Simply reading the tag line for Robyn Cain’s short story, Insanitary, I had the feeling something was not quite right. “Consider carefully where you walk the dog.” I’m familiar with Cain’s work having read a few of her full length books so I know her stories can take a bizarre twist. This short is no exception.
When Henrietta takes her dog Scruffy for a walk things start out normally enough. There is a slight hint that things may go awry when she decides to “take a different route than their usual”. But Scruffy is described as a well behaved little doggie so there can’t be too much of a problem.
Passing locked metal gates Henrietta stops to read the variety of posted notices. One warns “Your shit is not welcome here”. Amused she reads the sign aloud to Scruffy who has found the perfect place to leave a deposit. Obeying Henrietta’s orders to “do it here” Scruffy finishes the deed and scoots off.
What follows takes the reader from a lovely autumn stroll with the family pooch to a nightmare place where things go terribly wrong.
Once again Twisted Tales provides a cautionary tale; warnings must be heeded or the consequences must be faced. Those consequences can be quite disturbing.
It is easy to suspect Cain channeled Stephen King with this little story since she has captured that relaxed language that lulls the reader into an easy read before dropping the bomb and blowing her away.
Suffice it to say my doggies will be using the potty in our backyard in the future. No need to press my luck.
Links for Robyn Cain