Tony came home. He got out of the car and opened the large wooden gate that he found for free online that someone was throwing away. It hung badly but that was because Tony didn’t know how to do anything. Tony was pretty shit.
He could hear the dogs barking but his wife hadn’t come out of the trailer. That always bothered him. He turned off the car, swallowed hard and got out. The dogs were still barking like maniacs. He shut the old gate and walked to the door of the trailer, sighing deeply.
He opened the door and ran up the three steps inside. Fred, the older of the two little dogs, jumped up on him, still barking. He saw his wife come out of the shitter. “Thank God,” he said.
“Thank God?” Susan said. “What’s all this ‘thank god’ shit every time you come home?”
“It’s just good to know that you are okay,” he said, kissing her on the cheek.
“Of course I’m okay. What the fuck do you think will happen to me?” she said, mockingly.
“I don’t know.” He fumbled his words. “You never know what could happen out here.”
“Out here? We are in the middle of the fucking desert! You were afraid in the city so we moved out here. What the fuck do you think could go wrong?”
“I don’t know.” He looked down at his feet. “I just like it when you come out to see me when I pull up is all.”
“I know you do, baby, but I had to shit,” she said. “I can’t stop shitting just because I hear you pulling up.”
“I know that. It’s just that I get afraid when you don’t.”
“What do you think’ll happen?”
“Well, nothing would happen, but when you don’t come out and I hear the dogs barking like that, I just assume I’m gonna open the door and find you murdered.”
“Murdered?” she gasped. “What the hell for?”
“For anything really.”
“It could happen. You never know.”
“So, let me get this straight. You come home and I’m not out there, so your first instinct is that I’ve been murdered?”
“That’s stupid. We have the dogs.”
“These dogs are shit,” he pointed to them. They were laying on the floor licking their assholes. “These dogs wouldn’t scare away a mouse.”
“Bullshit. They are loud and terrifying.”
“Until someone puts their hand out or rubs their chest, then they are anyones best friend.” He leaned down and rubbed Mina, the little ones, chest. She loved it. “These dogs are shit.”
“So what exactly do you think you will see when you open the door?”
“Red. Red splattered walls. Blood pooled on the floor. The dogs soaked in it. Licking it up. Your body in pieces… stuff like that.”
“Jesus Christ!” she gasped.
“It’s just like any other phobia.”
“Yes. You know how there are people afraid of heights and people afraid of spiders?”
“I’m afraid I’m going to come in here one day and you’ll be butchered beyond all recognition while our stupid fucking dogs are still licking the cheese powder off your fingers from the Cheetos you had for lunch.”
“That’s all I’m saying. It scares me. That’s all.”
She said in a soft voice, “I’ll try to make sure that I come out to see you when you pull up then.”
“Thank you,” Tony said, “I’d appreciate that.” He turned on the little TV they had and was just in time to watch Dancing with the Stars. He sat down and danced slightly to the theme song.
This story is so real, Matt Wall. In my country these days it is probably the phobia of 75% of the population.
OH NO! I hope it isn’t a phobia of yours!