around like the bent card in a deck. Miserably, she shoved her way to where she last saw the dog. 

Strange enough, she didn’t completely lose sight of him. It seemed like every time she almost lost him, he would slow. Almost like he wanted her to follow.

Finally, the dog darted into a slightly open janitor closet.  Entering it, the first thing Diana noticed was the huge demonic circle with strange markings drawn in ketchup on the ground. The second thing she noticed was the Doberman sitting perfectly still on the edge of it. “I always knew there were Satanists at this school. I just always thought the gym teacher was behind it, not the janitor.”

Diana knelt beside the dog. She reached for a red collar around his neck. Thumbing the name tag, she read it out loud, “Advocatus est.”

As soon as the words left her lips, the ketchup flowed a brilliant red and the dog darted to leave. The flimsy nametag broke off in her hand, revealing a second one underneath with the name ‘Cerberus’ engraved on it. “A fake name tag?” Diana exclaimed as the dog left with the door sealed behind him.

She tried the knob as the ketchup grew brighter—only further proving how radioactive the food at this school was. But it was no use, the door was locked from the outside. “What the frick?”

Panic rose in her veins as she pinned herself to the door, trying to get as far away from the circle as she could. Out of options, she chose to pray. “Dear God, pleas—“

“God?” A deep, commanding voice snickered.  It sounded like it came from the glowing ketchup.

Great, Diana, on the brink of tears, thought, All I wanted was to make a bet, maybe get a scoop for my big break, and I'm hallucinating in the janitors’ closet.

“If you came to speak to God…” A figure emerged from the blinding light of the ketchup. “You’re in the wrong place.”

“I mean—I never really expected God to be working as a janitor anyway so…”

“No I mean—“ the figure backpedaled. The voice dropped from deep to normal and more flustered than commanding. He cleared his throat and raised his hands as flames burst from around him. “Because I am here!” 

A few of the flames licked Diana’s legs, but it didn’t hurt. They’re fake, she noted.

“Yeah, good point,” Diana remarked, “I don’t know anyone more godless than a terrible magician with a complex.”

The figure gawked and stepped out of the circle, clearly offended and clearly not human. Two, short curly horns stuck out from his head. They just barely peaked out from his curly red hair. Give it a few more days of growing and the hair would probably swallow them whole. Freckles dotted his body and he was dressed in casual clothing. “Magician? Terrible? I am neither one of those things. Do you know who I am?”

“The unholy love child of a satyr and a leprechaun? That would check off all the boxes.”

The unholy love child gawked, placing his hands on his hips. “Well, I never—comparing me to a lowly leprechaun? The audacity! And for you to summon me! I’d go back to hell if I could.”

“Hell? Summon? I didn’t summon anyone.”

“Oh honey…” He pointed to the mess of ketchup. “I get that you must be trying to save face after realizing that you’re dealing with an all powerful demon, but it’s a little much to be blaming on sleep walking, don’t you?”

“Demon? You? But you’re…”

“Too fearsome looking? I know.”

“... so short.” The supposed-demon was nearly four inches shorter than Diana’s 5’6”.

His jaw dropped. “I didn’t come here to be harassed by a mortal.”

“Then why did you come here?”

“I. Was. Summoned. By. You.” The demon exclaimed, frantically waving his hands around to exaggerate his point.

“For the last time, I didn’t summon anyone. I followed a Doberman into this room where the circle was already drawn, read his name tag, then you popped out of nowhere and scared him off. Thanks for that by the way,” she said sarcastically.

“You’re welcome. Besides, it doesn’t matter if someone else set all of this up, you spoke the words, so you summoned me. And I can’t leave until you form a contract with me and sign over your soul.”

“Hard pass. I’ll never sell my soul. It has too few miles on it for me to trade away. Leave anyway.”

“I literally can’t go until I have the soul of the person who summoned me.”

“Then go somewhere else that isn’t here!”

“What am I supposed to do? I can’t go back home, so I just supposed to grab this knob, leave, and wander the world?” As he spoke, the demon marched over to the door and before Diana could warn him it’s locked, he twisted and broke the knob.

Diana facepalmed and slid down the door. Now they were really trapped inside.

“Oops,” he said.

“We’re stuck together, aren’t we?” Diana asked.

“Yup.”

“All I wanted was to catch that dog and now… what’s your name anyway?”

The demon slouched beside her. “Well, I can’t give you my true name, but you can call me… Daemon.”

***

“That’s a good boy,” Cerberus’ owner said as they fed him some mystery meat from the shadows of the school’s main office. “Now that wanna-be reporter will be too distracted from that incompetent demon to do any more meddling.” They rubbed their fingers through the dog’s thick fur as each of his three heads chomped away. “And everything will continue to go according to plan.”

January 29, 2021 21:31

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5 comments

Rayhan Hidayat
08:57 Feb 02, 2021

Ooh, the suspense in that final paragraph. As usual, everything is silly and hilarious, down to the imagery and descriptions. Good stuff 😙

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Lily Kingston
19:23 Feb 04, 2021

thank you so much!!

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Bianka Nova
18:53 Feb 22, 2021

I've been looking at Diana's Life Tips for a while and I've finally gotten to read my first! Chuckle-worthy all the way! I'm setting it as a challenge for myself to come back each day and read another life tip. ;) A couple of things I liked and/or found really funny: - Spoiler alert: Mrs. Minks failed. Seven times. - "Life tip: never tilt it left. Just. Don’t." - shuffled Diana around like the bent card in a deck XD

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OOOOH! First things first, CONGRATS ON 80 STORIES!!! I mean, technically this was your 79th, but you have 80 total now. Which rocks! Lol. Anyways, YAYYYY A NEW STORY! You’re my absolute fav author on Reedsy so I was so excited to see you posted (-twice!). Like normal, wow, this was so cool and intriguing and creative. Diana’s character seems so quirky and realistic, and I feel like mystery meat is something a lot of schools could relate to, lol. I love the hint of Greek mythology (er...just mythology? Just magic?? I dunno. But demons and th...

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Lily Kingston
19:23 Feb 04, 2021

Thank you! I'm not really following any one mythology and kind of just making it up as I go, but using commonly known/associated names like Satan and Cerberus to make the stories easier to understand without full context/binge reading everything at once.

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