Lucky Dog 1 Short Story – Anniversary 1 – Say one’s vow



(Released in the 1st Anniversary collection version red.  Unserialized.  2009.)


Say one’s vow

“Hey, Gian!  How’s it going over there?  Find what we’re looking for?”

“How’?  I’ll tell you ‘how.’  I’m surrounded by four walls of crap here!  I mean, we finally get a new room added to HQ and you turn it into a hoarding room for all this junk.  What the hell were you thinking, you damn geezer…?”

“Hm?  You say something?”

“Mm, nope.  Nooothin’.”

My name is Giancarlo.  I … I really am the Second Boss of the Mafia family in charge of this city, Daivan – the Cosa Nostra CR:5…  I really am, but…

For some reason, I have to strain my muscles for absolutely no reason.  This place’s supposed to be a brand new room but now is instead a cave padded with an abnormal amount of dust and the overwhelming stench of mold.

There’s only one person who can actually order me around for something like this.

“Huh?  That’s strange…  If it’s not this box, then…”

That person is this damn gorilla, standing there twisting his neck and shifting his shoulders with audible cracks.  The previous Boss, Capo Alessandro – now he’s Counselor Alessandro – is the sole reason I’ve been turning Pops’s filthy hole upside-down and over for the past two hours.

This room’s being used to store the old man’s personal items – or rather, his private documents and letters.

“Hey, Pops.  You sure that letter’s really in this room?”

“Yeah, I’m sure.  Besides, have I ever fed you a single lie or bullshat before this?”

“Nope, ‘course you haven’t!”

“Look me in straight in the eyes when you answer.  How rude.  Come on, we’re tackling that box now.”

“Aye, aye.”

The steel shelves are filled with cardboard boxes, wooden boxes, and tin boxes.  Aside from that, there’s bundles upon bundles upon bundles of paper, outside of any box.  And then there’s dust, dust, dust…

“Sigh, why’s the Second gotta do something like this?”

“Quit your whining.  I’m your senior in bosshood, yet I’m the one coated over in dust— Cough, cough!  Aagh, I’ll leave the rest to you.”

“Hey!  You know, if you leave me alone here, I won’t even know I’ve got whatever you’re looking for even if it’s in my hands!”

“You will.  The letter’s an old thing from a sender by the name of Lady Honey Lily.  That’s distinct enough, right?  Man, she was the best kitten ever.  We ended up ringing up each other’s horns every week.  Good seducing times.  Even now, my fingers still remember the number.  Just give the dial a whirl, and then the local number’s 3881, and—”

“Yeah, you couldn’t help yourself, I know.  And?  Why do we care about this letter after all this time…?”

“Ah, you see, I saw this pamphlet for Broadway the other day, and on it there was a singer who was the perfect image of Miss Lily from back then.  No doubt about it – that’s Lily’s daughter.”

“And?”

“You dimwitted blockhead.  Even the Chinese of old would turn to the mother first for the daughter’s hand.  First I’ll approach Lily, and then I’ll drop some pretty words to the girl, and bam, bam, finish it off in ten shots!  She’s about that age, you know.  How sad would it be for so much time to have passed and never know the touch of a real man?”

I don’t deign to reply.

“Hey, don’t turn away!  Why do you look like you’re pitying me?!”

“No, I thought I saw a mirror just now…  Rather, I’m the ‘sad’ one here!  Go grab the first kid you see off the streets and get him to break a sweat!”

“You fool.  This is top secret information concerning the First Boss’s private life.  This is a past, a secret past, that not even the captains know about…”

“Seriously.”

“Hey, move your hand before it tilts over.  Tomorrow’s already Friday.  If I don’t find Lily’s letter by then and glean some information off it, the girl’s going to be snapped up by some other cat first.”

“Just let them have her, Jeez.  I can’t be the only one who thinks that’d be a hundred times better than letting her get raped by a certain Lecher Gorilla…?”

“You say something?”

“Nope, nothin’.”

“You seem a little unsatisfied with life, Giancarlo.”

