Short Story – ‘On Finding His Feet’ – The Final Part!

On Finding His Feet

Part I


“Oh no, not me; this is absolutely the pits, a no go, a bad idea if ever there was one,” he looked long and hard into the metallic glassy sheen at the image of ragged cuteness that frowned back at him.  “I didn’t ask for this, or at least I don’t think I did!”

 It didn’t occur to him and he certainly couldn’t remember, the exact point at which he knew for certain who, or to be more precise and pertinent to the current predicament, what he was.  One minute life was life, blood coursed through his veins, senses told him when to run and when to hide, and when to eat and when to sleep; none of these things required him to think or to reason.  This was a big shock!

 “I really am one big, ugly, bugger!” he exclaimed whilst at the same time baring his sharp yellowing teeth at the double ganger in the mirror, who of course did likewise.

 Slowly, cautiously, he paced backwards and forwards, being extremely careful not to loose eye contact with the other identical creature, who mimicked his every move, every twitch.  He realised that, although he’d already faced this same scenario once before and not that long ago, something was very different, something was very wrong. 

 The cogs moved more speedily now and as each freshly oiled mental mechanism slid into place, he thought.  Before (and he could remember vague recollections, or things that were more feelings and smells than moving understandable images), he’d only seen another creature, something of shape and menace, a potential opponent or threat. But that creature had been something with no smell, which pricked his senses and raised the hair on his shaggy neck.  Now he knew that the creature he saw now, with its black fur flecked with browns and white, dirty and damp was just a reflection, an image of himself in all his less than glorious form.

 “Oh Buster,” he exclaimed, hesitating mid-thought, slightly puzzled by remembering a name, his name.

 The name felt familiar, like a worn picnic blanket, comfortable like a rubber bone.  But at the back of his mind primal fear peaked out through the new ideas and told him to hold steady, be ready to run, to flee for all he was worth.

 He tried to think, to reason and find his way unsteadily around this new beginning, this new way of seeing the world.  Thoughts were still toppling and crashing into each other, like dodgems at a fair ground but not with the same inpatient shattering speed.  As he gradually become more familiar with this new thing, he felt less like a school boy given the keys to a super fast Ferrari and fighting the thing as it blasted from one side of the road to the next, gears crunching in an expensive fashion.

 Now he found he could force some order, some control but it was still hard.  He remembered awaking curled tightly on the oily rags at the corner of this very room.  He remembered opening his eyes and feeling so very different.  He remembered the first flush of ‘thinking’ as all his senses changed at once, BANG!  He remembered the pain, like being hit in the eyes with a blinding search-light.

 The building was cold and damp, dark and old fire tinged walls dripped with something organic.  This room felt heavy with age and the little light that filtered haltingly through the oil smeared windows only added to the dusty dankness.

 But besides the mirror, which sat pristine and apart some how from the rest of the room, nothing remained of the furnishings or machinery or what ever had filled this space before.  There were small piles of rubble, but these were fed by the crumbling walls and the decaying plaster that even now still hung precariously from the creaking joists.

 Looking around he couldn’t see where he’d entered, a small space that had taken some squeezing through, but the walls and corners were kept hidden by the ever present shadows, setting many parts in an oily blackness.  He could almost imagine something skulking sulkily within these and he knew that before he fell asleep he would have known, he would have sensed any danger, but now, well things were very different.

 Not everything was new, there were some familiar sensations that gave him something to cling to, not least the thirst that made his throat ache with dryness; for such a damp ridden room there was no sign of refreshment.  Not now.  He recalled something, a feeling of contentment, so recent, so present but hanging like a slither of fading cloth.  The sensation of savouring something clear and clean that eased his aching bones and made sleep come so fast, too fast perhaps, he now mused to himself.

 Taking a step back, a rear paw glanced something solid and cold, which skittered a few feet at his touch.  For a moment he was startled but didn’t need to turn away from the mirror or the mirror image; the bottle was dark and had blended almost with the soiled floor. 

 A memory came back instantly, the desperate urge to drink, the accidental spilling of the liquid from this very same bottle that now hid in the shadows, and the devouring of it as it trickled from the broken neck still partially blocked with cork.  Even this act of need hadn’t been like him, or rather like his previous self, the wild one, the creature of instinctive cautiousness but when your life hangs by a thread a creature will grasp for the smallest of miracles, the instinct to drink outweighing the instinct to be cautious.

