Monday, December 20, 2010

Opening Line By a Friend #5: James Maxwell Ebert

I knew the situation was going to be hairy as soon as I walked into the puppy mill. The front entrance to the facilities had been left unlocked, which was an unusual oversight of detail on Allison’s part. It also troubled me that there were no puppies.

“Allison,” I said, calling my assistant’s attention up from the sketch pad she insisted on bringing to work with her each day.

“Ms. Pembrooke,” she said, putting her papers on the counter. “Lovely afternoon, isn’t it?”

“Allison, where are my puppies,” I asked.

“Well, not here, obviously.” She gestured to the empty cages.

I closed the door behind me.

“Allison, please tell me they didn’t all run out on you.”

“Of course not,” she said. She looked down at her sketch pad, pencil turned backwards as if she were ready to erase something. “They teleported out.”


“It started about a minute after I got here. They all just kind of started to pop away one by one. It was interesting to watch. Pretty sure one of them winked at me too. I didn’t see the point in locking the door after all that so I’ve just been sitting here waiting for you to show up.”

“…I don’t understand.”

“I drew a picture of it if you’re interested. I’d been figuring something like this might happen ever since you hired that wizard; went around making everything all magic-like.”

“Allison, I think you’re lying to me.”

“Check the surveillance tapes if you don’t believe me.”

I did. She wasn’t lying. Each puppy disappeared in succession rather quickly. They all looked pretty smug about it too. The whole thing lasted about ten minutes at most.

“Why?” I asked. “Why would this even happen?”

“Well, my guess is that they didn’t like it here very much,” said Allison. “You gotta admit, it’s not a very comfortable place to live if you’re a puppy.”

Also there was a doctor. He advised me not to hire that damn wizard, but at the time I was like “No, it’ll make things so much easier, I swear.”