“Mm, there’s some things here and there.  …Everything aside, let’s say you do find this letter, and let’s say you actually do get close to this hot steal of a chick Lily and her daughter, do you even have a chance of succeeding?  I mean, I’ve never seen your ‘seduction’ work even once.”

“I’ve never met such a disrespectful successor before!  Let me tell you – love is all about the means, not the end.  You don’t judge it by the sex (however wonderful the sex may be).  You do not sex up everyone you seduce.  But, everyone you’ve sexed up will be unfailingly and smoothly seduced.  This is fact.”

“Whatever you say.”

I don’t know if it’s because of the dust or the old man – it’s probably because of both – I suddenly feel like sobbing.

“By the way, Pops…”

“Hm?” Pops responds as he peeks out from behind the huge cabinet he’s sliding over.

“Now that I’m Second, you and Grampa Cavalli’re counselors, and Bernardo’s head captain.  And to round it off, Luchino, Giulio, and Ivan’re set in their seat as captains.  But … we’re the CR:5, right?  …Don’t we have to go induct another captain now…?”

“Oh.  That…”

Thump!  The hand on the cabinet Pops had been moving slips, and…

…bathed in the waves of western sun glimmering through the window, he looks at me with narrowed eyes.

“Yeah, we’ll need a new fifth captain, but … well, don’t worry about that.  I’ll take care of it.  You don’t have to stress your little heart over it.”

“Hm?  It sounds like you’ve got a candidate in the wings already.”

“…That’s not the case, but … well, I’ll tell you next time.”

Pops’s eyes, narrowed against the setting sun, slide closed … and for a time, he looks as though he’s asleep.  Then … his eyes open again, and he looks like his usual self.

Silence.

An old man with a face befitting his age.  …How old is he now anyways?  50?  I forget.  Oh well, doesn’t matter.  Middle-aged is middle-aged.

But, there’s something in his eyes, hiding in that face.  What is it…?

It’s like a brilliant jewel, or perhaps a hunk of ice – something burning with a flickering light, with far more vigor than what we’ve got, like he’s the sprightliest one out of all of us.

‘Well, the old man looks like he’d be popular … if not for that perviness.  It gets him every time.’

“Oh, I’m going to go take a piss.  Find it before I get back, Gian,” he says, interrupting my sigh.

“No way that’s happening!  You’re asking me to find a single letter in this jungle of papers…!”  My complaint sails straight over the old man’s head as he leaves.  “Sigh…”

I finish searching the spot near where I’m sitting before moving to the window.  I walk towards the shadows shed by the cabinet that the old man’d moved earlier and the boxes substituting as chairs.

“Hm?  A photo…?”

Sitting on the floor carpeted with a blanket of dust where the cabinet had been sitting was a small piece of paper, gently reflecting the light.

“I wonder whose it is…?”  I pick up the picture and put it under the setting sun gone softening by the hour.

It’s not something that’d been sitting there from the start.  The photograph, free of dust, had probably been jolted out from some box or pile of paper when the old man had moved the cabinet earlier.

It’s an old picture.

Dulled in color, it’s discolored here and there in the emulsion.  However, it looks like it hadn’t come into contact with either sun or air because, though it was tinted a bland yellow, the image in the picture is still intact.

“Hm?  Aw, it’s all dudes.  Boooring.”

It was probably taken in the corner of some café or pub.  There’s a fire in the hearth with tables and chairs set around them.  The men are either slumped on the chairs or standing stiff as a ruler, and … all of them are looking straight at the camera.

Some are laughing, and another is glaring at the camera with knife-sharp eyes, and yet another is talking to the guy next to him.

The four young men are posed for what looks like an anniversary shot.

“Hm?  What is this?  Their clothes’re really out of fashion…  Wonder if it’s a photo from long ago?”

It looks like the picture was taken with a strobe lamp in a dark room lit only with the burning hearth.

Why’s something like this in our HQ storage?

“Oh.  Maybe it’s something from the old man’s days of youth?”

