William was an animal lover. He lived in his mother's house for the last five years until now. His mother died a few years back and it was time to move out. He was sitting across from Randall, one of his friends. William was of 40, graduating from high school and college, staying single most of his life. He was a teacher. He was also an animal lover and very idealistic.
"So, plans?" Randall asks him.
"For now, I want to get settled in." He tells Randall.
William moved out of his mother's house a few months ago and came to a nice suburb in Alabama outside Montgomery. It wasn't a bad house. Two bedrooms, two floors, a nice kitchen, living room, a good family house. He had just finished unpacking with the help of Randall, and they were sitting on the porch with a few cold beers. PETA and vegetarianism weren't too big in Montgomery. William refused to eat at restaurants in town because they served meat. Randall was Animal Rights but not as liberal as William. He still respected his friend though, and they refrained from dining out. William's plans included planting a garden and tending it, unlike his fatty-ass neighbors, who...
"Look, you should talk to some of the neighbors. Get settled in. Don't set yourself up as an alien, here. They will feed on that." Randall explains.
"I don't really give a damn. If they've got a problem, they can take it to me. Otherwise..." The moment was cut short. Randall didn't even see William get up, and by the time Randall had taken a look, he was shoving a kid around on the other side of the street.
"Do you think that animal would appreciate you messing with its body?" William was interrogating.
"it's dead..." the kid tells him.
Randall makes it over to see William shove this kid, barely six, on the ground. The kid is crying because he's got a couple scrapes on his elbows. "What the hell, Bill?" Randall asks, in a rather exclamatory manner.
"This kid, messing with this cat!" William motions to a dead cat, its guts strewn out the side of a gaping hole in its body, the kid poking with a stick. It didn't take long for Dad to show up.
"What are you doing to my son!?!?" The dad exclaims.
"You keep your boy away from these animals, you hear?" Will tells him.
"You keep your hands off my damn son or I will call the police!"
"The Police need to put sick shitheads like you in prison!" Will tells this man.
Randall intervenes and interjects "Woah, Stop for a minute. Will, go back to the house." William backs off and heads to the porch.
"You this guy's friend?" The dad asks Randall.
"Yeah, I am." Randall answers.
At a whisper, just so his kid can't hear, right into Randall's ear: "Keep that mother... away from my son."
Randall marches back in anger to William. "What the hell was that, Bill?" Bill shrugs it off. Randall decides it's time to go.
It's a little while, about two weeks later, William calls Randall to come over, but not before telling him about the past few days.
"What do you mean?" Randall asks him.
"I mean these kids, they're torturing the animals. pouring gasoline into the anthills and dropping matches in there. Pulling legs off spiders. These kids are using slingshots on squirrels and poking around their guts! Let a small rabbit out and shoot it with their B.B. gun, they did. Then they light it on fire...It's still alive." WIlliam tells him.
"Damn, Will, what'd you do? Asks Randall.
"I had put it out of its misery. I've been taking animals in. This cat, I've been nursing it back to health. They cut off its legs with a pocket knife. This dog that they abuse, I took it in...These animals... these poor animals."
"Wait, you took one of their dogs? Will, they're going to be looking for it."
"AND WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO?" Will exclaims before hanging up.
Randall is worried about his friend. He drives over to the suburb, parks his car outside William's house. He heads inside and the living room smells of cat and dog shit. He smells urine everywhere. He sees cockroaches crawling around the floors. He smells rotting food in the fridge, dried food in dishes for the dogs... and before he gets a chance to check around, he hears William yelling outside.
"I'll teach you to hang that dog!" William yells.
Randall sees the dog, with it's leash, running around, barking at both William and...
oh shit... Randall thinks. William, strangling this kid, the same kid, six years old. The kid's legs are banging against William while his arms are gripped against William's arms.
"WILLIAM! Let the damn kid go!" Randall has to struggle with Will to let this kid go. When the kid drops, he takes off, his dog following. William grabs the dog by the leash and walks it back home. The dog is violent against Will and he doesn't mind.
"Randall, he was choking this dog with the leash."
"Bill, you can't do this. That kid is going to go home and he's going to tell his Dad..."
"So what? They can't abuse these animals." William tells Randall.
"Bill, Stop for a second." Randall tells him. William keeps walking back.
"Stop, Bill." And "Bill" doesn't.
"BILL, You're a frickin idiot if you think that you can strangle kids for abusing their animals. You have a house full of animal shit and you need to let the frickin animals go. Get out of the house, have it sprayed and cleaned. Get on with your life, Christ." Randall exclaims.
"Get out of here. I don't want you. You're just like the rest. They lit a cat on fire yesterday... These kids were laughing."
"Yeah, well I don't believe you! If it did happen, you gotta go to the cops man!" Randall tells him before hopping in his car. He pulls out and watches Will stare back at him as he drives off. William doesn't care. He doesn't think like Randall does.