 “Well my my, what have we here then?” a voice heavy with treacle and measured in a grandfatherly way, echoed around the empty space startling Buster, who sank back on his haunches. His nose twitched feverishly, trying his best to pick out a smell amongst the bitterness of decay.  For a moment images of men peppered his thoughts, angry faces, vicious hands meeting out hot pain; he shivered and strained his eyes into the darkness.

 Part II

“Now don’t be afraid, er…  Buster isn’t it?” the voice swept gently around him like a summer’s mist and soothed.  It was like the voice of ‘man’ but somehow different, but he kept himself ready; he knew he’d been fooled before, lulled and then beaten harshly.  And another thought puzzled him, how did the owner of the voice know his name?

 “You don’t need to be afraid of me old chap, I’m really not going to hurt you,” the voice continued, Buster felt himself relax a little.  “Yes that’s better old boy I’m really not like those bad bad men.”

 ‘Damn’, thought Buster as a thud of realisation hit him; a barrel full of butterflies took flight in his stomach. ‘He can read my mind!’

 “I sure can and I’m very sorry,” the voice rumbled with a tinge of sadness at its edges. As it tapered away, only a few feet from where Buster still huddled, a shape formed from the dust motes that battled within the thin rays of light.

 Buster felt calmed, which went against all his now fading instincts and the logic that now settled in their place.  Various colours shimmered before his eyes, glorious metallic reds; orange strips of such vivid brightness swirled and mixed with patches of velvet blue.  The costume appeared to be unoccupied at first, as it formed; it was a type of gown that swept almost to the floor, with luxurious sleeves edged with gold trim and a smattering of various silver and gold stars and the odd planet shape for good measure.

 But then the familiar shape of human hands materialised along with a head covered in thick but long white hair and a face which matched.  The long white beard tapered down, meandering like an icy frozen waterfall, to almost touch the equally star studded long toed shoes.  Lastly two electric blue eyes twinkled into existence augmented by the most dazzling of pearly white smiles.

 “Hello Buster, my name is Edgar, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance,” said Edgar politely as he bowed down, almost bending in two, his beard sweeping the dark dusty floor.  For a moment he struggled to right himself, some of his beard had become entangled in the splinters of the warped boards.  It took a big effort for Buster not to splutter into an embarrassed laugh, a small whine was all that escaped.

 “It’s ok, I’ll be alright,” the deep but subdued voiced rumbled from within the mass of hair.  Suddenly the wood released its hold and Edgar’s head shot up with a ‘whoosh’ and a sprinkle of sparks, which lit up the room for a moment.  “Right, yes now, told you, that’s better, I really, really, must be a little more careful!”

 Buster tried to speak but again all that came out was another variation of the whine.  He was puzzled for a moment until the realisation seeped within his mind, but as he thought the obvious Edgar jumped in first, “Yes, you can’t talk of course, you’re a dog!”

 The butterflies were shaken into action again, the logical part of Buster’s new freshly minted brain tried to rationalise but it didn’t make any sense.  ‘Yes, I’m a dog!’ he thought, but I’m thinking like a… like a bloody man!’

 “Please Buster, it really is my entire fault,” Edgar swung his arms as he talked, sending more sparks skimming around the room.  “Just think and I will understand… blast this stupid costume, I should never have gone to that blasted party… now… where was I…?”

 “Something about being your fault,” Buster suggested with just a hint of sarcasm.  “I really don’t understand and please, stop it with the sparks your singeing my fur!”

 “I’m sorry… er… sorry I do keep saying sorry don’t I, well I am…,” Edgar lost some of his composure, or a little more, some of it had already escaped along with a few strands of beard.

 “And you are… let me see… Gandalf’s slightly nutty older brother, or perhaps an escapee from Harry Potter and the Goons?”  Buster felt a sliver of confidence working its way up his body, kept company by a few flecks of anger.

 “Well obviously I do look a little silly…,” Edgar tried to explain but found the words difficult to find.  A deep frown creased his brow.  “I am really very sorry…”

 ‘Yes I gathered that,’ thought Buster with more than a hint of exasperation.  ‘But why what did you do for goodness sake?’

