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Kelb Shaitan, December 22nd, 2002 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: December 22nd, 2002
"Kelb Shaitan" [permalink]
    keywords: fiction, murder, mystery, dog, noire
    soapbox #: 353
    written: December 30th, 2002
    words: 697

"Kelb Shaitan", an Essay

"That's the end of this cigarette," the weathered-faced director of the printshop declared with a whinge.

The director petted his dog, adopted unofficially as the company mascot, and looked at the stack of bills sitting on his desk. "Damn you, kelbi," his mouth uttered with a pathetic resignation of broken Arabic from his older days as an Arabic linguist in the military.

"Why, as my supply manager, must you purchase the most random and useless materials from the supply distributors?" There was no response. It was as if the dog looked at his master and refused to speak, fully knowing that any answer would incur the full wrath of the high-strung ex-marketing graduate and high school chess star.

Perhaps the dog knew too much, the director began to wonder. Perhaps the dog was...even...mocking him, mocking him in its disgusting, thankless silence.

He peered at the dog while appearing to review the monstrous charges set in overly expensive Phoenician blue ink on factory-grade carbon paper. Its eyes shifted about, its tongue dangled lazily out of its mouth (a careless measure of disrespect), its leg flicked at its back at an itch of guilt that it no doubt felt for being so cruel to a human who had treated it so well.

The director had had enough. He looked at his desk and tipped the portrait of him and his beautiful family of three children and a doting wife down so that they could not witness the dirty deed he had in mind to commit just then. The director sought to deceive the evil dog, that kelb shaitan, by appearing to leave but not really going anywhere.

He put on his cream-colored trenchcoat and doffed his brimmed hat, a couture that would serve a 1950's detective more than this modern-day pooch-killer. Inside his desk drawer sat a revolver, fully loaded in the event that an irascible employee might storm in and strangle him over the desk before dumping him out the window. Such a nightmare had played through his mind too many times like being forced to listen to the 80's station at work and hearing Billy Ocean's greatest hits all day because your co-worker refused to forget the days of her more promising and less depressing youth.

With a deft slip of hand, the revolver disappeared into his pocket and the director exited the office, not even stopping to pat the dog on the head. Afterwards, he considered that this may have been a poor move; he was convinced the dog may have been tipped off by such a blatant act of avoidance. Outside the door to his office, the director wiped a brow of sweat away onto his handkerchief and steadied his nerve for what would happen next. Inside, he was sure, the dog was dialing the police and desperately seeking a quick exit. The director had to move.

He stormed inside, crashing through the door brazenly, and in a lightning- fast moment, his reflexes drew him to the shadow of the dog behind his desk. He slid over the top of the desk, demonstrating a move performed countlessly by many of his favorite action heroes. He landed on the other side of the desk, withdrawing the revolver from his pocket, aiming it towards the dog's head. "You shall die for your treachery!" the director howled.

But unfortunately, Fate was not on Mr. Director's side this evening and while his left foot struck the floor cleanly, his right foot tripped over the kelb shaitan and his momentum hurtled him forward and through the large glass window he had conceitedly placed behind the desk. The glass shattered, along with the determination of the man's murderous heart, and he tumbled to his death in the bustling street below.

Minutes later, the dog's slightly raised breathing went back to normal and it resumed digging through the trash as it was doing not so long before.

The next day, it would have a new master.


 
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