Thursday, February 7, 2008

Achilles




July 2006: He is so tired of this life. He wakes up each day wishing that day would be the day he finally dies. The animal that owns him, the one with the dark, evil spirit inside of him, requires too much of him; he requires his life. He fights to live, not by choice, but by instinct. And he hates himself for it.

He remembers the day the Evil One came into his life. He was so innocent then not knowing that beasts like him existed in this world. That day he took him away from his mother and brothers while he yelped, wishing he could understand him: I don't want to leave! Please leave me with my family! But he didn't hear his cries, or perhaps didn't understand his sorrow, and instead brought him to his new home. Soon, the beatings started. His body became the outlet for the Evil One's frustrations, anger and sick games. The more he would show him affection, the more he got beat. Killer - that was the name he was given - sensed the Evil One had an inextinguishable aura of hate surrounding him. He despised himself and everything in this world and violence was the only language he understood.

Six months later he was initiated into the world that soon became his life. Having been deprived of food for days, he lain weak in the basement neglected for days. When at last his meal was brought - in the form of an innocent, panic-stricken kitten - he knew that he would now have to cross a line he didn't want to cross if he wanted to survive. The Evil One dangled the terrified kitten in front of him and all he could remember was how the hunger made his stomach hurt. His mouth salivated profusely, eager to eat anything, and he didn't care what it was. A half hour later, with the blood of the innocent smeared on his face, Killer had put the kitten's life to rest. He had become that lethal animal the Evil One wanted him to be, one that was desensitized to the pain and cries of others and would be feared. The Evil One pet him for the first time in his life, "Good boy, now we can begin." And he hated him but hated himself most of all for having been the tool of a cruel, heartless act. Yet, he had been so hungry. He was ashamed of himself and just wanted to be left alone.

Soon after, the Evil One took him to places where there were others like him. He noticed the others were just as aggressive and Killer knew he could never befriend them because they easily and without remorse killed their own. Each week they would throw him in a cage against one of his own, to fight until death. Some were bigger and some smaller but none as powerful as he. Killer became the favorite of the cheering crowd and, at the end of each battle, the Evil One would always pet him. Strange because he didn't feel love for him.

This became his life, earning his owner's keep at the expense of his life.  And with each kill, a little piece of him would die. He fought many that he privately considered friends because he knew the pain they lived with as well. After years of this, he was tired and wanted it to end, his body and soul scarred by injuries of so many violent fights.

Tonight he wished for death. Let the other have the victory. He wanted release, no longer wanted to live, no longer wanted to kill another one of his own. But his instinct to survive always guaranteed victory even against his better judgment. He prayed that tonight his weakness would finally win over.

Hours later, he had killed another, but he had also been badly injured. Tonight, death would finally come and he welcomed it.

Lying weak on the floor of the cage, he saw the people that usually cheered him on, run and disappear. The Evil One ran as well. Minutes later he heard the sounds of approaching footsteps.

"In here! I got two in here!" A man with a gentle hand approached, muzzled him and started petting and talking to him. "Oh God, look at you. It's alright boy, you're gonna be alright." Killer looked at the man pleading that he let him die, I killed my brother today. He didn't recognize me - or wouldn't - and I want to die. I just want to die. Please, I can't do this anymore. I can't kill anymore. Please don't beat me. Just let me die. Tonight is my night to die.

Instead the man picked him up gently and spoke to him in a tone Killer had never heard before, "You're going to be okay, boy. I promise. You're going to be okay."

July 2007: Achilles was admiring the beauty of the day and how his life had turned around. Sam was stroking him as was his habit to always do. Sam was his very best friend in the whole wide world. Sam had the aura of goodness and love surrounding him always. He never showed anger or frustration towards Achilles and Achilles loved him for that. All of Sam's friends carried the same aura. He loved them all so much.

Sam was his savior. He was the one that carried him out of that life forever and away from the Evil One on that fateful day. He took him to a hospital where many good people took care of him. Achilles didn't know there were people in the world who cared. He understood their language of love by the way they spoke and treated him. That was the universal language all sentient beings in this world understood. And Achilles was a smart dog and soon learned that in their world, aggression was not accepted. And now he no longer wanted to die and felt happier and stronger each day. Sam would come each day to visit and when he was all well, Sam took him to his new home. He would now live with Sam. The first thing Sam did was to rename him Achilles.  Sam said Achilles was a great warrior like him and, like Achilles, he also had his own unique vulnerable spot: "You know what that is boy?" Achilles would wag his tail, eager to hear the story again. He licked Sam's face eagerly, no longer afraid of a human's reaction because he knew deep down inside that Sam would never hurt him and always welcomed his show of love.  Sam was good, unlike the Evil One.  Sam laughed and hugged Achilles, always showing him love. Sam pointed to Achilles' heart, "that right there is your vulnerability, Achilles. Your vulnerability is your ability to love. The thing that monster couldn't beat out of you. And that is the very thing that saved you in the end.  Ironic, huh? And you held on boy, you held on because you and I were destined to be very best friends."

And so Achilles became a part of Sam's world. They became very best friends and went on walks together every day; he even slept on Sam's bed. And he sat here today thinking how much he loved Sam and his new life.

