Once upon a time, my name was Poofie.
I was the fluffiest, cutest Pomeranian you could ever imagine.
That all changed when I accidentally walked into a time travel portal, and ended up in the distant future.
I was scared and alone. All about me was a desolate land, an abandoned city full of wreckage. The humans I saw were mostly vagabonds and other sad souls. There were no intact buildings to live in.
But I did find a car, a Volkswagon Beetle, which had been broken into. Some shards of glass still lay on the seats. But I was cold and desperate for a place to stay, especially when it began to rain. The rain smelled oddly like sulphur.
It was when I huddled inside that it occurred to me that I should change my name. Poofie didn’t sound like a dog who could survive in such a world. After a while, I thought of the most badass name I could think of in the moment — Lithium.
The next morning, I snuck out to hunt for scraps to eat. I came across a vagrant human, a girl with a long braid who took pity on me. A camel followed her around, perhaps her pet. The girl fed me some dried meat and water. Who knew where she found these supplies, but I couldn’t be picky now.
After my meal, I once again sniffed that strange sulphurous scent, which had persisted after the rain.
I followed the scent to a broken shed. There was a dark hole inside, where the smell was coming from. I wiggled my Pomeranian butt inside, because nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?
To my amazement, the hole led into a tunnel, and then to an underground complex, cast in dim light.
Three hellhounds guarded the entrance to something. The dogs looked fierce, but I didn’t want to turn back with nothing to show for it. So I trotted up to them, and resolved to do what I did best.
I made myself look adorable.
The two dogs closest to me snarled and snapped. The third one just regarded me with suspicion…but also curiosity.
Being the natural diplomat that I was, I bounced over to the third hound.
His voice was gravelly. “Pomeranian, there’s nothing here that will interest you. Go home to your owner before it’s too late.”
I growled, “My name is Lithium, who are you?”
The hellhound looked unimpressed. “I’m Draco. I really do advise that you leave. Our owner would be less merciful than us.”
The other two hellhounds looked ready to bite my head off, but they seemed to respect Draco’s decision.
I left them alone for now, but I wasn’t giving up. Whenever I could, I snuck out to investigate this place again. I was sure that the hellhounds could smell me, but since I didn’t show my face, they didn’t give me any trouble. Maybe it was Draco’s order to the other dogs.
But one day when I marched down to the hideout, I was astonished that the three hellhounds were nowhere to be seen. The gates they had guarded were open now. This could be a trap, but I couldn’t let go of this opportunity.
I squeezed past the gates into a long passageway. In the distance, I heard barking and growling.
Quick as a bird, I darted down the passageway until I saw the hellhounds, but they had their backs to me. They surrounded a man who wore a ripped leather jacket.
He held a stick in his hand, but instead of tossing it for his dogs to chase, he began to chant something that I couldn’t understand:
“Gunnar, Shillix, and the woe-begotten sky, we swear that our swords will smite through the fabric of your deceased society. And no creature alive would stand still and burn this moment, for everything is already burning, and mercy will be granted to no one.”
At that, a bonfire lit up between the dogs and the human. All four of them warmed themselves by the fire.
When I tried to move closer towards the wonderful warmth, I struck my toe on a rock and yelped.
The dogs turned around and bore their teeth. Draco hissed, “I told you to stay away. Why didn’t you listen?”
The man stalked towards me with narrowed eyes.
I tried to run, but the human was surprisingly fast and picked up my scruffy, squirmy body. He gave me an evil grin. Then out of nowhere, he produced a metal collar and snapped it around my neck.
The collar was way too small for me, and my big head poked out with fear and despair.
The human fastened the chain from my collar to one of the hooks in this cavern. He said, “We need to hunt for more food. Draco, guard our puffy little friend here, and make sure he doesn’t flee or try to hurt himself.”
The hellhound answered his owner with a solemn “bow wow wow!”
The man patted his head. “Good boy.” He turned towards the other two helldogs. “Come on, Solo, Luna. We’re not resting until we find a decent amount to last for the whole week!”
Solo and Luna barked in agreement as they bounded off with their owner.
When they were out of earshot, I whined, “This collar is too tight. It hurts.”
Draco gave me a cool look. Then he lowered his muzzle to my neck.
My breath seized up, in terror, but also with — excitement? I was suddenly aware that Draco was a very fit and attractive dog, despite being a hellhound.
As I freaked out, I felt my neck relax.
The iron collar had snapped and clattered to the ground.
To be continued...
Write a story guest-starring Poofie the Pomeranian +2 points
(He was Poofie but later renamed himself "Lithium")
A Volkswagon Beetle +1 point
A braid of hair + 1 point
A camel +1 point
A needlessly long incantation for a simple magical effect:
The human utters a ridiculously long chant just to light a bonfire
A character puts a large thing into a small thing:
The human puts Poofie's (aka Lithium's) big head into a small metal collar.
An example of onomatopoeia: Draco barks, "bow wow wow!"
+ 2 points
I tallied up my own points! + 1 point
Total Mash-Up points: 11 points