Fucked-Up Bedtime Stories #4: Pork Chop by Peter Caffrey

Arnold’s wanted a dog for some time, especially since he and Jimmy the Chimp murdered the cat–along with the rest of the neighborhood cats. When he and Jimmy meet the resentful service dog who never gets to have any fun, they decide that they’re going to take Pork Chop out for a night on the town. It’s a win-win situation. Arnold gets to enjoy having a dog for a while, and Pork Chop gets to experience being treated like a pet rather than a slave.
Everything goes about as smoothly as one should expect from a Peter Caffrey bedtime story. The adventure descends into a place of madness filled with death, gypsies, dog fighting, gambling, murder, and toothless oral sex. If you’re curious about how all of that falls into place, you’ll have to check it out for yourself.
Once again, audio narration is provided by Caffrey, so you can enjoy the sensation of having him read you this lovely addition to his bedtime stories series as you drift away to a nightmare-plagued slumber.
I made the mistake of listening to this at the gym while running on the treadmill, and I was grateful that I had the place to myself because I started laughing out loud at various points.

This–and the other bedtime stories–can be picked up from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your preferred mobile device. The link is below:

Roadkill King by Dan B. Fierce

Tatum Johnson was never an animal lover, but it wasn’t until his ex-girlfriend left him after he’d accidentally killed a dog by hitting it with his car that he came to hate animals with a cruel, driving passion. Emphasis on driving.
After investing thousands of dollars into customizing a vehicle into a killing machine reminiscent of something one might see in The Road Warrior, Tatum is on a mission when he ventures out at night. He prowls the backroads like a steel-encased predator, seeking out any creature unwary enough to cross his path.
When the giant buck steps onto the gravel road, Tatum thinks he might have hit the jackpot, but he’s on the road to judgment and pain that he could never comprehend.
If Roadkill King is representative of the rest of what Dan B. Fierce has in store for readers with the Cabin 187 collection, people should be chomping at the bit in anticipation. Satisfying, cathartic, and captivating, I must insist that readers give Roadkill King a chance. There is some cruelty to animals in the story. But it’s the unforgiving cruelty of animals that makes everything feel better in the end, as the irredeemably reprehensible Tatum gets what he deserves. Except for the dog, of course, because as every dog lover knows, that species is nothing if not willing to forgive and defend even the most indefensible.

You can obtain this story by going to http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app to your mobile device of choice. The link is below:

Cynophobia by Gerhard Jason Geick

Geick’s Cynophobia begins with a drabble. In this case, it’s a heartbreaking drabble that certainly sets the stage and tests the waters for the reader, in advance of the main story. It’s suitable for that purpose, in that it’s perhaps harder to read than what Geick offers up to us in this new tale of mental illness, irrational fear, and failing relationships. None of this is easy to read for an animal lover, and especially a dog lover.
I am an animal lover.
While I was growing up, I had several birds (my great aunt raised them for sale and had a room that consisted of virtually nothing but walls of bird cages. I’ve owned snakes and tarantulas. I have a daughter who didn’t take particularly good care of three guinea pigs she’d received as pets quite a few years ago–but she was only eight or nine at the time, so I shouldn’t have expected too much. They were adorable little things, though. They were, all three, sweet as can be, but they also produced a whole lot of waste that wasn’t properly cleaned up. I’ve owned a total of five ferrets over the years, and it’s challenging to keep up with the rancid mess they make, no matter how well-trained you believe them to be. We have a cat in our home, and we had a terrific rabbit until recently, and I’m allergic to both. I’ve had, at this point in my life, a total of 11 dogs, I currently own three of them, all under the age of five and two of them under the age of two. In October of 2019, the best dog I’ve ever owned died in my arms when a cruel sort of blood cancer stole her from me when she was only seven.
It was worth mentioning all of that because I can sympathize with the protagonist of Cynophobia in a handful of ways while simultaneously considering him almost alien in others.
No more pets was not the insoluble rule he expected it to be, he learns, as his wife progressively turns their home into a menagerie. The relentless hoarding drives the couple further apart and our protagonist distances himself from both his wife and his daughters. As the situation at home spirals out of control, Geick propels us toward a breaking point at which nothing will be the same. It’s a train wreck in relatively slow motion that the reader can’t turn away from.
Cynophobia presents us with two possible endings, the original (S.A.D.) ending and the new ending Geick’s written for this version of the story. In one available ending, the sickness and mental illness appear to spread from one parent to the other, manifesting in an awful climax that will make many readers cringe. In the alternate conclusion, we witness the–hopefully–more natural end of the relationship and the outcome of the clear mental illness left unrestrained at the core of this tale.
You’ll have to read them both, to discover which one you prefer. The splattery side of my nature prefers one, while the animal lover in me prefers the other. Neither of them is pleasant, and as the story says, there are no happy endings.

Cynophobia is available as an exclusive title from http://www.godless.com or by downloading the Godless app on your preferred mobile device. The link to this title is below: