Jimmy thought that his son and the dog were playing. From the confusion of coming late to the
scene, it looked like his three-year-old son was retrieving a lost toy from the dog's stomach.
His son, the dog's teeth clamped down just below his elbow, did not make a single sound. 
The dog was making a sound like maybe he was growling and maybe he was about to vomit. 
Jimmy did not make a single sound.

Jimmy crouched over the dog, his son's arm finally removed from its locked jaws, and pounded
the animal into a ragged, violent spasm of unconsciousness.  Jimmy's hands were covered in
blood that was his, his son's, and the dog's, flecks of it all the way up to his shoulders.  He and
the dog and his son whimpered.  When it was over, Jimmy reached for his son but could not
find him; his eyes could not focus on what was clearly in front of him. He held out his hands,
still curled into tight fists, and reached for the only thing he had ever made and loved enough to keep.

Kevin Wilson is the author of the story collection Tunneling to the Center of the Earth (Ecco/Harper Perennial, 2009). 
His fiction has appeared in Tin House, One Story, Ploughshares, and elsewhere.

I had a month earlier this year where I wrote six or seven stories that all involved people getting bitten by animals or people shoving their hands into an animal's mouth.  I don't want to know what that says about me.  I'm just grateful for this story.




Copyright 2009