This story has been inspired by Vision Writers January Writing Prompt. You can find the inspiration here.
Shattered, that’s what they called him.
I guess you could argue the point, they had him snipped a while back. Held the boy down, took out some laser cutters, pliers and then did the deed. Little thing winced and whined through it all, his odd eyes bouncing across all of us onlookers.
He was a man in mind though, had all the parts. Let it hang loose in the summer, kept it wrapped up when the snows came. Also didn’t tell you much, not that we used to ask, but when one did he would pull his lips back into a snarl and snap at the noises.
Not much of a homebody, but some men aren’t. Can’t fault them for that, not when it was the women-folk who did it. Who gave him that name, who cut into his flesh and took away his ability to reproduce. Can’t blame them either, someone was going to. Shattered had that kind of a face, the kind that attracts trouble. Makes you want to hurt him.
I don’t know if you’ve guessed yet, but Shattered was a mangy thing. A mutt they used to call them types out West. He was about three foot high, had brown and black fur with a long snout and deep sunken eyes. Never a day went by where I didn’t see a red line somewhere on his body, or watch as his tail wagged while he pounded down our town’s main street.
If you live in in a town like ours, you’ll have a few dogs like that too. Trouble makers, half-coyote, half-wolf. The kind that the crazed kids go and shoot when they’re drunk and bored. The type of four-legged animal who gets killed then comes back reincarnated in another skin.
Shattered though, he wasn’t keen on the reincarnation thing. Those boys’d go out–drunk on whiskey, drunk on wine–and they’d be found five days later with an eye gouged out. Just one. Their faces would be contorted, half smiling and half terrified, but all dead.
Maybe it was Shattered, maybe it was an alien of some kind. Maybe Shattered was an alien. It was hard to tell. You see, that’s what made those boys go out yonder–they wanted his eye. Not his real eye, not the blue one that shone like the clearest sky after the rains; no. What they wanted was the one that looked like cracked green glass. All these sharp lines running into it, straight into its centre. And in there, there was this hole.
You got to understand, the hole is what humanity’s been looking for a long time. Maybe what you’ve been searching for your whole lives. Safety.
Stare long enough in there, and he’ll show you the world. More or less. Probability and all that. Close enough for the town dwellers. So they’d chase him down to catch onto those visions. Some of them he’d let get close enough for a pat, others he’d growl at and they’d do the dance so they could catch snippets in between their hockey pocky. The rest, well, they never got a chance. They were always similar in type to those boys who’d hunt him down when they were drunk, and he’d always scamper off so they never could catch him–till they were dead.
But the future, as you might now know, is often dark and empty. It’s bleak and barren, and when your favourite child turns out to be a murderous son of a bitch, that’s not something you ever want to accept. Doubly so if the vision involves your daughter shoving a man’s privates down his lover’s throat.
So the woman folk got together, figured out Shattered was a demon of some kind and decided to end his line. They didn’t want to kill him, no. Not when you got a town stocked full of millions due to a mangy mutt’s magical eye. They just didn’t want anyone else seeing their daughters and sons pillaging the landscape. They didn’t want anyone figuring out it would be better to smother them kids in their sleep instead of letting them live.
Poor little mutt, didn’t stand a chance against a town full of angry mothers. So they snipped him, tossed him in an ole cell out back and left him there.
Maybe he was testing us, maybe he was that cold-hearted killer who fakes a smile and puts up with torture only to come back and burn it down later. Hard to say now, town’s all gone. We had a few bumper years where people could really pin down what their lives were going to be like because ole Shattered couldn’t run no more. Everyone could get in on the action, get a little piece of his soul.
Everyone including that little girl, the one who turned out to be Alicia Marcus; she got to take a good long look at her future. She got to see the flames, got to see herself razing the world to the ground and lightning up the Northern Capital as people ran hard and fast to escape her forces.
She damn well drunk her fill, Shattered barking the whole time while she was in there. Nothing he could do though, just a mutt in the big scheme of things. Then she emerged, all eight years of age, and pulled the pistol from the Sheriff’s holster and shot him through the head.
So, in response to your query about the vision dog you got on your planet, I got to say that you should put a bullet through its head. Two to make sure.