by Hydrargentium

I had misgivings when we took this job. Guarding people’s pets was not our usual engagement — even those of billionaires.

But Triple owed a favour, and the compensation was decidedly above par, so Elvis came to join us in a rented rancher near Phoenix. It was fine, really. None of us hated dogs, and Elvis, while small, was not the yappy type. For a week’s duration, we could handle laying back and dogsitting.

We all agreed that Triple would be the one to take Elvis for walks.

Of course, W.C. Fields rightly insisted, “Never work with children or animals.” The man was smarter than he looked. In our case, though, it wasn’t a problem of being upstaged.

No, it was the unpredictability that countered our precautions. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised when I returned to the house after a short side-project to find a level of disarray markedly higher than the usual “five guys in a rented house” untidiness. With the furniture in the living room all moved away from the walls, and glimpses in other rooms showing similar rearrangement, it was clear we’d hit a snag.

In the living room, I pinned Triple to the wall with a stare.

“What’s going on?”

Lounging in a chair in the corner, Squeezeplay chuckled.

“Elvis has left the building.”