A Short Story by Alice Clark
Written using the suggestion "Tofu"
Originally featured on 11-28-2010
As part of our series "All From These Magic Beans"

My sister tattooed her dog. Before you go all PETA about that, I want you to know that the dog really wanted a tattoo. It had been begging for it for months. My sister and her husband are tattoo people, and because it’s a people pleasing kind of creature, it really wanted a tattoo in order to fit in. Don’t judge its choices. Beth only wished that she too could have a tattoo instead of just giving them, but she was sadly allergic to all things dye related.

Beth also needed a new medium on which to practice her tattooing, having used up her mail order fake skin. Steve, the small white female dog, now has a blue anchor on her right shoulder. I asked Beth why an anchor and she said that was what suited Steve’s personality best, having always been fond of Navy men.

When Beth first got that dog, I wondered about her motives. She likes to wrap its head in blankets and take pictures. Sometimes they hold it belly-up, like a baby in arms. They gave it a man’s name and I think it’s a person. But Steve gets to piss in the road. Steve can jump on your face. When they are annoyed with me, they put Steve in my lap. That thing is hyper-alert and will give you meth-like, intense death stares. Steve wears capes and bites people. It’s ok though because Steve is a dog.

I visited Beth once while wearing a shirt that had originally been hers, long ago when we shared a closet. During dinner, I noticed Steve was not around. Beth said she was outside, which she was. Apparently, Beth locked Steve in my car with a pink-feathered boa around her neck. Steve was shaking with anxiety, whimpering and looking out the passenger door window, but with something evil in her eyes. Nervous dog shit and chewed feathers in my car. Beth said, “She does that some times.”


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