8th Avenue, Columbus Ohio

Dante, the demon dog

I flew out to see him when he lived on 8th Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. The home of OSU. My buddy TB was to be in class when I arrived. I was told to let myself into his apartment. He warned me that his roommate had a dog that was nasty. “Whatever”, I thought. A rabid dog attacked me when I was younger, but I was beyond that shit. Right? 

I flew into Columbus, took a cab, and walked to his door. He said I could crash on the couch during my visit. Great. I walk in, glance at the arrangement, and head to the couch to get comfortable. I sit and pull out my shit to get setup for a week or whatever time I was there. AAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGG, BBBBRRRGGGGG, starts from the top of the stairs. 

I think to myself, at least that brute of a dog he tells me about is behind a gate upstairs. I got up and went to the fridge to look for beers. It has been a long travel day. 

AAARRRGGGGWOOOFFF, I spin from the fridge and in a flash; I have a fucking pit bull hanging on my left arm. The fucking thing would not let go. I kneed it and pushed my fingers into its eyes. Nothing worked. I tried shaking him off. Nope. I punched him hard in the face and he released his grip. He backed off and assumed a pounce stance, as if to re-attack. My left leg was up in defense, unsure of what to do. He advanced, but I sidestepped.

I threw a dish towel over his head just to get outside. It worked. That fucking thing was foaming at the doorway for my flesh. “Oh, don’t worry about the dog Ran. He is nasty, but he will be cool with you,” says TB before my departure to Ohio. Yeah, right! The fucking thing thought I was a burglar, rapist or its next meal.

He had no knife that I knew of, but he was seeing through me, not at me.

Without beer, I refused to return inside with that demonic thing. I nursed my bloody arm, wrapping it in my t-shirt. “Yo, you auight’” a gentle female voice asked. I look to my left and a black chick was cooking some shit on a makeshift charcoal grill on her front stoop of her apartment next door. This girl saw my bloody arm and asked what my deal was. I’m sure she thought I was a burglar, too. I told her how I was from New Hampshire and a friend of the person living here and this dog wanted to eat me.

Her reaction was as if it happened all the time and with no change of emotion, she offered me some chicken. I obliged. She was cool, but my arm was not. I don’t recall her name, but she told me tales of this dog and about how she didn’t know my friend TB or any of the neighbors. She briefly went inside and returned with two ice cold beers and a first aid kit. She kindly bandaged me up and also fed me chicken. 

I had a mouth full of chicken and a wrapped up arm when TB came around the corner. I don’t know how long he had been living there, but apparently he didn’t know his next-door neighbor. I introduced one another, still chomping on my chicken. No need for me to say anything. This broad, God love her, ripped into TB about this dog and how the thing is crazy. Especially when it gets out of the apartment and terrorizes the neighborhood.

She continued, directed at TB, “…and, now, he even bites yo’ guests.” I laughed, almost choking. She was a typical black broad with one hand on her hip, waving a spatula in the other hand in a sporadic circular motion, bobbing and weaving her head in all directions. 

As this was taking place and my anxiety faded, I noticed bars covered every window in the building. The bars were on everyone’s windows. What the fuck did TB bring me into? I have a dog that just attacked me, and now I have to camp in a prison I am visiting a war zone. WTF. 

8th Avenue Columbus, Ohio - Dante the Dog- Ran Kime
Bite got infected

“Come on in:” TB said.

“Fuck that”, I replied. “Put that fucking demon away, like, locked in a cage in a room or something.”

“Oh, he’s harmless.” TB said.

I raised my bandaged arm and said, “FUCK YOU DUDE”.

TB laughed and walked inside. I immediately jumped into a defensive stance, still on the sidewalk entry. I heard him say from inside, “Hey Dante, how did you get out?” Dante? Dante was this fucking assassin’s name. Well, fuck me.

TB opened the door wide and gestured for me to come inside.

“No fucking way am I sleeping on that couch this entire week with that fucking thing in there.” I said.

“Oh, he is harmless unless you piss him off.”

I pivoted to the woman next door, help up my bandaged arm, and thanked for her hospitality. She wished me good luck, sadness in her eyes, her hand still on her hip and the spatula still waving in the wind. 

I reluctantly allowed my legs to pass the inside door’s threshold. Dante began growling. TB grabbed his collar and led Dante up to his roommate’s room. Dante clawed at the door. He wanted blood, my blood. 

A rabid dog attacked me when I was young, and all that buried shit was coming back up to the surface. I had to leave that apartment to calm down, so I told TB I was going out for beers. I had a fake ID from a friend that resembled me. It worked well for a couple of years until I turned twenty-one. He mentioned needing a shower and suggested I go by myself. He instructed me to the closest beer store. 

