Outside with a cricket bat.

It was one way to die. I mean, there’s at least 10 of them. The jackals, ten jackals with heads tilted slightly, all gazing directly at the open wound in my leg. Dying by jackal rape is definitely one way to die out of the millions. You could have a heart attack or stroke, break your neck, or get dismantled by jackals, choked by jackals (they don’t have thumbs so it’ll be with their teeth), or smothered by cute baby jackals. Jackal rape is one of the more uncommon methods of death I’d say.

Desert I never planned or cared to die via jackal. It just wasn’t glamorous enough. I had always planned on dying on vacation with a loving family so that they would never have a fun vacation again. Maybe we could be biking in Vail and I fall off a switchback after my shit head son cuts my break lines and I remind him it’s his fault as I tumble down a ravine, never to be seen again. Maybe my wife wants her life back some day and murders me after my stint in rehab didn’t satisfy my need for attention.

Maybe I was meant to die by jackal rape, I thought.

The thought scared me because when you die in the animal kingdom, you don’t die cozy. Your loved ones aren’t there to whisper hymns into your ear as you slowly slip out of the mortal world. There is only the ferocity of the apex predator and his closest buds enjoying lunch. So vicious.

The cricket bat was heavy in my arm as the beasts closed in on me. All 9 of them. Could have sworn there were 10 before I started this monolog—

“Oh, hey there bud,” I looked back at the jackal currently gnawing on my ankle. Well, he wasn’t gnawing on my ankle, more tugging on my pant leg than anything. They really are like puppies, jackals. Hellish, criminal puppies that strike fear into the hearts of the weak. I was starting to think though, can these things actually kill me?

Their attack wasn’t well coordinated other than the one still chewing on my jeans. Suddenly perplexed at my resistance to their brave friend’s efforts, the gaggle of murder puppies started to back away. But Gnaw Boy wasn’t giving up, as he had finally gotten my pants to tear just above the left ankle. I gave him a proper cricket bat slap upside the head to send him tumbling across the arid savanna. His friends had left, presumably to pursue a more docile prey, leaving him to take on this ass-beating alone.

Gnaw Boy got up and shook off the blow. He looked around for his friends but they were nowhere in sight. He didn’t look surprised by their absence and I sensed loneliness is his eyes. The kind of loneliness you get from living in a society that doesn’t understand the full spectrum of your personality. This pupper was an outcast. Shunned by his pack because his selfish ambitions were larger than his bite, just like me.

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