Thump, thump, thump, thump. The soft, rhythmic sound of the german shepherd’s and golden retriever’s paws hitting the hot, cracked ground induced a trance-like state upon the company. All around them was heat, sand, and desert. Each dog had a rusty, small chain attached to each of their collars and naturally, a small doggy sombrero. The other end of the chains were being loosely gripped by two men, each dressed in ragged and torn clothes, but the dogs knew that each concealed a small, clean, and power firearm under their shirts, neatly ducked into their holsters at their sides.
“Tell me again why we agreed to do this?” asked the man leading the German shepherd. His voice was slow, dreary, and clearly indicated he was hot and tired.
“Obviously,” said one of the other three men accompanying them, “ because ever since you lost that small container of product, the boss is trying to find a reason to...exterminate us. Thus, leading us to volunteer for whatever job that gets us away from him,” he finished his statement with an obscene gesture to the other man, and when he did so everyone noticed he was missing part of his finger.
“I told you it was an accident and I never thought the border patrol was so close behind!” the first man exclaimed. “To be completely honest, at that moment in time I forgot I signed up with the cartel and was just running back like I used to.” the dog took off to chase a butterfly but he yanked it back in place.
The dog fell back into line with a low growl, and showed his large, dangerous teeth to the man who just looked away quickly. They walked for five more minutes in the heat, causing more tension between the two men, who not for the other three, would have came to blows over the argument. Suddenly, the golden retriever jerked forward, clearly after something, The man holding the dog, quiet up to this point, barely had time to cling with both hands and pull the barking dog back.
“I knew bringing these mutts was a bad idea!” exclaimed the man with the injured finger. “If the border patrol doesn’t catch us, then the dogs will assuredly give us away!” He drew his hand back in a threatening manner, but quickly recoiled it back once the german shepherd growled a low, deep, hostile growl. “Oh, now you’ve done it!” the man started towards the dog, who was being held back by the man holding his chain.
The entire scene was unfolding in a small clearing, completely surrounded with foliage which was rather odd for the area they were in. On all sides, there were cacti and other plants that just seemed to appear, and completely concealing them. As the delicate seconds ticked on by, the brush became thicker and thicker, until it finally drew the attention of the men. The dogs, however, sensed this was coming well before it actually started, and each one was hunched down ready to leap and tear any threat apart.
“What the…” questioned one of the men who instinctively reached for his weapon. Before he could pull it out, or even finish his sentence, he started screaming. All around him the other men too started to act very oddly, the one missing the finger even slumped to the ground and wailed like a hungry baby. The two men holding the dogs immediately dropped the chains, and looked to their hands. Whatever piece of flesh on their hands that touched the chain was instantly charred, black, and disgusting, as if they were holding molten metal.
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” screamed another one of the men who was waving his arms about the air as if he was fighting away birds trying to get to him. “Le- Lets get out of here!” he screamed again, and instantly started to run for the fortress of plants. Once he got close, the man dropped his shoulder and prepared to bash into the living and growing wall. However, immediately upon his contact, the wall disappeared and the man fell face first into the ground. The scene worsened and the people continued to go insane, fighting whatever imaginary monsters they sensed or being completely overwhelmed with emotions. Finally, the two men who were holding the chain grabbed the man crying on the ground and ran towards the way they came, along the way picking up the other two men off the ground.
In an instant, only the two dogs remained. They were circling around each other, each trying to protect the defenceless part of the other, and clearly showed experince with dangerous situations. A tall, lengthy figure, wearing a very old tuxedo,a top hat, and with a extravagant, well groomed beard emerged out of nowhere. In his mouth, sat a pipe which caused him to open his mouth and release a smoke ring every few moments. Immediately upon seeing the figure, the dogs literally sprang into action. The german shepherd flung himself towards the figures legs and wrapped his powerful, machine like jaw around the figured leg. The second he braced for impact however, he kept going through the silhouette. He crashed to the ground, landing on his side, his sombrero going flying. He looked up and saw the figure completely motionless holding the retriever in its outstretched hands, the dog fighting and snapping at anything near it but its teeth passed harmlessly through the ghost.
The German shepherd sprang back to his feet and charged the figure, letting out a long growl at the figure containing the other dog. The muscles in the legs of the German shepherd worked like well oiled engines, contracting and relaxing forcing the dog along at impossible speed. However, instead of going for the feet again, he sprang up at the last moment making contact with the dog in his hands, and the momentum caused both dogs to go flying away from the ghost, and they landed near each other. As soon as they hit the ground, a large, metal box formed around them out of nowhere. The figure spoke.
“Now now now, all I wanted to do was ask for you assistance. I mean, I DID save you from those criminals. But instead, you greet good ol’ Abe by attacking him like some animals,” the figure, calling himself Abe, emphasized the last word. He pulled the long, delicate and finely crafted pipe out of his mouth and reached into his coat pocket with the other hand. First pulling out an opaque and ghostly axe that clang to the ground, he finally managed to pull a small tin can out of his pocket. The American flag was embodied upon the front, and he opened it, pulled out some tobacco, and stuffed into the pipe. Putting everything back, including the giant axe that he moved effortlessly, he looked towards the dogs who at this point just looked at him confused.
