Even fleapeople need jobs.
Ruddy lost his position as a dog saddler when he made a harness that stapled into the dogs’ hides. Apparently some fleapeople genuinely cared for their beasts of burden, and couldn’t stand seeing their vehicles in pain. A ridiculous concept, Ruddy silently thought–the pain would be temporary, and at best it would be a mild discomfort from them on. Even so, his invention was turned away, and he was shamed for it.
And so Ruddy found himself at the Precipice alehouse, drowning his sorrows in micropints of warm brown beer. Before him lay a beer-stained newspaper, turned to the classifieds section.
“Dog tamer, dog walker, dog groomer, dog this, dog that,” Ruddy muttered as he read the available jobs. He looked around the alehouse, hiccuped, and asked, “You people DO realize dog riding is the number one source of fleaperson fatalities, right?”
He was ignored. Fleapeople loved dogs–they weren’t pets or steeds, they were partners. To hate dogs was ridiculous, even if they sometimes ate fleapeople, and sometimes dove into rivers for a splash, drowning their riders, and sometimes rolled over and crushed anyone on top just because they wanted a belly rub… but they were loyal, and quick, and cute as all heck.
Ruddy wasn’t convinced.
“Think about it,” he said, standing from his stool, sloshing ale over himself. “The amount of food and water we have to give these mutts to keep them alive? We’re destroying our lands, just because we’re too damn lazy to walk across town, or build a better machine to carry our cargo. The world would be a better place without dogs! There! I said it!”
Bubbs, the tavern keep, leaned over the bar and tapped Ruddy’s shoulder with the back of his knuckles. “You need to leave, mate,” he said.
“Why?” Ruddy demanded, draining the rest of his drink.
“We’ve no tolerance for hate speech here.”
Hate speech! For dogs! What a thought.
“I’ll not drink with a buncher bitchlovers anyhow…” Ruddy mumbled, throwing his newspaper to the floor and storming out of the tavern.
Outside was a Now Hiring sign–it was for the livery. What’s a livery? Ruddy wondered. Oh yeah. It’s that thing I’ve been wrecking by drinking so much.
Shaking his tiny, invisible head, Ruddy stumbled home, wondering how he’d afford his fleanancial obligations now. Inside the livery, dogs howled from their kennels at the moon they couldn’t see.
Day 203’s three random writing prompt categories were, “Fleapeople,” “Ale,” and, “Job hunting.”
Boy, sure is tough being a fleaperson and not a dog person. But to be fair, cats would torture and eat them for fun.