• n0mad

Dogger

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Loud music filled the room, making it hard to hear anything else.

The whoop, whoop, whoop of Euro techno pulsed through the dingy basement pierced by white jagged laser light slicing the smoke-filled air with unknown precision. The aroma was that of stale sweat, old smoke, spilled alcohol, and no doubt bodily fluids. Most disgustingly the floor was sticky. Making each step forwards like a deep-sea diver wading through the merk. She shuddered to think what this was doing to her new Converses.

DS Smith waded through this human refuse, searching for her man. At 9 am he would be addled and slumped in some corner, no doubt. After pulling shoulders and scanning faces here and there, she finally found Dogger. His leather, metal studded dog collar catching the light. Inserting two fingers under the collar, she pulled. After a little groaning, the attached pale quadruped slowly rose and crawled towards the light.

Daylight, when it came, was like surfacing from the deep. The fresh air hit like a wave and she staggered. She paused for a moment, leaning against the redbrick of the old industrial unit, sucking in fresh air, gulping it down as if she could flush herself of that putrid air.

Dogger coughed once, still on all fours, and then promptly threw up all over her new pumps.

Today _ was _ not _ her _ day!

Two weeks into the department, the new girl, promotion, she had to prove she was up to the job. Admittedly, she had her man, but at what price? Well, £27.99 it seemed! Dogger could bloody pay for them. Looking around she saw an outside tap with a small hose attached used by the courier company next door for hosing down their motorbikes. She washed her shoes as she wore them, wet shoes being one step better than vomit-covered, stinking, shoes. She then turned the hose on Dogger. His ride back to reality would be a lot abrupter than he probably wanted.

“Fuuuuck off! What are you doing? You maniac! Leave me the fuck alone, can’t you see I’m ill?” Growled Dogger.

“I can not only see, you’ve treated me to the whole dog and pony show! Now wake up and get your shit together! We’re due at Lime Street in an hour! What you do in your off time is up to you, but if you’re going to be my partner, you better have my back!” said DS Smith, the hose, still drenching Dogger. Who was by now laying on his back, hands massaging his bald scalp and squinting at the grey sky as if he couldn’t understand what it was doing up there.

It was crazy. She knew it. They should have fired him a long time ago, but Dogger was one of those people who lived life right on the edge, sometimes slipping over it but hanging on with one finger. He somehow got people around him to cover for him. As she was now. Part of the reason people did was that he was a charismatic kid, and it helped he was also bloody good at his job. He had this crazy superhuman ability to down two cups of coffee with five sugars each and be back in the game and operating at full capacity. It was impossible, but she’d seen him do it a couple of times in the last two weeks. She figured a) as the new girl she didn’t want to grass on a colleague, not a good way to endear yourself to the rest of the team, and b) he was a definite asset when working so she’d turn a blind eye for now.

But this morning, when he wasn’t there to pick up as arranged, she’d had to find him. That pissed her off. That was disrespectful. She’d give him a real bollocking later, the whole lecture. But right now the mission was simple, ideally a shower (the hose didn’t count, that was just the alarm clock), a change of clothes, two cups of coffee, ten sugars, and at the station in time to see the Gov.

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Written for the https://www.thefirstline.com/ writing competition. You are given the first line and must write a story from there.


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