I immediately dismiss the idea, though.

The men in the photo are wearing clothes that look like what was popular back in the days.  All of them are pretty dandy, looking smooth and smart.  They look like actors for a movie.

None of the guys have any hints of gorilla-ness in them.

“Oh, I know.  This is a picture of those actors or whatever the perverted prune was talking about.”  That’s probably what this is – something related to that actress the old man’s pursuing.

“Whoa, what’s that?  A dog?”

Sitting in the corner of the memorial photo is something sticking out of the atmosphere of the photo like a sore thumb.

Maybe the dog belonged to the shop they took the picture in?  No wait, is that thing really a dog…?  Sitting at the foot of the somewhat childish looking man, the smallest of the four (who, despite that, was dressed the best out of all of them) is a tiny ugly mutt about the size of a handball.

It looks like a bulldog, but I can’t tell from all the discoloration.

But, I can tell it’s got a strange shape, one no guard dog by any stretch of the imagination would have.

“Hm?  Huh?  I think…  Huh?  He looks kinda familiar…?”

Why?  I feel like I’ve seen this bizarre dog somewhere before…


Then, it happened.


“Oh.  Ack!  What the…?”

At first, I thought I’d gone blind from staring into the western blaze for too long.  Suddenly, the photo starts growing blurry and hazy.  I put it directly under the sunlight, but, in that instant, the picture starts fading like infinitesimal grains blowing away in the wind.  Before long, at a slow and steady pace, it vanishes before my very eyes…

“Ah…  Aagh…  Shit…”

The image on the photo – or more precisely, what used to be a photo – and even its outlines completely vanish.  All that’s left is a yellow scrap of paper.

“Dang, these things were bad against sunlight, weren’t they?”

The old photo, assaulted by the first sunlight it’s seen in probably decades and the oxidation from the air, perishes almost instantaneously.

I wonder whether I bring it up with the old man, but…

“Oh well.”

I hide the former photo, stuffing it into a nearby pile of papers.

If it’d been a picture from the old man’s youth, I was thinking I’d show it to the others for a good laugh, but no one’d care if this photo filled with complete strangers – probably old actors – were gone.

“Now then…”

Mind pickling with annoyance, I open up a box full of what looks like letters and focus my hands and eyes on searching for the name of that pitiable lady the old man’s after…


Giancarlo hadn’t realized it, but also on that photograph, wiped blank of the memories recorded on it, were words written at the feet of the men in the picture in fading ink.  These names and the words beneath them were completely erased by the sunlight.


Nicoló   Ethan    Alex       Carlo

Lanu


Here we vow – even should our lives come to an end, we will walk towards our dream as one.

◇                ◇



In the distance, the establishment’s door creaked open.

For an instant, the roar of the constant downpour and the bitter, icy wind flooded the room before the door closed shut, throttling the noise into silence.

Playing encore to the rain, the squeaking of leather shoes soaked through and through slid at a quick, shrill staccato into the room.

“Fuck!  Cold!  Damn, it’s cold!  Shit, I think my balls are frozen!”  Quickly following the stomping footsteps, a startlingly tall man charged into the room.  In response, the men that had already gathered in the room turned their heads towards him and greeted him with alcohol-warmed voices.

“Hey, Alex.  Welcome back.  What, is it still raining outside?” said one of the men.

“You’re late.  Again.”

“He was probably just finishing up a spanking session with some lass anyways,” replied the first man.

The tall man who’d just arrived smirked at the words directed at him as he hung his sopping coat and hat on the rack standing by the fireplace.

“I’m grateful for your warm welcome, but I’d rather have a drink to warm me up first,” the man said as he slumped into an empty seat by the hearth.  He roughly scrubbed at his face with both hands.  When they fell, they revealed an amazingly hard face, free of fear but laced with stubble.  However, the smile tugging at the corners of his lips and the eyes twinkling with hidden secrets were those of a boy.

“Here.  This is yours, Alex.  Be careful.  It’s a little hot.”

“Hey, Nico.  Thanks.”

