The summer night was thick and stuffy. Clouds that would have been charcoal in the daylight hours covered the horizon like a thick blanket, trapping in the humid heat.
On the porch of a house on the outskirts of town, an old hound dog by the name of Bowler raised his head above his paws and whimpered, his thick tail thumping like a sluggish heart beat.
The screen door slammed open and a heavyset woman stomped out to the porch, took one look at Bowler and yelled, “Martin, he’s at it again.”
Martin’s flabby face appeared in the kitchen window. “Eh? Ingrid?”
“Your dog’s making noise again. There might be a stranger nearbouts.”
“Attaboy, Bowler! Good boy!”
“Don’t you want to walk the fence?”
“Not particularly. No.”
“How did I end up with such a useless man?”
“The same way you ended up with useless property—bad luck and a whole heap of attitude.”
Ingrid cackled and clapped her hands. “Ha! Well, I’m going to the shed and getting the pick-ax. I’ll show a stranger how we deal with interlopers ’round here.”