“Seriously? No response?” he sighed. The golden retriever, who was a dwarf compared to the gigantic three year old german shepherd, barked once.
“Oh! I’m such a dolt! Whoever let me rule the government? Of course you haven’t said anything, you are doggies! Well let me fix that little communication problem we are experiencing…” he pulled the pipe out of his mouth once more and with a wave of his hand, he placed the pipe back in. “Well, still no words? Come on, you guys sure aren’t good company.”
Something snapped inside the heads of the dogs and each open their mouths and words came out. First, nothing english, but after a few seconds of mumbling the golden retriever was able to form words. Abe just clapped, clearly excited with situation. The golden retriever, clearly having better luck with this whole speaking thing than german shepherd, spoke.
“Wh...what have you done? Who are you? What just happened? Why can’t we harm you? Explain yourself!” the dog hunched once again. The german shepherd looked over, clearly awestruck with the other dogs ability to speak. He was only able to form simple sounds.
“Hmmm...seems your friend over there is having trouble with this. It happens with some animals. But first of all, I am Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the nation in which you illegally entered,” he got real quiet, “which, between us, I am ok with. More the merrier!” he blew a smoke ring and continued. “I gave you, well tried to give you and your companion the ability to talk. I saved you from those criminals by forcing illusions upon, much like the one containing you.” at that, he waved his hand and the box disappeared. “The illusions are actually not real. Just a conjuration of the mind. The hands of the people holding your chains? Just a image, their hands are fine. You couldn’t hurt me because I am a ghost. Not actually here. The reason I saved you is because I require assistance. You see, the president of the United States of America was kidnapped...er presidentnapped, by ninjas. As a past president, it is my job to see to his safe return. To be completely honest, it was George Washingtons turn to save him but what's the fun with that?” he finally paused for what would be a breathe, but as a ghost he didn't actually have lungs.
“Wait, so let me get this straight, The president of the nation in which we just aided the cartel and others to enter upon donkeys was kidnapped ninjas a warrior long since extinct. Thus, you seek the assistance of two dogs? Why? Also, for the record, I am Mary the girlfriend doggy of the big brute over their Spot.” the golden retriever, Mary, motioned her snout over the other dog, Spot, still trying to form words. He finally managed to saw blanket, but that was it.
“Why? Well because I love dogs and wanted to make this interesting! Well actually, I love cats much more but couldn’t find any here in the desert. Who woulda thought? But yes, so will you help or not? I’d be delighted if you did, and just remember, you do owe me.” Abe said, once again blowing a ring.
“Whats in it for us?” asked Mary, still cautious at the harmless figure.
“I have a feeling the current president would aid you greatly, as I heard he has room in the white house for pets. Also, the great, fun, grand adventure of course. Oh, also because you owe me and if you don’t do it I will make your life horrible.” Abe said with a cheery smile.
“Fine. We will do it.” Mary and Spot got up waited for Abe to give directions.
“First order of business, “ Abe snapped his fingers and Spot’s sombrero flew back onto his head. “Think it makes you look more menacing. Second order of business, we need to go find the cartel. Having thought of it for about three seconds, I think the plan is to bring the cartel to the ninjas, hold up in a close by warehouse, and during all the confusion and awesome slow motion fighting, snag the president and go! Simple. Lets go!” he motioned and the dogs went.
The track back to where the cartel was being held was not fun. All along the way, Abe just sung or whistled tunes from the civil war. Within minutes, the dogs were tired of it and thought about just running for it. He even said he is harmless, but they both just remembered what he said. If we don’t do this, he will make our lives horrible, and they knew he would too.
After thirty minutes of ear torturing minutes, they finally arrived upon the cartel’s compound. It was a small, makeshift camp of tents and trucks, all arranged in a defensive position around one large truck, filled with what they were protecting.
“Ok, find a way to get the cartel to follow you. Then follow me over to the ninjas!” he disappeared with a poof of pink smoke.
“What a character…” Mary mumbled to no one in particular. She looked at Spot who was intently staring at something in the compound. Following his gaze to the truck in the middle, she immediately got the same idea. They both ran full sprint towards the truck in the middle.
Spot stopped right at the first tent where a guard stood playing a guitar to himself. Crouching low, he snuck up behind the man. With the force of a small bull, he sprang up, his hind leg muscles flinging him with impossible force right into the back of the man. In one swift motion, Spot, the man, and the guitar were inside the concaved tent. Upon impact, loud crashes were heard from the inside of the tent as pots and pan fell every which way. The man screamed before hitting his head on a wooden support pole. With all the noise, Spot knew he caused a good distraction as he heard sirens, screams, the sound of firearms being pulled free, and the thunderous sounds of feet running towards him.
The man out cold, Spot jumped off of him out of the tent and immediately crawled under the closet truck and snuck his way over the middle of the compound where Mary already had the posted guard on the ground. Blood leaked through his pants where she bite him on the leg, as well as he had a bloody nose. He too was unconscious.