The name of the man who’d just entered was Alex.

Nicoló, the man who had given him the whisky-and-hot-water concoction, was a young man – the smallest but the best-dressed of the four gathered in the room.

“Phew!  That perked me up.  Hot stuff always works its best at times like this,” said Alex.

“If you had come on time, then you could have avoided the rain,” retorted a cold voice.

“Oh, sorry about that.  My watch broke the last time.”

“If it were just the watch, I’d buy you a new one, but procrastinators will forever be incorrigible.”

“Ouch, such harsh words.”

The man speaking the unsympathetic words and directing a glare equally cutting at Alex was the one seated directly across from him.

“Oh, that’s right.  Ethan, sorry about yesterday.  The cash really helped.”

“It’s all right.  But that makes us even.  I don’t owe you for what happened during the attack the other day now.”

“Haha, I don’t remember ever having you in my debt.”

The man named Ethan stared at Alex with a knife-like expression and piercing eyes before, a beat late, a miniscule smile wormed its way into the corner of his lips and into his eyes.

Immediately after Alex finished draining the hot whisky, a languid laugh rang from behind.  “And?  Is your excuse the same as usual, Mr. Gorilla Sir?”

“Mm, here and there, more or less.”

“Where’d you make your moves today?”

“Oh.  Well, I felt bad that someone had to keep her virgin pussy her entire life, so I figured I’d make a charitable donation and go pop her cherry.”  Alex reached for a round slice of salami from a plate sitting on the table and, without using a knife, tore into the meat with a flash of white teeth before chewing and gulping it down.  “Ow…  Damn that Teresa.  She put her all into that slug.  I can still feel my front teeth rattling.  That bitch, just what does she think permanent teeth are made out of?!”

“Hahaha…” laughed the small man nicknamed Nico, “leave Teresa alone!  She’s being serious!”

“You say that bitch with arms of steel is serious?!  Jesus.  My virgin silver-spooned friend, you still have much to learn.”

“Wh-Wh-What…?!  Take that back!  It doesn’t matter if I’m still a v-v-virgin!”

Carlo chimed in, “Hey there, Alex.  Make fun of Captain Cavalli’s son and you’ll get what’s coming to you, and it won’t be anything good.  You’re just a second away from being a candidate for captain, too.”

“Father … doesn’t … matter.  I, um, just want to … be with everyone…” Nicoló moaned sadly.

Alex stood from his seat and placed a large, warm hand on the other’s shoulder.  “Sorry.  You’re right.”

“Captain Cavalli is the one and only higher-up we can place our trust in, but that’s got nothing to do with Nicoló.  …Nicoló, you’re heading to college, right?” asked Carlo.

“Oh.  Yes.  I’ve been accepted and … um … I’m going to Cornell … with my girlfriend…”

Two simultaneous whistles fwheeted across the room in genuine admiration.

“Whoa, that’s awesome!  There goes our Nico!  That’s a top class university!”

“Plus, with a girl?  Silvia, was it?  Damn you, you sly fox.  Way to go!”

“Y-Yes, she said … she’d come with me, so … after I graduate, I … probably…”  The young man looked down with a beet-red face as Alex and Carlo behind him whistled again.

Only the man named Ethan stayed silent, looking completely uninterested as he filed his nails with a small knife glimmering with the flames from the hearth.

“Ah, so you’re going to Cornell because you want to be with Silvia, eh.  You really worked for it, Nico,” mused Alex.

“Mm…  Damn bastard, you’re getting all the good bits.  Come on, share some of your happiness with the rest of us,” said Carlo.  “Rather, if you’re gonna get married to a pretty lass like her, I guess it doesn’t matter if you’re a virgin or not.”

“N-N-N-No way!  M-M-Marriage?!  We haven’t gone … that … um…” stuttered Nicoló.

“But you’ve got no plans on letting her go, right?  And she’s head over heels for you, right?” pressed Carlo.

“Y-Yes…”

“Well, if you don’t want her, then you’ve got Alessandro, Daivan gentleman extraordinaire, here waiting in the wings…” suggested Alex.

