He approached Charlene from the behind. Usually, he would just grab the girl by the waist and start dancing with her. His dance was more of a grinding than a club dance but the types of girls he chose seemed to like it. Many would have called it rude and obnoxious, yet many times, women who wanted the “confident” approach fell for it. 

Tonight, Daniel was not up to his usual means of seduction. Isaac’s eyes were in the middle of his consciousness at the center of his head, as the basset was carefully watching him, working in a pair with his human sight. 

That was a powerful tool of the inhabitation dogs performed, and people who were targets didn’t know how lucky they were when everything went according to plan. They understood their luck much later when the cubes of their lives stacked to create a completely different pattern, one that took them as experimenters of fresh behaviors and soft emotions to a new life. This new life was filled with laughter and joy on account of the old sad, miserable, self-harming ways of being. 

Not many had the straight way to a beautiful future. Unless the inhabitation was successful, many went back way behind, becoming even more destructive. Sometimes, it was the dogs who suffered the most. People were merciless, and when facing their demons, dogs were the first to take the hit. So many dogs ended up wounded, even dead from people who couldn’t find the strength to turn a new page. Sadly, it was a harsh destiny for stray dogs, pushing them into fighting, predatory mode. In a way, people inhabited humans, instead of the other way around. It was a sad story to watch, but sometimes, evil won. 

The world of darkness and light was mixed this evening, too, as two gangs of dogs sharpened their teeth an growled in front of the “Demure” 

Daniel felt something was different since the meeting with the basset earlier that evening. His cushioned demeanor didn’t allow for any aggression so he just circumpassed Charlene and started slowly smiling and dancing with her. 

Charlene was surprised at first, but she caught a glimpse of his eyes under the club flashlights and changed her mind, losing her defensive stance. Those eyes were warm, much warmer than anything she has seen so far in her stern colleague. She decided to follow and smiled back. 

Encouraged by this fresh contact with a girl, and with the kiss of a dog’s spirit on his soul, Daniel’s hard shell was cracking around the edges. 

Maybe it was the basset, maybe it was this girl, or maybe it was the whiskey – who knew, but he didn’t feel the standard tears creeping up whenever he let his tough cover be replaced with the softer side. That’s precisely why he avoided tears and what kept him rigid. 

Maybe it was even up to a DMT someone put in his drink, though that was unlikely. That never happened at the “Demure”, where people usually paid for that stuff. 

Maybe it was up to every little thing of this strange night, but Daniel liked it, and his smile was growing bigger, becoming nearly natural, as most people who played the higher octaves of love smiled. 

The feeling was unknown to him. In the face of uncertainty, he let go. The desperation he usually felt before the Saturdays he visited his dad was replaced with hope. 

“Who knows, maybe there is something to living a gentle life?”, he thought, as the comfortable spiral of good mood, loud music, and one girl’s twinkling smile was interrupted by loud barking. 

It was more than one dog and it was coming from outside. He got just a moment between two tracks on the DJ’s list to hear the alarm. Otherwise, it would have been lost in the club’s deafening noise. 

He felt a worrying punch in the gut. The message was clear: Isaac, the basset, was frightened, angry, and aggressive. “Was it telepathy?” – Daniel didn’t believe in such nonsense, but he hurried anyway, led by his instincts. 

Charlene noticed his stupor and stopped dancing. Jo was far away, at the bar, talking with two guys at once. She didn’t notice anything. 

Daniel ran towards the exit. Charlene didn’t hear the dogs but she noticed something was happening. She followed behind him.   

Featured image: Caleb Carl on Unsplash

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