The Story of Bess 3

One afternoon, after I had given up all hope of ever leaving this truck alive, the man pulls into a bumpy driveway. I look out at a rundown house in a neighborhood of shabby, neglected houses. The man makes a big show of letting me out of the truck as though he is the kindest man alive, a real humanitarian.

“Welcome to Turlock,” he says to me as an older woman with wispy hair runs out of the house.

The screen door slams as she yells, “Jason? Is that you boy?”

“Shur is mama. Look, I bring ya a present,” the man says smiling.

“Well, shit boy, what am I gonna do with that mangy thing?” she says, looking at my emaciated body. “A girl is it? Ya plannin’ on breedin’ ‘er?” she asks through snaggled teeth.

“That’s the plan,” Jason says with no mention of my inferior producer status.

I soon find out that this new place isn’t going to be any better than the last. I’m to be kept outside in the scrubby backyard in another wire cage. The old woman lets me out sometimes when the man is not at home. She gives me cheap dog food at least, instead of greasy French fries. My diarrhea subsides and my stomach calms down.

In some ways this is a better place because I’m not around the vast herd of dogs to feel their sadness compounded by my own, at the loss of my babies. But soon, I realize I am lonely and bored. We are at heart, social animals by nature, each of us. While I did not enjoy the trauma and tragedy that was constantly present where I was, now I have no one. I live in isolation – that is until the horror begins again.

“When ya plannin’ on breedin’ ‘er? I’m not feedin’ ‘er fer nothin’. She got to earn her keep,” the old woman says one hot afternoon in July.

I soon find out that not only has Jason stolen me, but he’s taken one of the rape stands as well. When he decides that I am at peak fertility in my cycle, he straps me in and the mate is “introduced.” I say this with full sarcasm because before I even know what is happening, the mate is mounting me and thrusting himself inside me forcibly, in response to his animal instincts. I am helpless to do anything but try and relax my body to minimize the damage and pray this humiliation will be over quickly. Thankfully, he is young and the demeaning act is over very quickly. A group of dim witted people encircle us, gawking and commenting on the financial possibilities. I am released and dragged back to my cage to cower in the corner. I try to clean myself up only to discover that Jason hasn’t forgotten the hose portion of this hideous ritual. A blast of frigid water on the most personal and now sore area of my body finishes off the degrading event.

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