Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Pit

Content advisory: violence, dog fighting, adult language.

Cody Reid roamed the crappy greater LA neighborhood simply because he had to move and stretch his legs. His little apartment was too confining but it was all he could afford.

He prowled with long strides, traveling unfamiliar territory. Wound tight, he needed release from the tension coiled in his body. He turned down a street lined with dead and dying spindly, young trees. The houses looked no better and most looked worse.

Scantily dressed women chatted in small clusters while grubby children played nearby. Tough looking young men eyed him as he went on his way. He looked right back at them, unafraid, not intimidated in the least.

He kept going, working off the tension, or at least trying to. He turned down an even worse street. The unmistakable sounds of an aggressive dog drew his attention. Not one dog. At least two. Maybe more. His curiosity roused, he followed the sounds of the animals.

A canine cry cut above the indignant yell of a man.

What the fuck was going on? More people verbally joined in the commotion and understanding clicked into place.

“Sons of bitches,” he hissed and homed in on the noise, following it unerringly toward a large, abandoned looking building. The door stood ajar but two large men who appeared to be overage gang members stood at the entrance.

Cody strode past them as if he had zero interest in the goings-on’s inside the ramshackle building. No one gave him a second look which made it clear that what they were doing took place on a regular basis and no one fucked with them.

He made his way on by the building and kept going till he reached the end of the block. He turned right, went to the end of the block and doubled back toward the building. If there was one thing that burned Cody’s nuts, it was someone abusing an animal. And that was what was going on back there.

At the back of the building he stopped and scanned for a way inside. No doors. No windows. He went around the side and found one small window. He eyed it critically. Not at all sure he could squeeze through, he looked for something to pry it open with anyway. He sure as hell didn’t want to smash it and have a bunch of goons come to investigate the noise. That is, assuming they heard it over the dogs fighting in the front of the building.

Cody had no idea what he was going to do beyond snapping a few pictures with his iPhone for evidence. Over the sounds of combat in the fighting pit, he couldn’t tell how many people were there but it sounded like a shitload of the sons of bitches were taking part in the festivities. Where there were dog fights, there was also betting and money changing hands.

These were not people who would take his presence in a good way. Not that he was a coward. He wasn’t. But he wasn’t an idiot either.

He found a piece of flat metal that might work to pry the window open. He snatched it and hurried over to the filthy pane of glass. After some wiggling, he managed to get the edge under the frame. He put his weight on the metal and to his satisfaction the window gave to the pressure and rose silently.

Cody hoisted himself up and through the opening. He dropped almost soundlessly into a room that apparently served as nothing more than junk storage. Picking his way carefully through the disaster area, he headed for the doorway.

The sudden cheer of onlookers left a cold pit in his gut. A moment later two dogs got busy trying to rip each other to shreds, much to the delight of what had to be a considerable crowd of spectators. If there were that many people, he should be able to slip in, snap some pictures, and get out of Dodge.

With that thought, he pushed open the door leading into what was being used as a fighting ring. Two pit bulls were busy tearing each other to shreds. The scent of blood was thick and the dog’s growls were savage. His stomach turned. The dogs were bloody, both badly injured, each determined to kill the other.

A thick ring of onlookers had formed around the canine combatants, cheering or cursing, depending on which animal they were betting on.

No one paid Cody a bit of attention. He slipped his phone from his pocket and clicked three fast pictures of the action which consisted of one dog with its teeth buried in the other’s throat.

Cody pushed closer. He wanted to video the scene but he wouldn’t get away with it and not be noticed. His hand squeezed so tightly on the phone that the case cracked. Forcing himself to relax his hold, he maneuvered closer. The smell of blood was overpowering. He tensed, his muscles twitching. He held himself in check with difficulty.

A sudden shriek from the dog that had been choking its foe brought cheers and curses as the animal’s powerful jaws locked down, breaking bone.  

“Son of a bitch, bastards,” Cody said. “Ruin good animals.”

A man turned and stared at him. And then another. And another until a cluster of men were no longer watching the dogs. The fight was over. The stronger dog had the loser on its side, its teeth locked on its throat. The dog gasped to breathe.

“Who the fuck are you?” a large scruffy man demanded.

“Name’s Cody.”

The big man came closer. “I don’t know you. What the fuck you doin’ here?”

“I just heard the good time and walked in. Meant no harm, dude.” Shit. Things might get ugly fast. And if he lost control things would get a hell of a lot uglier than any of these redneck fucks would be able to imagine. Problem was, he couldn’t let that happen.

“This is a private affair. We don’t like people just invitin’ they selves in.”

Cody held his hands up like a shield. “Sorry, man. I’ll just leave. No harm.”

A beefy hand shot out and grabbed Cody’s arm. “You ain’t goin’ nowhere.”

“Get off me,” Cody said and jerked his arm loose. “I don’t give a rat’s-fuck about what you’re doing here.”