Instead, William sits and takes animals back home. He stays inside. He doesn't go to work, he doesn't do anything.
Randall, after three weeks, calls back with no answer. he drives back to Will's house. They cut the power to the home four or five days ago. He walks up the stairs to the porch with a flashlight. Already, on the porch, he smells...indescribably awful smells. Shit, Urine, Puke, Cockroaches, he can smell them. He steps on dead cockroach husks, from when the flip over and can't get back up. Termites infest the stairs, and the wood is wet. The termites crawl up Randall's pant leg and start biting him.
"Dammit!" He exclaims, and starts shaking off these termites, crawling up and tickling his legs before biting. He busts in through the screen door and will never remove the sight from his mind. The furniture is eaten and torn up. The floor wet with urine. Urine soaked it. Shit stains the carpet. Cats, rabbits, rats, all living in squalor. Birds nested, cats meowing, crawling across the floor, jumping onto the fresh smelling Randall and clawing into his legs. He has to shake two cats off his leg and throw them at the wall. They screech when they hit the wall. He curses, the blood dripping down his pants and into his socks. He inches around the corridor, trying to avoid the shit and piss on the floor so he can make it into the kitchen. He inches down the corridor, looks at the other wall to see ants and other insects crawling across picture frames. He jumps into the middle of the floor onto two cockroaches with a crunch, and realizes insects in his side have crawled down his shirt. He shakes them out while some slither around in his sleeves. They eventually fall out before he makes his way into the kitchen. Animals, cats and dogs inside the open fridge, rotting food inside smelling... He looks at the sink. Dirty dishes with cockroaches and ants eating dried food still on the plates.
He looks below him to see ants trailing a small red liquid, carrying it to cracks in the wall.
That isn't... he wonders before slipping on a puddle of syrup. He reaches his hands, sticky with the syrup, trying to get his bearings. He looks at the syrupy liquid in between his hands, and realizes that it's blood. He crawls back in horror, sliding across cockroaches, ants, flies eating shit, and other insects hitting the pantry sliding doors, which break from damage. The planks from the doors fall onto his lap and hundreds of termites crawl out onto his lap, crawling in through his pants and shirt and biting. He screams at the pain and curses, before getting back up and tripping on an object that fell out of the pantry. He pukes in revulsion and the insects start eating at the vomit he coughs up. The smell of warm food attracts the pet dog, still attached to a leash, crawling over the vomit and lapping it up. The dog drops a long object. Blood drips down from the object and Randall makes out what it is.
A severed arm hits the ground, chewed on, bones broken inside, flesh being eaten away by maggots. The object he tripped on, a leg, eaten away by ants, mice and rats. He looks to his left, two cats eating a long piece of spaghetti... He gets up, shaking the termites off and tries to get upstairs. He ignores the cats, and the white, thin, veiny tube the cats are eating, the pieces of corn, carrots, and other vegetables rotted away next to the veiny tube stretched upstairs. He crawls up the floor, taking one look back at the living room before heading up the yellow and red stained carpeted stairs.
shit is dried onto the carpet. Birds flap around upstairs, pigeons mostly. The doors are all open. He doesn't realize the dog on a leash is following him up the stairs. He walks up to see the long veiny tube ending at the top of the stairs. A pool of blood at the end of the hallway and a Pit Bull to the left in the bathroom, sipping out the toilet. The pit bull growls at the sight of him, but does not engage. He follows the trail of blood to the bedroom, and it leads into the bed, covered over with a sheet. Three small objects...stripped down fingers drop from the bed, ants eating away at them. Thousands of insects on the floor and crawling on the bed and sheet. Bloodstains thick through the sheet, he lifts it slowly off, before flipping it hard over after being bitten by a spider. He falls to the ground at the sight of his friend. William's Teeth, rotted out of his skull. Skin thin, stomach wide open, cockroaches, ants, flies, all buzzing around, slowly eating away his insides, eating away the fat. both arms and one leg missing, the other leg stripped, ants taking the flesh that remains. One eye remained, the eyelids eaten at and one eye eaten. He steps back when a wasp stings him on the neck. He falls backward, the pit bull carrying an arm and coming towards him. It drops the arm, Stripped to the bone, on his lap, and he hears a faint beating noise from the bed. He gets up and runs, the dog licking at the bone. The leashed dog, runs towards him, tripping him up with the loose leash and causing him to fall down the stairs, hitting and crashing through the banister, falling right into the intestine the cats are chewing on.
Randall can't get up. His legs will not move. The bones feel out of place. His arms feel out of place, he feels weak. The pit bull, leashed German Shepherd, and cats start moving towards him. The three-legged cat moves toward his face and starts licking.