Low Aims

 

[WP] You find three little puppies sleeping on your porch. Actually, upon closer inspection, it’s not three little puppies. It’s Cerberus, Hade’s three headed dog. The collar around the middle head reads, “Cerberus. If lost, please call Hell. (666-666-6666)” [Link to post.]

 

Glenn Ugger scratched the top of the dark brown middle head with his left hand while he used his right hand to get a look at the tag.

 

“If lost, please call Hell.” He read it out loud while the other two heads tried to demand their own pets.  “Well, what do you think? Are you lost?” He leaned in closer and kissed the snout on the left head. “Huh? Are you lost, little guy?” All three heads assaulted him with licks. He grabbed the pup and stood up. “Yep, I didn’t think so either. C’mon into your new home little guy.” Glenn opened his front door and went straight to the restroom. He set the multi-headed pup down in the tub.

 

“First we gotta get you cleaned up. I want you looking your best when the reporters show up.” Glenn knelt down by the tub, reached in and tried to undo the puppy’s collar. He managed to unhook the strap, but every time he tried pulling it free the collar re-affixed itself around the pup’s neck again. “Well, we’ll worry about that later.” He turned on the water in the tub. The noise and sudden rush of water scared the pup to the far side of the tub. “It’s okay little guy. It’s just water.” Glenn touched the stream to show the pup how harmless it was. He flung some droplets at the pup and Cerberus growled, then yapped at him.

 

“Don’t like water, huh? Sorry, we gotta get you cleaned up.”  Glenn turned his back to grab some shampoo but the sharp sound of hissing caught his attention and he turned to Cerberus again. The pup sat still in the far end of the tub. His large paws glowed with orange light; the water lapped at his feet and immediately evaporated with a steaming hiss. Glenn noticed a thin plume of black smoke coming from under the pup’s paws also.

“Damnit!” He grabbed the pup and pulled him out leaving four small black paw prints melted into the tub. “You little shit.” Cerberus yapped at Glenn and the three heads began lapping at his face again. “You adorable little shit.” Glenn kissed one of the pup’s noses and dropped him on the floor. “Alright, no bath I guess. Are you hungry?  Oh man, do I have to feed you three times? You’ve only got one body, that wouldn’t make sense.” Glenn shrugged to himself and walked to the kitchen. He opened the fridge and pulled out a half pack of expired hotdogs.  He dropped one on the floor in front of Cerberus and the pup sniffed at it. He took a step away from the wiener, then turned and plopped himself down in front of it looking Glenn in the eyes the whole time.

 

“No? Uhh.” He searched his fridge and tried several more options. Slices of ham, raw eggs, and he even cooked up a piece of steak he’d been saving for himself to share. Cerberus refused all of them, though it seemed he made an extra effort to chew up the steak before dropping it out of his mouth so that Glenn could not get that half back for himself.

 

“I’m not gonna have the patience for this,” Glenn said to himself. He pulled out his cellphone and dialed the number on the collar, it was easy to remember.

 

“Whoever this is better have a good reason for having this number,” a deep gravelly voice answered the phone.

 

“Uh.. I think I found your dog?”

 

“YOU DID??! That’s great! I’ll be right over.” Glenn smelled sulfur before the voice finished speaking, and a deep yellow cloud poofed in his kitchen. Cerberus began yapping, then a thin pale man in a dark red suit stepped out of the smoke plume.

 

“Thank you!” the man said with the same gravelly voice Glenn heard on the phone. He knelt down to pick up Cerberus and all three heads began lapping at his face. “How can I ever repay you?”

 

“Cash reward?” Glenn asked with a shrug and a hopeful smile.

 

“Sure, no problem.”  The well-dressed man stretched out a hand to Glenn, and Glenn accepted the handshake. He felt a bill press into his hand and smiled.

 

“Thanks!” He eagerly looked at the bill, then felt crushed when he saw it was a single $100 bill. “That’s it?” The stranger gave him a toothy grin.

 

“No, of course not! I’ve also got a piece of advice for you. Whenever the devil offers you a free wish, try to be more specific.” A second yellow plume of sulfuric smoke filled the room and the man disappeared.

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