Dog by Samuel Pollak

Short story | Dog by Samuel Pollak

I am having a nightmare about a dog. At least I think he is a dog, though I am not quite sure. He is a big dog. Maybe too big to be a dog, maybe a wolf, maybe two. But he is bigger than me, and I know that because he is on top of me now. He is big and kind of gangly and he is licking me up. He smells bad, too. But not like dogs usually smell. He smells putrid, like if you left your carcass out in the sun for too long. The dog’s paws are grabbing my arms. This dog has paws like the hands of a man. Now that I am thinking about it maybe he is a man. Yes he is a man. But he is also a dog.

Before the dog came I was in class. And the teacher was this woman with big bosoms and a blue vein running all about her, and I think in real life she is my father. My father was the teacher and she had up on the board a list of names like My Own and Whatnot. And she made me pick one so I picked my own, which anyone would do in this situation.

And out of nowhere the dog appeared and he was on a leash that Father was holding, which she then unclipped and the dog came bounding towards me and knocked me over and Father was yelling “sic ‘em!” and then the whole class was yelling it too.

So now here I am with this dog all over me, and my face is covered in his slobber which has gotten into my mouth and it kind of tastes like molasses. And the smell now is so bad I think I am nauseous from it, but I can’t really tell because it’s a dream and in dreams sensations live outside of you. And I am lying here, his paw hands really digging into me. And I know it’s a dream because you know how you pinch yourself to wake up when you’re dreaming? Well he is doing that to me and the more he does it the farther I am from waking up.

So his paws that are hands are getting a hold of my flesh and I am waiting for him to get tired or satiated or something. But his tongue is just getting wetter and wetter and it leaves my skin all tingly and crawling. At this point I realize I could die or be digested and so I try to scream out but the dog’s tongue is covering my lips so nothing comes out and I swear to god I hear him say “shhh”. And his tongue is finding all of me and his paw hands now are in really deep and I realize he is digging. He is digging away at my insides and I can barely feel anything because like I said it is a dream and in dreams your body is not yours.

I think I pass out after that. A sort of passing out because in dreams you cannot really pass out. It is more of an interlude, like in music, a transition full of larvae and car horns.

And when I wake up my vision is blurry and I hear people talking but I do not know what they are saying because I have no tongue. They are laughing too. And I cannot move my body, in fact I cannot tell if it is there.

But when I look down with my eyes it is not. Just a big pile of sand and offal cooked in molasses where my stomach should be. And I wonder if I even have a face, or eyes, or if all I am is what I see.

And then I hear applause and some kind of liquid and I realize the dream is over. And Father and everyone else leave to go wake up and I am left here, with the larvae, hoping that the dog comes back.