After the disaster at Balaton Sea, my owner was furious and that wasn’t good for me either. However, I was happy as some turtle that has finally reached its destination, since I was absolutely sure we were heading home. There wasn’t anything else to do. The trailer finished in the sea, I mean lake. Whatever where, it wasn’t drivable anymore. It should be a new home for shells, clams and fish. Instead, we finished in some huge city, but I recognize the river – not so blue anymore. I didn’t mind jumping and refreshing a little bit, scaring several ducks. My master called me, annoyed by my behavior:
“Don’t go astray you stupid dog. We are in the EU zone where dogs can’t venture off to their pleasing. I will pay a huge fine”, he finished kicking me in the butt. I was wondering why we are here and not several hundred kilometers downstream where we are expected and loved and our beautiful river isn’t bluer than here. It is more distant from blue, if possible. That composer wouldn’t touch piano if he could be alive to see what has happened to his Blue Danube and would take a very different vocation, hairdresser or sheep handler.
Usually 2 and 2 are 5, 6, or 8 in my calculations, but this time I figured the right number as I was certain we aren’t heading for home for number of reasons: the caravan is lost, we would get a lot of ‘I told you so’, he was out of money, I don’t own such trivialities and no girl for him to show off, I was glad I am beyond such things, thanking Cerberus.
Staying in the boarding house, at the city limits, fine by me – countryside soothes me better, the only one he could pay, my master forged great plans to prove everybody wrong and finally succeed in money, glory, babes, cars and similar which young studs praise more than anything. Of course, things in life don’t go smoothly and he couldn’t achieve anything but kicking me in the butt, like it was my fault. I bet he keeps me just for that “pleasure”. I have to put up with it, since I programmed, it is written in my DNA, to follow my human counterpart, to the gates of hell, if necessary.
That particular day, dubious elderly female with a nest as hair, makeup of some drag queen and smelling awfully (I don’t appreciate those modern perfumes), entered his room, I sleep outside, like a conquistador luring him to a fantastic adventure in the mountains of Transylvania, promising Eldorado. Every fiber in my coat told me this is a bad idea and I couldn’t accept that a province of such unbelievable name exists, except in bad horror movies, and actually very near, just across the border.
“Everything is arranged my dear boy”, she and her nest smiled at him, whilst I was watching through the window holding my bark, not to get a bucket of water on my head, “you will be paid. I had to finish some business here and I need someone to look after my lodge I mean hotel, whilst I am stuck here in Budapest. Those new EU regulations are exhausting, everything had to be perfect. Sometimes I wish we are still in communism, things were better for the likes of me back then”, I heard her on the steps as it seemed, this was for my ears only.
Long ride into dark mountains with unprecedented forests and no game within was coming to an end as the road turned into a path with tree branches unwelcoming us. My supernose (which my “walking manager” praised) couldn’t pick up any animal pheromone in the air.
“It is lovely here. I can finally breathe with my full lungs”, he was ecstatic, nearly screaming , “I think we would stay here forever”. Ominous words when one thinks of it after everything. The hotel was a shed in comparability to any I saw thus far. Branches of many trees, too close to the walls, entered many windows, spreading inside. Original paint of facade was lost eons ago and huge wooden doors yelped anytime one opened them and to any wind puff.
There was a single servant, very mute and not tending at all and I couldn’t figure out to bark or to stay clear of her. Other guests, some silly Americans, first time in Europe, first time anywhere, I was mean, smiling to myself, and an even sillier Japanese group with more cameras than hands. They tried to catch me in it too, but I was vigilant, faster and smarter than any of it. There isn’t invented any Kodak that could film me. I am opposed to any such activities, chasing birds and cats, playing or dog wrestling with other canines, running up and down many trails in any forest or swimming and bathing in the river, lake, stream, puddle or mud as some wild pig or elephant, those are my kind of activities.
To get away I used some dark corridor inside this vast complex. I raced pass a very old knight standing in his full armor and many heads of many animals on the walls and the head of Turkish nobleman on the spike and took the wrong turn as I couldn’t make it back. I was certain of my excellent navigating skills, but they were unfounded apparently. Very tired from going along shady passages, avoiding scary wild beings hanging on the walls, I finally settled in one corner. Something came out from the darkness, something very bad and unnatural, my nose didn’t like it. A person, although one can hardly relate such physiognomy to any natural being, one ear huge as feast, bald with hairy cheeks, arms in disproportion with the rest of the body and one foot turned the other way around. I wanted to bark at it, but I was afraid, very afraid. I think I have never been frightened like this.
