Mutually Adored Destruction

by capelesst

Peanut butter and decomposition scented the air.

Zilla made for the peanut butter. Joe didn’t stop him. It was probably still good. And it would keep him from the bodies. Zilla seemed happy enough to nose through the broken glass for the crunchiest coagulates.

The Deceased’s were lying facing each other, from the looks of their feet. Having fallen in a doorway, their uppermost torsos were out of view, and Joe hesitated. It had been a bad Monday, Tuesday was shaping up to be busy, and he didn’t need to deal with dead people. He had half a mind to fix the oven light like he’d been asked to, then just hit the next job and play dumb janitor when the questions began to rain. The other half of his mind said Zilla’d probably left half a pint of DNA in the peanut butter by now, and he recalled some half-formed notions of science and forensics, the concept of “time of death” being figure-out-able to a pretty good degree. He closed the front door behind him.

“I hope you cut your tongue wide open. Fool dog.”

The oven light was no problem, just a little de-greasing needed, and after checking it repeatedly he took the necessary pictures and filled out the compliance forms. He could hear Zilla slurping and smacking in the background, all breath and tongue.

Zilla wasn’t his dog. He wasn’t anybody’s dog, as far as Joe could make out. Sometimes he’d be around the depot when Joe picked up his van, other times he’d be there in spirit only, a foot-long turd coiled neatly in the corner of the garage, or by the front gates so that there was the maximum possibility of that turd getting tracked across the pavement and then the city itself, to parts unknown, by turd-smushing pedestrians or the janitorial vans.

Zilla wasn’t big on ridealongs, but if it was a Go day, there wasn’t a staffer yet who’d been able to deny him shotgun privileges. For some it was straight up fear. Zilla was close to 180, and very few wanted to try to oppose a dog their size. For some of the others, they’d make it difficult for Zilla, but more out of awe at his agility than anything else. Zilla had made it across the length of the depot and into a moving van through a rapidly upward-rolling window before now, and some drivers just liked to make him work for it.

Joe didn’t give a shit one way or the other. Dog was a moocher, as far as he was concerned. And he sure as shit wasn’t no good luck charm.

Apparently, he also ate quicker than Joe had anticipated.