I meet an old woman, one of my mother’s friends, at a social gathering at my mother’s house, and she says I gained weight since she saw me last. I was really heavy for awhile, she recalled, then I lost some weight, but now I’ve gained some of it back. I express surprise that she had seen me more recently than the time I had been heavier, and together we try to recall when we last saw each other. Finally we figure out it was the time I took care of her two dogs while she was out of town. She had a friendly medium-sized black dog who I liked and a yappy orange lap dog who I didn’t like. Every day I fed the dogs, walked them, and gave them their treatment. Their treatment consisted of an intense magnetic field.

After several days a different, middle-aged woman came in to inspect the dogs. She said that they had to be pretty (i.e. sexually attractive, with large shapely rumps) for the women in the audience. Men don’t care but it really matters for the women. I also had to be pretty, so she gave me a frumpy blue dress to put on. She sat me down on an ornately carved, wooden motorized chair, with the dogs on my lap. The chair slowly floated out through a window into a large theater filled with people. As I floated above the crowd I suddenly became very self-conscious. The dress, I thought, did fit my curves well in spite of me being a man, but it must look very incongruous with my bald head. No one seemed to notice, however. They were all fixated on the dogs. The women especially were on the edge of their seats. Finally I came to a stop at the center of the theater. The dogs activated their magnetic fields. The women were all half out of their seats, straining in the direction of the dogs, seemingly trying to soak in the rays, while simultaneously jerking their heads around to check out the other women. The dogs jumped off my lap, still holding their magnetic field, and I floated back towards the window. As I was leaving the theater one of the women started rhythmically moving her body in a religious ecstasy, while the women near her excitedly turned around to see who the chosen one was.

The chair took me back to a control room filled with computers. A group of people were watching the proceedings through a window high above the theater and expressing satisfaction with the way things were progressing. Alone in a corner of the room I saw the middle-aged woman who had prepared me and the dogs before we entered the theater. She was concentrating hard, maintaining and controlling the magnetic field through her pole opposite the dogs. I went up to the window to watch the crowd along with the other observers. Everyone in the theater was eagerly watching the woman moving around and muttering in her religious ecstasy which continued to grow in intensity. Presently she stood up from her seat and stumbled backwards towards the aisleway in great agitation. She seemed completely disoriented. The people around her looked alarmed and moved to help her, and in the control room too the observers seemed worried. The observers questioned the magnetic middle-aged woman but she said she wasn’t doing it; a malevolent force had seized control of the magnetic field. We heard a crash; out in the theater, chairs were rising off the floor and flying into the walls.

I ran out of the control room and down some steps into the theater. Everything in the theater was flying wildly about and the crowd was running for the exits. I looked around to see what force might be causing the disturbance. To one side of the theater I spotted the little lap dog, watching the scene intently with her large, black eyes. Something hit me and I blacked out.

When I came to, the theater was deserted except for piles of debris. I wandered out of the theater and started searching the house for the lap dog. Everything was a mess. It was quiet and no one was around. I finally found the dog in the living room. I grabbed her and she bit my hand. A sticky black liquid dripped from her fangs.

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