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Chapter 1

It’s amazing how fast you can run when there’s a fucking rottweiler chasing you. Few domesticated animals can instill such fear in someone as a rottweiler can. Why anyone would ever want to house such a monster is a mystery to me. They’re not lovable, they’re not cute and they’re not beautiful. They slobber on everything, shit everywhere, and could easily eat the face off a child. Lovely. Sign me up for one. Make that two, actually.

But there I was, running like a mongoose chased by a lion on the dry plains of Namibia. I should probably also mention that the devil dog had only had three good legs, one eye, and a terrible bladder problem. He was spraying everywhere as he ran. His fourth gimp leg wasn’t functional–it didn’t have a knee joint and was a peg leg dragged along by the three good ones. I always imagined that the other legs had to be resentful of the one bad one. It just coasted along on the energy of the others, not contributing anything, like a child living at home with his parents after college. Yet somehow, by the will of some loving god, he could run. Fast. All I could think about as I ran was how I could first kill the damn thing and make it look like an accident. Run through traffic and hope he gets hit? Feasible, but also likely that I’d be struck by a car, which has never been on my to-do list. I’ve never even broken a toe. Call me adventurous.

So I did what any respectable, scared 20-something male would do–I turned around, squared my position, looked around to see if there was anyone watching and I kicked the thing smack in the face. It was a spectacular performance. Any soccer player would have agreed that I was blessed in that moment with perfect technique–a divine gift delivered to the steel toe King David of my boot. My foot landed just under the jowls of the beast and raised him head first until he made a flip and landed right on his back. I wish that someone had caught it on video. I’d be an overnight star on YouTube. Who wouldn’t want to watch an averagely attractive guy kick a three legged, one eyed dog in the face as it urinates all over itself? The correct answer is no one.

For a moment I started to feel sorry for him. He whimpered in a high-pitched whine and panted so heavily that I thought I pushed his ribs halfway into his throat. But then I saw it–still in his mouth, the reason for this whole ridiculousness, now covered in blood. In a moment of self-confidence after my victory, I rolled up my sleeves, took a deep breath and reached a hand in there. Wrapped around one of those nasty teeth was a ring. Not just any ring–the ring.

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