“Hey look at that- another one.” Carlos nudged me with an elbow and nodded to a sign crudely stapled to a telephone pole.
I knew what I’d see before I looked, but it gave me chills anyway. A handmade sign read “Small Black Dog – Lost” except someone had crossed out ‘lost’ and written ‘DEAD’ in big, bold letters.
“Shit.” I muttered.
“Think we’ll find this one too?”
“I hope not but God hates us, so probably. If this keeps up people are going to think we’re the ones doing it.”
This was the third sign for a missing pet that we’d seen vandalized like that. Both times before, we’d come across the dead pets within twenty-four hours of seeing the sign. Neither of us knew what it meant.
Dread silence, snuffed out our conversation, and surrounded us as we trekked back to our apartment complex. I saw it first, laying in the gutter half-stuffed in a storm drain – a puddle of black fur, with a cornflower blue collar and lifeless eyes.
“What does it all mean?”
The question hung in the air long after we parted ways.