“Ah!  S-Stop that!  Stop…  Please, don’t take her…”

“Oh.  I’m kidding!  Just pulling your leg!  Don’t take it seriously!  …Sorry, I’m really sorry.  I mean, we’re Cosa Nostra, so we can’t make a move on anyone else’s girl anyways.  …Even it was a joke, sorry.”

Carlo sitting behind him and Nicoló could only shrug their shoulders in mock exasperation at the man apologizing with his head hung down low,

“M-More importantly, Alex, how … is it going with … her?” asked Nicoló.

“Huh?  Which ass do you mean?  There’s been way too many, hahaha!”

“Who is there besides Gelsomina?  You’ve got a house with her, don’t you, Alex?”  The words came from behind him.

Upon hearing them, Alex choked on the warm water drink he’d been sipping.  “Ack!  Gk!  Sh-She’s, whatchamacallit.  You know.  Um, she’s like a little sister…”

Carlo continued, “But you’re head over heels for her, right?  Gelsomina’s only got her eyes on you, you know.”

“Shut up.  I’m … um … bad with sad types like her.  She’s like a doll about to fall apart any second.  But, um, she is a good girl…  And she’s blonde.”

“Even the Greek gods haven’t got blonde hair like hers.”

“Then why don’t you go charm her, Carlo?”

“Can I?”

At Carlo’s chuckling words behind him, Alex grimaced with the pain of a cavity and averted his eyes.  He returned to working on his drink.  “I just told you she’s like a little sis to me.  Anyone lays a hand on her, and they’re dead.  Even if it’s you.  No, before I kill you, I’d fucking rape you to death.”

Carlo didn’t grace the reply with words.  Instead, he only beamed at Alex with a painfully gentle smile.

“Damn it.  Besides,” Alex attempted to continue, “I’d … um … rather bang someone with hotter, curvier breasts.  They feel more worth it.  You know, like Teresa.”

“That’s awful, Alex.  Don’t say that about a Sister…” said Nicoló.

“She’ll be the death of you one day,” added Carlo.

The men chuckled dryly with shaking shoulders befitting of their young age.  But then a voice interrupted them.

“We’re not here to talk about women.”  The cold voice froze the air around them to a crackle before evaporating into silence.

The three young men looked at each other with expressions of “Oh shit” and then at the perfectly sculpted ice prince sitting with them –  Ethan.

“My bad.  You’re right,” apologized Alex.  “Today’s an important day.”

“Ethan, I’ve already made up my mind.  I’m gonna go with you guys,” declared Carlo.

“U-Um.  I … I…!  Um…”  Voice choking in his throat, Nicoló curled into himself and moaned, “I’m sorry…  I, um … I won’t be succeeding Father’s seat … as captain…  Father was also understanding.  I … I’m going to go to school in New York…”

“…Yeah.  We understand.  No one’s gonna blame you, and no one’s gonna stop you,” reassured Alex.

“You’re not made out to be a gangster.  Go and have a bright future with Silvia,” encouraged Carlo.

Ethan alone said nothing.  Instead, he folded up his knife and, with just a quick flick of his fingers, smoothly slipped it into his clothes.

“B-But … even though I … can’t be made into the Toscanini family like you guys … I’m…!”  Nicoló’s shoulders began shaking and eventually, he couldn’t raise his head at all.

Alex laid his hand on Nicoló’s back once again and patted him a few times.  “Yeah.  We’re all pals.”

“Alex…!” the other man cried in response.

“That’s obvious, right?  It’s not about the mob or the people in the city.  We’re allies, best buds, siblings, and family.  We’re pals, together in a new world, cast free of the old Toscanini chains lying broken at our feet.”

Carlo also laughed and stood.

Then, with a bored “Hmph” and closed eyes, Ethan said disinterestedly, “Everyone gathered here is ‘one for all and all for one.’  I thought we went over this already.”

“N-Nh…  Thank you, everyone…” said Nicoló with a tear-ridden voice.

