Human Pet Pound - Loki Renard Page 0,1

to everybody and nobody in particular.

“Let me go!” I reach for the loop to try to pull it off, but a harsh zap of electricity makes me squeal in pain and drop my hands.

The catcher grins at me. He’s so pleased with himself. He’s a very tall alien with almond-shaped dark eyes and a ridge of horn originating at his nose and running all the way up over his skull, down his neck, his back, and terminating at the tip of his tail. He is scaled, and his tongue is forked. He’s a talking lizard with opposable thumbs, basically.

“Caught you again, Itch,” he says. “I told you, you can’t escape me.”

This is not our first rodeo. He’s caught me every time I’ve escaped my various owners.

“They should breed you,” he says, yanking on the other end of the rope and dragging me after him. “That always slows the females down. But I guess we don’t have any semen shipments coming in for a while.”

I keep my mouth shut. This guy is a sadist and will take any excuse to use that electric prod on me.

“Get in,” he says, pushing me into the back of his catcher wagon. It’s made of a see-through plastic material, so all the aliens in their various allegedly superior configurations can see the rogue human pet being taken into custody.

There are laughs and stares, pointed fingers, and angled appendages from the crowd which is forming at my capture. This is the part of being caught I hate the most. Not the cage at the end of it with the hole in the ground where I’m supposed to relieve myself. This public humiliation which is designed to bring me to heel.

Fuck that.

I’m going to get off this vortex of rotating bullshit even if it kills me. I swore that to myself when I woke up a long time ago with no idea where I came from. It’s not that I have no memories at all, it’s more like a bunch of random information was all shoved jumbled into my head. I know things it makes no sense for me to know. And I don’t know things I really should, like, where did I come from? What did I do to get here? Why does the collar around my neck spell out Itch?

I give a gesture to the crowds which I consider to be especially rude. This is one of the vestigial memories which must be buried very deep in my consciousness, something that comes from the very oldest reaches of humanity. My middle finger is raised while the others are curved into a fist. I don’t know what it means, but I know it feels good to punch the air with my angry finger, and that it seems to agitate the onlookers.

“Settle down back there!” the catcher shouts at me through the speakers. “Or you’ll lose that finger.”

He wouldn’t do that to me. Wounded humans have less worth. The first thing a buyer looks for in his human is missing fingers and toes. Ten of each, or you’re basically meat scrap as far as these aliens are concerned. Still, I put it down, just in case.

We drive through the station crowds and into the flashing yellow interior of the building for keeping humans captive. That’s probably not what it is actually called, but it is what I think of it as because that’s the only reason I have ever been here. It may as well be the Itch Imprisonment Center as far as I am concerned.

The ramp winds down, taking us underground, through several sets of doors, each of which are secured so I can’t escape. I’ve tried. It didn’t end well. I have a scar across my shoulder blades from the last time I almost escaped.

I’ve learned to wait to be taken out of here by a prospective new owner. I play the same game every time. Big eyes. Sweet sounds. Smiles and rubbing up against the bars. Then BAM! when they last expect it, I run away.

I have escaped six different owners, and I’ve been caught every time, but I’m already hoping the seventh will be the charm. Next time, I won’t hesitate on the docks. I’ll jump into the nearest ship and hope for the best.

“Got a special cage all picked out for you,” the catcher tells me when he pulls me out of the wagon.

The cage stinks like fear and other less savory, more biological things. This is temporary, I tell myself as