Round 3 Challenge: Incorporate the death of a dog into your next passage. It should be no more than 400 words long.
Avitus The Visigoth spent two sleepless nights pondering the cryptic command delivered to him after his defeat by Ganesh The Kabalist: Mete out the punishment you deserve upon your loved one. How well he executed this command would determine whether he would be readmitted to Asphodel Fields or banished from it forever.
Although Avitus – Bob Landers in his lesser life – had suffered a disgraceful defeat, he knew it was also an opportunity. This was the first punishment The Unseen One had issued. Some even envied him. He was making history. His terrier, Frodo, sat at his feet, waggling his hind. Avitus tapped his thigh, calling him up. Frodo barked gleefully and leapt into his lap.
Mete out the punishment you deserve upon your loved one… After two days of reflection, Avitus settled upon his punishment. He had been hacked down in the mud swamps of Tartaria, a region of filth, pestilence, and disease. His soul needed cleansing.
Avitus looked at the clock and then walked to the kitchen, cradling Frodo. Doubts gripped him. He had to be strong, his faith unswerving as Abraham’s. He would not disappoint The Unseen One.
-I don’t expect you to understand this, he whispered to Frodo, but in my place you’d do the same.
In the kitchen, Avitus turned his laptop on and logged in to Asphodel Fields. Everyone was in attendance. All recognized this was an historic event. He started the teleconference and stood before the screen.
-I am Avitus The Visigoth and I am prepared to fulfill The Unseen One’s command.
He scooped Frodo up with one hand and held him before the screen.
-Frodo and I have lived together for the last 13 years. I love no one more.
He then shifted the screen so that it faced his front loader washing machine. Avitus stroked Frodo, then placed him in the drum, nails clicking on the dimpled steel. Frodo did not attempt to jump out, but he looked quizzically at Avitus.
Avitus locked the door. Frodo began to paw at the window and bark but it was barely audible behind the glass. Avitus kissed his fingers and pressed them to the glass.
-I’m doing this because I love you.
Then he pulled up a chair in front of the machine and pushed Start.