“Don’t cry.  The only time Italian men are allowed to cry are at their parent’s funerals and when they get dumped by a chick,” Alex scolded gently.

“Huh?  I’d probably sob my eyes out if you guys kicked it, though,” said Carlo.

After a pause, Alex agreed.  “I probably would, too.”

The men laughed and took their seats again.  Together, they enjoyed the warmth and the flickering glow emanating from the fireplace and the mood.  That moment in time.


Everything present was only temporary.  However, everyone there enjoyed it from the bottom of their hearts.

Everyone was sharing the same moment together and thinking the same thoughts.

If “eternity” existed and it could only reflect one instance in time, then everyone there would have chosen that moment.


“Now then, now that we’ve decided Nico’s heading off to New York, let’s have a toast!”  Standing from his seat, Alex ruffled through a cupboard inside, took out a bottle and glasses, and returned.

“When Nico returns to Daivan again, let’s have another toast here again,” said Carlo.  “Same place.”

“Yeah.  That’s a good idea,” agreed Alex.

“Yeah, but don’t bring your bride when you come,” warned Carlo, “This is a manly place, our haven of bachelordom!”

“Yes.  I know,” agreed Nicoló.

The glasses, opaque with scores and nicks, made their way around the men.  Alex filled the cups to the brim, the translucent vodka, clearer than the most transparent glass or ice in the world, almost overflowing past their edges.

“All right!  Here we go!”

At Alex’s voice, the men stood from their creaky chairs.  They raised their glasses, filled with sloshing alcohol, up with purpose as though they were peering into their glasses.  As though they were pledging to an invisible presence in the room.


“We are … all for one, one for all.”

“Everyone is a Boss.  There are no ranks among us.  Like fingers to a hand, everyone will support everyone else.”

“We will never betray one another.  We will never abandon one another.  Betrayal will be met with death.”

“We will protect the weak.  We will know that we are weak.  We will stare up at the stars with our feet in the filth.”


With a clang powerful enough to crack the glasses, the four cups knocked against each other.  Some of the vodka inside spilled over as the rest swirled around the glass in a sparkling fiery-colored dance.

“Like this booze, may our dream, may our vows never decay!!”

The young men raised their voices and turned towards each other, gazing past their glasses full of drink before tipping the alcohol back, washing the contents of the cup down their throats in one go.

With a thump Alex sank into his seat.  The others followed suit.

“Keep up your end where you’re headed, Nicoló,” he said.

“I will.¨ Nicoló snickered.  “…Haha, but, that just now.  That was a bit embarrassing.”

“It’s fine.  When we get old, now that’s when it’ll get too embarrassing to pull off.”

“Haha … you’re right about that,” Ethan says in a rare fit of laughter.

Alex filled everyone’s glasses again, though this time not for a toast.

“…Though, to be honest, we don’t even know if we’ll be able to accomplish anything.  Even so, let’s count ourselves in for the long haul – in creating our ideal family,” said Carlo.

Alex agreed, “I know.  The Toscanini family … no, it’s true for other families, too … have all lost the Cosa Nostra tradition.  No, if they’d lost it completely, that’d be better.  But now they’re all doing shit in the name of ‘tradition’…”

“…I’m sorry.  Father is also….  Um…” mumbled Nico.

“Captain Cavalli’s one of the good guys.  He’s probably the only one who listens to us,” retorted Alex.

“Yeah, that’s right.  Though, you can’t be surprised, with a Boss like that,” muttered Carlo.  “No wonder the family’s flabby as a limp noodle.”

“Even so, just what can we do…?”

“It’s not a question of whether we can or can’t.  We have to do this,” Ethan cut in ruthlessly as he placed his emptied glass on the table.  “Just talking about this topic is enough to earn us a death sentence by the code.  The captains have probably already started sniffing us out.  We don’t have time to hesitate or complain, or play around with women.”

“I know, I know.  …But can’t I do the last bit, just a little?”

The men laugh again.

