**Packet's General Rules of Thumb for Writing Stories**___ 1. I don't write stories because I'm lazy.
I don’t write stories because, when I do, I have a tendency to pretend that the story’s characters are real.
Because of point #2, humans tend to give me strange looks when I’m caught barking aloud to myself.
The characters in those stories are actually capable of existing in our reality but somehow remain hidden and intangible towards other folks due to some aspect of technological singularity.
Don’t ask me how point #5 works, I’m just a dog trying to get a bone pizza.
So, I had just gotten through a 336 hour shift (y'know, doing super-secret-sh!t that keeps your @$$ safe at night) and was looking forward to some downtime with a few members of my crew and family back at my daddy's place.
I was in pretty low spirits, I admit. Humans are so damned conceited at times.
I mean, just because I’m a dog doesn’t mean I don’t know when you’ve failed to disarm an enemy landmine.
"What are you barkin' about for? You're like a broken record, stupid dog."
“This stupid dog is trying to save your life, peanut-butter brain.”
“And may I ask from what exactly?”
“That thing right beside you.”
“You mean this little thing?”
“Yes, that little thing.”
“See, this is why we shouldn’t let dogs into the squad. The mine has been disabled, dis-ay-buh-led, you understand? It’s harmless.”
“No, it’s not.”
“No, it really isn’t.”
“Look, we all make mistakes. I know you don’t want to hear this from some mangy old mutt, but if you step anywhere near that lil’ trinket, you’ll have to roll down your socks to watch the telly.”
“Are you getting smart with me here?”
“Someone has to be in this situation.”
“Just let me have a look at it and we’ll be on our way.”
“I’m telling you, it’s disabled.”
“Seriously, I’m not kidding around here. It’s not.”
“It is, and I’ll prove it.”
“See, just one lil’ step here and…”
“Now why in the world would you–”
Of course, somehow everything gets blamed on the dog and I get assigned to desk-duty for the next 2 weeks prior to a "pending" investigation. I mean, who does that? Who in their right mind would ever step on a landmine, disabled or not?
Funnily enough, “Spineless” Joe can now finally live up to his namesake.
We’re still working on recovering the final pieces of that part of him.
Anyway, I had hopped into the good ol' caddy and was making my way home for a hot meal and some much-needed rest. Two of my closest companions were with me, Anima Anodyne and Winter White.
Now, I’m a dog, so I naturally holed-up in the backseat.
I mean, a dog takin’ a luxury cruise down the middle of Main Street would look a little odd, wouldn’t it?
So, Winter took the role as chauffeur while Annie rode shotgun.
I never got that.
Why is it that every time I see them together, Winter is in the driver’s seat of Anodyne’s vehicle?
I never could get an answer to that; Annie doesn’t like answering questions.
"Annie, I have a question."
“Shut up, dog.”
“Well, f@$k you too, Annie.”
Annie knows just where to scratch me behind the ears, so I don't complain too much about that. Back to what I was saying, though.
Remember when I introduced point #4?
Y’know, how these strange persons can hide themselves from humans and such?
Well, they were still doing that invisibility/intangibility thing.
They were also in the front seats of the car.
A dog’s in the backseat of a car that seemingly drives itself.
Yup, that sounds about normal to me.
I tried to ask Annie why they wouldn’t uncloak, just for once in the vehicle, but Annie predictably advised me to shove off.
And, why was I alone in the back anyway? I wanted company, damn it.
I didn’t even bother trying to ask that question; I just tore into those fine leather seats with my sharp fangs.
That’ll teach them to leave a lonely doggie alone.
But, these were my favorite pals.
Well, Anodyne was, anyway.
I was still trying to figure out what Winter was to me.
Kinda sorta just started tagging along with me one day…
As I furrowed my brow and contemplated the meaning of my relationship with Winter, I received a text from my father.
Well, Annie did.
Why was my phone in the hands of that loonie again?
I tried to raise the question, but was promptly shot down again.
"Shut up, mutt."
Annie proceeded to read the text aloud.
Keep in mind that Annie read the text exactly how it was presented.
"What the f-"
“Call cece pizza for one cheese, peppers, and cheese bread.”