"What are you thinking about boy?" Achilles turned around and licked Sam's hand expressing how thankful and grateful he was that fate brought them together. Without Sam, Achilles would be dead today. And, without Sam, Achilles would have never known how beautiful and peaceful like could truly be.

29 comments:

Robin said...

Wow, Rebecca.

You are a powerful writer. Your post brought tears to my eyes.

Robin of mytwoblessings

PixieDust said...

This is heartbreaking... beautifully heartbreaking...

It is sad to think that in most places mistreatment of animals even dogfighting is only considered a misdemeanor.

Thank you for giving these mute victims a voice.

(((Abrazos))),
Love,
me

anthonynorth said...

Beautifully put, but yes, I agree - heartbreaking.

totomai said...

another lovely write. you have way of words. i agree, you have written a beautifully heartbreaking / emotional story

Selma said...

Forcing dogs to fight is one of the most heinous crimes in the world, in my opinion. You have described the terror, remorse and desire for it all to stop these animals must feel, so well. I do a bit of work with a local animal rescue shelter and sometimes I feel sick at the way some animals are treated. It is beyond cruelty. Your story was heart-wrenching but also full of hope. I pray every day that all animals who are mistreated have a chance at a happy ending. Thank you.

Pri said...

woww that was an amazing piece...
really tugged at my heart strings and i could feel my eyes moist towards the ending..seriously!

wonderful read once again
keep it up!!

gautami tripathy said...

I had commented here last night. Blogger sometimes goofs up.

I agree, it is beautiful piece of witing.

endless
possibilities

ratanaong said...

Lovely piece of work! I was touched by the wise move of expressing the emotions through a different perspective. Bravo....

Gemma Wiseman said...

I felt totally absorbed in all this! A powerful write. Loved the change of name from Killer to Achilles, a hero of legend, but also a sometime killer.

A feast for the senses!

Smiles and Light

Just Jen said...

where's luke and the good force with him?
sorry, I just couldn't help myself, seriously though...you are a really good writer and this was very suspenseful, good read!

MissMeliss said...

Oh, this made me teary. Great piece.

Marie said...

This writing is powerful and life changing. Your words have given all a voice...not just that of the dog, but of the child who is beaten and the soldier who is fighting...

Rob Kistner said...

How very powerful -- deeply moving!

Melody said...

I love this story, Rebecca. Very emotional read...

Robin said...

Very powerful, very poignant, and so very sad.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Yeah, well said, It's really good the way you wrote this and how the dogs life changed at the end.
A very emotional piece of writing!

paisley said...

totally amazing piece of writing... i feel it is a sad note,, that those dogs are destroyed. period. they never really get a sam...

cocaine jesus said...

wonderful and moving words. more power to you.

Gilson said...

Beautifully written! You really touched me with this piece.

jadey said...

The tears are whelling up in my eyes. This was such a great outcome to a story that started with such great sadness. I am glad Achilles was able to find his bestfriend Sam and live out the rest of his life with someone who loved him and appreciated him.

Marja said...

a tear triggles down my face. What a great heartwarming touching story. You are a great writer

Jeques said...

Your story made me cry Rebecca.

There is goodness in everyone, and it takes goodness to bring that out. But your story said more than that, Achilles showed us that even his kind has goodness in them and it takes goodness from us human to bring that goodness from them.

This story is extremely sad but it's also a story of redemption and the triumph of goodness over the dark forces and that made me cry even more. We have it in our hands to make the changes we wanted happen, and yet we fail to do.

Thanks Rebecca for this great post.

Please check out my series poem: Changes. I've been working long hour lately. It's only now that I get the chance to read.

I wrote something about my pet before. Here's a link to that post:

http://jeques.wordpress.com/2007/10/29/1sts-pet/

Happy Valentines!

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

Bohemian Mom said...

This broke my heart wide open.
You can sure write your ass off!
And I love that pic!
xo

Michael C said...

Wow, that is some VERY GOOD writing!!

Rick Hamrick said...

I loved this one, rebecca.

LittleWing said...

oh geez, i luvvvveee mmmmy dog!!!... **crying..boohoo**... you have written such an awesome story abt dogs and love... stella, my dog, is a rescue dog... she was always so fearful... now, she's loved and does pretty much what she wants... i gotta go home and hug her... she's the best dog ever!!!.. thank you for such a beautiful story of love...

Day Dreamer said...

Oh God,oh God. I can not stand to see an animal hurt and in my job, I have seen the aftermath of dogfighting rings. Oh Jesus Christ how could anyone look on that as entertainment?
I can't even think about it. Honestly, it breaks my heart and makes me so angry I could bring myself to hate. There is no excuse for cruelty.
Cesar Millan (the dog whisperer) is one of the finest people on the planet. One of my heros.

bekindrewrite.net said...

Way to give us an amazing new perspective!

And welcome to InMon!

Caerlynn Nash said...

I just gave my dog a big hug! He was rescued too. He had been abandoned and found running, dirty, and hungry. Some people should never be allowed to own animals. They should get the same treatment to see how they feel.
Very powerful! High praise to this story.