Three people walk into a bar. One after another.
First one was Jack Glass. Close second was TJ. And a far distant third was a lost pup.
The lost pup watched, from his dark corner booth, as the first two take seats at another booth, where there were better lights, where they could read the menus without straining their eyes. But they didn’t look long at the menus. They couldn’t.
Their eyes locked on to each other. Their fingers were so close to one another but dare not touch on the table. But their shoes interlaced.
Their words dripped with honey that would make the bees envious. Their stomachs filled with so much butterflies that their insides felt like a field of lovely and fragrant flowers. And their minds had birds and only birds. Just two birds.
As a pup, he always chased after anything that caught his attention. That included cats, rats, and—of course—birds.
But he always stopped chasing when his master called.
His master was kind, devoted, and loyal. That’s why he loved him. And that’s why he wondered why anyone would cruel to his master. He wondered why anyone would abandon his master. He wondered why anyone would betray his master.
Even when their fries, pizza, and coffee arrived, they barely finished half of everything. It’s not that they were not hungry. They were actually famished. But they craved for something else entirely. They were starving for food that the bar did not have in its menus.
The lost pup tried not to stare into their direction. But TJ could see his eyes looking at them. The lights were that bright. They were that good.
A few more knotted words and Jack Glass stood up and walked over to the lost pup. He invited him to their booth. He refused. But he insisted. So there he was, sitting beside Jack. Trapped like wolf in the winter. He always hated such situations.
At that range, he heard better what they were saying, felt what they feeling, and knew what they were feeling. They offered him what they were having. They asked him if he wanted some.
Once more, he refused. He never had any.
When the lost pup woke up, it was already close to noon. He was in his own bed. He was back at his own home. But he still couldn’t believe any of it. It was like a dream, a surreal and vivid reality.
He went to the door to get the morning paper. He knew he had a lot of catching up to do. He did wake up really late.
But he had time to read one bit of news.
It was about two men. They were found dead early this morning. Authorities were of the opinion that they were ravaged and maimed by what they believe is a wolf.
Was that not preposterous? There are no wolves in the city.