“That so, cowboy?” The man moved fast. His hand dove into Cody’s jacket pocket and pulled out the iPhone. “Let’s see what you’ve been taking pictures of. Yeah, I saw you.” He gave Cody a cold smirk.

He scrolled through the last few pictures with a scowl on his face. “For someone who doesn’t give a rat’s-fuck you sure have a lot of pictures of something that’s none of your biz.”

“I liked it. No big deal. I wanted pictures.”

“You must think I was born yesterday.” He drove his fist into Cody’s stomach, doubling him over. Before he managed to straighten, the ring of men closed around him.


Cody opened his eyes slowly. His body ached in a hundred places. He rolled onto his side and groaned. Outnumbered, he’d been on the losing end of a serious ass-whipping. Now he lay in a small room with peeling paint and dirt covered walls. There were no windows and he was willing to bet the door was locked.

Shit. Now he’d done it.

His body quivered. He glanced at his watch. 10:54. Jesus, he’d been out a long time.

“Hey, Tom,” a voice said from the other side of the door. A guard?

“He in there?”

“Yeah. Boss wants you to take care of him.”

Holy fuck. Cody struggled onto his feet. They were talking about him. And not in a good way.

“Not a prob. Want him done here or somewhere else?”

“Take his ass out of here. Too big for the dogs to eat.” Both men laughed.

So what was he going to do? Go with Tom and take care of things while they were alone at whatever place Tom decided to murder him? Or wait for them to open the door and give them a taste of what they obviously enjoyed enough to sacrifice countless animals for?

Why should he show them an ounce of mercy? After all, they were plotting his death.


Cody stood close to the wall, head lowered, eyes trained on the door. A low growl rumbled deep in his chest. He planted his feet and waited. They were just on the other side of the door. He smelled them. Two men.

Someone flipped open the lock with a loud click.

Cody gathered and braced himself.

The knob turned.

Cody hunkered down, ready.

The door opened.

Cody leapt.

He landed on the man in front taking them both down onto dirty, bare linoleum. The man let out a squall of surprise and fright.

Another man burst into the room. “What the fuck?” He rushed forward and kicked hard, catching Cody in the ribs. He yelped but it wasn’t enough to dislodge him from the man pinned on the floor. He grabbed the man’s throat, clamping down. The man thrashed, flailing, struggling for breath.

The second man pulled a weapon but he didn’t get to use it. Cody released the first man and leapt toward his companion. Catching Weapon Wielder in the shoulder, Cody yanked with every ounce of his considerable strength. Weapon Wielder went down hard, screeching like a girl, he tried to pull away. The gun dropped from his hand and clattered on the floor.

The man struggling under Cody punched hard, catching him in the stomach. The blow hurt but he didn’t yield except to go for the man’s throat. Getting a lock on him, Cody jerked hard. Bone cracked. The man gasped, his eyes bugged then rolled up in his head. He fell away from Cody and lay unmoving.

Cody turned his attention to the other man who stood frozen, staring at his deceased comrade.

The man let out a little hiss of fright. His eyes locked with Cody’s then he spun and fled. He made it through the doorway before Cody went after him.

An extremely ugly middle aged woman and another man rushed into the building, presumably to the aid of their scumbag friends. Both skidded to a halt.

He launched, catching the running man in the back. Growling, Cody clamped powerful jaws on the back of the man’s neck and bit hard. The man’s scream was piercing. Tasting blood, Cody locked his jaws as the man tried to fight for his life. His two would-be rescuers didn’t bother to confer with one another, they simply ran away.

Cody jerked his head, breaking the man’s neck. He released the dead man and trotted calmly toward the open door. His toenails clicked over the linoleum. He couldn’t stop his bushy tail from waiving high over his back.

He went through the door. Outside a few people lingered around a bon fire. The ugly woman stood beside a junker car. “See,” she yelled. “See, a wolf. It’s a fucking wolf.”

Cody couldn’t laugh in his wolf form but he wished he could. He charged at the humans and they scattered like cockroaches. He didn’t give chase. He kept going, racing down the street and quickly putting the shitty neighborhood behind him.

He’d only killed two of the dirty bastards but the police would see what was going down and take care of the rest.

Pleased with putting them out of business, Cody broke into a trot. There was no need to rush. It wasn’t like any of them would catch up and harm him. There was a hell of a big difference between abusing a poor dog and taking on a werewolf. If only they would come after him. . .  He slowed to a walk, taking his time—in  case one of them brewed up a case of courage.

With his appetite for destruction and lust for blood wetted, he padded along, hoping for another kill.

 ~ Nickie Asher ~

If you missed any of our previous posts and would like to catch up, you can purchase the Digital Digest Volume II anthology as an ebook for only $.99.

Copyright © 2011 Nickie Asher

All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. All names, characters, locations, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination, or have been used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, locales, or events is entirely coincidental. No portion of this work may be transmitted or reproduced in any form, or by any means, without permission in writing from the author.

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