Theseus was walking his dog down the street. There were parks around, but he didn’t like the ambiance over there at night. The junkies hanging around didn’t look that menacing, hell, they were probably one good shove away from the emergency room, but why tempt Fate? That was his motto in life.

Keep your head down. Don’t make a fuss. Glide through life, unnoticed.

That plan was working splendidly for him so far. In his thirty years of life, he had a few average-looking girlfriends, a few boring dead-end jobs, and lived in the middling part of Athens. It wasn’t that bad, and it wasn’t that good.

Grey, you might call it.

He took a turn around the hotel. It was danky, with a flashing sign saying ‘Apollon.’ He stood for a moment as Admiral sniffed around for a proper place to take a shit. Reminiscing of better days, he waited, letting some slack on the leash.

Oh, Mairy. Yeah… She had a great ass. It was back when he hadn’t left the house yet, so he needed to either do it in a car, which he didn’t own, or find some place where they could be found out at any minute. Or, he could gather up some cash and take her to a hotel. Voila. What he liked most about Mairy wasn’t that she had a nice smile, or nice boobs, or anything like that.

No. All Theseus liked about the girl was how she looked and felt when he took her from behind. She had a tramp stamp, a tribal tattoo that was meant to be seen wearing a low-cut pair of jeans. Theseus liked seeing it just above the tip of his cock.

He remembered their precious few encounters in the hotel room and felt his pants suddenly getting smaller. Hell, how long had it been since he’d gotten his dick wet? Too long. He remembered the feel of Mairy’s plump buttocks as he squeezed them with his hands, how warm she felt around him. Doggy style, actually. That was his favourite position. Grinning like an idiot, his glance fell on his dog. His smile faded. “Admiral, no! Spit it out.” He rushed to his dog and wrenched his jaws open. He didn’t know what it was that the stupid dog was chewing again, but his track record told him that it couldn’t have been something good. “Stop eating whatever crap you might find on the ground,” he grunted, wresting the dog. “Let it go. Spit it out! Now! Admiral. Spit it out, I said. I don’t have the cash to get you to the vet again.”

Admiral enjoyed their tussle and didn’t let go. He didn’t squeeze his jaws tight, this was a game for him. But Theseus didn’t see what his dog had been chewing, and until he did, he wasn’t gonna let it go. Spit flew in the air, practically drenching the man. “Admiral!” he ordered again. “Spit it out!”

Someone stopped and stared at him, but Theseus didn’t care about them. He stuffed his hand in there, gripped Admiral’s lower jaw tight enough to hurt him, and forcefully grabbed what he had been chewing on.

It was small. It was black. Sharp. “Ow!” he winced, and among his spit-drenched hand, a line of dark red blood ran down his wrist. All that struggling made the stone, for it was some kind of sharp stone, dig into his palm, on the soft spot between the base of the index and the middle finger. He sucked in air and turned towards the light. “Ahh, bitch. It hurts.” He lifted the black piece of stone towards Admiral, who was wagging his tail happily. “See this? This could pierce your stomach, vlaka.”

Admiral licked his master’s wound hand with a big slurp and let his tongue hang, panting hard.

“I can’t be taking you to the vet every month, for fuck’s sake, Admiral! Sure, I don’t mind visiting her, she does have a great ass, but I can’t afford it. Fifty euro every time to gawk at a fine posterior, never enjoying it… Pure torture.” He pulled the leash again and started walking in anger, Admiral strolling along happily.

He swapped the leash from one hand to the other, getting tangled in it, hopping as he walked and Admiral zigged and zagged behind him. He stared at his palm. It throbbed, felt like it was infected, but it couldn’t have been, right? He had just cut it moments ago, and he had read somewhere that a dog’s saliva has antibacterial properties, that’s why they lick your wounds.

He squeezed it, clenching the leash. The cut hurt a lot, all cuts that were on sensitive tissue like that did so, and he pressed the skin around it, letting it bleed. “Huh,” he said. “I think there’s a piece of the damn thing stuck in there.”

Admiral didn’t say anything. He found a spot, took a wee, turned in place a couple of times, then crapped the sidewalk.

Theseus should have cleaned it up, but his cut made him pissy. He left it as it was and pulled Admiral’s leash and left, still poking at his small wound.

For a moment, he thought he saw a flash of light from in there.

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