Attack Dogs

Cold in the silence, they waited.

In the silence, he was hunting.

On marble floors, claws clicked. Air was inhaled and exhaled. They were quiet sounds, but in the complete absence of noise, they were prominent and intense.

Sliding like black oil down a curving staircase, the Shepard’s fur rolled and his muscles moved in fluid tandem over his bones. With each downward step his shoulder blades rose and fell under his skin, his long tail swept side to side. Tall erect ears pivoted, detecting strained breathing and the shift of clothes. The dog’s already slinking pace slowed further and he turned his head. He halted at the last step. He heard something. Low, small sounds coming from beneath him.

Ears swiveling, he soundlessly descended the last step and crept onto the floor. Easing around the staircase and hugging closing to it, the dog paused. He sniffed the air, catching the scents of humans. One, the heavier, stronger scent of a male was permeated with fear. The other, female with a less overwhelming but far more appealing smell was also scared, but less so than the male. They both reeked of sweat and blood, and the male had cried at some point.

Silently, the Shepard peered under the staircase, his keen eyes finding them in the dark. They were huddled close, crouched in the tight space. The male was pressed to the female’s side, his thighs trembling and his breathing shaky. The female was stock still, muscles rigid and mouth tight. Her cheek was against the other human’s forehead, and there was a gun clasped in her hands between her knees. The dog’s eyes focused on the firearm. There few human things he had names for, but gun was one he remembered well.

Soundless and swift, the Shepard lunged. He went for the female first. She was dominant, she was the threat, and he sank his teeth on the first part of her he saw, which was her right wrist. With a shout from behind grit teeth, her right arm jerked, losing hold of the gun. The dog ground down, her bones shifting beneath her skin. Blood tinged saliva dripped from his jaws.

Abruptly, she stopped pulling and came forwards. Now he started to growl, but it cut off when she grabbed him hard by the side of the neck, tightening her grip painfully.

“Release.” The command wasn’t shouted, but said in such an authoritative tone that it hit on something secluded away in the dog, and he unlatched his jaws.

But the male moved, just a little, and with a building snarl the Shepard redirected his attention.

In the confined space and quiet of the mansion, the gunshot was astounding. The male cried out and the dog jerked, legs folding under his body as he collapsed. His neck burned and pain laced up and down his spine. He gasped, blood in the back of his throat as it pooled around his head. Something touched his face, the female stroking her hand over his ear.

“This should have never happened to you.” He registered the words, but they held no meaning. Her voice though, and it’s soft tone, were comforting. “You weren’t an attack dog, you were a police dog. You should never have been used for this.”

Blood was matting the dark fur of his neck. He couldn’t breath. Her hand remained on his head, but when she spoke it sounded further away, not directed at him.

“We get to him, I’m not arresting him, I’m killing him. You can tell the other officials whatever you want, but I’m killing him for this.” He replied, quietly,


He hand resumed its stroking, and in a steady, praising voice, she said,

“Good job dog. Good job.”

The Shepard’s tail thumped once on the marble floor, and he didn’t move again.


Dogs are vastly underestimated creatures, and they were particularly underestimated by the suspect.

He had ordered the dogs on Officer Brier when she found him on the upper floor, and the dogs, the last two, had rushed at her. But the suspect was not a cop, never had been or could ever be, not like Brier.

So when she spoke, the Shepards listened, and when she told them attack, they did.

She walked out of the mansion with the last two Shepards flanking her. The victim, Julian, being led at her side.

They found the suspect as nothing more than torn flesh in blood and shreds of clothes.

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