The fucking dog barked all day and all night, and the kid just kept shouting at it. “Pluto, hey, Pluto!” like he was Mickey fucking Mouse or something.
I tried throwing things, I tried bribery, I even tried violence, but nothing worked. Damn kid and damn dog just yapped all god-damned night and day.
Eventually, I took matters into my own hands. I dug a huge pit in the yard and I threw the dog into it, and, when the kid yelled at me, I threw him in too.
Then I filled it in and concreted over the top of it. Peace at last. Or that’s what I thought.
The damn dog just kept on barking under the ground and I could hear the kid still ineffectually yelling at him. All night and day. Echoing in my head. Round and round.
Could I cling on to whatever shards of reason I still possessed? Was I mad?
There was only one thing left for me to do to preserve my sanity.
It was turning into quite a dull dark and soundless day at House of Usher plc. There had been complaints about a black cat who had swallowed a whole cask of Amontillado, tried to eat a raven at the local cemetery and then promptly thrown it all up over the pristine tomb of Ligeia. Luckily, the local paper had given this no publicity as it was obsessed with the current spate of murders in the Rue Morgue, but it was a near thing, and to make the day worse, Annabelle Lee, a rival executive at Pit and Pendulum, had successfully bid for the Lenore account.
The parent firm had sent someone over to remonstrate, of course, a Monsieur Valdimar from the Paris office, but there had been a mix-up with his luggage at Heathrow and he’d arrived clutching a strange case. So, all in all, it had been a pretty disastrous morning, and when asked if he was coming back, the departing Frenchman clutched his tell-tale heart theatrically and replied, “Nevermore!”