Alex ran his finger over the rim of his empty glass as he looks up at the dimly lit ceiling.  “Hey, if…”  At the soft words, everyone’s eyes turned towards Alex.  “If … one of us dies, or can’t go on … so long as at least one of us is alive, let’s work towards our vow.  That way, even if I’m dead I’ll … how to put this…  Someone’ll keep the dream going … I mean, set up a new family, and … even if the dream’s dead in the water, work towards it.  That way … I don’t know, even if I’m dead, it’s like I’m still alive … or something like that.  I can’t word this right.”

“…Yeah.  Let’s do that,” Carlo chuckled, placing his emptied glass on the table.

It was at that time…


Pshoo!


A noise, like the crunch of a paper bag underfoot, echoed through the room, followed by, “…Gshoo!  Gbrrrl.”  Not knowing where the somewhat indescribable noise came from, the four men looked to each other.

“Oh, that’s right!  I’m sorry, boy, you must’ve been really cold!”  Nicoló dropped from his chair and stooped beneath the table before coming back up with something in his hands.

“…What’s that?”

Inside his hand was something about the size of a ball.  A furry, black … or perhaps white … something.

“…Is that a dog?” marveled Carlo.

“…Holy fuck, that thing’s ugly!”

At first, it appeared as though it were wearing a small white shirt, but the ball was in fact black and white with, like it had sat down in a bowl of cookie dough, a strange color from the base of its short tail to its stubby tip.

“Um … so, I found it earlier outside.  It was drenched in the rain, so I felt bad for it.”  Nicoló cradled the doglike animal preciously in his arms as he sat down again.

The dog in the young man’s arms was similar to a bulldog, though even for that it was a little too small.  It could only be described as a bizarre creature.

“Tshoo!”  Again, the thing made the strange noise– not quite a sneeze, not quite a howl.

Carlo couldn’t help but comment, “Nico, you really like some weird things.”

“What is that?  A mutt?  Throw it out now!” cried Alex, horrified.

“N-No!  You can’t!  Just look at how sad it is!  B-Besides, look here!”  Slightly flustered, Nicoló held the dog up for everyone to see.  “See?  Here, around its butt, the mark looks kind of like a star, right?  Right?”

“Mm…” Carlo hummed in disbelief.

“Besides!  Besides besides, the mark on its forehead.  Don’t you think it looks kind of like a ‘1’?”

“I guess…?” vaguely agreed Alex.

Nicoló almost sobbed.  “It’s there!  Come on, I mean, it has both a star and a ‘1’!  Don’t you think it’s some sort of sign?  Don’t you?  So, I was thinking, maybe…”  With another strange sound, the dog sneezed again.  “Why don’t we make it our mascot?  That way, I’m sure Lady Luck will smile upon us for sure!  And then our dream’ll come true, too…”

“Stop this!” yelled Ethan, slamming down on the table.  “You want to play up to a ‘sign’?!  Do you think we’re playing a game here?!”

“N-No, that’s not—“

“Wait, Ethan.”  Alex stood and patted the doglike animal over the head.  “He’s right.  It really does look like it’s got a ‘1’ tattooed there.  Plus…”

“‘Protect the weak,’ right?  Ethan, don’t be such a stiff,” said Carlo as he also stood to rub the dog’s rear.

“Hmph…”  Ethan turned his face away as he usually did when he had nothing more to say.

“Oh, right!  Plus … right now, we’re four people.  With this fella, we’ve got five, right?”

“What?!”  At Carlo’s words, Alex screwed up his face like he’d stomped on a thumbtack.  “Whoa, hey there.  Wait a second.  You want this mutt to be our fifth person?!”

“Yeah.  You’re the one who wanted an odd number to be the center of our new family.  That’s why you said five.  Isn’t it perfect?  This means all of the necessary people are here.  Don’t you think this is more than just a coincidence?’

“But…” whined Alex, “it’s a mutt.  It’s ugly as hell.  It’s tiny.  And its sneezes stink.”

“Just like us, right?”

