'A Dog's Treat' by Mumpuni Murniati
Wandering round the pub, I spot a small basket in the porch full of small oblong stuff. I come closer, looking at them. Pop one into my mouth. It tastes like a beef-flavoured cookie. My teeth hurt while crunching it, my jaw works really hard. But I’m ravenous, so I help myself for one more, then another one.
‘Ewan, come.’ Mum stands behind me, her voice soft. She scolded me for throwing a fork at Gracie. But she’d started it, howling at me for no reason.
I turn round and follow her back to our seats. The little brat has stopped crying and is staring at me with her puppy eyes. I shoot her a look when Mum’s not looking. ‘Sit here, boy,’ she sighs, gesturing me to take a seat at the head of the table. I nod and sullenly slump in the wooden chair. Dad presses a smile. I don’t return his. Why are we having this ‘family time’ is beyond me.
I’m tamed for the rest of the dinner. I clear out my big plate of lamb chops and chips, but far from feeling full. I shove the mushy vegs under the table ‘cos they look horrible.
At night claws spring from my fingers, fur sprouts up. My muscles grow much bigger overnight. At the rising sun I growl on all fours.
I leap out from the open window of my room, not looking back. Free at last.