Monday, April 20, 2020

Do Dogs Turn Into Spirits? Google Search + Flash Fiction

P.T. Phronk
A post by P.T. Phronk,
of Forest City Pulp fame
It's my turn for a Google search post! This is my first ATB Google search, so I had to look up the rules:
  • Start a random search string in Google (or could be from one of your previous searches) 
  • Choose one of Google’s suggestions
  • Write up a post (or some flash fiction if you’re feeling really creative)
Let's make this as embarrassing as possible by starting with some of my actual previous searches. Most of my Google history is boring brain science stuff for my day job, but a few recent searches stood out:

I believe that's called a "video," past self.

I guess the air was moving fast and I forgot what to call it? Or maybe I just longed for the feeling of being outdoors, and turned to Google for a fruitless search to find pictures of wind.

Makes sense, given we're living through SARS's flashier but shittier sequel. The SARS outbreak was in 2003, and stopped by good old fashioned isolation of the infected, which was easier because it doesn't spread as easily as COVID-19. We still don't have a vaccine for SARS. Yikes.

Right, that sums up my feelings. (This is also the name of a great web series).

And finally, these two:

Errr ... that last one may require some explanation. My girlfriend and I were drinking wine and just wondering if our spayed dog would miss going into heat and doing the nasty with boy dogs. What? It's a valid question!

Anyway, let's combine those last two and see what Google autocompletes:

Ok I understand asking if dogs turn grey or white, but pink? Red? What have Googlers been doing with their dogs?

The one I really like is "do dogs turn into spirits?" Animals usually get left out of the world of the undead (though not in my crappy vampire series, because I find animals more interesting than people). But if a tiger can get COVID-19, then a dog (or bunny) must be able to catch whatever microorganism causes undeath. Surely dogs, and indeed all animals, can turn into spirits.

Let's explore the possibilities there with some flash fiction:

Do Dogs Turn Into Spirits? 

By P.T. Phronk

It turns out dogs have ghosts too! This is so great. After petting my friend’s dog, Ziggy, I’ve started seeing them everywhere, and they are always excited to see me. When a translucent puppy comes bounding up to me with a big bone in his mouth, I wonder if he was the pet of a long-ago king or a dead movie star. You never know. Sometimes three or four phantom doggos will crawl into my lap begging for pets. I hope this never ends!

Oh wow, it works with cats, too. A neighbourhood kitty rubbed up against my leg, and suddenly I see glowy eyes watching me wherever I go. Unlike dogs, they’re quite indifferent to my presence, but I think the ones at home are warming up to me. Some will meow for food. It’s a teeny bit irritating when I’m trying to sleep, but what a small price to pay to always be surrounded by adorable fur babies!

After a squirrel at the back door grabbed a peanut right out of my hand, the trees look much more alive. I can barely make out leaves any more, because there are so many fluffy little tails waggling up there. Cute! Kind of.

Since I helped that baby bird back into its nest, things have become a touch more difficult. I miss the sun, now that the sky is black with criss-crossing swarms of birds that died a long time ago. They swoop through my room and annoy the dozens of spectral cats that hang around, watching and licking their lips. The constant squawking and screeching sure do make it hard to get anything done.

Now it’s mosquito season. I thought living mosquitos were annoying, but let me tell you, the dead ones don’t lose their hunger for blood, and there are so many more of them. My entire body is covered in clumps of every mosquito that ever lived, jabbing their phantom needles into my veins in a futile attempt to drain my blood.

Sometimes I wish they could drink me dry, because maybe then the begging, the squawking, the itching would end. But when I see a translucent naked man writhing on my bedroom floor, the bugs swarming him, the cats gnawing on him, I know this will never end.

Good times, good times. Stay safe, everyone!

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