 “I’m afraid there has been a slight accident,” Edgar’s voice developed a coyness not becoming somebody with the heavy weighted voice of a thespian. “And we will need to find a… er… a solution!”  Edgar flashed an achingly apologetic smile in Buster’s direction.  Buster didn’t like the look of this.

Part III


Edgar shuffled his way carefully towards Buster, who in turn took a few cautious steps back.  The old man was really finding it difficult to move, probably because the flowing garment impeded his movements remarkably well.  With a rather theatrical swirling of the arms, he slowly lowered himself to the floor and in a precarious way tried to cross his legs; this nearly caused him to topple over but somehow he managed a fairly comfortable seating position.

 “This floor really is quite filthy,” Edgar muttered as he settled himself down.  “It’s quite amazing when you think about it.”

 Buster kept his body primed for either a quick escape or, if need be, a fight.  You never could tell with ‘man’, they could come at you all full of sweetness and sugar one moment and unleash Hell the next: usually.  But this felt different.

 “Right Buster a little bit of exposition I think,” Edgar continued.  “You deserve a little bit of background at least… please sit you’re making me a little uneasy!”

 For some reason Buster felt compelled to do exactly as Edgar said, something was very familiar about the command.  He too lowered his rear carefully and sat but still keeping a certain tense readiness.

 “This used to be my, well how do I put this, my factory?” he hesitated.  “Me and my employees were suppliers, if you like, of the best ingredients this side of the Great Divide.”  For a moment he seemed to drift off into a mild reverie, a half-smile fluttered within his white hair and his eyes glazed.

 Buster let out a small whimper.

 “What… oh yes sorry, I was thinking of such happy days!” Edgar spluttered.  “Please excuse me.”

 ‘Of course,’ thought Buster.

 “But as with most things happiness does not last long in our world,” the smile was lost as Edgar’s head sunk slowly into the beard.  “Events conspired and I lost my dream my dear Buster.  And unfortunately you have stumbled upon something that was not meant for you!”

 ‘Really,’ answered Buster.  ‘Does it have something to do with how I am now by any chance?’  He tried not to sound sarcastic but the bumbling act was wearing very thin.

 “Yes,” mumbled Edgar.  “You drank what was probably a very strong combination of potent elixirs which when combined can do a lot of damage, depending on who or what you are of course.”

 ‘The bottle…,’ thought Buster with a tinge of panic at the back of his mind; those butterflies were on the move again.  ‘You left the bottle!’

 “Well not quite…,” Edgar began, sensing that Buster was not the happiest of dogs at that moment – perhaps the way his lips had started to curl back revealing quite sharp if slightly broken teeth gave him a hint that his new ‘friend’ was feeling a little annoyed.

 It was only the sudden rumbling noise, which slowly started to vibrate first the heavy wooden floor and then the crumbling walls, which distracted both Buster and Edgar.  Yet more dust joined in the dance around the room in small clouds of white.  The mirror that had so intrigued Buster started to wobble on its grimy wooden feet and the strangest thing of all, the surface of the mirror seemed to be distorting, almost melting and bubbling.

 Both Edgar and Buster noticed the mirror a fraction too late.  As their eyes saw the unnatural almost boiling liquid effect there was the most brilliant of explosions; a blinding flash of almost pure white immediately changed to an effervescent throbbing orange that filled every molecule of the room in a strange ethereal glow, which ebbed and then waned for a moment before filtering to blackness.

 The two sat immobile.  Although the blast of light had been intense it had caused no discernable physical effect apart from a gentle buffeting; Edgar’s beard and whiskers had fluttered and floated, drawn towards the explosion before settling back down as the glow evaporated.  And most bizarrely of all, there had been no noise!

 It took a few moments for the pair to stir or react at all.  Both presumed that the lack of sound was deafness, an instant effect of the sheer force of the event they had just witnessed.

 “Well…,” started Edgar.  “Ah I see, I can hear, that is most odd!”

 ‘Too right!’ exclaimed Buster.  ‘Err…, can I just ask Edgar,” he continued hesitantly.  ‘Can you see anything; it’s as black as a bowl of melted liquorice from where I’m sat?”