“Hahaha…” Nicoló laughed as he returned the dog to the floor.  “Um, when person suited to be our fifth comes, then let´s reconsider then.  Besides, I already have a name and his purpose figured out.”

“He doesn’t look like he’ll make a good guard dog,” said Carlo.

“No, not that.  Um … I mentioned it before, right?  Once I graduate from the university, I’m going to go into movies and copyrighting.  And then, this boy here…” Nicoló explained as he pet the dog’s head, feeding him with a slice of salami in the other hand, “when I start my own company, I was thinking of making him the mascot.  I’ll put a drawing of him in the company logo, and then sell products with the drawing on it…  Don’t you think it would sell?”

“Not at all,” immediately replied Alex.

“Haha,” Carlo laughed, “compared to that gramophone dog, I think this one’s lacking a bit in the looks department.”

“You think…?” Nicoló pet the dog’s head downheartedly.

Alex and Carlo look at each other and shrug.  Ethan, having long since washed his hands of the others’ antics, was starting to clean his nails uninterestedly with his knife.

“Well, whatever!” cheered Carlo, “Nico, we know your company’s gonna be great!  And your drawings are awesome!  So even if it’s a dog as hideous as this…  Well, I’m sure if you draw it, it’ll sell somehow!”

“Do your best and rake it in,” added Alex.  “In the meantime, we’ll clean up Daivan, from the bottom up.”

“It’s a revolution,” Ethan said, breaking his silence, “We’re going to make the world right, not just the family.”

“Yeah, that’s right!  We’re invincible!  So, here’s the plan!  Ethan, you’ve got your saber.  Carlo, you’ve got your quadruple-wield technique with those pistols!  And don’t forget my rapid-fire triple-wield!  With these on our side, the world is ours for the taking!  We could snatch up continents like the world’s best continent-snatchers!”

“Haha, I wonder about that.”  Carlo laughed and laughed, his mirthful eyes squeezing shut before he opened them again.  “So, Nico.  And?  What’s the dog’s name?”

“Mm.  I was thinking of naming him … Lanu.”

END

(Tennenouji, 2009, Poll Result SS –Unpublished– )


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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. smile-festival
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 21:37:17

    Ah! Thank you very much for this! ; u ; D’aww, Gian, I wish the picture hadn’t faded that fast.
    And wow, so this is where Lucky Dog 1 comes from, eh?

    Like

    Reply

  2. Silver Lou
    Feb 07, 2014 @ 10:49:26

    “That way, I’m sure Lady Luck will smile upon us for sure! And then our dream’ll come true, too…”
    So, maybe Gian actually IS a demon send by Goddes Fortuna…

    “I suppose … I can tell you now. Gian … you’re the Boss’s lucky charm – and if you don’t believe me, you have a trademark on your nape – sold to him by an actractive lady called Luck who convinced him with her curves. As you know he’s a pervy gorilla, so he didn’t ask anything, and plus you were on offer with 99.9% of discount. Aaaand that’s all.” *sips tea from a cup appeared out of the blue*

    And that’s all I could think. No I’m joking xD
    I was thinking about a connection with the blond – underline blonde – Gelsomina, but I have still only confuses hypotheses. I suppose I’ll just wait for your explanation -3-

    Like

    Reply

    • terracannon876
      Feb 07, 2014 @ 21:59:13

      Two curious questions 🙂

      1.) Is Gelsomina an Italian name?
      2.) …Where do you find your Japanese emoticons? Like the “(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ” you used before?

      Lol, I thought I was the only one who thought Gian might secretly be a demon that got stranded on Earth and he doesn’t know it XD (But no, that’s not canon XD)

      Like

      Reply

  3. Silver Lou
    Feb 08, 2014 @ 06:02:54

    1) Yes, 100% Italian! xD
    2) I have some of them on my iPod. You just have to set the japanese keyboard, too, then you’ll have the emoticons section. I also find some of them on http://japaneseemoticons.net/ (◕‿◕✿)

    Hahah, I started thinking that when I’ve read “Demon’s ringlet”, I guess?

    Like

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