Armie knew something was wrong even before he drew close enough to his trailer to read the note taped to the window.  The Airstream’s door was open slightly, and Armie could hear Ranger whimpering inside, which was odd because the black-masked bulldog pup never whimpered.  He jogged toward the trailer and read the note scrawled in smeary black grease pencil.

“For desecrating a legend…”

Adrenaline surged through Armie’s bloodstream, and he yanked the door open hard enough to dent the side of the trailer.  Ranger lay on his side on the floor, his intestines spilling from a single, precise cut running the length of his abdomen.  A crimson splotch radiated from his small form as his blood soaked into the trailer’s white carpet.  He glanced up and feebly struggled to rise as Armie entered.

“It’s okay, boy,” Armie said, falling to his knees beside the stricken pup.  “I’m right here.  Don’t try to move.”  He placed his hand on Ranger’s head and gently scratched his ears.

Ranger whined softly and licked at Armie’s hand.

Tears rolled down Armie’s cheeks, and he sat, petting his dying dog and sobbing quietly.  Williams James was right: show business is a hideous bitch goddess.


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