 “Yes, err…, no it does seem a touch darker than I remember,” answered Edgar quietly.  “But I don’t think we’re blind…”

 The sound of something being dragged, almost scraped along the floor stopped the pair mid-thought.  They listened intently; almost sure they’d heard the noise but then started to relax, unsure of their own senses.  Until the sound came again, but closer and from two sides!

 “I think,” said Edgar with a determined edge that Buster thought contrasted markedly with his usual floundering tone.  “We need to make our exit from this place, pretty soon my new friend!”

 Before he knew what was happening, Buster felt himself being hosted into mid air amongst the blackness by his collar which hurt his throat a little.  He had no chance to struggle or complain before he was propelled forward (the rush of vaguely warm air over his snout told him of his direction) but he did manage a small strangulated whine.

 He could hear the half running half scuffling sound of Edgar’s shoes, which given their odd shape and flimsy material made for less than perfect running equipment!  There were several changes of direction as Buster found himself swinging sharply to the left then the right in quick succession; a panting asthmatic sound indicated Edgar’s presence a little in front of the dangling dog.

 Amidst the rising panic Buster had a little time to consider the ridiculousness of the situation.  For a fleeting space of time, he’d actually thought that Edgar knew what he was doing, or to be more precise, where he was going.  But it was increasingly obvious, as Edgar’s breathing became more laboured and the changes of direction more erratic, that the strangely attired man was already in a state of great distress. 

 What made matters worse were the noises in the darkness, the ones not emanating from Edgar.  Where at first a single heavy sound had first startled them, there now seemed to be a cacophony of similar noises coming at the pair from which ever direction Edgar chose to stumble.  And as well as the ‘thud’ ‘drag’ there was the metallic rattle of chain added to the mix.

Edgar stopped.  Great long gasps that sounded like air being pumped in and out of a punctured tube held beneath a muddy puddle, echoed around the large black room.  But as he stopped so too did the unearthly grinding sounds.

 “Ah…, err…, I see…,” wheezed Edgar unhealthily.  “Intriguing!” 

 In the darkness he tentatively took a small step forwards.  Immediately the room echoed with the sound of heavy ‘some things’ being hauled with difficulty and lack of grace across old wood.  Edgar stopped again.

 “Now now Edgar do we have to go through all this,” said a voice just this side of twee with a definite nasal problem that made the owner of this new arrival’s voice sound heavily congested with a very bad cold.  “Why,” (which sounded more like ‘weigh’).  “Don’t you just give in my old friend?”

 Buster could feel the atmosphere getting distinctly colder, his nose almost felt icy.

 “Ah,” answered Edgar with an air of recognition and an absence of surprise.  “Hubert.”

 As though somebody was controlling some invisible spot light, a small dot of brightness appeared, which as it started to grow at first illuminated the ghostly figure of Edgar and then Buster just behind him.  The perfect circle of white was just in front of Edgar, and at first they could see nothing else.  But as it grew they realised that the reason for the apparent lack of object was the darkest blackest cloth of the suit that the figure was wearing.

 Within a short time (though it probably took longer than it needed to, but the controller of this light obviously enjoyed building the theatrical anticipation, thought Buster) the circle revealed the face that perched atop the all black immaculately prepared and worn clothing – including a pair of black suede shoes, black collarless shirt buttoned to the (very pale) neck and matching ebony jewellery – which was just as well manicured.

 It was a thin and cruel face with a small black ‘goatee’ beard, a sharp nose and small dark coal like eyes.  The lips were barely there, just thin red edges that gently curved upwards revealing a smile of overly white but none the less crooked small teeth.  The figure stood for a moment enjoying the moment of reveal, like a sinister statue, his hands clasped behind his back, the pointed bearded chin jutting out.

 “Edgar, how are you my old friend,” he said at last.  “Quite a mess you have here isn’t it?”

 “Yes, quite,” replied Edgar with a barely disguised sigh of resignation.

 Part IV

With a jolt Buster found himself falling fast, his previous almost weightless state gone in an instant.  Luckily he wasn’t too far from the floor and landed fairly squarely on all four paws, which ached for a moment or two afterwards.  He hadn’t seen how he’d been suspended but suspected some trickery; at least he could now breathe properly, even if the air had a slightly bitter taste and an odour of rampant halitosis.  Close by, far too close in fact for comfort he could almost feel the breath not of one or even two ‘things’ but a whole host.