I remembered one time during our strolls back home, where the Danube swirls around my local fortress, I ventured upfront from him and stumbled on a man in a strange position. He was standing up, but his feet were too far apart for him to be standing at all. There was some awkward thing holding his legs so I barked at him going backwards, wanting to find with my sight my “walking manager”, but I was too scared to turn the head. I was barking and going two steps back with one, shaken, upfront. He finally came down smiling:
“You silly dog, you are an art critic now?” – I wasn’t sure what was going on until he petted me on the head. “This is an unsuccessful statue not a real live person. Look at his legs. You really don’t like bad art?”
Another time I chased some deer deep into the woods and it took me a while to get back. I was in panic, certain I would not find him. Going to tennis practice or football skiing and not waiting for silly dog, but I was wrong, as he was sitting on some trunk, reading “Brothers Karamazov”, really thick book, by Fyodor Nikolayevich Lenin or some other crazy Russian (except him, waiting for me, only one “reading” such novels are us dogs, when people put them at our dog-box, there isn’t a room elsewhere, new huge TV takes the entire wall):
“I should put a camera on your neck to see where those wild chases take you!”
This was very different as there was real, concrete evil at play. As intro, a swarm of bats flew over and around me biting my tail and my body with no chance to hide and defend myself. I couldn’t see properly as my eyes were full of blood. Then the real horror began, as some cupboard opened upwards and a strange looking and dressed male came out of it.
“Come Danny, be afraid, but come”.
He put his leg in front of my jaws, I bit him savagely. Huge sigh off his lips satisfied me. Now it was time for some girl, an apprentice of his, to bite my neck from above. I felt wild pain outside the body, but some warmth inside, together with strength I have never known I possess. He needn’t not to give me any command as I returned to the main hall followed by the bats. The guests were having a party after dinner.
“Where are you Danny”, he wanted to pet me, but I wandered off to one dark corner, not interested in any social bonding. I watched carefully silly humans enjoying themselves without any care in the world and him looking dashy, dancing with one girl after another.
When the Moon came out behind the clouds, I was only one awake, going in and out of the rooms, watching sleepy human beauties with my bloody eyes. As the first rays of Sun emerged in the chamber where he slept, I retreated into the fireplace, the darkest part. He called me later, but I stayed in, waiting for the full Moon.
“Come on you silly dog, the forest is calling you. There are so many wild things you can chase and maybe catch something, finally”, he was smiling with two girls under his arms, one Japanese and one American. He scored at last, but I didn’t mind anymore. I hit the stones with my tail several times.
“Soothe yourself”, with girls laughing they left, but my time was coming. I needn’t not to venture outside to find and catch any prey, I was contemplating, smiling maliciously, showing all my canine teeth and two new ones. When my time finally came, there were screams inside this old castle, where time isn’t a category, but they have fallen on deaf ears as forest and trees couldn’t care less for troubles of humans stranded here, at the end of the world.
He yelled more than anybody, pushing his girls, up to yesterday, in front, ladies first, but not as gentleman, only as scared little boy, crying for his mother, or any mother, to come and rescue him, any part of him as I wouldn’t have any of it biting and biting his left leg, my Nemesis for so long. Only one not screaming was a servant woman, still mute, with her eyes looking amazed towards my hunting skills. I had to chase one Japanese girl up and down, round and round, up and round, round and down, together breaking many Olympic records, without any help for her. The fluid inside me wasn’t my blood anymore, it was of some very old being, older of any human or canine recollection. I could run for days and months, under full Moon and not to get tired, ill or exhausted.
Tomorrow morning I felt peculiar as I was walking down the corridors with trophies of animals not high anymore, but in the height of my eyes. I commented something and instead of bark, there were words coming out. I was puzzled, entering the kitchen, where a hot beverage awaited me. She was there, sitting, not mute anymore, smiling at me as I took a chair next to her, holding her hand. Apparently, one doesn’t need to live for one hundred years as Burmanese tales say of crocodiles, to become a human-shaped. Over here, one night is all that is needed. Walking away, to the restroom, I couldn’t do it in the corners anymore, I only regret I couldn’t see myself in any mirror. However, another group of silly travelers were coming, maybe you are one of them, wanting to break off from crowded cities and enjoy country life with a surprise or two.