“Now...where is Abe when you need him…” Mary said to herself as she was looking for a way inside the truck.
With a poof, Abe appeared once again. This time instead of a suit, he wore a civil war general jacket, a unusable rifle on his back. He still had his top hat on and his pipe in his mouth. “You called? Oh! The truck filled with their cargo! Good idea. I swear, I can drive this thing! I have snuck into some unexpected driver’s ed classes recently!” He open the door, whistled for the dogs to hop in, and climbed in himself.
The ride out of the compound was….lets just say interesting. It took Abe a solid two minutes to find the keys, and another one to turn it on. Once finally running, he knew the guards would be alerted at the sound, so he found the gear shift, threw it in drive, and floored it. Spot and Mary were both cringing at all the things, and maybe people, he ran over as he tore out of the compound, cars and trucks already on his tail.
“The good ol’ confederates will fear the day!” He sang some more of his civil war songs. Spot guessed you can’t be in a vehicle without some music so he let it happen. Spot himself took up half of the truck seat, so Mary had to squeeze in between him and ghostly Abe. “The day I left the slaves FREEEEE!” he broke out into an impossibly high pitch. He somehow managed it.
“Here we are. President is inside. I need you to go in, and get him to follow you out. I will be alerting the proper authorities, and there will be a helicopter here for transport out. This is our farewell my friends. Maybe I will see you again?” Abe opened the door and jumped out. He was gone before hitting the ground. Two bullets nearly took Spot’s head off as he jumped out. The cartel definitely followed them closely. The two dogs ran into the open door, right into the middle of a ninja meditation time.
The sound of katanas being drawn was deafening. Thirty in all, all stood around the dogs. They instantly started blabbering among themselves in a language neither Spot nor Mary ever heard. The dogs spotted the president. He was bruised, bloody, and bound to a chair in the middle of the floor, but he was alive. The ninjas must have decided among a course of action, as one started forward with his katana held in a way to kill. Before anything could happen though, the side of the warehouse exploded. Bullets rang in and shurikens from the ninjas rang out. Projectiles were everywhere. The ninja advancing was only dazed for a second, and he remembered his mission. As his very confused comrades went into battle against some very confused mexicans, he still advanced towards the dogs. Spot, hunched down ready to kill the man half his size waited. At the right moment, he sprang and caught the ninja’s arm mid swing. The momentum brought the ninja to his back and he dropped his sword. Mary immediately sprinted on over to the president and started to untie his bounds with her teeth,
Spot and the ninja circled each other. The ninja was small and weak, but he knew how to deal with a dog. Everytime Spot went to lunge, the ninja moved to dodge. Finally, the ninja made his move. Jumping towards the dog twice his size didn’t work out to well for him. While still in air, the dog swatted his paw and smacked the ninja across the face sending him sprawling into the fray of his brethren.
Mary whinned. Spot looked over and immediately was run over with despair. A wooden log, fallen from the broken and burning walls fell and pinned her to the ground. Spot couldn’t stand the sight. The dog who has been with him ever since they were both puppies stolen from their families by the cartel, raised to kill, was on the ground in middle of a battle that no matter which way ended, she would die. Spot never felt so mad. It seemed like one single bound before he was over there, his jaw wrapped around the log. He never felt so powerful, so needed, so strong as he did when the giant muscles in his body lifted the log off Mary’s injured body. All he could think about was his dog companion until something snapped in him and he remembered why he was here.
The president was alive, and awake. He was, for lack of better words, freaking out. Despite the U.S. Marine’s tattoo on his arm indicating his past experiences and training, waking up in a warehouse with ninjas and cartel trying to kill each other, as well as two dogs trying to save you was a bit overwhelming. Spot knew what he had to do.
“S…” the words wouldn’t come, but he knew he must make them. Mary was unconscious and he needed to speak as much know as he will ever need to. He tried again.
“S..sir. Please. C...come with u...us. And please. No...no...more freaking out….it hu...hurts.” the effort physically pained him, but he got the message across. The president, now completely fixated on the talking dog just laughed like an insane man started to understand.
“Abe again? He REALLY need to stop sending animals, like seriously, you almost made me faint again...here let me help.” the president said as he bent towards where Spot was trying to nudge Mary on his back. After the president placed the dog on the back of the other, he ran towards the door. Spot at his heels.
The ride out of that devilish place was a heaven compared to the rest. The second they left the building, three helicopters flew overhead. One landed, while to others stayed in the air. Marines slid down from ropes out of the two in the air, and rushed the dogs and the president to the third helicopter. Once inside, they were in the air in seconds. The president sat there as a medic looked over his injuries, and petted Spot who was laying close to Mary. The president promised Spot once they arrived back home Mary would have the best care possible. Also, when this is all over, both him and Mary will have a permanent spot back at the white house with him.
Spot sat there and thought on how he just saved the life of the president. He started to remember of all the stories he heard of how dogs just like him and Mary would live their lives with a family in a home. He realized on how important a simple thing like a dog, like him, could make in someone’s life.