Milton was a worthless man. He was as tall as a beanstock and as skinny as a rail. The arthritis had curved his spine and rendering him hunchback. His soft pink head was covered in tight liver spots and moles, the faintest white fuzz rising from behind his ears like cotton. He wore mile-thick wire glasses and had to put in his teeth every morning. He usually wore a dirty white shirt and torn blue jeans. There was a certain puffiness around his midsection due to the revolting diaper he wore every morning. The man was one foot in the grave and yet he still hadn't figured it out. He just needed to die.
He had a dog. It went everywhere with him, following him closely at his side. A prodigious Great Dane with short, blackish gray fur and glassy brown eyes. I remember its paws being the size of my hands, bigger than any paws I had ever seen. Milton forced him to wear a doggy diaper in public, even in outdoor events. I never really knew much about the dog until I moved in with Milton. He was my godfather and my parents were involved in a drunken car wreck that cost them their heads. Literally. Anyway, the dog's name was Rigby. After moving in, I soon began to know what was so special about Rigby.
I remember the first time Milton took me down into the basement. There were only a few light bulbs hanging from cords just above, casting dim light throughout the concrete maze. He took me by the shoulder and shoved me into a small plastic chair like the kind you would buy for a toddler to sit in on a hot summer day by the pool. I barely fit, but I still sat there. A messy, chewed, stained mattress sat before me with a light shining down from a bulb just above. The odors of the mattress were vomit invoking and swam up my nostrils without invitation. I held my shirt just over my nose, though it didn't help much. Eventually I just got used to it and went nose-blind.
Milton crossed his skeletal arms as he stood by the foot of the mattress and looked at me. "Now Dresden, what happens in the basement must always stay in the basement. Peepers aren't allowed in my house! I'll throw your ass out if you speak a word!" he said, pointing his crooked finger at me. "This is where the magic happens," he went on, gesturing to the mattress. "This is what I do for a living. Now you stay seated and whatever you do don't scream!" With that he took to the side, moving into the shadows and returning with a large tripod. He sat it at the foot of the mattress and placed what appeared as large black video camera atop. "I'll be back. Now you just stay where you are. Won't be too long!" His legs stumbled up the stairs and ventured out of the basement. I sat where I was, content. I wasn't sure what he was doing or what the camera was for, though.
He returned carrying what I identified immediately as a person. It was a man covered with a brown sack over his head and his hands cuffed behind him. He struggled to break away from Milton, but the man was stronger than he looked for eighty-three. Milton immediately threw him onto the mattress. He grabbed a chain which was bolted to the concrete floor just past the mattress and attached it to the handcuffs. My hands grew clammy and the hairs of my head erected in perfect formation. The man was mumbling, trying to scream under the bag. Milton quickly tore the sack off and ripped a piece of duct tape from his mouth, allowing the screams to enter the air. The man's big green eyes were going red with tears as they streamed down. I had never seen eyes so wide, so full of primitive fear.
"Shut up you worthless whore," Milton grumbled. He smacked the man in the mouth swiftly. "No screaming off-camera. Let me go find our star." Finally, Milton rushed out of the room with many clangs of old doors and the shuffling of his feet against the concrete. The man looked directly at me, lunging quickly as though the chains might break and he might tackle me. He shouted ramblings and jargon in his panicked frenzy that I could not interpret. But he was suddenly silenced when Milton reentered the room, followed closely by Rigby. The dog's tail wagged until the man appeared in his sights and it dropped abruptly. Milton ran his nimble fingers down the dog's rough spine. I watched as its hairs began to stand up, its ears pointing to the heavens. "Rigby, speak."
"Stewart Gregory." Rigby's canine lips moved and operated as those of a human, words spewing from his throat. "Where's your daddy?" My jaw had nearly fallen off and my eyes nearly popped. The dog spoke English with a hoarse and whistle-like voice. But the man wouldn't stop screaming and the dog kept growling, pawing its way one paw closer with each scream. The camera was rolling, Milton watching from behind it through a lens. The screaming would not stop, and would not stop, and still would not stop. Inevitably, Milton reached for a rifle above a refrigerator behind him and aimed for the man's nose.
"Answer the question!" Milton shouted.
"Dead! Dead! My dad is dead!" shouted the man, curling away on the far end of the mattress as Rigby made his first paw onto it.
"Your daddy was named Dwight Gregory. He was a priest. He left you. Why did he do that? Why did he leave you and your mommy all alone? Why Stewart? Why did he do that?" the dog rasped.
"H-h-he couldn't live with people knowing he had sex with a prostitute..." the man stammered. "Please, please, God no!"