“What the f@&k is cece pizza!”
“What did I say about asking questions?”
“Forget you! You know my daddy can’t text to save his life.”
“Oh, right. I think he’s talking about that pizza place down by the shopping center.”
“OH, Cici’s Pizza.”
“And get cheese, peppers, and cheese bread.”
“Stop foolin’ around. That’s cheese and pepperoni pizza along with an order of cheese bread.”
“So, you callin’ it in?”
“Wait, why do you get to ask questions and I don’t?”
“Shut up, runt.”
“One of these days, just you wait.”
“Hell no, I ain’t callin’ that sh!t in. We can get a much better deal at Pizza Hut.”
Anodyne proceeded to send a reply to Dad.
[quote=Anodyne]Why not Pizza Hut?
Better pizza, less expensive.[/quote]
Shortly thereafter, Anodyne received a phone call and answered it.
"Why are you answering my phone!"
“Shut it, whiny.”
“Uh, who is this?”
Anodyne flinched, but answered the question out of courtesy.
Anodyne flinched again through clenched teeth.
"A friend of Packet's."
“Okay. Do you mind putting Packet on the phone for me?”
I could practically see the steam rushing out of Anodyne's ears.
"Okay, let's get one thing straight. I don't like being asked questions."
“Don’t ask me questions.”
“Can you give Packet the phone?”
“Stop asking me questions.”
“Give Packet the phone.”
“Packet can’t come to the phone right now.”
“Packet’s taking a lil’ joyride right now. You know what happens when we combine dogs, phones, and cars, right?”
I knew what Annie meant by that. The moment I try to text or chat on my cell while riding in a car and WHAM! I end up barfing over everything.
"Oh, right. Point taken."
“Is there anything else you wanted?”
“Wait, why can you ask me-”
“Anything else, sir?”
“Er, well, did Packet get the messages that I sent?”
“No, what did they say?”
Damn, Annie, why are you always lying?
"I mean, did Packet read them?"
“No, what did they say?”
“Are the messages on Packet’s phone?”
“NO, WHAT THE F&@K DO THEY SAY?”
“Well, are the messages on the phone now?”
Annie promptly hung up the phone.
"Oi, why ya go and do that for you damned b!#%h!"
“That title’s meant for you. Shut it, dog.”
“… Point taken.”
Annie later received this message.
Needless to say, I was positively livid.
"WHAT THE F$^K! DID HE REALLY JUST GET CICI'S OVER PIZZA HUT?"
“I’VE TOLD HIM 1000 TIMES THAT WE CAN GET 4 PIZZAS FROM PIZZA HUT FOR THE SAME PRICE AS THAT SH!T FROM CICI’S!”
“SURELY, THE REST OF THE FAMILY FEELS THE SAME WAY?”
“Oh, actually… He sent another text. It was a majority decision to get Cici’s. Your little sisters even joined in.”
“THOSE LITTLE F@$KERS!!!”
“Maybe they were tired of Pizza Hut?”
“WE JUST STARTED GETTING PIZZA HUT. WE ACTUALLY BOUGHT FROM DOMINOES UNTIL PIZZA HUT INTRODUCED BETTER DEALS FOR BETTER QUALITY PIZZAS. I’M STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT HOW WE SWITCHED FROM EATING AT DOMINOES TO EATING AT CICI’S ANYWAY!!!
I MEAN, WHAT THE ACTUAL F@%K!!!”
“PIZZA HUT HAS PROVEN ITSELF TO BE A GREAT CHOICE, IF NOT THE BEST, SO WHY DO I HAVE TO COME HOME TO THAT F@%KING PIECE OF F@$KING SH!T F%$KING PIZZA AFTER I’VE GONE THOUGH THIS F@$KING LONG@$$ SHIFT!!!”
“F@$K, F%&K, F@&K!!!”
I then proceeded to snatch my iPhone from Annie's hand and threw it out of the car's window, smacking some poor nutty squirrel upside the head in the process.
“So, you’re gonna eat it, right?”
**I Had the Time of My Life that Night.**
**But Sometimes, I Wonder...**
**Why Is Winter So Untalkative?**
**To This Day, Annie Refuses to Give the Answer.**