 His eyes began to get used to the light and he tried to focus on the space around the new arrival.  Something was stirring, a mass of shapes barely perceptible but definitely large.  And was that fur, and maybe claws he could see?  He glanced sideways and noticed similar shadowy, nearly hidden shapes and guessed that the same ‘things’ were very probably at his rear, almost close enough to touch.  He edged forward then sat down as close to Edgar’s side as he could manage.

 “Your dog is very timid Edgar, not much of a guard dog I think,” the nasal voiced new arrival stated almost with contempt.

 “My dog?” Edgar replied as though Buster had already become a distant memory.  “Of yes, Buster, well he’s not…, err…, he’s more a pet really.”

 ‘Pet’, thought Buster loudly.  ‘If you’re not careful I’ll bite your silken draped legs and show you how much of a pet I am!’

 Edgar said nothing, smiled politely and tried to move Buster away from his side.  Buster didn’t budge.

 “You do know my dear Edgar,” the dark one continued with a voice full of relish.  “That places like this can be very dangerous, there are so many dangers.”  Buster could almost oil his bike with the slippery tones.

 “Yes I do know this but I’m sure…,” Edgar tried to interrupt: unsuccessfully. 

 “And a person could just disappear because of some left over magic or mystical contraption,” continued Hubert, who was now busy clasping and rubbing his hands together slowly.

 This all looks very foreboding, thought Buster to himself.  He wasn’t, he reflected, the bravest of creatures but given the choice of being torn to pieces as he cowered in terror or making a fight of it, he’d always choose a good fight.  And at least the battle would take his mind off the ongoing wounds, loss of limbs etc.

 “You were a fool,” continued Hubert, who was by now really enjoying the wickedness of his plan.  It was easy to imagine him practicing for hours in front of his bedroom mirror, making sure he’d perfected the routine, homing the hand wringing and slightly crooked smile with just a hint of madness and a full bucket load of ruthlessness.

 “Maybe…,” Edgar tried once more to jimmy his way into the monologue, again without success.

 “You didn’t take the easy way out of course my dear dear Edgar; all you needed to do was drink the present…”

 “Well I would have but I inadvertently left…,” again Edgar was battered back by Hubert’s harangue.

 “… but you didn’t notice the mirror, a portal, a way past all your locks and magical contrivances!” he finally paused, his small neat chest pulsating with the effort, his thin arms raised high, his pencil like fingers (with immaculately trimmed nails of course) outstretched in emphasis.

 Edgar used the opportunity well.  He took a small step towards the figure within the light.  Again as he moved so did the massed army, but again as he stopped so did they (Buster stayed stuck like super glue to his leg).

 “Actually you may find it difficult to believe Hubert but I knew you’d come,” the exclamation hung in the air like a fine mist of water.

 Hubert kept still, his arms still raised but lowering slightly as he frowned at Edgar, “Really,” he said quietly.

 “Really,” started Edgar now feeling the confidence growing; none the less unseen beads of cold sweat were still dripping down his back.  “Actually you will find that I have not only protected this place from human interference but also magical, which my dear Hubert, means you!”

 Though still more scared that he’d ever felt before Buster was starting to warm to Edgar, there was a certain steel core hidden within the soft fleshy bumbling outside.

 “And yes I did know about the mirror because I made it,” Edgar was now quite animated, he didn’t actually dance but he was swaying from side to side as he talked.

 “But…,” Hubert stuttered.  “I had it made by the finest of …”

 “Yes, you were always too lazy to do anything your self, you probably asked old Winston and everybody knows he’s twice as lazy as you!”

 Hubert’s arms now hung limply by his side; the former frown was now a range of deep lines across his pale forehead.

 Now it was Edgar’s turn to press the advantage.  “And I know that the mirror is only a one way device!” he exclaimed triumphantly.

 ‘I’m really impressed,’ thought Buster, who knew only Edgar could hear him.  ‘You seem to have all this worked out!’

