“I saw it with my own two eyes. Saved that dog’s life she did.”
“Well I think she’s a menace to society. I heard she told that poor lad to kick the dog.”
“I heard he was standing outside the bookies waiting for his old dad to come out, minding his own business he was, when she came up and incited him to do it.”
“Beautiful dog it was too, lovely Border Collie type, glossy black coat. Such a shame what happened.”
“It’s all rubbish. I saw it with my own two eyes I tell you. You could hear that dog howling all the way down the post office depot. Kicked it hard, right in its belly. I tell ya, kids nowadays… and she swooped in out of nowhere. Saved the pup’s life as sure as I’m standing here.”
“Well she can’t be trusted can she? How do we know they weren’t in it together? I mean what does he know, boy of that age?”
“I heard he’s not right in the ‘ead either. Bit slow, ya know.”
“Quick as a flash she was. Didn’t even hesitate.”
“Well I thought she was gonna kill the poor lad, way she spoke to ‘im. All so unnecessary if you ask me.”
“It’s lucky no-one else got hurt. So easy to get caught in the cross fire nowadays.”
“She was trying to help. Where would we be without people like her? Bring back the cane that’s what I say.”
“It’s people like her who cause all the trouble. That poor lad looked terrified.”
“I reckon she put him up to it, to make herself look good.”
“She’s a hero. We should give her a medal.”
“Honestly. Going round scaring young children. It hadn’t oughta be allowed.”
“She’s a public menace, needs to be locked up.”
“I heard she kicked the dog herself and then tried to blame it on the kid.”
“Wouldn’t blame her if she did kick the mutt and the kid. Have you seen the state of the pavements? Shit. Everywhere.”
“I was tied to a post. Standing there minding my own business. What could I do? I couldn’t even run away. Caught me square in the belly. Didn’t even see it coming. I was so shocked. Caught me off guard. I didn’t even bark. Then the second kick. I haven’t yelped like that since I was a pup. That’s when she flew in to the rescue. My hero. Saved my life for sure. And then… she was gone. I didn’t even see where she went.”
“I weren’t doin’ nothin’. Nasty lady yelled. Scared me.”
Murella had noticed the dog on the way down to the shops. Beautiful glossy curly black coat. Tied up between the bookies and the pub. Looked really well looked after. She wouldn’t have been able to tell you what breed it was though. The boy was stood by the litter bin looking really bored. She guessed he was between ten and thirteen. It was ten o’clock in the morning. Not many people were about on this side street. They were both still there on the way back; him and the dog, the boy’s feet still looking for an empty can to kick. Instead, he kicked the dog, booted it right in its belly, shifted it sideways and then… did it again, this time gave it some right welly; leg swung back then followed through the blow with his whole body. Murella was absolutely disgusted. The dog’s cry rang right through her body. She didn’t even try and stop the upsurge of emotion.
“Don’t kick the dog!” she shouted at the boy. He did not answer. He went immediately to the window of the bookies and faced away from her. From the smile coaxing the corners of his mouth she could tell he was not exactly ashamed of what he had just done.
“Why did you kick that dog? Is it your dog?” She was still raising her voice.
“It’s not your dog.” She was this time telling him. But why was she so sure and what did she care anyway? She wasn’t a dog lover and was generally rather afraid of them. She also harboured a mild distaste for people who seemed to value animal life over human life, those who were overly affectionate with their pets. By now she was convinced he was either mentally disturbed, weird or just plain cruel. She wanted to go into the bookies or the pub but what would she find there? The dog’s owner or the boy’s father or both, one in the same who might kick her in her own stomach for her trouble. She was rather fond of her internal organs and, in any case, had somewhere else she needed to be. People don’t want to know when their kids have behaved like little shits and usually the reason why they don’t want to know is because they either don’t want to believe it, don’t much care or it turns out they’re the ones who have taught their kids to behave like little shits. Anyway, she walked on, and thought about it all day.
What would the city really have to say about the incident? Perhaps the irony of a ‘feral’ boy attacking a dog would be too much for the media machine, for what was the difference? The line between species had been blurred by soundbite. Reports were telling Murella that all around her were dogs and wolves raising children and sending them out onto the streets with their teeth gnashing, all imbued with superhuman powers; night vision eyes, noses that could smell her fear and ears that could track the pace of her breath, feral in their entirety. These did not belong to the same pack of youth hailed as ‘Young Heroes’ in the local news bulletin. This breed weren’t out getting achievement awards for being young entrepreneurs and academic or musical geniuses. The ‘feral’ youth were clearly too busy giving dogs and elderly people a good kicking.
What would people really have to say? Nothing. If they didn’t care about her and the crackhead Kryptonians they surely would have bugger all to say about her mini heroics with a Border Collie. Old women might say that they didn’t know what the world was coming to and old men might call for compulsory military service but ultimately things would essentially stay the same.