"Shut up!" Rigby barked. His booming growl began to rise in his mouth. His lips frothed with white slime, oozing it onto the man's trembling feet. "Enough about God. I am God. And tonight I'll give you something you've never been given before. I'll be your daddy." The dog gazed over its shoulder at Milton. He moved out from behind the camera and took to untying the diaper around the dog's waist and throwing it to the side. As he moved back to the camera, I could only leave myself staring at the dog. Rigby's genitals were those of a man. What followed was a vicious tantrum of screaming and kicking as the man was raped bloody by the towering collection of canine muscle and fury. I tried closing my eyes on several occasions but couldn't. It was too magnetic to the eyes.
Once the camera stopped rolling Milton wiped the dog off, cleaning him of sweat, blood and hound seed. He then eased Rigby back into his diaper and patted him on the back, letting him go free up the stairs of the basement. However, my eyes were still fixed on the man. Stewart. Merely a pulp of blood splayed across the mattress now.
"Well now you know," said Milton, smiling. He ejected an SD card from the camera and extended a hand to help me stand up. "I make two thousand dollars a pop for every video... Come on, let's go upload it together!" He showed me to his laptop and escorted me to tacky black webpages filled with what could only humanly be described as what the devil gets off on. These images, videos, gifs, they were all absolutely terrifying. I cringed with every passing photo.
I got to know Rigby better in the days to come. He was a talking dog, every kid's dream. I spent most of my days walking with him and he seemed to know everything about me. By night I was in the same place, staying up till four in the morning watching Rigby violate a new person on the same old mattress. The camera rolled each and every moment of those hours. I felt like I was on the set of a TV show. Milton seemed more fond of me afterward. He wasn't quite so rude. But I still couldn't stand the man. It wasn't until October, just before Halloween, when I first talked to Rigby about the man. The dog had just finished off a high-school girl. Hot, as many would've characterized her. Long black hair, dark skin, pretty face. It was Rigby's dream meal. I relieve Milton by wiping the dog off myself and dismissed him to walk upstairs.
"Where did Milton find you, anyway?" I asked the dog.
"We found each other. Milton and I, we were brothers. Born in the same slutty womb. But I was different, well, we were both different," Rigby said, wagging his tail as he licked his wet nose. He scratched behind an ear with one strong hind leg. "Mom met a doctor who promised to make her babies two of the most beautiful in the world. And he did. But Mom liked Milton more. He slept in her bed every night. She loved him more than me. You know, she was his very first video!"
"Oh yes! On this very mattress! Milton wasn't happy, but I told him I'd do the same to him if he didn't watch and bring me more! Now he gets money from it. He likes it now. I knew he would. I know everything," Rigby said, cracking a grin across his face as his pink tongue flopped from his smelly maw. I helped him get his diaper back on. One paw after another. The big dog gave me a lick across the cheek, smearing warm blood on my face. My mind was buzzing through discretions. Milton was a horrible man. A kidnapper. Some kind of serial sex offender. This was the kind of Jeffrey Dahmer-esque article I had read over and over again.
"You know," I began, weighing my options clearly. "I heard Milton mention something about a finale video."
"A finale?" Rigby said, his tail dropping. "There can be no finale."
"No, I'm pretty sure I heard Milton say that he was calling quits. He said he was tired of it all. His arthritis is getting too horrible for him to stand behind the camera for hours each night. He said it's too much for him," I added. I felt Rigby's anger pulse from him like a freshly inhabited furnace. The flame of his spirit was unquenchable. Rigby's tough paw stomped about the ground, stamping hard and loud and sending quakes through the concrete.
"Liar! Liar! I know everything!" Rigby shouted. I felt my heart bleed into hell.
"I-I-I'm sorry!" Before I could say anything else, Rigby pounced onto me, his paws thrusting me onto the mattress and pinning me there with the force of a hurricane.
"I know he didn't say it. But... But I know you love me. Milton doesn't. Not like you. I love you. I know you want bubby dead. Take it off! Take it off!" he said, ramming his behind into me. I quickly untied the diaper and watched as he bounded up the stairs. There were crashes above my head. Knockings. Bangs. I heard Milton's old holler and watched as he was pulled by the shirt down the stairs, blood running from a bite mark in his scalp. Rigby violently ran his bony back onto the mattress and stood over him, dripping foam and blood from his white teeth. At this time, I rolled off. I would've never thought the old pervert to have such powerful lungs, to push out such a powerful scream. The camera was rolling, I was behind it. I was in Hollywood. Milton's naked body was the next hot topic, the thing everyone would be talking about. Though it was horrific in nature, the horror of it was what made it so thrilling. Finally, as Rigby turned over his limp body, Milton's own genitals were those of a dog. A Great Dane's.
"I love you, master," Rigby said, brushing his blood-soaked fur up against my pant leg.
"I love you too, Rigby."