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The Sound of Licking

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The pouring rain and the grey skies of Portland, Oregon added to the grim atmosphere of the funeral. Residing was twenty-two year old Maxwell Kleris, the son of the man whom the funeral was dedicated to. His father, Jonathan Kleris, had committed suicide at the age of forty-six. What was odd about this was the fact that the police could find no cause to why he had done himself in. He was a happy man, on the higher end of the monetary spectrum. Nothing in his home suggested any serious amount of pressure was thrust onto him at work. The funeral was just as you would expect, with the family members reciting their speeches about how great of a man he was. There were no ghosts or gang-bangers hiding behind the tombstones. It was just an ordinary funeral.

Afterwards, Max and his older brother, Josh, had gone to a building to hear the details of the will. Their mother had died during childbirth, after having Max. This gave him the impression that his father had secretly hated him, and the contents will definitely suggested so. Josh got most of their father’s inheritance, this being his money, home and house, while the only notable things Max inherited was a pittance of money and his dog, Ford.

Ford, named promptly after his father’s favorite car company, was an old rat terrier. He didn’t really do anything besides eat and sleep, though their father would occasionally bring up how he would lick his paws seemingly nonstop at night. Max had a studio apartment downtown, and they allowed pets of Ford’s small size and weight. He didn’t have long work hours, so naturally watching a dog wouldn’t be too big of an issue.

The first few nights were fine. The dog slept silently. But then he began to lick.

From the third night, and seemingly every night thereafter he started licking his paws at night. Unlike the sound of rain, it was a sound impossible to get used to. It was almost as if every swipe of Ford’s tongue across his paws was as unique as a snowflake. It was even worse on humid nights, the sounds of his licking packing with them more saliva than an ordinary.

Max tried and tried to solve the problem. At first he tried earplugs, but he could still hear the licking, and the way his hearing would focus on those barely audible sounds was worse than hearing them normally. At one point, he had Ford sleep at Josh’s inherited abode, but this too ended up being futile, for he could hear the sounds of licking in the pitter patter of the rain. After hearing these noises for what seemed like whole nights he found that he would hear them in the morning too. Within the engine noises of the eco-friendly cars, licking. Within the sound of coffee being poured in the various cafes, licking. Within the sound of him sucking up his saliva, licking. After being subjected to this madness for a few months, he finally cracked. He bought a length of rope. He then went back to his apartment, set up his death, glared at Ford for one final time, and dialed 911. By the time the question “911 what is your emergency?” Was popped, Maxwell Kleris was dead.

The pouring rain and the grey skies of Portland, Oregon added to the grim atmosphere of the funeral. Residing was twenty-five year old Josh Kleris, the brother of the man that the funeral was dedicated to. His brother, Maxwell Kleris, had committed suicide at the age of twenty-two. What was odd about this was the police could find no cause as to why he had done himself in. He was generally happy, if a little depressed at times. Nothing in his home suggested any serious amount of pressure was thrust onto him at work. The funeral was just as you would expect, with the family members reciting their speeches about how great of a man he was. There were no ghosts or gang-bangers hiding behind the tombstones. It was just an ordinary funeral. Afterwards, Josh was faced with the dilemma of what to do with Max’s dog, Ford. He then decided that he might as well look after the old mutt, as his days seemed to be coming to a close.

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