 ‘Mm..,’ Edgar thought back.  ‘It is a big shame that I didn’t notice the mirror on my arrival, but I do have a plan…’

 “None of this nonsense matters!” spluttered Hubert, his arms flailing erratically sending his jacket buttons shooting in all directions.  “I will find a way out, after I have watched my little helpers here,” and it this point a trace of the madness crept back into his face.  “As they feast on your bodies!”

 Even this didn’t seem to perturb Edgar (though his fine silken shirt was by now soaking).  He crouched down slowly, the click of his knee joints echoing around the room.  Gently he stroked Buster who didn’t know if he really should be enjoying the sensation, but the gentle fingers were certainly very soothing.

 “Goodbye,” he said with a beaming smile as with a shower of sparks he and Buster evaporated with a gentle definite ‘pop’!

Part V

The room was almost Victorian in aspect, finely panelled with oak but most of it hidden by piles of old books and yellowing cream folders.  Two arm chairs, stately in their red leathered curvature, were positioned at slight angles to but in the general direction of the stone fireplace.  But instead of a traditional roaring fire of logs or coal, a modern television had been installed at its centre, and on the large flat screen was a flickering image of warm flames dancing with red and orange vibrancy.

Buster lay on his side, his legs stretched out amongst the warm fibres of the fake sheep skin rug.  Edgar slouched in the nearest of the chairs, his wizard costume now abandoned (and in the washing machine being treated to a very hot wash), replaced by a plain blue towelling dressing gown.

‘This is one really nice place you have here,’ thought Buster with an air of contentment.  This was luxury on an almost unimaginable scale, he’d never as far as he could remember, even been allowed inside a human home let alone been allowed to slumber on a rug!

“It’s not bad I don’t suppose,” answered Edgar casually as he stroked his luxuriant snowy facial hair, a distant vacant look in his twinkling eyes.

‘You do know you could have let me in on the secret, rather than do all that silly running around,’ Buster suggested.

“Well my new furry friend I have to admit,” Edgar hesitated for a moment.  “I’d quite forgotten I had a way out for us, what with the flash and everything…”

Buster lifted his head from the comfort of the fake wool and gave Edgar a hard stare, the type of stare designed to send shivers down unsuspecting victims spines just before he pounced and sank his teeth into warm succulent flesh.

“Please don’t look at me like that,” pleaded Edgar with a ‘pity me’ expression that Buster only half believed.  “I was expecting Hubert to try something crafty, he’s never satisfied with putting people out of business, and he likes to make sure they can’t bounce back too!”

Buster kept up the stare.

“I am sorry Buster, I didn’t realise what was in the bottle until I came to fetch …,” Edgar sat forwards resting his hands on his knees.  “It was only when I realised you were, well, changed.”

‘And how did you know it was a trick from your ‘friend’ Hubert?’

Edgar went very quiet.  He glanced around the room as though looking for a long lost precious object, squinting busily into the nooks and crannies.

‘It was one of your concoctions wasn’t it?’

“Err…, yes, something experimental which I’d hoped would help cement good relationships between people and their, err… pets,” Edgar blustered.

‘And…,’ urged Buster who could see there was something more that Edgar was very reluctant to tell him.

‘Well we discovered that, if anyone other than an animal even as much as sniffed it, they became very ill indeed!”

“And Hubert knew of this?”

“Yes,” continued Edgar, trying his very best to sound sorrowful.  “Hubert used to be my, err… business partner.”

‘Your not a very good judge of character are you?’ sniffed Buster laying his head back down on the warm rug.

‘And the magic charms you’ve set up at your old factory?’

“Well…,” Edgar started to look for the lost object again.

‘Go on!’

“I was bluffing,” the words ran quickly from Edgar’s mouth, tumbling almost incoherently.

‘Ok…,’ Buster was starting to wonder where the nearest exit was, perhaps the whiskered one was not quite as wise as he’d supposed.

“Until I could find my magic pen which… err… I lost somewhere in my pocket, those fancy dress costumes have pockets that are far too deep!”

‘So what you’re telling me is, that if it wasn’t for your ‘friend’s’ penchant for watching far too many over the top film baddies, being just a tiny bit in love with himself and exceedingly thick we’d have been ‘monster’ lunch?’