I walked through the OSU campus but found nothing resembling a packie or an LS. I went into a bar called Skullies and asked where to get beers nearby. The bartender, a cute, petite girl, said I could buy beers from them. Getting beers to take away from a bar was a whole new experience for me, particularly since I was in Ohio for the first time.

“OK, great”, I said. The sun was setting, and I walked back. I turned up a different side road that led to 8th Ave. thinking I could cut off a few minutes the way TB had sent me. Bad mistake. As I made the turn, there were maybe fifteen to twenty black dudes gathered around a parked car blaring NWA. They were all admiring the bouncing hydronic’s in this car. Do I acknowledge them? Do I ignore them? Hmm? I was raised well, so fuck it. I nodded a friendly hello and immediately regretted it. One dude from the gang ran out to me in a menacing manner and threatened to cut me as he approached. He had no knife that I knew of. He was seeing through me, not at me. Eyes turn vacant when someone is fucked up drunk.

His buddies egged him on to fuck up the white boy and get his beers. I stood my ground and raised my chest and shoulders up and stood taller. I blurted out while holding a stiff arm out as if a fullback swatting off defensive linemen, “Hey, HEy, Hey, hey, listen, these are mine and I’m happy to share them, but only a few.” I was shitting my pants, but this is when your adrenaline takes over and your mind and body seem to run on its own.

Another in the crew motioned me over. I remember thinking, I’m fucked. I’m going to die at the hands of this Crypt crew makeshift block party.

My thirty pack and I, and the non-knife wielding drunk guy, walked toward the group.

The shitface guy next to me tumbled into me, then turned, still looking through me as if I bumped into him. He walked on top of me with his face in my neck. He could barely stand when he said “gimme ya’ beers”.

I turned to him and with the most unthreatening voice I could use and said, “again, these are not for me but for a dog that lives just up around the corner that will kill you, his name is Dante. He will come here and fuck you up if you take any of his beers”. He gave me a strange look, well, even stranger than he already looked.

I approached the gathering and said, “listen, I will give you each a beer, but I’m from New Hampshire and I don’t like to share. My beers are my beers. I’m happy to share, but I won’t give you all of my beers.” I put some tongue-n-cheek humor in, but wasn’t received well.

They looked at each other and nodded. “Auuiight, give us each a beer and be gone.”

I replied, “Well, there are over thirty of you and If I give my thirty pack away, I will not have any beers for my friend and I and his demon of a dog. I will give you five beers and that’s it.” They looked at each other and nodded an auuight.

I gave them the beers and barreled out of there double time. They yelled about my white ass and how they could have fucked me up, etc. etc. I hurried away, nervous and in need of a drink.

I made it back to 8th Ave in one piece. Just hours in Ohio, and almost killed twice. TB was clean and fiddling with his acoustic guitar when I walked in. Just seeing the sight of the crime made my arm throb even more. “Dude”, I said, “what’s up with the corner there, with the black Crypt crew?”

“Oh yeah!”, TB said with a chuckle, “You should have stuck to the route I told ya. I should have told you that going down the other street was a no go, they are ruthless.”

“Ya think?”

TB and I sat and enjoyed a drink and smoke. It was great to catch-up. Dante was upstairs, still clawing for my blood. The hour got late. “Just sleep here,” TB said. I swallowed my pride and told TB I was worried and downright scared of that dog. He assured me he locked him away in his roommates’ room and to not worry about it. 

I sheepishly trusted him.

I felt exhausted from the day’s travel and the encounter with the Blackalicious crew. I was in a deep slumber when I woke up to a deep guttural growl. Dante was standing three feet from my face. I jumped in a lying position, parallel to the couch. My muscles stiffened, and I was back in a defensive position, or perhaps it was a fetal position. The fucking thing pounced on me again and bit my arm in the same spot. I still have the scars today. I wanted to leave. 

Everyday TB went to class, and he would leave me in this apartment with this fucking dog. His roommate never seemed to exist. I hated it and still hate that feeling I feel to this day of being trapped in a cage with a demon that wants my soul.

I finally meet his roommate and told him about his asshole dog and how much I hated him. He brought the dog down and introduced me to him as if it was our first rendezvous. After that, the thing was cool. I remained scared of him.

Fuck that dog. I hope he is in doggy hell.

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Ran Kime Writer
Ran Kime, a writer, poet, musician and recluse from New Hampshire, crafts abstract stories, flash fiction & poetry that probe the psyche. His collections include “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the observer” and “Way Past Tipsy & Other Silent Cries for Help”.