“Yes,” said Edgar, his smile radiating sublime innocence.  “That’s about the size of it.”

‘I don’t suppose you have an antidote do you,’ asked Buster lifting his sleepy head again.

“Err, no,” replied Edgar with a shrug of his shoulders. “Sorry.”

Buster left it at that and let himself gently fall into a deep sleep.  It was a fitful sleep filled with images of slathering monstrous beasts intent on fatal evisceration, cackling villains with shining red eyes and exploding mirrors.

Edgar sat watching his sleeping friend as the paws twitched and a low growl escaped the dog’s throat.  The trap nearly worked he was sure of that but he couldn’t have, he wouldn’t have left the poor mongrel alone in the factory. 

All he’d really needed to do was get in quick, grab the dog and then ‘Shazan’ (or was it ‘Shazam’……?) and they would be gone; how he loved those old theatrical magic words, they didn’t really have any power, it was pure thought and a magical prop that did the trick, but they added a certain ‘ambient’ effect.  In that he shared the same trait, a love of the overblown audience pleasing theatricals, as his brother, Hubert.

He had no doubt that Hubert had lead the dog there somehow, knowing how his big brother could not let a stray anything suffer.  But he’d not known the bottle was poison.  That was stupid of him.  And the mirror was pretty obvious; he almost kicked himself for not recognising the old thing when he’d got there.

With a sigh he leant back into the comfort of the old red leather chair.  Hubert had the upper hand now he’d managed to drive Edgar’s customers away, but while Edgar still had the precious family heirlooms and their magical secrets, he knew his brother would not rest until they were his.

The End… for now!

Copyright John D Rhodes 2011


25 responses to “Short Story – ‘On Finding His Feet’ – The Final Part!

  1. Buster … a dog? A person’s consciousness placed into a dog? Or something else … hmmm. Intriguing … can’t wait for the rest!

  2. OK. You have me. Now you have to give us the rest of the story.

  3. Very curious. I’m with Yvonne – we need to see the rest.

  4. wow this is really good i can’t wait for part 2 😀

  5. Emela

    Ahhh!!! So far it’s very interesting and well written. I demand more!

  6. Ok You definitely have my attention !!! very well wrote , like the mystery to it so far , so get finished with the rest…lol

  7. Hi John,
    I liked your story but did you know once you published it on your blog you can’t look for selling it to other publishers? They count it as a published work once you put it on your blog.
    Hope you knew that and didn’t have other plans for your story. 🙂

  8. This is interesting. I want to read more.

  9. Pingback: Part II of ‘On Finding His Feet’ is now live! | johndrhodesauthor

  10. You are keeping us all in suspense. For shame!! 🙂

  11. Yes, Yvonne, I thought we were going to find the answer to the mystery in part 2. Now we have to wait some more! Oh, dear. 🙂

  12. The mystery deepens – I look forward to the next part.

  13. Pingback: Short Story – ‘On Finding His Feet’ – Pt 3 & 4 now ONLINE! | johndrhodesauthor

  14. I noticed a couple typos, but the most amusing was: “He wasn’t, he reflected, the bravest of creatures but given the choice of being torn to pieces as he coward in terror or making a fight of it, he’d always choose a good fight.”

    I think you meant “…cowered in terror …”


    But loving this story so far – getting very suspenseful!

  15. When do we get the next part?
    I noticed a couple of typos too…
    “when your life hands by a thread” end of Part 1
    “almost bending in double” Part 2
    And, just a question… do dogs have bikes?
    My breath has never been so baited… as I await part V

    • Thank you ever so muchly – I’ll have a word with the Quality Inspector – heads will roll…. hang on… it was me! I will amend 🙂 I have seen dogs on bikes, Billy Smarts Circus 1972! I did try and get my Chester on one but he kept getting his tail caught in the spokes!

  16. I love this story , I enjoy the mystery & suspense to it , and I just love Buster. Keep it going , cant wait to read more !! Thanks for the opportunity to enjoy it so far….

  17. Great idea…for the dog to share his feelings! Great stuff…keep it up!

  18. Pingback: Good News – Last Part of ‘On Finding His Feet’ is online NOW! | johndrhodesauthor

  19. Sweet – lots of stuff going on – I can see this as a whole book, really.

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